Stayed at Graylyn for 6 nights during the US Masters Track championships at Wake Forest, along with several other couples. We initially walked 25 minutes to the campus track through the nearby museum grounds before discovering that Graylyn drivers would take you over (in five minutes) for $5 per person. Definitely a bargain.
Spent the first night in the Bungalows, room 501, which was very close to the main building, Manor House, but was simply furnished, more modern and, it turns out, much quieter. Was then moved to what appeared to be a converted attic room (second floor, 723?) in the Mews which had two tiny 8" wide tall windows in the bedroom, leading to a sense of being in a cave -- not my cup of tea. Fortunately the front desk was able to move us to another suite in the Manor House, room 201 at the end of the hallway, which had two queen beds and a very large bathroom (with pretty cold air piped in all day and night through their central AC) and faux fireplace, and which looked down on the main driveway. Nicely furnished too. (My friends who stayed in room 701 at the Mews said that the sound of the neighbor's TV came through rather easily at night, and they didn't think it was turned on very loud)
The breakfast buffet was very adequate although the staff there were not as attentive as the staff everywhere else: tables weren't properly cleared after others had eaten breakfast, and at times you didn't see anyone around when you needed something. Never ate main meals there because we discovered the "Italian Steakhouse" Fratelli's just a block away from the entrance to the grounds and loved the food and ambiance there. (Further down the street there is the Village shopping area with several other eateries that provided good choices, including the Village Tavern and Silo's)
The Graylyn property really is in a stunning setting -- you come up a long driveway to the main building, the Manor House, which looks like something you'd expect to find in Burgundy or Provence, what with the little fish pond in the backyard and fountain in the nearby lake. The Manor House interiors are nicely appointed, all the way down to the the medieval coat of armor, the circular staircase, the wrought-iron chandeliers, and the large oil paintings on the wall. And the grounds stretch on for quite a while so you feel very far away from the rest of the world.
As nice as the Manor House is, though, it lacked any central social space -- no cafe or lounge where several people could routinely gather and relax (although the Grill Room on the ground floor did serve light meals, it appeared dark and windowless when we went by). So that meant you essentially hung out most of the time in your room, whenever you were in the building, as there wasn't much space other than the occasional chair here and there to park yourself.
Having seen three different rooms in three different buildings during my first and only stay, I might likely opt to go back to the Bungalows suite the next time I was there, all things considered. And despite the very few negatives I've mentioned, I wouldn't hesitate to stay here on my next visit to the area. It was definitely worth the price and the staff are really friendly and accommodating.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Once the private home of Mr & Mrs Bowman Gray, Graylyn is now a historic boutique hotel with all of today's modern amenities. Graylyn features 85 well-appointed and uniquely decorated guest rooms attractively situated throughout the pristine 55-acre estate just minutes from downtown Winston-Salem. An unforgettable experience awaits you. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Graylyn International Hotel Winston Salem