Looking for hotels in downtown Raleigh within easy walking distance of the best Raleigh has to offer including concert venues, museums, restaurants, and bars? Consider the Residence Inn Raleigh Downtown. Our expectations were surpassed during our recent stay and we are now calling it our home-away-from home when staying downtown.
Whilst we live in Raleigh and the purpose of our one-night stay was purely a staycation, we’ve stayed in many hotels throughout the 50+ countries we have visited, and we know what to look for in accommodation as far as comfort, location, safety, amenities and value for money!
Whether you visit Raleigh for business or pleasure, the Residence Inn by Marriott Raleigh Downtown ticks a lot of boxes for all styles of travel and we feel it is the ideal place to stay in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina.
This newish Raleigh hotel by the Marriott Hotels brand was built in 2017, has 10 floors, is rated a 3-star property, is a Rewards Category 4 for Marriott Bonvoy members, and we were impressed with how clean and safe the hotel felt – which is important to us as a family.
Down below we share our 8 top reasons we recommend this hotel as a place to stay in the City of Raleigh.
Highlights of the Residence Inn Raleigh Downtown
1. Prime location in the heart of downtown Raleigh
This is an excellent central location for leisure or business travelers, for a short or long stay. Located in the heart of downtown Raleigh, we loved being able to walk to everything on offer in the city center, which is essentially a 12-block radius.
This hotel is directly adjacent to the Raleigh Convention Center and you can walk across the street to the theater at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts. If you’re in town for a concert at Red Hat Amphitheater it’s a short two block walk away, and the Lincoln Theater is three blocks away.
Plus, you’re steps away from Fayetteville Street (Raleigh’s main thoroughfare), the downtown business district, a short walk to the NC State Capitol Building, and within walking distance of some of the best local Raleigh restaurants, bars, breweries, cafes, and nearby attractions like the terrific Museum of Natural Sciences.
Walking distance from the hotel:
- Performing Arts Center: 300 feet
- Raleigh Convention Center: 500 feet
- Red Hat Amphitheater: 0.2 miles
- Lincoln Theatre: 0.4 miles
- State Capitol Building: 0.6 miles
- Museum of Natural Sciences: 0.7 miles
We loved being able to walk to one of the best lunch spots in Raleigh, Beasley’s Chicken + Honey (see our 48 hours in Raleigh guide for our tips on where to eat and drink), and it was a short walk to one of our favorite coffee shops in downtown Raleigh, the Morning Times!
And, you’re just minutes away from the top university campuses in Raleigh:
- Shaw University: 0.3 miles
- William Peace University: 1.1 miles
- St. Augustine’s University: 2.1 miles
- NC State University: 3.1 miles
- Meredith College: 4.5 miles
If you are flying into Raleigh Durham Airport (RDU), it’s about a 25-minute drive to Residence Inn Raleigh, and if you are going to a concert or sporting event at the PNC Arena (home of Carolina Hurricanes ice hockey), it is about an 18-minute drive.
Location is key when choosing a hotel, especially if it’s a short stay you don’t want to waste time getting from your hotel to the places you need to be, and this hotel’s location is also safe for morning walks/jogs.
And if you’re visiting Raleigh for New Year’s Eve, this is the perfect location for the fireworks!
2. Spacious all-Suite hotel
As a family of four, and as a couple who run an online business, we much prefer to stay in hotels that have suites versus standard hotel rooms for the extra space and functionality, and we were very comfortable in our Studio Suite Room.
As much as we like to eat out in Raleigh, it can get expensive for a family to eat out all the time especially on an extended stay, so we like the option of having access to a fully-equipped kitchen like the one at Residence Inn Downtown Raleigh.
Our studio suite came with two queen beds, a sofa bed, a work desk, and a fully-equipped kitchen with cookware and utensils, glassware and appliances. If you’re a large family, our room could sleep six.
We found our room to be spacious, very clean, and comfortable. It gave us room to relax on the sofa couch and watch TV on the 40-inch HD TV, and to get some work done at the desk.
All guest suites include a kitchen providing the flexibility to be self-sufficient for short or long stays. For additional space and privacy, consider one of their one bedroom suites with separate living, working, and sleeping areas.
Suite types range from studio king, one bedroom queen-queen, one bedroom corner king with balcony or connecting rooms to create a two-bedroom option.
We also found the hotel to be quiet. Granted, we did stay on a Saturday night which happened to be New Years day night with no concerts or festivals going on in the city after the previous big night for new years eve, so can’t completely vouch for the quietness of the hotel. Check current prices for your dates on the Marriott website or through Booking.com.
If you’re a business traveler, you’ll appreciate the spacious desk and ergonomic chair, and we had a distant view of the Raleigh surrounds from our desk.
Did you know you can add on an Allianz insurance policy when booking your Marriott stay? Coverage is for all guests staying in the room and covers non-refundable expenses such as airfare, travel delays, and medical emergencies. Learn more here and watch the video below. (We are ambassadors with Allianz Travel through ytravelblog.com and created the following sponsored video in partnership with them.)
3. Awesome outdoor rooftop lounge & bar
Besides being more than satisfied with our room, the highlight of staying at the Residence Inn Raleigh Downtown for us is the fantastic 10th and Terrace rooftop lounge and bar.
This is now one of our favorite places for a drink in Raleigh period, especially to take in the sunset, which there are limited options for doing in Raleigh.
The outdoor deck has comfy lounges, tables and chairs, and uninterrupted views of the Performing Arts Center which looked brilliant at night time, and sweeping views over the Southern part of downtown – we loved looking out over all the trees – if you don’t know, Raleigh is literally a city within a forest and is nicknamed the City of Oaks!
What a lovely space to relax with your partner, family or friends and enjoy an excellent cocktail, local craft beer, or fine wine. You can eat here too, and they have a Contemporary American Fusion small plates menu.
And the attached indoor bar area is very inviting and cozy too, we moved inside when it started to rain and had a fun conversation with the bartender and another guest.
The bar staff were attentive and engaging, stopping to have brief, friendly conversations whilst being efficient with their service.
Dress code here is smart casual, and you don’t have to be staying at the hotel to enjoy this rooftop area!
By the way, this would be an awesome space to hire for a private event/party (one for the future).
- Monday – Thursday: 3-11 PM
- Friday & Saturday: 12PM – 12AM (kitchen closes at 11 PM)
4. FREE hot breakfast
If you don’t want to dine out for breakfast, or use your own in-room kitchen facilities, another positive of staying at the Residence Inn is you get a complimentary full hot breakfast.
We took advantage of the free breakfast considering we live in Raleigh and can dine out anytime, otherwise we highly recommend Big Ed’s Restaurant for a classic Raleigh breakfast experience (10 minute walk from hotel).
The breakfast at the hotel was substantial in its offerings, and for the most part satisfying and diverse. Not the best hotel breakfast I’ve ever had, but far from the worst and enjoyed sitting on the outdoor terrace.
There’s also an on site restaurant for dinner, Overlook, that we did not dine at.
5. Oversized Fitness Center
If you like to get your gym time in whilst on the road, like Caroline does, the Residence Inn Raleigh has a state-of-the-art fitness center with prominent views of South Salisbury Street.
Start your day with a workout using their cardiovascular equipment (treadmills, elliptical, life cycles), free weights, or with some yoga on their stretching mats.
6. Complimentary wireless high speed internet access
Even if you’re not a business traveler, almost everyone wants the benefit of free wifi these days. But if you are visiting Raleigh for business, enjoy free high-speed wifi to work from the comfort of your room’s desk, or in the business center lounge area downstairs.
Note: The Residence Inn Raleigh Downtown also features meeting and flexible event space, accommodating meetings for up to 100 people.
7. Mobile Check-In
If you’re a Marriott Bonvoy Member like us, you can precheck-in through the app for an expedited arrival. You’ll get a notification when your room is ready. Then quickly stop at the front desk to pick-up your keys and swipe your credit card.
However, non-members can do a Web Check-in, you’ll get a room ready notification delivered via sms or email. Then just stop at the desk to pick-up your keys and swipe your credit card.
If you travel with your furry friends, this hotel is pet friendly. Their pet policy is:
- Maximum 2 pets per room
- Non-refundable fee: 150 USD Per Stay
- Pet fees-$150/room upon check in for days 1-5 then $15/day until checkout
- Contact hotel for full details
What could be better at the Residence Inn Downtown Raleigh?
If I had to pick a couple of areas that could be approved upon, let me mention these items which didn’t take too much away from our enjoyable stay.
The water in the shower could be hotter, have more pressure, and last longer – always an issue when four people want to shower. And keep in mind our room had a step-in-shower into the bathtub which is difficult for those with mobility issues – not sure if that is standard for each room.
Breakfast was eaten with plastic tableware, I think we’d all prefer metal silverware.
Parking at Residence Inn
There’s an on-site parking fee of $12 USD daily. Register your vehicle at check-in for access to the parking garage which is attached to the hotel. No trailers or motorcycles.
If you visit Raleigh on a weekend, there is free street parking downtown.
Alternatively, there are parking decks and parking lots (over 70 places to park in downtown). See parking locations here.
More helpful info
- Check-in: 4pm (our room was ready earlier, pay attention to your app or text messages after you check-in online)
- Check-out: 11am
- This hotel does not provide shuttle service. Search for Raleigh rental cars here. And check the RDU Airport website for ground transportation.
We thoroughly enjoyed our staycation at the Residence Inn Downtown Raleigh. This hotel in Raleigh was a great balance of the ideal location and amenities provided.
For other downtown Raleigh hotels besides the Residence Inn Raleigh NC, here is a list of 7 hotels in downtown Raleigh to consider for your stay.