Our favorite place to stay in Durham is The King’s Daughters Inn. This is a small inn with beautifully appointed traditional rooms, suites and common areas. The rate includes a full, hot breakfast and afternoon tea. It is close to Duke and all of the restaurants, shops and galleries downtown. It is located at 204 N. Buchanan Blvd. The owners are delightful. Make sure to book early as it is a popular spot for wedding parties.
I would also highly recommend the new 21c Hotel, the art focused chain, that opened in March, 2015 in downtown Durham. I have stayed or eaten in their properties in Nashville, Louisville, Lexington, KY< Kansas City, MO and Bentonville, AR. 111 N. Corcoran St.
Across from the 21c is The Durham Hotel at 315 E. Chapel Hill St. It is a mid-century modern boutique, hotel in the heart of downtown with 53 rooms, coffee shop, rooftop raw bar and a restaurant The Durham, by the James Beard award winning chef Andrea Reusing.
For Aloft Hotel fans, the new Aloft Durham Downtown has also opened at 345 Blackwell St. It is in the American Tobacco Historic District with offices, shops and restaurants.
Also getting good press is the Unscripted Hotel located in the former Jack Tar Hotel opened in the 1960s. 202 N. Corcoran St.