Fayetteville, the cute Arkansas town you didn’t know you needed to visit, has a charming downtown area and is close to the epic Ozarks Mountains. And now, after a full revamp, it’s home to Arkansas’s most fun hotel!
America’s college towns pack a punch when it comes to their lively restaurant, bar, and nightlife scenes – but not if you crawl back to a dorm-style room. That’s where Graduate Hotels come in.
It may be a freshman in terms of its open date (October ‘19), but the Graduate brand is senior when it comes to delivering cool-as boutique hotels in thriving college towns. With 24 hotels across the US and one in the UK, these are the hippest things to hit campus towns since the hangover sippy cup.
The Graduate property’s accelerated street-cred comes from the chain’s decision to theme their hotels with the college campus they’re based, along with the town’s heritage. Plus, someone with a good eye for Instagrammable moments is ensuring it’s hashtag-ready at every corner.
CHECK-IN & BEYOND
The entry to Graduate Fayetteville is as impressive as that PhD your best mate got at Harvard. On arrival, the tartan façade (yep, tartan) acted like an arm-tug to “look, look”. It was impossible not to rush inside to see what else was in store.
Passing through the turnstile doors, it felt almost confronting to take in the bold, eclectic, and yet somehow still stylish lobby. As my eyes adjusted, it was clear: the Graduate Fayetteville is Not Another Bland Hotel.
You know some hotels have a cool lobby vibe, and then the rooms are all white details with brown chairs? Not the Graduate. In a style that should clash, yet doesn’t, a floral armchair, a lamp with pom-poms, a camouflage carpet, and a knitted mounted hogs head give my room the personality so many properties sidestep. I’d be figuring out how to extend my stay here if it wasn’t on a Travel South International 2019 post-fam trip.
FOOD & DRINKS
The onsite Poindexter café-cum-bar helps you kick-start the day with a smooth coffee – the best on my trip so far. Café by day, the setting is great to catch up on work or soak up the property’s kooky vibes. By night the Poindexter is where you get the party started, especially on game night (“go Razorbacks, go”).
While you’re not likely to be doing Olympic-length laps in the two small pools (one indoor, one outdoor), you can get your cardio up in the property’s gym. I’ll be real; the Fayetteville view is more likely to get me to exercise than the brand new equipment (including a Peloton bike). But that’s just me. More me, in fact, is the cool chill-out area on the second floor to catch up on some reading.
The Graduate is central. And with a large neon sign atop the building, very handy if you’re stumbling back a few blocks from the vibrant nightlife on Dickson Street. Trust me.
The hotel gods are singing with the creativity and style poured into the Graduate. It’s perfect for all but your stuffy uncle who still wears corduroy pants year-round. The vibes here make me curious about experiencing the brand’s other college-town properties. It’s an A+ from me.
The Graduate Fayetteville has a lead-in rate of USD199, with an a la carte breakfast additional. You’ll likely be passing through Fayetteville on a road trip, and you can park your rental car for $5 per night. If you’re the type of person to travel just for the hotel experience, then the nearest airport to Fayetteville is Bentonville (XNA), a 30-minute drive from the property.
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