The Carolina Inn Reviews

96 | Chapel Hill, NC
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96 Reviews for The Carolina Inn

Recommended by 93% of couples

4.6 out of 5.0
  • Quality of service 4.7
  • Professionalism 4.7
  • Flexibility 4.6
  • Value 4.7
  • Average response time 4.6

Awards

96

10 User photos

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  • E

    Emily · Married on 09/21/2013

    4.6
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      4.0
    • Flexibility:
      4.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    My husband and I were thrilled when we realized that the Carolina Inn was a viable option for our weekend. One of our main reasons for picking the Inn was that they do almost everything. This made planning a wedding as a graduate student very stress-free. We had a coordinator provided by the Inn, Melissa, as well as 2 external professional wedding planners from Sally Oakley (provided at no extra cost to us). With all of these people, plus the Inn's staff, our wedding was perfectly executed. Special thanks to Melissa for working so hard with us. She was incredibly responsive and worked to get us everything we requested. It was obvious that she genuinely cared about giving us a wonderful wedding. Although we had planned an outdoor ceremony, it poured on the day of our wedding. Melissa was in constant contact with us throughout the day as we called the decision for our rain plan (the rain plan was still very beautiful). She expertly navigated any and all issues that arose with changing the plans on the day of-especially handling my husband who so desperately wanted it outside! I cannot say enough about how wonderful it was to work with Melissa.

    A few notes--if you plan to get married during college football season, be prepared to have some uncertainty about your guests' accommodations before the season is announced. We booked a hotel block at another hotel in the area just in case. Also, keep in mind that your guests will be paying for parking if they stay at the Inn. Parking in the area is very limited, so this is understandable, but the $14/day fee can be a surprise if people don't know about it. It was not a problem for any of our guests. For a very minimal fee you can also valet your guests' cars for the event. Overall we had excellent feedback about the Carolina Inn. Food was AMAZING, venue was beautiful and centrally located, and the rooms were comfortable. NOT your typical "hotel wedding" by any means. DEFINITELY WORTH IT!

    Sent on 10/15/2013
  • R

    Reece · Married on 08/25/2012

    4.6
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      4.0
    • Value:
      4.5
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      4.5

    The Carolina Inn was the perfect reception venue for our wedding. We were in the Old Well Ballroom and it was so lovely with the black and white floor we didn't have to worry about decorating too much. Tracey was our coordinator and she was very responsive to all of our little quirks (right down to taking care of our last minute goodie boxes for our guests). Because the Inn is very busy on weekends it is sometimes difficult to get in touch with the coordinators on weekdays since they are sometimes out of the office to make up for having to work all weekend. That being said everything went off without a hitch. People are still talking about the cheese grits! I only wish my dress had let me eat more.

    Sent on 08/19/2013
  • Mrs.Ligon

    Jennifer · Married on 02/18/2012

    4.6
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      4.0
    • Value:
      4.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    We had both our ceremony and reception at the Carolina Inn (in the Chancellor's Ballroom and Old Well Room, respectively). We worked with Tracey for the planning process and Patrick also on the weekend of our wedding, and they were both fabulous! The inn is beautiful and right in the middle of Chapel Hill, giving your guests plenty to do in their down time.

    The Carolina Inn is on the pricey side, but it is SO worth every penny. They also have tiered pricing, so if you are willing to have your wedding in a less popular month, the price is lower. Finally, they figure the price per person based on the package you choose, and the price is inclusive- meaning that there are no last minute fees and surprises in the final bill. We went to several venues and the Carolina Inn was the only one that we found that had this price structure. We didn't feel like they were trying to nickel and dime us and this is one of the major reasons that we chose them to be our venue.

    Everyone at the inn was welcoming and responsive to us and our guests on the weekend of our wedding. They worked seamlessly with all of our vendors to make sure that we didn't have to worry about a thing! The food was amazing, and we had lots of compliments from our guests on how delicious everything was. They also upgraded my husband and I to a suite for our wedding night, and let us and our guests stay an extra hour in the ballroom because everyone was having so much fun that they didn't want to leave!

    I have heard from so many of our guests that ours was the best wedding that they have ever been to, and the number one reason this is true is because we chose to have it at the Carolina Inn!

    Sent on 04/16/2012
  • R

    Ritchlyn · Married on 06/17/2017

    4.4
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      4.0
    • Value:
      4.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      4.0

    My husband and I had a tented reception on the Front Porch, and it was so beautiful. About six months out, Kristen Prescott took over as our wedding coordinator (our initial coordinator was pregnant). Kristen was on top of everything, prompt in her emails, and very easy to work with. On the day of our wedding, everything turned out fabulously. The food was excellent, our vision was executed, and our guests were impressed with the friendliness and hospitality of the hotel staff workers. That being said, there were some hiccups along the way with the room block reservations (miscommunication with the number of rooms we could block and the way it was initially handled) and receiving emails back in a timely manner. Regardless, we had a perfect day and was happy with how everything turned out.

    Sent on 07/10/2017
  • I

    Ivette · Married on 10/21/2011

    4.4
    • Quality of service:
      4.5
    • Responsiveness:
      4.0
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      4.0
    • Professionalism:
      4.5

    The Carolina Inn was a great place to hold our wedding. They were the only venue that packaged all that we were looking for and the pricing was within our budget. The grounds are beautiful and went very well with the theme of our wedding.

    Sent on 11/08/2011
  • L

    Laura · Married on 08/20/2011

    4.4
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      4.0
    • Value:
      4.0
    • Flexibility:
      4.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    I absolutely loved having my wedding at the Carolina Inn! It was beautiful and perfect for my husband and I as we met in Chapel Hill our freshman year of college. It was so easy for all of our guests to stay at the hotel so we didn't have to worry about transportation to and from the ceremony/reception (we did both at The Carolina Inn).

    The best thing about the planning experience was when we met with the catering manager the day before (I wish I could remember his name!). He was SO professional and helpful and responsive to ALL of our requests. During the ceremony, he was constantly checking on us and making sure we had food and everything else we could need. He also kept up with our schedule and assisted with the coordination each part!

    We did have a bit of trouble getting up with Devon, our liaison with The Carolina Inn, during the months leading up to the date and we had a couple of misunderstandings about when decisions, signatures, or checks were due. However, in the few weeks leading up to the date she was extremely helpful and responsive so I attribute most of our communication issues as being related to the fact that they are SO busy!

    Overall, I would recommend this venue to every Carolina girl!

    Sent on 05/06/2012
  • A

    Ashley · Married on 01/10/2009

    4.4
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      4.0
    • Value:
      4.0
    • Flexibility:
      4.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    I loved my wedding at the Carolina Inn. It was expensive and the workers are not willing to change much about the space or the menu planning. That said, if you go in and like the rooms, so much is done for you. Everything went smoothly once we received our actual catering manager Julie (who was awesome) and we were treated very nicely. We even were offered to have our meals reheated to make sure that my new husband and myself got something to eat. The food was fabulous, service during was wonderful and every vendor had worked at the Inn before so there were no obvious flubbs. Wonderful place.

    Sent on 07/07/2009
  • T

    Tiffany · Married on 06/10/2012

    4.2
    • Quality of service:
      4.0
    • Responsiveness:
      3.5
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      4.0

    The Carolina Inn will always hold a special place in my heart- i had my 16th birthday party there, and then went on to work in banquets during college, so it was a no brainer that i'd have my wedding there. Tracey and the staff at the hotel were great, very accomodating and even helped put all my centerpieces together the day of the wedding!

    Sent on 06/22/2012
  • W

    Heather · Married on 05/03/2008

    4.2
    • Quality of service:
      4.5
    • Responsiveness:
      5.0
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      2.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    sara was totally amazing, the inn was beautiful and the catering manager did a great job. not super flexible with their packages and food unless you raise a lot of hell but it was a great experience and beautiful.

    Sent on 05/17/2008
  • L

    Leroy A. · Married on 09/22/2013

    4.2
    • Quality of service:
      4.0
    • Responsiveness:
      4.0
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      4.0
    • Professionalism:
      4.0

    Wonderful venue! Special thanks to Melissa for all her hard work to make our day special and memorable. The food was great and our guests were very pleased with the service from the staff. Unfortunately I didn't get the chance to have any wedding cake. I called downstairs just to see if there was any left but of course it was all gone! So The Carolina Inn sent up a tray of their desserts and cheeses along with some champagne! What a thoughtful gesture! What a way to go the extra mile to please the bride and groom! Thank you Carolina Inn!! My wedding day was perfect!

    Sent on 12/11/2013
  • User3572122 · 2+ years ago

    4.0
    • Quality of service:
      4.5
    • Responsiveness:
      4.0
    • Value:
      4.0
    • Flexibility:
      4.0
    • Professionalism:
      4.0

    Everything was really wonderful at the Carolina Inn, but the one complaint I have is that the morning after the wedding they kicked my husband and I out of our honeymoon sweet around 11am, and we were so exhausted from the wedding that we really wished we could have slept a little longer and enjoyed the morning to finally have some alone time together. Also, there was a lot of things promised before we signed a contract with them that wasn't delivered on the day of our wedding. When we committed to the Carolina Inn our contact said she would be very involved in making our day great. For example, she would be there if there was a crisis going on. Well, they ended up giving us a different contact and she wasn't present really. There were a few situations that presented themselves and she wasn't there at all to help us work through it. Somehow the Carolina Inn had lost a few of the escort cards, and we knew this before the ceremony. They were never found, but our contact didn't even help. The carolina inn is beautiful and the service is wonderful, but I do wish our contact would have been more helpful.

    Sent on 10/01/2013
  • C

    Catherine · Married on 12/02/2000

    4.0
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      4.0
    • Value:
      3.5
    • Flexibility:
      4.0
    • Professionalism:
      4.0

    Gorgeous and great to work with for our reception. Returned calls, clear guidelines and deadlines. Willing to work with us and our other vendors to create just what we wanted. Food was delicious.

    Sent on 11/09/2007
  • J

    Julie · Married on 10/01/2016

    4.0
    • Quality of service:
      4.0
    • Responsiveness:
      4.0
    • Value:
      4.0
    • Flexibility:
      4.0
    • Professionalism:
      4.0

    This is a wonderful location, but a bit pricey I thought.

    Sent on 12/08/2016
  • Lauren

    Lauren · Married on 06/04/2016

    4.0
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      2.0
    • Value:
      4.0
    • Flexibility:
      4.0
    • Professionalism:
      5.0

    The Carolina Inn does lots of weddings, so getting responses back when you are a few months out can be a real struggle, and there were times when they confused the details of my wedding. But the people are all very nice, and the venue is absolutely gorgeous, and when it came time for the wedding, my coordinator, Tiffany, made me feel confident that everything was under control and she really pulled off the day perfectly! Even when I freaked out because my mother-in-law forgot to bring the cake topper, she made me feel better by telling me about how she ordered a special hanger for her wedding dress and it arrived the day after her wedding day. Small things will always go wrong but I'm 100% certain we picked the perfect venue for a Carolina wedding!

    Sent on 06/22/2016
  • Brittany

    Brittany · Married on 10/27/2018

    3.6
    • Quality of service:
      4.0
    • Responsiveness:
      4.0
    • Value:
      3.0
    • Flexibility:
      4.0
    • Professionalism:
      3.0

    Good but not great

    We love the Carolina Inn, and the actual day of the wedding everything went perfectly and was breathtaking & beautiful. However, they were not the best to work with during the planning process. They have a LOT of events going on, especially during prime time weekends (e.g., the fall), and they don't seem to keep a master calendar or anything to make things go smoothly. For example, a few days before our wedding, it was supposed to rain and we learned that there was really no feasible backup plan for the rain. They told us we could flip our ballroom, but that would've been extremely tight & it might not have been enough time to set everything up and for the photographers to get a detail shots. They also didn't have ANY other indoor options--they were completely booked, so in the event of severe weather, we would've been screwed. We ended up doing the tent & it was fine, but it was an extremely stressful week trying to figure everything out (we were even looking at backup outside ceremony venues at that point) & we had to fight to get them to cover the tent. They ended up doing the right thing in the end (on this issue & a handful of others), but we had to fight them tooth & nail to do so, which was not enjoyable. We also learned a few days before the wedding that there was a memorial service going on during our reception and that those people would be let out in the hill ballroom hallway during the middle of our cocktail hour. This was another frustrating instance, which they did accommodate (with a screen in the hallway to separate their event from ours)--but again this was frustrating & upsetting. Overall, if you went to UNC and you're looking for a beautiful venue, the Carolina Inn is a great option, but just know they won't really give your wedding any preference over the many other events they will book that weekend/night.

    Sent on 05/06/2019
  • W

    Helen · Married on 06/30/2007

    2.6
    • Quality of service:
      2.5
    • Responsiveness:
      2.5
    • Value:
      2.5
    • Flexibility:
      4.0
    • Professionalism:
      2.0

    After reading many positive reviews on www.theknot.com for the Carolina Inn, I booked them as my wedding ceremony and reception venue. The sprinklers in the courtyard went off as guests were being seated which delayed the ceremony for more than 30 minutes, the guest book was misplaced until about an hour before the reception ended, so only about 15% of my guests were able to sign it, my signature picture glass was broken, some of the bartenders left their stations, etc....The coordinator provided by the Carolina Inn did a very disappointing job. I hope nobody else has to experience such chaos and disorganization as I did on my wedding day.

    Sent on 07/31/2008
  • J

    Jennie · Married on 07/07/2007

    1.8
    • Quality of service:
      1.0
    • Responsiveness:
      1.0
    • Value:
      2.0
    • Flexibility:
      2.0
    • Professionalism:
      3.0

    I was not happy at all with the service of the Carolina Inn on the day of the wedding. The wedding planner disappeared during the reception, the food service was incredibly slow and lasted an hour longer than it was supposed to, and they were not responsive at all to my requests to speed up to stay on the schedule they had outlined for me. It was beautiful, but far too expensive considering the services that were provided.

    Sent on 10/29/2007
  • D

    Derrick · Married on 04/01/2017

    1.4
    • Quality of service:
      1.0
    • Responsiveness:
      1.0
    • Value:
      4.0
    • Flexibility:
      0.5
    • Professionalism:
      0.5

    I would just recommend having an appointment and making sure it is with a different associate.

    Sent on 12/04/2016
  • O

    Katherine · Married on 11/17/2007

    1.4
    • Quality of service:
      1.5
    • Responsiveness:
      2.0
    • Value:
      0.5
    • Flexibility:
      0.5
    • Professionalism:
      2.5

    I went to the Carolina Inn because it was close to the church we got married in, and we didn't want to bother with renting tables, catering, etc. all the different vendors. We thought it would be easier because it was one source and everything would be managed by them.

    They turned out to be very inflexible. The catering manager (Jennifer) was very unresponsive as we got closer to the wedding, and we realized it was because she was getting married the next weekend at the Carolina Inn, so she was more wrapped up in her wedding than ours. Needless to say, too far gone down that path to turn around by the time we realized this. The week of the wedding, we met with her and her "reception manager" (who did not speak English, as least that anyone could understand) and we provided her with table cards, menus, seating charts, favors, cake topper, cake knife, table decorations etc. and went through detail where everything went. We even mailed her an excel spreadsheet by table where people were sitting.

    When we got to the reception, we found that the seating was a disaster. She sorted the spreadsheet column alphabetically, but didn't sort it with table numbers. My new husband and I ended up being seated across the ballroom from each other, as with many other couples that were supposed to sit together. My parents ran through the ballroom during the cocktail hour sorting out the table cards that were haphazardly placed due to the screw up. Then, when we finally sat down, we saw that the "leaves" we asked to scattered on top of the table for our fall theme, were just plopped down in their original packaging on the tables, no opened and scattered.

    The final shame was that our Catering Manager was no where to be found during all these problems (trust me, there are many more!) and she never responded to my phone calls and requests for compensation. To add final insult to injury, they misspelled my name on every sign directing guests to our wedding! We spent a ton of money on the reception and to make sure our guests had a great time, and honestly, I wish we hadn't had it there.

    Sent on 06/11/2009
  • J

    Jaimie · Married on 04/01/2017

    1.2
    • Quality of service:
      0.5
    • Responsiveness:
      0.5
    • Value:
      4.0
    • Flexibility:
      0.5
    • Professionalism:
      0.5

    My fiancé and I went to stopped by the sales office at the Carolina Inn, we were referred by a close friend and we were in the area and while we did not have an appointment we thought we may just talk about options. We had the opportunity to speak with Charmaine and she did show us around the facility. However, when it came to collecting our contact information and providing hers she did NOT follow through as promised. Charmaine NEVER emailed or called either of us in regards to our reception plans. It is my belief that she did not actually write our information down. We found her lack of response or communication to be very unprofessional to say the least.  
    The Carolina Inn is beautiful and historical institution with an exceptional reputation, but the response from Charmaine does NOT reflect that reputation.

    Sent on 12/01/2016

    The Carolina Inn's reply:

    Dear Jaimie,

    Thank you for your feedback. We take pride in our first-rate customer service and your experience is not the standard of excellence that we hold ourselves to. We would love the opportunity to speak with you so that we are able to address any questions or concerns that you may have.

    Dustin Rosa
    Director of Catering
    919-918-2718
  • C

    Katherine · Married on 11/17/2007

    0.8
    • Quality of service:
      1.5
    • Responsiveness:
      1.5
    • Value:
      0.0
    • Flexibility:
      0.0
    • Professionalism:
      1.5

    I booked the Carolina Inn for an afternoon reception in their Old Well Room. What started out as a very receptive catering department soon became what I would call frigid and unrepsonsive as the wedding got closer and closer. I was planning my wedding from out of state, so I thought that having it at the Carolina Inn, where they are supposedly known for amazing weddings, would have helped.

    We met with the catering staff the Thursday before my Saturday wedding. Gave them individual table seatings, name cards, and menu selections and color coding, since we had three en trees, gave them the favors, menu cards, and discussed how everything was to go once again. It seemed like everything was going to be great.

    Let me first say, that the Carolina Inn lost our wedding parties' and my bouquet before the mass. I was 30 minutes late to my wedding because they couldn't figure out where they put the flowers. After the mass at the Newman Center across the street, we came back, and well...it was a mess!

    I have an ethnic last name, and they mispelled it on the sign pointing people to the reception- nice touch. The waitstaff, which I was assured would know what they were doing, be plentiful, and speak ENGLISH, we few and far between. Oh, and they didn't speak English. Big problem when you're trying to explain what the color coding on your place cards meant while trying to relax and be happy just being married!

    When my guests got to the ballroom before myself and my husband, my mother found out that the idiots in the catering department completely messed the seating of our 13 tables up. Instead of laying out the name cards from the table specific and sorted ziplock baggies I made for them, it was like they just dumped them on the floor and threw them anywhere! When my mother talked to the catering "manager" for our reception, she exclaimed to my mother "well, what do you want me to do about it?" My father and mother went around and changed the seating around as fast as they could to what they thought was appropriate...families sitting together, couples not sitting across the room, children sitting with their parents, myself and my new husband sitting at the same table... It was a mess.

    It all got sorted and people were happy. More or less. We gave them leaves to put on the tables to spread about...instead they just dropped the packages of the leaves on the tables, with the POTTERY BARN labels for everyone to see! In the end, we also had extra favors of Godiva truffles, and the 20 of those also disappeared, never to be seen again. We think the incompetent waitstaff ate them, but who knows?

    Sent on 03/03/2008