On my first visit to the Raleigh-Durham area, I wanted to stay in Downtown Raleigh for a night to explore the city. My travel companion and I were immediately drawn to the modern design of the newly opened Casso Raleigh, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel. It originally opened as the Origin Raleigh in the summer of 2020, then became the Hotel 83, and now is the Casso, as of September 2022.
The Tribute Portfolio was originally part of Starwood Hotels before Marriott International purchased Starwood. It aims to be a collection of independent upscale to upper-upscale hotels. My stay at the Casso Raleigh marked my second Tribute Portfolio property, the first being the Dalmar Fort Lauderdale that I stayed at earlier this year.
The Casso Raleigh features 126 guest rooms and no suites. Currently, rates for the Casso Raleigh are approximately between $160 and $400 a night before taxes, depending on the time of stay.
Casso Raleigh Takeoff Points:
Date of Stay: November 2023
Room Type: Two Queens
Pros: Nice new hotel feel, friendly staff, modern rooms
Cons: Perhaps a bit too minimalistic, used lotion bottle given
Overall Takeoff Score: B
Arrival + Lobby:
We arrived around 8 PM via Uber and were quickly checked in. The lobby was on the smaller side, with two reception desks and a small sundries/snack store to the left. We were helped by a friendly associate and quickly got our keys to the room. As a Marriott Bonvoy Platinum, I was offered a welcome gift of breakfast or points. I took the breakfast, and they let me know that there was a menu that I could order off of and it would all be included. More on that under the “Dining” section of the post.
For those with a car, self parking is available for $17 a night.
Down towards the guest room elevators, you’ll pass a nice-looking bar that’s part of the main restaurant “Good Day and Good Night”. Then, towards the back of the lobby is seating for the restaurant, as well as some sofas serving as a lobby seating area.
And, up one level on the Mezzanine, is a bit more public area seating, as well as meeting space. One fun aspect of the hotel is that Raleigh is well known as the “City of Oaks” which lends itself to a lot of squirrels. And, the hotel makes sure to add squirrel-themed objects everywhere which is quite cute.
Double Queen Classic:
We were assigned a room with 2 Queen Beds on the 2nd floor. The website states that the Double Queen Classic is 319 square feet.
Immediately after exiting the elevator, we noticed a bit of a food odor, which could have come from the restaurant below as it was dinner time. Thankfully the next morning, the smell was mostly gone.
Upon entering the room, you are immediately in the bedroom space as the bathroom is in the back of the room next to the window. There is a chair in between the door and the first of the Queen beds. And of course, you’ll have a painting of acorns to go with the theme.
One interesting feature of the room is that there are no closets. So next to the door, three hooks feature 3-4 hangers each.
Also, instead of an iron/board that many hotels offer, they have a steamer here. I didn’t have any nice clothes I needed steamed/ironed, so I didn’t test how well the steamer worked. There was a long bench under the combined credenza/TV stand that served as a desk too. A Keurig was provided, as well as two smaller bottles of water.
There weren’t any robes here, which my travel companion was a bit disappointed about.
As it was a newer hotel, there were plenty of power plugs and USB charging. The queen beds were comfortable, but the sheets were a bit on the “light” side which was a downgrade from the plush comforters and sheets that we had at the Westin Raleigh Durham Airport.
A feature that I liked in the room was that the AC was easy to control and we could keep a constant fan speed for airflow and white noise.
The bathroom was located towards the back of the room near the window. It’s a simple but relatively spacious three-piece bathroom. There is decent counter space as well as a large stand-up shower. Toiletries were provided by Gilchrist and Soames. At the sink area, bar soap, a sewing kit, a makeup remover wipe, and lotion were provided.
But, unfortunately, the single-use lotion bottle seemed to be used already as it wasn’t full.
In the shower, there were reusable bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. The water pressure was solid, but I feel that the toiletries were put in a poor spot because it was right under the showerhead and excess water would drop onto the reusable bottles.
Since we were only staying for a night, housekeeping rules didn’t apply. But, the current policy is to only provide housekeeping after 3 days of stay unless otherwise requested.
Our room had a decent view considering we were on the 2nd floor. It overlooked the buildings across the street.
Overall, the room was nice and new, but seemed a bit minimalistic for my taste.
There is a restaurant and bar on-site called Good Day Good Night that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, In-room dining is also offered during restaurant hours.
For the Marriott Bonvoy Platinum (and higher) Breakfast, there was a special menu included. As of my stay, the menu was:
While some people might not like the lack of options, I liked how it was enough to cover everything where you wouldn’t need to patch the difference. For example, how my “$25 breakfast credit” didn’t go very far at the W West Los Angeles since any entree was over that amount.
I got the Bonvoy Breakfast and found the potatoes to be quite tasty.
Overall, I enjoyed my breakfast; it was a nice start to the day.
In the basement, there is a small fitness center that gets the job done. My travel companion completed a workout and enjoyed her time there.
The Casso Raleigh is located in Downtown and is conveniently located. It’s a little over half a mile from the North Carolina Museum of History, and the State Capital. There are plenty of restaurants and breweries within walking distance. We tried a North Carolina chain called Dram and Draught is located just across the street. We also walked to a farmers market on Fayetteville St where we found some cute gifts. Also within walking distance were the restaurants Whiskey Kitchen and Death and Taxes, where we had enjoyable meals.
Overall, I enjoyed my first trip to Downtown Raleigh and feel like the Casso Raleigh was a good home base for the night. I liked the modern decor, but also at the same time felt like it was a bit too minimalistic. It’s a solid 3.5-star hotel for sure, and depending on the price compared to the competition, it could be a great choice for a visit to Raleigh.
Have you stayed at the Casso Raleigh or a Tribute Portfolio Hotel before? How was your experience? Share below!
Have any questions? Comment below or email me at email@example.com. I’ve also started working with a travel agency, Fora Travel, and can assist in booking hotel stays or planning trips. You can also view all my other posts here! Thanks for stopping by!