We arrived at Kimpton Cardinal Hotel just after 5 p.m. on a Friday evening. After a fast, easy check-in, we were offered a drink during their social hour. We decided to go see our rooms first and then come back to enjoy a cocktail in their colorful and eclectic lobby. We took note of a cruiser bike in the lobby with a sign saying they are available for guests to ride around Winston-Salem. We already loved this hotel!
I was traveling with a friend and her son, so we enjoyed the convenience of a suite with an adjacent room. The spacious King Suite featured a separate seating area with a pullout sofa bed and a large armoire that acted as the closet, housing two robes and a yoga mat in case we wanted a nice in-room yoga session.
A spacious bathroom with spa shower and soaking tub featured luxury bath amenities by Atelier Bloem.
One thing that sets the Kimpton Cardinal apart from other hotels is its attention to details. Thought is put into every single surface. The bathroom featured subtle gray wallpaper with cardinals and flowers and tile floors that looked like hardwood in a herringbone pattern. The wall with the showerhead had textured gray tiles, while the side with the soaking tub had smooth marble and the floor had small white and gray octagon tiles. In the bedroom a nightstand sat on one side of the bed, and on the other a table was suspended by ropes and metal clips from the ceiling. Over the headboard, made up of two complementary fabrics along with leather accents, hung a display of deer antlers with a bouquet of white flowers in the center. And the accent pillow on the bed was covered in bugs. No, not real bugs — cute, artsy, watercolor-style insects to tie into the subtle nature theme.
After dinner in walkable downtown Winston-Salem, home to many unique restaurants and boutique stores, we came back to explore the hotel more. We followed signs to the fitness room in the basement, but along the way we saw a sign for the Recreation Room. Our interest piqued, we walked through the door into an enormous space housing just about every game you could think of. Past a grouping of stadium seats in front of a wall of TVs where you could watch every sport imaginable, a metal walkway led to steps down to the fun. But for kids, the two-story spiral slide provides a much more fun way to get down to the bottom floor. Once on the lower level, we found a pool table, foosball, ping-pong, shuffleboard, card game tables, a large wall-mounted Scrabble game, a basketball court and a two-lane bowling alley! Traveling with two teenagers, this was definitely a lifesaver. Instead of spending the evening with their heads buried in their cellphones, they enjoyed a night of bowling, basketball and a slew of other games. I am surprised they ever left to go up to the rooms to sleep.
The on-site restaurant, Katharine Brasserie & Bar, with a menu boasting a blend of traditional brasserie fare and Southern cooking, was open for dine-in or take-out. The bar was, to say the least, impressive! There was also a nicely lit outdoor patio with heaters for those wishing to dine alfresco.
I just can’t say enough great things about this hotel. I know the next time we head out to western North Carolina, we’ll be sure to make a stop in Winston-Salem and shoot some hoops or knock down some pins at the Kimpton Cardinal.
401 N. Main St.
Winston-Salem, NC 27101
tel 336 724 1009
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