(Article and photos by Ben Grimsley in conjunction with the Dahlonega-Lumpkin Chamber and Visitors Bureau)
Next time you are planning a weekend getaway to Dahlonega, look beyond the chain hotels. There are no shortages of hotels on or near the square with immense character and charm. Doing this will change the way you tour Dahlonega, named one of ‘The South’s Best Mountain Towns 2020’ by Southern Living.
Boutique Hotels in Dahlonega
I first came to Dahlonega in 2017 when I began my college career at the University of North Georgia. I thought that Dahlonega was a beautiful town with plenty of history and charm. However, it was not until couple of years later that I really began to discover all that Dahlonega had to offer.
While taking a marketing tourism class, I started touring local hotels and interviewed their owners. Frankly, I expected to find old houses turned into a bed and breakfasts with cramped rooms and second-class comfort. I could not have been more surprised by what I found.
Boutique Hotels Enhancing the Getaway Experience
Catherine Ariemma, the owner of the Dahlonega Square Hotel and Villas is very passionate about providing a remarkable experience to all her guests. “We walk them up to their room. We have a conversation with them. We discuss Dahlonega. It’s very personal.”
Through exploring small boutique hotels in Dahlonega, I discovered that they are not just a place to stay in between the getaway experiences that Dahlonega can offer; it is part of the experience itself.
Catherine noticed many of her guests do not want to stay in a chain hotel when they are traveling for pleasure. They stay at chain hotels when they are traveling on a business trip. Guests visiting Dahlonega want to experience small town charm and hospitality during all aspects of their trip, including their lodging.
What Boutique Hotels have to Offer
Boutique hotels provide an experience that a guest will not receive from a chain hotel. Some hotels in Dahlonega that I visited have amenities that include
- Wine tasting rooms
- Wine tours
- Art galleries
- Themed rooms
- Historic buildings
- Breakfast in bed
The Hall House, a hotel located directly on the square in a historic building, was actually started as an art gallery. The upstairs area was later converted into several rooms that feature original artwork of the owner of the hotel. Every one of these rooms is different and has its own name.
Experience Boutique Hotels for Yourself
“Boutique hotels offer something a little different”, Ariemma says. “There is an ambiance here that you are not going to get when you walk into [another chain hotel].”
After exploring the boutique hotels in Dahlonega, I agree with Catherine. Next time you have a couple of days off, find a hotel in Dahlonega that you have never heard of and experience Dahlonega in a way you never have before.