We are always trying to upgrade our facilities and the services we provide to our guests at Duke Tower Hotel & Condominiums. And of course we are always looking at our rates to see how more cost-effective pricing can attract additional guests to our property. Here is an overview of some of the changes, upgrades and additions we have made over the past few months:
New Long-Term Rates
For our guests who are interested in long-term stays, we published the following rates on our website:
- $1700/month Minimum 3 months
- $1600/month 4-5 months
- $1500/month 6 months or more
Guests must book the full period in advance. Early departure may incur higher per-night rates. If you leave before staying 90 days with us, you will incur the addition of sales and hotel taxes.
New Website and Online Reservations
Our new website, www.duketower.com, and in particular our online reservation system has been a major improvement in convenience for our guests.
We receive between many online reservations per day, particularly at night when our front desk is closed. We urge our guests to take advantage of the convenience of our online reservation system.
If guests have special requirements, we have an area on the reservation form where you can enter that information. You will always receive the lowest possible rate, even if it does not appear on the reservation system.
Additional Premium Pet Suites
We find that more and more people want to travel with their pets. At the same time, we have seen increased demand for our Premium Suites, which rent for $10 more per night. Premium Suites feature wide-screen HDTVs in the living room and bedroom, Pergo flooring, upgraded furniture and, in many cases, upgraded bathrooms with walk-in showers. (We also have Premium Suites with bathtubs for people who prefer a real bath.)
As a result, we have increased our supply of Premium Suites that are also pet-friendly.
We look forward to accommodating our guests and their four-legged friends.
We also have created a dedicated pet relief area on the back left-hand (southwest) grassy corner of the property. We have plastic bags for picking up pet poop and a trash can where you can put the bags. This grassy area means guests can stay within the confines of Duke Tower to walk and relieve their pet.
Partnership with Tobacco Road Tours (TRT)
As mentioned in a previous blog, we have partnered with Tobacco Road Tours (www.tobaccoroadtours.com), a new, local tour company that provides tours of Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and the Pinehurst area, owned by Brad Kennedy. We issued a joint press release and are working with Brad on local press coverage. Our long-term guests are often looking for some activities on the weekends. TRT will come and pick up guests from Duke Tower and drop them back off at the end of the day. We are the first hotel in Durham to partner with TRT.
RDU Airport Shuttle
Our free shuttle to and from Duke has been a huge draw, but our $35/one-way (per person) airport shuttle has also been quite popular. Consequently, we have now registered both our shuttle car and our shuttle bus with the RDU International Airport Authority, meaning we are allowed to pick up and drop off guests at the “Hotel Services” area in front of Terminals 1 and 2. Please arrange the airport shuttle service in advance. You may call our office at 919-687-4444. The shuttle driver’s cell phone is 919-323-1745.
The Historic Tower Café
We have added an air conditioner to the the Historic Tower Café since it was getting quite hot in there in the summer time. It continues to be popular. Breakfast hours are expanded–approximately 6:30AM to 10:00AM.
There are regularly many people having breakfast and enjoying themselves in our Café, reading the New York Times and drinking coffee.
The Tower itself has become an attraction. Even if guests do not want breakfast or coffee, they wander in to see the architecture and the historic photographs of the cotton mill. They hang out on the Café Terrace, which provides a nice area to relax and socialize.
After breakfast hours, the Tower Café offers complimentary coffee and tea for guests throughout the day. We have the New York Times there throughout the day and play relaxing classical music. Generally we close the Café between 10:00PM and 11:00PM.
Please come and enjoy our Café!.
Covered Walking Course Lap Signs
We have added “5 Laps = 1 Mile” signs on the first and second floors to encourage our guests to walk under our covered walk course. The covered walking course is one of the attractions of our property. We see walkers daily making their laps.
We have added colorful umbrellas to the tables on the east side of the Tower Terrace to shield guests from the hot summer sun.
We often see guests there reading a book or the newspaper and enjoying a cup of coffee or a drink.
Previously, the Cafe Terrace was relatively underused. We had few guests that would venture up the stairs. Now, with the Tower Cafe, the tables, chairs and umbrellas, we are pleased to see many guests up there enjoying themselves on a regular basis. Come on up, you’ll like it.
… and Rocking Chairs
And we have added rocking chairs on the west side Café terrace for people to enjoy the view late in the day as the sun sets.
You can look out over our beautifully landscaped courtyard, watch the birds feed in the bird feeders, see the flowers blooming and watch guests play shuffleboard, chess or checkers.
Our landscaped courtyard on the western side of the Tower has turned into a desired area for reservations and hanging out. Many guests now ask for the “garden side” of the property as opposed to the “pool side.”
After one tour of the property, a guest remarked, “This is like staying at a resort!”
The western side is particularly pleasant at sundown, with the rocking chairs facing the sunset, as you rock back and forth, with a drink in your hand and perhaps your four-legged friend at your feet.
Just think of yourself in Margaritaville…
New Arbor and Courtyard Attractions
We now have a beautiful new large arbor to sit under and enjoy the courtyard. We actually are growing scuppernong grape vines that will wrap around the arbor, although it will be a couple of years before the vines bear any fruit. For those of your from out of state, scuppernong grapes are a native of North Carolina and make a distinctive, sweet wine that you won’t find anywhere else. Talk about terroir!
We have a good WiFi signal available in the courtyard, so guests are welcome to bring their laptops to work under the arbor or anywhere else.
You can see the giant chess/checkerboard and pieces in the background. See more about that below.
Giant Chess and Checkers
We have added a giant chess and checkerboard in the courtyard.
There are both chess and checker pieces available for your enjoyment. The chess pieces are partially filled with sand, giving them stability without weighing too much.
We have a storage area for peices to either side of the giant board.
We often find families enjoying a game of chess as a delightful way to pass the time, as you see in the photo at right.
We have expanded our bicycle rentals to three bicycles. Our newest bicycle is equipped with a baskets in the front and back to allow guests to carry their shopping, bags or books with them while biking around Durham.
We are close to many good bicycling paths, including biking around the Duke University campus. The best of the bike trails is the American Tobacco Trail. The ATT has an entrance across the street from Duke Tower and another, longer stretch on the other side of downtown, about one mile away.
Bicycle rentals are available for $35/day or $100/week and include a helmet and lock. We also have maps of bicycle routes in the office.