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We have heard the sayings about “all work and no play” but often times we have to focus on work when traveling for business and feel exhausted when we return. There are plenty of little indulgences to take advantage of at The Umstead to make your next business trip feel closer to a vacation.

Spa facilities – all of our guests receive complimentary access to the spa facilities Monday through Thursday. Make the most of our relaxation lounges, eucalyptus steam room, sauna, whirlpool and outdoor current pool and let your day of meetings or your red eye flight melt away. Open daily from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm; be sure to pop in, even if it is only for a 10 minute steam.

Quick pick me up- have a few more minutes to spare? Try one of our 30 minute treatments. Our Relax and Renew facial is designed to give you the feeling of a power nap, our 25 minute Custom Massage to target a specific are like the feet you have been standing on all day, or our Pure Manicure for a quick clean and trim before shaking hands all morning.

The pool – if you have an afternoon or a morning available before leaving, then head down to the outdoor pool. Relax in the sun and take a dip, we won’t tell the boss.

Live music in the evening – after listening to presentations all day, it’s time to spend the evening listening to our live music in the Bar and Lounge. With Robert Starling on the piano, it makes for a great way to close out the day.

Coffee in the morning - pop downstairs for complimentary coffee and pastries every morning in The Bar & Lounge. You can sit indoors amongst the art or take your coffee to the terrace and enjoy it lakeside. We also offer complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the hotel, whether you are a guest or not, so you can always do a little work with your coffee if you need to.

If you feel like heading out on the town, visit one of our favorite local restaurants or if you want to stay put, indulge in a gastronomic experience with our 10 course Chef’s Kaiseki tasting menu in Herons. Because remember, all work and no play is no way to spend your next trip.

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May is a great time to be in Raleigh! The weather isn’t quite too humid yet, but it has warmed up enough to stay outdoors all day and into the night. So while we want to spend each weekend hanging by the pool, you will also find us locals around town enjoying a lot of the following:

We are extending NC Beer Month into May with a five course beer dinner featuring Neuse River Brewing Company on May 4th. This amazing brewery located at Five Points in Raleigh concentrates on Belgian style ales and IPAS while bridging the gap between traditional styled ales and contemporary concepts. They also focus on sustainable practices and utilize local ingredients whenever possible, including those from their own herb garden. This five course dinner features six of their beers and is $85 plus tax and gratuity. Tickets can be purchased at 919-447-4050, more information available here.

Out! Raleigh festival is back on Saturday May 6th for their 7th year in a row. Beginning at 11:00 am, the festival is held in Raleigh’s City Plaza on Fayetteville street downtown and features live music, local vendors and artists, amazing food, a beer garden, and kid friendly activities. Proceeds from the festival go to support the LGBT Center of Raleigh and their more than 20 community programs. More information is available here.

The Food Truck Rodeo is back on Sunday, May 7th and this is a local favorite! A half a mile of food trucks and restaurants spread out over 11 city blocks, this event features more than 50 food trucks total. It is free to attend and begins at 12:00 pm. Due to how busy the event is organizers request that pets are kept at home, more information can be found here. And be on the lookout for the lobster roll truck, it will be the one with the longest line and for good reason.

Another way we are extending beer month into May is with the release of Bond Brothers Beer Company’s first Barrel Aged Sour beer “Disenchangtment” on the 13th. I had a preview tasting and it is perfect for sour lovers and haters alike. A perfect combination of their Blonde Sour and a hint of the Red Sour that have both been aged in Hungarian and French Oak Wine Barrels straight from the Yadkin Valley. The event begins at 9:00 am, with brunch menus and food trucks on site. Visit them here.

The weekend of May 19th through 21st is the Raleigh art festival Artsplosure, its 37th year in action. Over 170 artists and craftspeople will be exhibiting original works of art. From paintings, photography, jewelry, woodwork, and more, there will be live music, art installations, food trucks (in case you miss the Food Truck Rodeo) and performing and visual arts. There will also be a kidsplosure section with kid friendly activities too. It is a great way to see how the triangle celebrates the spring. More information available here.

You know we love our North Carolina beer, but we also love wine! And we are looking forward to hosting the Chateau Montelena Winery for a special wine dinner on May 23rd. This winery was the basis for the 2008 movie Bottle Shock, this winery put Napa Valley on the map when they won the 1976 “Tasting of Paris” competition. In addition to their Riesling, Chardonnay, and Zinfandel, the dinner will feature three different vintages of their estate Cabernet Sauvignon, years 2003, 2009, and 2013, with the 2009 being hailed as one of the best vintages for Napa Valley. Tickets are $185 plus tax and gratuity for this four course dinner and can be purchased at 919-447-4050.

A great way to celebrate Memorial Day Weekend is at the WRAL Freedom Balloon Fest May 26th through 29th. Food vendors, Beer and Wine, Arts and Crafts, and a kids area filled with games and rides, there is something for everyone. You can even take a hot air balloon ride! Tethered rides are also available. Then as the sun begins to set, watch the hot air balloons take flight into the sky. Details available here.

For parking information and directions, speak with our Concierge at 919-447-4030 or by email at concierge@theumstead.com. You can also find information on our great city at visitraleigh.com for parking information, maps, and more of the #localswelove.

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It is hard to believe it is already April, and it finally looks like the warm weather is here to stay. As we work our way through these April showers – and we’ve had a lot moving into the month, we are excited to spend all the beautiful days outdoors. So much is happening this month, with new spring menus in Herons, seasonal spa treatments in The Spa, and of course April means North Carolina Beer Month! Here are the top #localswelove in April:

Starting us off the first weekend in April is the Triangle’s Beer and Bacon Festival! This sizzling event sells out every year, and with good reason. Over 75 international beers and wines, two tons of bacon, live music, exhibits, and more, this is the best way to spend NC Beer Month. The event is held at Koka Booth Amphitheater in Cary beginning at 12:00 pm on April 8th. Tickets available here.

The following weekend brings out our resident bunny Flopsy as we celebrate Easter Sunday on April 16th. Herons will be featuring a special Easter Brunch from 11:00 am until 4:15 pm. Be sure to pop by our Gift Shop for a customized Easter basket, filled with watercolors and puzzles from eeBoo, organic handmade stuff animals from Hazel Village, a variety of children’s books, and delicious chocolates from our own pastry kitchen.

The crowning jewel of North Carolina Beer Month is the annual Brewgaloo NC Craft Beer Festival on April 21 and 22. Located in downtown Raleigh at City Plaza, this two day festival features over 75 North Carolina breweries, over 50 food trucks, dozens of local vendors and plenty of bands. This is truly an event that all the #localslove. Event is free to enter, but to drink requires tickets, which can be purchased here.

If beer doesn’t quite suit your palate, April 22 also brings us the Great Grapes Wine & Food Festival. Sip and sample your way through North Carolina with over 200 wines from over 22 wineries. Festival will also feature live music, food, arts and crafts, and a free kid’s area. Details and tickets available here.

There is more to North Carolina than beer (though maybe not bacon), and we are also excited to head out to Fred G. Bond Metro Park for the 24th annual Spring Daze Arts and Crafts Festival on April 29th. This Earth Day celebration will host 170 different North Carolina artists, with entertainment on four different stages, incredible food and an array of activities for both adults and children. More details are available here.

Compliments of the house: Earth Day is April 22nd and to help celebrate we are kicking off our complimentary bike tours that morning at 10:15 am!  Meet us at the Concierge desk for a tour of our sustainabilty efforts, including the culinary farm! Bike tours will be available every weekend, as well as complimentary bike rentals daily.

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