Tuesday, December 09, 2008

That's My World Tuesday #8: Iconic Hotel Redux


"Clarion Hotel"
Raleigh, NC - August 2008 (Click to embiggen)

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It's not as old as the Velvet Cloak Inn I featured a couple of weeks ago, but the Clarion Hotel on the corner of Hillsboro and Edenton Streets is probably just as iconic to those who have been here as long as I have.

Built in the early '70s, as a Holiday Inn, the building was known to natives simply as "the round Holiday Inn" and was visible from anywhere near the downtown area. Even today, after extensive renovations over the last several years, and a change of ownership the Clarion State Capital (its given name) retains the decor of its origins, and stepping through the doors is akin to stepping through a time warp and landing 35 years in the past.

The 20th floor houses the hotel's restaurant and even though it's a bit off the beaten track, tables by the windows still command an impressive view of the city. The rates are reasonable for a downtown property mainly because the dated decor and not-very-central location will convince most visitors to book accommodations at the Sheraton in the city's Downtown Backbone area (featured a few weeks ago in these very pages).

But even though the Clarion's location isn't as "centralized" as it's pricier cousin, the walk to downtown's restaurants and theatre district is hardly intimidating. The State Capitol Building is only two blocks east and from there the entire city center is hardly a hike. Or if you prefer, you can probably find a ride with Raleigh's cycle rickshaw service which is as entertaining as it is convenient. My plan is to feature this unique service in a future post, but for now just take my word for it.


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13 comments:

tarheelrambler said...

I always wonder if this hotel actually has any guests. When I first came to Raleigh, I worked at Triangle Family Services, which is just a couple of blocks west of this hotel. So I drove by there a lot. That whole area has changed a lot over the past 13 years...most of it for the better. It used to be kind of a scary area.

Leora said...

We have a Clarion here, but yours is much prettier, with those warm colors and angled walls.

Mojo said...

@tarheel: A lot of downtown used to be a little scary. A lot of it still is. But the Clarion does a fair amount of business I think. My office is less than 2 blocks from there, and they always seem to have traffic going in or out. I pass it on the way in almost every morning and there are always cars parked there anyway. A lot of our end users stay there when they come to town for training because it's so close. I'd imagine a number of other agencies put their people up there when they come in from out of town too.

I remember when they built this place... that's how "Old Raleigh" I am.

Sylvia K said...

Like Leora, I love the warm colors and angled walls. Love the lighting. Thanks for sharing!

Guy D said...

Looks like a great hotel, thanks for sharing.

Cheers!
Regina In Pictures

ewok1993 said...

Its very beautiful all lit up like that.

kenju said...

Mojo, we moved to Raleigh in August of 1969 and that hotel was already there (I'm pretty sure).

Indrani said...

Beautifully lit up! Wonder what view it must be from up there.

Lawstude said...

nice interiors. hope you had exterior shot of the hotel. i am sure it would be grand.

Lilli & Nevada said...

Nice shot of the hotel. Beautiful lighting.

fishing guy said...

Mojo: That is a neat looking hotel and it great that it has a city view.

SandyCarlson said...

That's a great looking place.

Daryl said...

And I thought it was about how the lights were on/off

:-Daryl