Carolina Hotel takes guests back in time

When the Carolina Hotel opened its doors
on the first day of the 20th Century,
a new era began.

Photos courtesy of the Tufts Archives

The majestic hotel brought 250 more guest rooms to Pinehurst to meet the growing need for accommodations.

After Pinehurst’s first hotel, the Holly Inn, opened in 1895, more visitors began traveling to the area. As the Village continued to flourish, construction of the Carolina got underway in 1898.

When the four-story Colonial Revival opened on Jan. 1, 1901, it was the largest frame hotel in North Carolina.

“This will remain a memorable incident in its subsequent history,” wrote The Pinehurst Outlook, the newspaper of record at the time.


(Click photo to enlarge) The front page of The Pinehurst Outlook reports the opening of the Carolina Hotel. The weekly paper published this story three days after the hotel opened on Jan. 1, 1901.

Charming exterior, first-rate amenities

The exterior of the Carolina Hotel has always inspired awe.

Back in 1901, the exterior was painted in Colonial colors, yellow with white trimmings. The building’s signature cupola was the talk of the town.

“The double cupola is noticeably delicate and fine in its effect without a trace of those regular turrets and towers, which along the seaboard seem to strive to advertise themselves by mere size and height,’ wrote the Outlook.

It took more than a year to prepare the hotel grounds. Despite its January opening, roses, pansies, pinks and English violets were still in bloom.

“The grounds appropriated exclusively to the hotel are extensive and are laid out in walks, bordered with trees, shrubbery and flowers,” the Outlook wrote.

The inside was equally as lavish with rich furnishing and a variety of amenities including telephones in each room, electric lights, steam heat, elevators and velvet carpets. The writing, smoking and reception rooms were finished in oak.

“The interior appointments are as complete and luxurious as money, skill and taste could make them,” wrote the Outlook.


Timeless after more than a century

After more than a century, the Carolina continues to embody Southern elegance.

Its signature copper cupola and sweeping verandas make you feel as though you’ve stepped back in time. Dubbed the “Queen of the South,” it now has 230 Four-Diamond guest rooms including suites.

“I almost teared up the first time I saw it,” said May Wood, the 2002 North & South Women’s Amateur champion in Lee Pace’s book “The Spirit of Pinehurst.” “It was the most beautiful place I’d ever been.”

We couldn’t agree more.