The Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club – a Luxury Hotel Near Duke University
The Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club welcomes guests to a tranquil retreat nestled on 300 acres of tall pines and hardwoods on the edge of the Duke Forest. Conveniently located on the campus of Duke University, the Inn is designed to reflect the quiet elegance of an English country estate. Spacious lodging, world-class golf and award-winning dining have made the Inn a standout destination among Duke University hotels. The Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club is also one of the top Durham hotels for meetings and special events, with an Executive Conference Center that accommodates up to 600 attendees. Brimming with rich traditions and warm intuitive service, after just one visit you’ll understand why our friends consider Duke University Hotel their home away from home.
Discover the Celebrated History of the Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club
The most prestigious hotel near Duke University, the Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club first opened its doors in 1988 to serve the needs of the University and Durham’s growing business community. The hotel was named for Washington Duke (1820-1905), who from his modest beginnings as an American Civil War soldier in 1865 went onto become an industrialist and philanthropist, as well as a classic example of the American dream.
When Washington Duke returned from the Civil War to three motherless children, his land (Duke Homestead), a tobacco barn, a mule and fifty cents were his sole possessions. Duke, along with his sons James and Benjamin, transformed these meager assets into a family business that would grow to become the multinational corporation known as the American Tobacco Company.
After attaining financial success, Washington Duke began a life of community service and philanthropy. In 1891, he joined other local businessmen in bringing Trinity College to Durham and became its foremost benefactor. His son, James, created the Duke Endowment in 1924 and Trinity College was renamed Duke University in honor of Washington Duke.
The Duke family continues to uphold a long-standing tradition of community service, philanthropy and loyalty to Duke University, which is evident throughout the Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club. Family artifacts and photographs have been donated for display in the hallways, and the family coat of arms has been incorporated in the Inn's logo.