201 E. Trade St., Charlotte
COST: Over $250 per night
The latest addition to the Uptown hotel scene is also the swankiest. Opened in October 2009, the 146-room hotel ($299–369 d) has amenities like a penthouse spa and wellness center, fitness facilities, and saline-treated swimming pool that make it easier to forget about the cost of the rooms.
The rooms themselves are the size of some Uptown condos (the smallest room is 506 square feet and the largest tops out at 1,086 square feet) and are stocked with all of the amenities that are expected at the Ritz-Carlton: robes, iPod docking stations, Bulgari bath products, and 400-thread-count sheets. Extras like free use of bicycles and a bike valet, an on-site boutique, and a lobby lounge that serves up killer martinis put the hotel in a class of its own.
It’s the first hotel in Charlotte (and the first in the Ritz-Carlton family of properties) to earn LEED Gold certification. Efforts such as a garden on the roof, employee uniforms made of fabric derived from recycled plastic bottles, and a comprehensive recycling program helped the 18-story hotel earn the certification.
© Jodi Helmer from Moon Charlotte, 1st Edition