Cambria Suites RDU
300 Airgate Drive, Morrisville, NC 27560
Phone: (919) 361-3311
Type of Hotel: A hybrid of Upscale Business, Luxury Suite, and Boutique.
Price: Internet rates under $100 per night reflect this new hotel’s desire to bring in customers, but the low rates probably won’t last once the secret is out.
Location: This hotel couldn’t be closer to the airport, making early flights a little more tolerable. There’s a decent restaurant selection nearby, and many destinations of interest are within a 20-minute radius. Don’t plan on walking anywhere, unless you’re headed to other nearby hotels or the Capital City Chop House.
Atmosphere: Work hard, play long. It’s busy and professional, but with a pronounced touch of urban fun. Definitely not for families with children – nothing about this hotel brings kids to mind.
The Good: It’s fun just being at this hotel. Top-notch staff, incredible rooms, and luxurious – but not stuffy – elements made my time there exactly what it needed to be.
The Bad: The elevators are slow and jerky. The room’s desk faces the bedroom, and when working late at night I kept seeing the bed out of the corner of my eye, which made me want very badly not to get my work done. Those are two very small gripes in what was an otherwise perfect experience.
Other Perks: There’s free wi-fi throughout the building, and none of the hotel’s features – save the moderately-priced breakfast buffet – ever seem to shut down.
Trip Summary: Upon entering, the decor of the lobby immediately seizes upon the traveler’s longing for comfort and attention to detail. Bold artwork, sophisticated fixtures and glimmering details balance out the soothing earth tones of the walls, floor, and and plush furniture. The staff are friendly and go beyond the call of duty from the moment you enter the building.
Cambria makes the most of the lobby space, with plenty of seating around a conveniently located HDTV, high-ceiling gathering areas, a restaurant dining area, breakfast buffet station, and a full bar with seating. There’s even a mini-mart with a great selection of juices and other refreshments, and a monitor displaying flight information to aid the hotel’s countless airport-bound guests.
Cambria’s motto seems to be “accommodating but modern.” The rooms are truly worthy of extended stays, with all of the expected kitchen appliances (refrigerator, microwave, coffee maker) plus two widescreen televisions – one in the bedroom and one in a sitting area. There’s an ample closet, a bathroom of above-average size, and a generous desk space. The retro-futuristic furniture makes for a cozy, accommodating experience.
My king suite’s voluminous bed and comforting furniture were offset by the sleek black lines of shelving that separates the bedroom from the desk and sitting room. The artwork is admirable and a far cry from the second-rate cheese that hangs in most hotels, and the color palette of the room is a winner – stainless steel and black details, along with stylish lamps and art items add zing to the green and red fabrics. The desk is great for picking up the facility’s far-reaching wi-fi on your laptop or plugging components into the HDTV, but facing the beckoning bed while trying to work on my computer proved distracting.
The bathroom is as impressive as space limitations allow, with an elevated basin sink and nifty light, mirror, and towel fixtures over a black counter top – modern touches that will absolutely appeal to the young business crowd that the hotel hopes to lure in. Bath and Body Works provides shampoo, conditioner, and lotion. I’ve noticed their name on lots of hotel toiletries lately.
Upbeat dance music gives the fitness area, indoor pool and hot tub a different vibe than the rest of the hotel, and the pool is open late – perfect for the weary conference-goer. During my stay, the bar became quite social as the late evening hours approached, and I found the beer selection impressive for a lobby bar. Given their close proximity to each other and the lobby restaurant, the bar and pool combine to make a great gathering spot.
After an off-premises dinner, my wife and I lounged in the hot tub. While I regret that we could not try the hotel’s restaurant, I did have a reasonably-priced, ice cold bottle of Anchor Steam from the bar before heading back to the room, and the bartender even offered a cold glass. When the need for after-hours dessert arose, the woman at the front desk didn’t hesitate to go to the kitchen and retrieve the Chocolate Cake I desired.
Cambria Suites RDU is markedly more fun than most airport hotels. If I was a frequent traveler to Raleigh/Durham, I’d be looking forward to my next visit simply because of this hotel.
Photos by B. Rodgers