It‚??s not often that we devote a blog post entirely to a hotel we‚??ve stayed in. ¬†Throughout the last 166 days we‚??ve stayed in some special places, for sure, and we‚??re very grateful for it let me tell you. ¬†But The Pinecrest Inn really is something quite special, and it commands a closer look.
The place has a lot of history. ¬†Bought by Donald Ross and his brother-in-law James McNab circa 1921, it is and always was a hotel for golfers. ¬†Well, it‚??s smack bang in the middle of Pinehurst... ¬†If you ask me ‚?? an outsider, granted, with only a couple of days‚?? experience of the place ‚?? it‚??s the pulse of the town. ¬†Everyone knows about it. ¬†Everyone seems to go there for a beer or for a meal. ¬†Everyone‚??s eyes light up when you mention you‚??re staying there. ¬†Everyone raves about it. ¬†¬†And for good reason. ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†
At The Pinecrest you get an old fashioned, intimate type of hospitality. ¬†No pretenses; no guy standing by the front door and expecting a tip; no electric towel rail and Egyptian cotton robe worth more than a small house. ¬†Just an unpretentious haven run by the most wonderful salt of the earth people you could hope to run into (it‚??s been owned and run by the Barrett family for 48 years). ¬†Linda and Andy rate a special mention as the two wonderful ladies that looked after us like royalty (we tried to get a photo of 'em but they refused!). ¬†Very humbling stuff; Michael and me still can‚??t get over quite how we deserved such kindness.
From mid afternoon onwards, it seemed to us anyway, you‚??ll always find people out on the deck having a beer or a cigarette. ¬†Often there are gatherings of 5 to 10 sitting out there in the shade. ¬†Or more. ¬†In the bar too, as I mentioned, you‚??ll be hard pushed to find a quiet few minutes. ¬†Rowdy‚??s the wrong word; suffice to say it has Atmosphere. ¬†There‚??s a fireplace in the lobby ‚?? which is bordered by the front desk, the bar and the dining room ‚?? covered by a felted board. ¬†Into the board has been cut a hole the size of your average head. ¬†And into that hole patrons / guests try to chip with the sand wedge that lies there. ¬†Not in many hotels will you walk in the front door and find people practising their short game. ¬†This place is special.
They might not have had wireless internet back in Donald Ross‚?? time, but they do now. ¬†Flatscreens in your room too, if TV floats your boat. ¬†Personally I couldn‚??t think of anything worse than turning on the box when you‚??re in a place like this. ¬†With all the history, the golf and the atmosphere of the pubs...why would you? ¬†Crucially there‚??s air conditioning too! ¬†
Really our stay here in Pinehurst couldn‚??t have been more comfortable, or more memorable. ¬†People often ask us if we take notes along our way. ¬†Truth be told we seldom do. ¬†Sure, a lack of spare time has a part to play here. ¬†But there‚??s another reason, and it‚??s this. ¬†The experiences we‚??re having ‚?? like the hospitality at The Pinecrest ‚?? are amazing. ¬†They hit you. ¬†Just as I can remember vividly the moment when I heard Princess Diana died (I was at a friend‚??s house in Wainui, New Zealand, playing board games), or the moment when I got on Space Mountain at Disney World, I‚??ll remember these few days for a long time to come.
If the team at The Pinecrest are reading this: a sincere thank you from the two of us. ¬†Look forward to returning in years to come, and to having you down under for a bit of Kiwi hospitality! ¬†¬†
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