When searching for a Charlotte area hotel for my son’s graduation trip, I wanted something with character, comfortable beds and a place to grab a good meal. The Esquire Hotel in downtown Gastonia, North Carolina exceeded our expectations. The hotel is over 100 years old but with the modern amenities today’s travelers need.

A historic Charlotte area hotel

The Esquire Hotel first opened at a bank in 1918. The town was an epicenter of the textile mill boom of the early 20th century, according to the building’s listing on the National Register of National Historic Places. Forty-eight mills called Gastonia County around the time the bank building was constructed.

The seven-story building is one of two “skyscrapers” built during that time. When the bank closed, the building housed several attorneys and was known as the “Lawyers Building.” After sitting empty for many years, renovations began and the 35-room hotel opened.

Along the walls are pictures that pay homage to the building’s years as a bank. You will even find money displayed.

The rooms

Our stay at the Esquire Hotel marked the first time we slept under a chandelier.

The rooms are small but stunning. Our room was rustic red. The bottled water and note directing us to the ice was a nice touch.

I was jealous of my son’s room, decorated in beautiful shades of blue and aqua. He would not trade with us.

The bathroom was also small and only had a shower. That is fine with me. I prefer a quick shower when traveling. The display of soap and other toiletries is a nice touch.

Dining at the Esquire Hotel

When booking our Charlotte area hotel, I knew we would need an in-house restaurant or a place to dine nearby. Barrister’s was the perfect place for us to catch a bite. The restaurant had a casual but elegant feel. The soft drink menu is classic North Carolina–RC Cola, Sundrop and Cheerwine. The restaurant also has an extensive wine list.

I could have eaten the appetizer and walked away happy. Our choice was pimento cheese, fried green tomatoes and deviled eggs. I enjoyed meatloaf with some macaroni and cheese and squash casserole. Steve and Lee had fried chicken. We all enjoyed our meals.

The Notary is located downstairs and offers coffee and breakfast selections. We noticed several locals dropping in for coffee while we were enjoying breakfast. I don’t drink coffee, so I rely on Steve to tell me if it is good. He gave his cup a big thumbs up.

Downtown Gastonia

We were only in Gastonia for one night. We didn’t get to explore the area as much as we would have liked. The hotel is in Gastonia’s beautiful downtown area, so we took a stroll. We found a unique display called “The Common Thread.” Built out of bricks, the structures honor the county’s textile history.

We found this beautiful mural in the parking lot. The beautiful painting shows all of the unique things about Gaston County, including Sun Drop and Cheerwine sodas. I wish we had more time to visit the area as we were told the city has several beautiful murals.

Staying at the Charlotte area Esquire Hotel

The Esquire Hotel is located about 22 minutes outside of Charlotte and is an excellent place for travelers who don’t want to stay in the city. It was easy to find off I-85 or U.S. 74 in Gastonia. The lobby is small and cozy. We had not problems at check-in. This Charlotte-area hotel is part of the Choice Hotel group, so if you are a member of their Choice Privileges rewards program you will get points for your stay.

The hotel may be older but the amenities are modern. We didn’t watch television, but turned it on to see a variety of channels offered. Free wi-fi is also available.

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