Set along the Cape Fear Coast, Wilmington is a port city with a whole lot of history to get stuck into. With a location that puts it near to numerous beaches, and featuring a charming riverside, there’s more than just the past – including colonial-era buildings – that draws people to this city in North Carolina.
With different parts to the city – from its university area and Historic District to its Riverwalk District and the beaches in the east – it can be tricky to know just where to stay in the city. But with this list of the best hotels in Wilmington, finding a place to suit you and your travel needs shouldn’t be too hard.
1. ARRIVE Wilmington
A fresh and modern boutique hotel housed inside a historic building, staying at ARRIVE Wilmington is a dreamy experience. Guests can enjoy drinks out on the terrace, kick back around the fire pit, and dine in the romantic onsite restaurant.
The fashion-forward guest bedrooms feature design-led touches such as vintage wallpapers, retro furniture, and hardwood floors, making for a stylish and comfortable stay in Wilmington.
Location: Set in the heart of Wilmington, this hotel is within walking distance of many of the city’s top sights, such as Thalian Hall and the Bellamy Mansion Museum of History and Design Arts.
2. Hotel Ballast Wilmington
The rooms at this contemporary hotel are all about modern comforts – think crisp, clean decor, large comfortable beds, and spacious seating areas. Some guest suites come with stunning river views, while others boast views out over Wilmington.
In terms of amenities, guests can cool off in the outdoor swimming pool or hit the onsite gym. There’s also the option to choose from three different restaurants inside the hotel (though there are also in-room dining options).
Location: Situated right on Wilmington Boardwalk, this hotel overlooks the Cape Fear River for scenic views. From here, it’s just a short stroll to Downtown Wilmington, where you’ll find a selection of different eateries and bars to try out.
3. Holiday Inn Express & Suites
Set inside a large building, there’s a wide selection of rooms available at this top Wilmington hotel to suit different travel needs. Each of these is clean, well maintained, and features wooden floors, a warm colour palette and large beds.
The hotel also provides a shared lounge for guests to relax in, as well as a fitness centre and an indoor swimming pool for those who like to keep active. There’s also a buffet breakfast served each morning.
Location: Set within the Medical Park area, the hotel is conveniently located. It’s not too far from here to the airport (just under seven miles away).
4. Hampton Inn Wilmington Downtown
Staying at this hotel means you’ll enjoy a good night’s rest in the relaxing guest rooms on offer. Adorned with neutral tones and featuring stylish seating areas and large windows, there’s everything you need to unwind in comfort.
Each morning, there is a buffet breakfast for guests to sample, which is a great way to start the day. There’s also a well-equipped gym onsite to keep up with those work-outs, as well as an indoor pool. Other conveniences include a mini-mart and laundry.
Location: This top Wilmington hotel is situated in Downtown, which means it’s just steps from top sights like Thalian Hall and Bellamy Mansion Museum of History and Design Arts.
5. Dreamers Welcome
With its Instagram-ready aesthetics and fresh interiors – as well as being situated in a gorgeous historic home – this place has to be one of the coolest hotels in Wilmington. It’s dotted throughout with houseplants, antique decor and eye-catching design details.
In the bedrooms, a mix of old and new provides a unique aesthetic; even the bathrooms here will have you snapping pictures. To cater for all, the property offers vegetarian and vegan breakfast options each morning.
Location: Just a few blocks from Downtown Wilmington, this hotel is set within the city’s Historic District, meaning there’s a lot to explore on the doorstep, including cafes and restaurants. Natural beauty spots such as Cape Fear and Greenfield Lake are a leisurely stroll away.
6. Fairfield Inn and Suites Wrightsville Beach
This easygoing hotel feels clean and comfortable and boasts rooms decorated in calming shades of blue and white. They’re well equipped for your comfort, with flatscreen TVs and seating areas, as well as desks and smart, monochrome bathrooms.
Staying here means being able to make full use of the onsite swimming pool, or lifting some weights in the gym. The lobby provides a relaxing environment to unwind in, and breakfast is provided each morning, too.
Location: The hotel is just a few miles from Wrightsville Beach, and Downtown Wilmington is also in the vicinity. Nearby attractions include the botanical beauty of Arlie Gardens.
7. C. W. Worth House Bed and Breakfast
A charming, historic bed and breakfast, anyone looking for a bit of character in their Wilmington hotel should certainly consider this place. There are seven guest rooms to choose from, each with a private bathroom; they’re quaintly decorated for an authentic feel.
You’ll find period features throughout this hotel, such as fireplaces and corniced ceilings. There is a pretty garden to relax in, as well. Breakfast is served up each morning; choose from a full English, Irish or American cooked breakfast.
Location: Located two miles from USS North Carolina, this hotel is set in the Historic District, just three blocks away from the Cape Fear riverfront.
8. Towneplace Suites Wilmington Wrightsville Beach
A convenient and well-appointed hotel, Towneplace Suites Wilmington Wrightsville Beach is a friendly place to stay in the city. The rooms are decked out with separate seating areas, kitchens, and work desks.
Breakfast is available every morning, and there is free-flowing coffee for guests all day in the lobby. Handily, there is an onsite mini-mart where you can stock up on snacks. Active guests will appreciate the swimming pool and gym.
Location: It’s three miles from here to Wrightsville Beach, and just one mile to UNC Wilmington Campus. There is a selection of restaurants and cafes just yards from the hotel, making it a handy area to be in.
9. Best Western Plus Wilmington / Wrightsville Beach
With its welcoming, helpful staff and sizeable, homey rooms, staying at this hotel offers comfort and value for money all rolled into one. In the mornings, a daily buffet breakfast should get your day started the right way.
There’s a great onsite fitness centre boasting a wide selection of equipment. Swim in the outdoor pool, or kick back in the spacious guest lounge.
Location: Situated close to UNC Wilmington University, this top Wilmington hotel is just a few miles away Thalian Hall and Bellamy Mansion Museum of History and Design Arts. The airport is just a couple of miles from the hotel.
10. Homewood Suites Wilmington
The rooms on offer at Homewood Suites Wilmington are smart and sophisticated, combining classic design with a good amount of amenities for a comfortable home away from home. Each boasts a kitchen, seating and dining area, lounge, and desk, as well as a modern bathroom.
The staff here are friendly and provide top hospitality – and there’s a lot on offer, too. There’s an outdoor swimming pool surrounded by palm trees, a deck to kick back on, and even the luxury of a putting green.
Location: Fairly close to UNC Wilmington Campus, this hotel is located a ten-minute drive from Wrightsville Beach. Arlie Gardens are also within easy walking distance of the hotel.
11. Hampton Inn Wilmington University Area
The spacious guest rooms on offer at this branch of Hampton Inn are bright and contemporary; they’re decked out with modern furnishings, touches of blue, stylish carpets, and come with microwaves, coffee machines and fridges.
Guests will have full use of the onsite gym, and there is an outdoor pool surrounded by sun loungers. There’s the convenience of the onsite laundry facilities and free parking (great for road trips).
Location: Practically next to UNC Wilmington, from this hotel, Wilmington International Airport is just three miles away. The sights of Downtown – such as Thalian Hall – are just under five miles away.
12. Courtyard by Marriott Wilmington Downtown/Historic District
A comfortable gem of a hotel, there is fashionable design going on throughout, with teals, browns, and raspberry shades keeping things lively yet stylish. There are plenty of places to relax, too, like the outdoor fire pit, swimming pool, or the cool onsite bar.
The guest rooms here are also suitably on-trend, with bright colour pops and modern furnishings. They come with large, comfortable beds, spacious bathrooms, and tea and coffee-making amenities.
Location: Set right in the centre of the city, from here the Riverwalk District along the Cape Fear River is just a two-minute walk away. There are plenty of restaurants within a five-minute walk, so you’ll be spoiled for choice.
13. Wingate by Wyndham Wilmington
The Wingate provides spacious rooms, boasting clean, fresh colours and huge, cosy beds, making for a very comfortable night’s sleep indeed. Elsewhere, the staff are very friendly and helpful and will make sure your stay here runs smoothly.
In terms of amenities, there’s an outdoor pool, a large guest lounge to unwind in, and even a compact fitness centre to hit up if you feel the need.
Location: Wilmington International Airport is just five miles from this hotel, while the city centre is a ten-minute drive away. There are supermarkets and restaurants right on the doorstep, however.
14. The Hive
Possibly one of the coolest hotels in Wilmington, The Hive is all about its boutique, eclectic style – think eye-catching artwork, exposed brick, mismatching furniture, woven textiles, and colour pops throughout.
Guest rooms are no less stylish; they’re equipped with couches, large showers, and even kitchens. It’s a pet-friendly hotel, which is good news for your doggo – plus, there’s an outdoor terrace and welcoming guest lounge to use.
Location: Just 650 yards from Thalian Hall, and just over half a mile from Bellamy Mansion Museum of History and Design Arts, this hotel is well situated. It’s also within walking distance of all the restaurants and bars of Downtown.
15. Embassy Suites By Hilton Wilmington Waterfront
With rooms looking out over the Cape Fear River, rooms reflect the natural environment, with sandy taupes and blue tones making for a calming aesthetic in the rooms, which are clean, comfortable affairs.
Providing top hospitality, guests can enjoy a drink at the hotel bar, take a dip in the stylishly decked out indoor pool, or treat themselves to room service. Thanks to its design, it’s a cool place to stay in Wilmington.
Location: Set along the Riverwalk District, the hotel is just under a mile from the city centre, with Bellamy Mansion Museum of History and Design Arts around a 20-minute walk away.