On this installment of “Stay, Eat, Play” – we visit the world-class Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club!
Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club provides a world-class retreat located on the campus of the prestigious Duke University. Sitting on 300 acres of beautiful landscape on the edge of Duke Forest, the inn is a quiet retreat from daily life.
Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club opened in 1988. It was named after Washington Duke (1820-1905), an American Civil War soldier in 1865 who became an industrialist and philanthropist.
The family’s artifacts and photographs are displayed in many of the inn’s hallways including Ambassador Angier Biddle Duke’s gifts and papers from his work. Ambassador Angier Biddle Duke (1915-1995) was the great-grandson of Washington Duke who became ambassador for El Salvador, Spain, Morocco and Denmark.
There is complimentary Wi-Fi on the property, including the 271 guest rooms and suites which have been carefully crafted using the inspiration of an English country estate. They offer rooms and suites to accommodate your needs including its largest suite, the Presidential Suite at 1,776 sq. ft.
We were kindly given the Homestead Suite, it was a dream!
The Homestead Suite is 1,120 sq. ft. with hardwood floors, views of the 18 hole championship Duke University Golf Course, in-room Keurig, dining room, a separate sitting area with plush lounge chairs and sleeper sofa.
There is also a separate powder room that is of great use when entertaining guests or clients.
The private master bedroom has a king size four poster bed, HD flat screen TV with premium cable channels including HBO and CNN (in all rooms).
Its marble bathroom with soaking tub and separate glass enclosed shower is a nice welcome at the end of the day.
I couldn’t get over the Kohler digital shower controller! There were so many settings for the jets and you could even adjust the temperature, etc. If we had this in our home, I would be in the shower for hours! It’s very addictive!
There are many dining options from the casual Bull Durham Bar, Vista Restaurant to the AAA Four Diamond, Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Rated restaurant, Fairview Dining Room. The restaurant offers plenty of fine dining options including Afternoon Tea.
Fairview Dining Room is also open for lunch, dinner, in-room dining and weekend brunch. It has a relaxing and elegant ambiance, especially at dinner. For our appetizer, we chose their spring and summer salads. They were so fresh! Probably because it came from local farmers, which we love!
There is also a very impressive wine list! Our wonderful server, Shahab, was very helpful in recommending what wines we should pair with each course of our meal. He also helped us decide on what plates we should try since it was our first time dining there.
Before our main course, we were given a peach sorbet as the intermezzo (palate cleanser) so we could get our taste buds ready for the next course. What a great idea! We ordered the lamb for our main course and also had a taste of their aged 50 day old steak. We had the best meat ever at this restaurant!
My husband ordered cheesecake and I ordered their molten chocolate cake for dessert. We topped off our amazing dinner with delicious, frothy cappuccinos.
We had breakfast at Vista Restaurant which is open for breakfast and brunch. You have the option of dining from the breakfast buffet where you could also get an omelet or waffle made to order anyway you’d like.
Dania was the chef that morning, she made me the best cheese omelet I’ve ever had! She used American and Swiss cheese with the perfect balance of salt and pepper and then her secret – swiss cheese on top of the finished omelet! I am a huge lover of all cheeses (well maybe not blue cheese) so of course I was in cheese heaven that morning.
My husband also did the buffet but got a side of lump crab – he said it was the most delicious crab he’s ever had. You may be asking, “crab for breakfast?” trust me it’s good! We asked Jose, another amazingly friendly server, how it was made. Jose asked the chef for us and told us that Old Bay seasoning was used along with butter. We hope to try that at home, although I think it may not come out as good as the pros at Vista Restaurant!
French toast wasn’t on the buffet that morning so I ordered it from the menu. It was so good! I am a fan of french toast and don’t get to eat it as often as I’d like.
Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club has a well-manicured 18 hole championship golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones, the only one in the region.
Pick up some gifts and souvenirs at their onsite gift shop featuring Duke University memorabilia.
There is a golf shop onsite as well; complete with everything you need for a great game. Go for a swim at the indoor pool or get a workout in at their fitness center supplied with treadmills, weight machines, elliptical trainers and recumbent bikes. Chilled, lavender scented towels are complimentary along with fruit and water!
The inn’s location is conveniently close to all of Durham’s area attractions including Sarah P. Duke Gardens, Duke Cathedral and downtown Durham.
Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club has excellent staff and service including numerous longtime employees simply because it’s such a friendly and loving environment. The interaction between staff members and even the guests are kind and generous like a family.
We really appreciate everything they’ve done for us, they made us feel welcomed and everyone was so nice! The room we were in was jaw dropping – I still can’t get over our room practically being an apartment for the weekend. Not to mention the property itself is gorgeous!
Thank you so much Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club, we’d love to return in the future!
Although we were welcomed as guests, my opinions are always my own.