I’ve been a resident of Ballantyne for three years now and am mostly desensitized to, but still appreciative of, all the benefits this suburb offers. As jaded as I am, every time I drive by The Ballantyne Hotel, I’m jolted out of my complacent suburban haze by the majesty of the building and the impeccable landscaping surrounding it.
The alabaster façade of The Ballantyne Hotel and Lodge exudes luxury and creates a mental force field of inaccessibility, so much so that though I live 10 minutes from it, I’ve never considered taking serious advantage of the amenities. I couldn’t possibly own enough whale embroidered apparel to legitimately spend a lot of time at a place like this.
A recent tour with Christina Thigpen, VP of Marketing and Communications for Bissell, brought down this mental wall and helped me realize how accessible this hotel is for locals.
Located only 18 miles from Uptown, The Ballantyne Hotel and Lodge is a true resort, like one you’d dream about on a swanky vacation. The beauty is that you can take advantage of many of the amenities, without having to pay to stay there. Or you can experience a true staycation and book a night or two and then drive the whole 15 minutes home. Here’s a look inside and some tips and observations from our tour.
- Built in 2001, the hotel has a Forbes Four Star rating, AAA Four-Diamond rating and features 208 rooms, a 35-room lodge, and a 4 bedroom cottage. The hotel is locally owned and managed by Bissell and for the point mongers, The Ballantyne is a member of Starwood Hotel & Resorts Luxury Collection.
- The lobby area has a bar and allows for great people watching and easy Wi-Fi pilfering, but you didn’t hear this from us.
- Go for the golf. The Golf Club is a Par-71, public, championship PGA golf course. July is National Family Golf Month, enjoy half off the regular rate for juniors throughout July. Also, in August, teachers, police and fire fighters can play 18 holes free with one paid round from Sunday, August 2 through Saturday, August 15. If you need to brush up on your golf skills, check out Dana Rader Golf School, ranked by Golf Magazine as one of top 25 golf schools in America.
Green as far as the eye can see. pic.twitter.com/BP8U73UsgJ
— Ballantyne Hotel (@BallantyneHotel) April 20, 2015
- The Spa at Ballantyne is Charlotte’s only Forbes Four-Star recognized spa. The services offered here are top notch and feature treatments curated with local ingredients like lavender from The Lavender Homestead in York, SC.
- Enjoy the facilities. As previously included in our local pool hacks story, spa guests receive access to the facilities (indoor pools, jacuzzi, seasonal outdoor pool, fitness center, fitness center locker room and spa locker room facilities) with a spa service or boutique purchase of $50+ pp Mon-Thur during peak season and $25 off peak, $100 pp on holidays and Fri-Sun. You can also purchase a day pass for $50 pp peak/$25 pp off peak. (Day spa facility passes are not available on Friday, Saturday, Sunday or holidays.) Even if your scheduled service is at noon, you can start using the facilities when they open and loiter for the entire day.
- Pools and tennis. Indoor, seasonal outdoor, whirlpool, two resistance pools, lighted courts, and equipment rental.
- Alan Grant, Guest Relations Manager, will make your dreams come true. Want a helicopter tour of Charlotte? Need a private jet? Alan can make it happen. In fact, he loves challenges and exceeding guests’ expectations. But don’t ask for a tiger like Ted did, The Ballantyne has a strict no pet policy.
- For those who with an exorbitant amount of disposable income, there are 2 Presidential Suites, each at around 1,200 sqft with amazing views and presidential décor.
- Be the Mad Hatter with afternoon tea, Wed-Sat from 1-5pm, year round.
- Gallery Restaurant. Gallery is Charlotte’s only Forbes Four-Star awarded restaurant and specializes in locally sourced Southern cuisine. Their NC Local burger features Cultured Cow cheddar soaked in OMB Copper Ale. Sounds delicious. Gallery is also participating in the upcoming Charlotte Restaurant Week from Friday, July 17 through Sunday, July 26. The décor here is gorgeous and luxurious.
- Scotch, bourbon, and whiskey. Gallery Restaurant boasts the largest single malt scotch collection in the Carolinas. Also, last year, The Ballantyne Hotel partnered with Woodford Reserve to make its own bourbon. The Ballantyne’s Woodford Reserve Personal Selection is a blend of two management selected Woodford Reserve barrels and is available for $14. Finally, get acquainted with whisky at a monthly gathering of The Whiskey Club of Ballantyne. This all sounds very fancy.
- Don’t ask about famous guests that have stayed on the property, there’s a strict no-name dropping policy and management is tight lipped. However, I do not have strict no-name dropping policy. Obama.
- Art Appreciation. The lobby spaces of The Ballantyne are adorned with Bissell commissioned watercolors and oil paintings by Thomas Vieth. Starting in late 1999, Vieth spent a year on retainer for the Bissells, visiting and sketching Charlotte landmarks to create these incredible pieces. Gallery Restaurant displays contemporary art from Shain Gallery, one of Charlotte’s finest galleries. Dine and admire fine art while contemplating how you can muster up the money to acquire one of these amazing pieces.
- Holidays. “Festive” does not begin to describe The Ballantyne Hotel during the holidays. They go all out with decorations, teas, gingerbread houses, brunches and more.
Gingerbread people’s choice winner Charles Zimmerman & Maris Pedersen from Johnson & Wales “Chateau Blanc” pic.twitter.com/8ngbnCTjlx
— Ballantyne Hotel (@BallantyneHotel) December 30, 2014
Image of exterior of The Ballantyne Hotel & Lodge used with permission by and courtesy of Bissell.