Unscripted Hotel: One of Durham’s Coolest Places to Stay

We saw the Unscripted Hotel going up in the historic Motor Lodge of Downtown Durham multiple times throughout 2016. We anxiously awaited its opening. It was rumored to be the hottest new hotel in the area, encouraging the meeting of creative minds at it’s rooftop restaurant and pool, and housing intriguing design elements.

When we were lucky enough to stay overnight all our hopes for this Durham hotel were realized. From cool graffiti walls mixed with mid-century modern furniture we felt inspired staying there.

Unscripted Durham Hotel Review on Sometimes Home travel blog. Extensive photos and advice for this mid-century modern designs hotel.

Durham Unscripted Hotel

I was impressed from the moment we checked into the hotel. They have a parking garage attached to their property, which is a major plus because parking is sometimes hard to find in downtown Durham.

I LOVED that they had hand-picked street artists paint the area (they even flew in a few from Los Angeles) so whether you enter from the sidewalk or garage it’s an attractive scene.

They set the tone right away with bright colors, stylistic furniture and green boxwood walls as you approach the hotel doors.

Unscripted Hotel Review Durham in North Carolina. Photos and information on Sometimes Home travel blog. Picture of the interior garage entrance. Bright colors, chairs and graffiti set the stage.

Check In and Lobby at Unscripted Hotel

Their check-in area is sleek. It perfectly blends with the posh living room scene you see upon entry. Warm and inviting, their employees quickly greet you at an unassuming, approachable table as you take it all in. They have keys ready for your room as they seamlessly complete your check in. All of this is done with the help of iPads in lieu of bulky, stuffy computers.

I describe their interior design as a fresh take on Mid-Century modern (an era which the Longleaf Hotel in Raleigh, 30 minutes south of Unscripted, has honored as well).

It’s a nod to when the space was Jack Tar Motor Lodge in the 1960’s. They’ve honored the era but updated the look; they combined awesome graffiti (something treasured today more so than ever before) and typography with the era’s iconic colors and furniture in an ingenious way.

From a velvet sofa, to matte finished metal tables, to statement pieces like an organically designed wooden chair, there’s a ton for your eyes to feast upon.

Unscripted Hotel Review Durham in North Carolina. Photos and information on Sometimes Home travel blog. Picture of the interior lobby area with mid-century modern furniture brought up-to-date with a graffiti wall.
Unscripted Hotel Review Durham in North Carolina. Photos and information on Sometimes Home travel blog. Picture of the interior lobby area with a key feature wood chair.
Unscripted Hotel Review Durham in North Carolina. Photos and information on Sometimes Home travel blog. Picture of the interior lobby area with bright colors, graffiti and fun mid-century modern twists.
Unscripted Hotel Review Durham in North Carolina. Photos and information on Sometimes Home travel blog. Picture of the interior lobby area with bright colors, graffiti and fun mid-century modern twists.
Unscripted Hotel Review Durham in North Carolina. Photos and information on Sometimes Home travel blog. Picture of the interior lobby area with bright colors, graffiti and fun mid-century modern twists.

Guest Rooms at Unscripted Durham

Unscripted has a total of 74 guest rooms. We were in room 422 with a city and pool view on the fourth floor. I had a blast looking through the room when I entered. Nothing is overlooked.

I loved the “marble notebook” envelope they gave me the room keys in and admired all the black and white mats on the outside of the room doors. Sayings like, “Hang Out” or “Have Fun” welcome guests to their rooms.

I even appreciated how the grate railing creates an interesting pattern on the exterior concrete walkway on each level. (When you’re a photographer you tend to notice these things!)

Round magnets (pictured on the left, below) allow guests to playfully indicate they don’t want to be disturbed or they brought their dog along for their stay. “I’m Hot” is for summer time! It’s not so much for if you’re feeling sexy 🙂 as it is for a staff member to simply indicate caution if the metal door to your room is hot to the touch in the heat of seasonal days.

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Unscripted Hotel Review Durham in North Carolina. Photos and information on Sometimes Home travel blog. Picture of keys for the room and clever branding, bringing the mid-century modern location up-to-date.
Unscripted Hotel Review Durham in North Carolina. Photos and information on Sometimes Home travel blog. Picture of the exterior "hallways" at the revamped iconic hotel.
Unscripted Hotel Review Durham in North Carolina. Photos and information on Sometimes Home travel blog. Picture of the hotel room features including a desk area with colorful mid-century modern features and pattern accent wall.
Unscripted Hotel Review Durham in North Carolina. Photos and information on Sometimes Home travel blog. Picture of the hotel room features, including a comfortable bed and feature pattern wall from the mid-century modern era.
Unscripted Hotel Review Durham in North Carolina. Photos and information on Sometimes Home travel blog. Picture of the hotel room features including a flat screen TV.
Unscripted Hotel Review Durham in North Carolina. Photos and information on Sometimes Home travel blog. Picture of the interior white bathroom.
Unscripted Hotel Review Durham in North Carolina. Photos and information on Sometimes Home travel blog. Picture of the Jonathan Adler bath products and mid-century pattern wall in the room interior.
Unscripted Hotel Review Durham in North Carolina. Photos and information on Sometimes Home travel blog. Picture of the hotel room features, including a tasteful creative mini bar and well branded coasters.

Everything down to the glasses in the mini bar and coasters by the bed match the branding of Unscripted Hotel Durham. The soft, fluffy allergen-free king size bed was dreamy! I love anything ombre so the ottoman under the desk had me googly-eyed over it’s blue fade to tan fabric. (Swoon!) I very much enjoyed getting some work done in the comfort of the robin’s egg blue chair and wooden desk. I clearly gave into posing for some photos in front of the mid-century modern patterned accent wall behind the bed. (Why should I resist, right?)

Can we just discuss how integrated and well done their branding is, one more time? Even the Jonathan Adler bath products were seamless! Can I get an AMEN for that?! (Thank you!)

Unscripted Hotel Review Durham in North Carolina. Photos and information on Sometimes Home travel blog. Picture of the blue and vermillion exterior of the hotel doors and black and white door mat fun branding.
Unscripted Hotel Review Durham in North Carolina. Photos and information on Sometimes Home travel blog.

The Patio

It’s widely known novelty pool floaties have been all the rage this decade. A yellow duck and pink flamingo called us to The Patio. We appreciated their nod to classic poolside lounges and and a magnetizing view. It didn’t take long for us to decide to get poolside cocktails; I wanted to try their activated charcoal margarita. It was the perfect pre-dinner cocktail. Unscripted Hotel Review Durham in North Carolina. Photos and information on Sometimes Home travel blog. Picture of the black activated charcoal margarita offering at the rooftop The Patio restaurant.

Overnight at One of the Best Hotels in Durham

I always appreciate a great TV in a hotel room. We purposely opt not to have a TV in our bedroom at home so I treat it as a bit of a fun perk when I stay overnight at great hotels. We had dinner with friends in downtown Durham (a convenient walk from our hotel – it’s always great not having to drive anywhere) then curled into bed to enjoy some evening shows on the in-room Smart TV.

Morning at the Unscripted Hotel

Waking up is easy at the Unscripted Hotel. We was looking forward to checking out their gym for a morning workout and visiting their AllDay cafe for coffee. It welcomes visitors from the hotel and those in Durham looking for a lovely place to grab some caffeine and good snacks or perhaps an evening cocktail…because it is, in fact, open all day.

Unscripted Hotel Review Durham in North Carolina. Photos and information on Sometimes Home travel blog. Picture of the interior lobby dining area with creative lighting and colorful mid-century modern furniture.
Unscripted Hotel Review Durham in North Carolina. Photos and information on Sometimes Home travel blog. Picture of the interior coffee counter with mid-century modern interior design.
Unscripted Hotel Review Durham in North Carolina. Photos and information on Sometimes Home travel blog. Picture of the exterior street entrance and tables and chairs for al fresco dining.
Unscripted Hotel Review Durham in North Carolina. Photos and information on Sometimes Home travel blog. Picture of the fitness center.
Unscripted Hotel Review Durham in North Carolina. Photos and information on Sometimes Home travel blog. Picture of the interior detail including Instax mini Polaroid photos of the hotel's construction.
Unscripted Hotel Review Durham in North Carolina. Photos and information on Sometimes Home travel blog. Picture of the pink and purple graffiti painted staircase.

We Didn’t Want to Leave! 

We lingered as much as we could the morning we were due to checkout, not wanting to check out! Could we move into this Durham hotel?

I popped around for a few more photos before leaving. (Be sure to check out their framed Instax mini (Polaroids) frame in the lobby. It has photos of the hotel’s creation!) If you’re into street art, you’ll see photos of the artists Big Sleeps, Alex Kizu, Jose Reza (part of K2S graffiti crew in Los Angeles) and Ryan Keeley from Durham at work.

We packed lightly so we chose to leave our hotel room via their staircase, not needing the elevator. The staircase is beautiful. Again, nothing is overlooked! The pops of pink and purple have a design reminiscent of the paintings in the hotel’s lobby and garage entryway. I appreciated that every hallway and staircase requires access via a hotel key card; extra security is reassuring no matter where you are whether it’s your own home or home-away-from-home for a night.

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If you’re visiting the area and need a place to stay I urge you to check out Unscripted Hotel Durham! It’s amazing and you’ll love your time there.

Please note: we thank Unscripted for generously hosting us. We also may make a small commission from affiliate links in this post but all opinions are ours and we bring you genuine content with real facts, photos, thoughts and recommendations. Always.

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Unscripted Durham Hotel Review on Sometimes Home travel blog. Extensive photos and advice for this mid-century modern designs hotel in North Carolina.
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2 Comments

  1. Mona
    October 24, 2017 / 11:14 pm

    I am always blown away by the way you cleverly use your words to describe your venues on sometimeshome.com. and to say I want to visit there tomorrow. Awesome descriptions and photography!

    • October 25, 2017 / 7:21 pm

      Thank you, so much! I love your comments and support!

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