It had been snowing all day when our lights flickered, went dark, and the hum of all our gadgets and furnace slowed and fell silent. My husband looked at me and said, “I’m calling the Renaissance.” After spending eight hours at RDU unsuccessfully trying to fly to Florida for work, he was not in the mood to spend the night in a cold house with no way to cook dinner. Thankfully, the Renaissance had a vacancy and was offering discounts for families coming there because of power outages.
This was not the first time our family of four packed our bags for North Hills, which is only 2 1/2 miles from where we live. In fact, we have stayed in hotels four times in as many years because of home repairs and power outages. In 2014, we spent 29 nights at the Hyatt House while crews repaired water damage at our home. In that time, we celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary, our younger son’s fifth birthday, and Easter. We also earned enough hotel points for a family trip to Asheville and to house our brother-in-law for a birthday gathering.
We are certainly not the only locals who have made North Hills a home away from home. I was at dinner with a group of friends recently and every woman at the table had spent at least one night at a North Hills hotel for reasons ranging from company retreats, to moving, to home renovations.
Jamie Harper and her family spent six weeks living at the Hyatt House while crews were repairing and renovating their house.
“We chose North Hills because it was close to our house and school—less than a mile—so we could just move in and carry on with our lives,” she said. “We chose the Hyatt House because they were able to accommodate us in an apartment-type situation with a kitchen and the space we needed for four people.”
While being displaced is not ideal, Jamie says her family enjoyed their hotel experience.
“It was as good of a situation as it could be under the circumstances,” she said. “In some ways, it felt like a mini vacation. I thought the hotel staff was wonderful—from the cleaning staff to the front desk—everyone made us feel right at home.”
She proceeded by saying the walkability of North Hills made the Hyatt House more appealing than other extended-stay hotels in the area.
“We had everything we needed right there,” she explained. “We could walk to the grocery store and restaurants, and we had Target and the movie theater across the street.”
North Hills hotels are also popular destinations for wedding parties, ladies’ weekends, and couples who want a night away.
“On the weekends, a lot of couples who live in the area stay at the AC Hotel because within 2 miles there’s everything they want to do,” says Anthony Zinani, general manager of Level7, the AC Hotel’s rooftop bar. “I can’t tell you how many couples I open champagne for, ask what they are doing, and they say they live in Fuquay or Garner, have kids, and are here to get away for the weekend.”
On our January night at the Renaissance, we were not popping champagne, but we did enjoy a nice meal at the hotel’s 41Hundred restaurant. Shortly after the server brought my wine, we learned that the power was back on at home. To stay or go? It was not a hard decision. We made a toast to our North Hills staycation.