A cat oversees the operations of this historic hotel in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
By Hope S. Philbrick
“Welcome to The Historic Brookstown Inn,” said the smiling lady behind the reception desk as I strolled through the main entrance.
A friendly human, sure. But I was most excited to meet the cat.
Few hotels have a cat and it had been days since I’d seen my own.
I knew about the cat before I arrived because a fellow travel writer had posted a photo of the brown tabby along with the caption “Sally the hotel cat!”
It would be several more days before I met Sally. I heard that a few years ago she showed up hungry at the Brownstown Inn. Some of the friendly humans who work there took her to the vet. A microchip was found and traced back to an owner in Washington state! The owner, though grateful for the call (I assume), said that she couldn’t travel across the country for Sally. So the cat was allowed to make the hotel home. How’d this cat manage to get all the way to Winston-Salem, North Carolina from Washington? It’s a mystery! Sally now limits her roaming to the lobby and large courtyard, strutting around like she’s in charge. She’s friendly, if a bit standoffish. If you want to pat her on the head she’ll go along with it, but if you are allergic to cats don’t worry, she’ll stay out of your way and doesn’t go into guestrooms.
Given Sally’s choice in hotels, she clearly has refined taste.
The Brookstown Inn makes more than a stray cat feel at home. The guestrooms are spacious and thoughtfully furnished. Mine had a living room and a lofted bedroom plus a huge bathroom—if you have accessibility requirements, request a room without stairs when making a reservation.
The building (circa 1837) was initially the Salem Manufacturing Company and was one of the first mills in the south to utilize electric lighting. Recent renovations to the now 70 guestroom inn preserved the original structure. The interior décor enhances the ceilings, wood beams, exposed brick and lobby’s historic pine wood floors.
As Sally might say, it’s purrfect.
- Free Wi-Fi
- Free parking
- Complimentary breakfast buffet with hot and cold options
- Complimentary cookies and milk at bedtime
- Complimentary wine and cheese reception
- 24-hour fitness center
- 24-hour business center
- Euro Plush pillow top mattresses
- 400 thread count sheets
- Synthetic down pillows
- Small refrigerator and microwave in each guestroom
- Keurig coffee maker in each guestroom
- The grand ballroom can accommodate up to 200 people
- Easy walking distance to downtown Winston-Salem
- Odds of Encountering Children: Varies, but lower than at most national chain hotels. We saw none during our stay, but our conference group pretty much took over the place.
The Historic Brookstown Inn
200 Brookstown Ave.
Winston-Salem, NC 27101
– Photos courtesy Brookstown Inn
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