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The Dames Inn-Where Timeless Grace Meets Southern Charm-Your Home Away From Home

Bedrooms 4
Half Baths1
Space 5,000 sq ft
Property type house
Minimum Stay 3 - 4 nights


About the property

House, 4 Bedrooms 2.5 Baths, (Sleeps 8)

Step back in time and discover the best of modern day amenities while surrounded by the charms of yesteryear that defines the luxury accommodation at The Dames Inn.

Located in the former 'streetcar suburb' of Carolina Heights, this grand home is just blocks from the downtown riverfront (voted best riverfront in America by USA Today) and just recently received accolades for the best al fresco dining in the USA.

The Dames Inn is a perfect place for family gatherings, bridal parties, or romantic retreats.

Built in 1924, this unique property is close to shops and restaurants, and minutes from ILM airport. Wrightsville beach is a 15 minute drive from the property and Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Ft. Fisher (home to the NC Aquarium) is 30 minutes away.

The house features a fully renovated, well-equipped gourmet kitchen and pantry, Pirate Pub, original tiger oak hardwood floors, spacious rooms, and tasteful furnishings. Conveniences include security system, natural gas powered generator, wireless internet, fenced-in back garden, and cable television.

With 5000 square feet of luxurious living area, guests can gather in comfort or retreat to one of the 14 immaculately presented rooms for privacy.

The Dames Inn is aptly named in honor of the previous owner, Dame Catharine Carpender whose spirit can still be felt in the halls of this grand house. The home has virtually remained unchanged since the day she was built some 90 years ago. When you step through the front door you'll feel as though you've stepped back in time with original photos and architectural drawings of the home displayed in the formal parlor. The parlor, with its overstuffed leather sofas, invites you to sit and relax. Sip your morning coffee and enjoy our complimentary breakfast delights in the adjacent sun parlor before venturing out into the garden. From the parlor, open the French doors to the library and find the original built-in bookcases filled with novels, board games and a selection of DVD’s featuring movies filmed in the Wilmington area. The formal dining room boasts original wallpaper, antique chandelier, and a dining room suite with seating for eight. The fully stocked kitchen with granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances is a chef's dream. The butler’s pantry has been converted into a pirate pub room—perfect for relaxing with a glass of wine after a day of sightseeing the Cape Fear region.

The Dames Inn offers four spacious guestrooms--two king master bedrooms and two queen bedrooms. There are two original Jack & Jill bathrooms which are accessible from the bedrooms they adjoin. All bedrooms and bathrooms are on the second floor; there is no elevator.

The first master bedroom features a king-sized canopy bed, oversized furnishings and original light fixtures. The second master has a king-sized sleigh bed, decorative fireplace and adjoins a private sitting room.

The third bedroom boasts original wallpaper with a charming queen-sized four poster bed while the fourth queen bedroom has access to the upstairs balcony overlooking the lovely gardens. Three of the four bedrooms have flat screen televisions with DVD player.

The sprawling front porch with inviting rockers and an old fashioned porch swing beckons you to come and sit a spell.

We look forward to being a part of the wonderful memories you take away from your visit to Wilmington!

Please feel free to contact the owner with any questions or to check availability.

The Dames Inn is a non-smoking property.

Keywords: House

More Details

Member since: 2010
Speaks: english
Response time:
Within a few hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
May 18, 2018

About The Owner

I fell in love with the Bergen Carpender house in the year 2001. From the moment I crossed her threshold I knew that I was about to become a part of the remarkable history and legacy of this amazing home. It was like stepping back in time as the house has remained essentially unchanged from the day it was built in 1924.

The Owner purchased this house in 2001

Why The Owner chose Wilmington

Wilmington is a vibrant city steeped in history and rooted in southern traditions. I love that you can walk to the downtown markets on Saturday mornings or take a short drive to the beaches in the summer. You can stroll down to the coffee shop and catch up with the locals. Summer evenings are spent on porch swings with a glass of wine, good gossip and making wonderful memories.

What makes this house unique

While this is a vacation property it is first and foremost my home and a place I wanted to share with people who would appreciate her character and her timeless beauty. Couple the charms of an historic home with the modern conveniences we've all come to enjoy and you have an incredible place you can call home for a while. I hope that you find all that and more at the Dames Inn.

Guestbook comments from the owner

The guests of the wedding party had a BLAST and that's an understatement!
May 2014
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Wilmington House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
  • Housekeeper Optional
Floor Area:
  • 5000 sq ft
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 3:00 PM
  • /
  • Check-out: 11:00 AM
  • Max. occupancy: 8
  • Max. adults: 8
  • Min. age of primary renter: 25
  • Children welcome
  • Parties/events not allowed
  • Pets not allowed
  • Non smoking only ...
  • House may not be suited for very young children No smoking on property No pets allowed
Location Type:
  • Downtown
  • Near The Ocean ...
  • Waterfront ...
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Air Conditioning ...
  • Clothes Dryer ...
  • Fireplace ...
  • Free Long Distance
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating
  • Internet ...
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided ...
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking ...
  • Parking Off Street ...
  • Telephone
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine ...
  • Wireless Internet
  • Wood Fireplace ...
  • Catering Available
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Cooking Utensils ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Dishwasher ...
  • Ice Maker
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave ...
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Toaster
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 8 people
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • 1 Half Bath
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , shower
    Bathroom 2 - toilet , combination tub/shower
    Bathroom 1 - toilet
  • 4 Bedrooms, Sleeps 8
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 king
    Bedroom 2 - 1 king
    Bedroom 3 - 1 queen
    Bedroom 4 - 1 queen
  • King size beds (2) High thread count linens with tasteful comforter set. Queen size Beds (2) High thread count linens with matching comforter set. All mattresses are fully encased in plastic.
  • Books
  • CD Player
  • DVD Player
  • Games
  • Music Library
  • Satellite / Cable
  • Television ...
  • VCR
  • Video Library ...
  • Balcony ...
  • Deck / Patio
  • Lawn / Garden ...
  • Outdoor Grill
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Onsite Services:
  • Private Chef
  • arboretum
  • botanical garden
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • festivals
  • health/beauty spa
  • library
  • live theater
  • museums
  • restaurants
  • zoo
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • beachcombing
  • boating
  • horseback riding
  • miniature golf
  • shelling
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • walking
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • fitness center
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundromat
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • basketball court
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • jet skiing
  • kayaking
  • mountain biking
  • parasailing
  • racquetball
  • rafting
  • sailing
  • snorkeling/diving
  • surfing
  • swimming
  • tennis
  • water skiing
  • wind-surfing
Security system, natural gas powered generator, personal shopping offered, We provide beach chairs and towels, beach umbrellas and boogie boards for your trips to area beaches. Order your groceries prior to arrival from the local grocery store and we will pick them up for you!


Exceptional! 5/5 -
(74 traveler reviews)

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The Dames Inn-Where Timeless Grace Meets Southern Charm-Your Home Away From Home
average rating of 5.0 based on 118 reviews

Absolutely one of the coolest house I have ever stayed in. Highly highly recommend it to anyone l!!

  • 5 of 5

Unbelievable and the owner was so easy to work with. We loved the house and all the porches and the set up.

  • Submitted: Aug 20, 2017
  • Stayed: August 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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WHAT A COOL PLACE - with a lively New Jersey connection!

  • 5 of 5

Our family stayed at The Dames Inn during my son's wedding weekend. What a great place, conveniently located near downtown and beaches! We were intrigued with the NJ connection of the historic home's previous owners, as many of my family members have New Brunswick, NJ connections. It was an awesome place to stay and entertain family and friends. Pat welcomed us with open arms (literally!) and her enthusiasm for her home was contagious. Once the wedding excitement was over, it was the perfect place to unwind in a most comfortable bed! Sadly, Wilmington's recently passed ordinance against short-term rentals in the Historic District will not allow others to experience first-hand the wonders of this history-filled home as we were able to, and I am thankful for our time spent there. Mother Theresa slept there. I slept there. How cool is that?!

  • Submitted: Jun 21, 2017
  • Stayed: June 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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  • 5 of 5

Our families hosted Thanksgiving and pre-wedding photographs at this lovely home. We did not need one extra thing for our stay. Everything was provided; top of the line appliances, plenty of dishes, fine bed linens and towels. We felt right at home, but we were also able to walk downtown. Many thanks to the owner for sharing the history of her home with us. It was one of the best vacations we have ever had. Thank you!

  • Submitted: Nov 30, 2016
  • Stayed: November 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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  • 5 of 5

I stayed at the Dames Inn this summer with my mom, aunt, and cousin to celebrate my aunt's 60th birthday. There aren't enough words to describe how gorgeous and fascinating the house is!!! It combines Southern charm with a rich, historic background that even non-history buffs will find interesting. Everything you could possibly need is in the house, and it's close to numerous beaches, shops, restaurants, etc. We found ourselves staying up late every night and getting up early every morning just so we could sit on the porch longer, have one more drink at the bar, and read about the Dame. Patricia was the most thoughtful, informative, and kind host that we could ever hope for. She gave us great advice about where to go eat, shop, and which places had the best tourist attractions. I cannot say enough wonderful things about this house and what a great time we all had. Thank you again Patricia; we will be back!

  • Submitted: Aug 16, 2016
  • Stayed: July 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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stony point, NY

The Dames Inn a great place to stay in Wilmington NC

  • 5 of 5

My wife and another couple had the pleasure of staying at The Dames Inn april. the house was everything we expected and more. We were able to cook most of our meals there and it became like a home. everything about the place made our stay better. The house was well stocked with just about everything you could think of. My wife and have used VRBO from ST JOHN'S US Virgin Islands to Sandy Utah, This was one the best places we ever stay, and I'm sure we will be back.

  • Submitted: Jun 14, 2016
  • Stayed: April 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Hickory, NC

The Dames Inn

  • 5 of 5

I recently stayed at the Dames Inn to attend a conference in Wilmington. The house is fabulous! I loved the history of the house and of the Dame herself. It is close enough (about a mile) to downtown that you can walk and enjoy the scenery. The front porch was my favorite spot, with the porch swing and rocking chairs. My friends and I sat outside every evening to wind down before bed. The yard and garden area are beautifully maintained. The bedrooms are gorgeous and very comfortable. I would definitely stay there again and encourage anyone traveling to Wilmington to stay as well.

  • Submitted: Apr 18, 2016
  • Stayed: April 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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PT's Grill
North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher
Nearest Airport
2 Miles
Wilmington International Airport ILM
Nearest Beach
15 Miles
Wrightsville Beach
Car: recommended


Rates & Availability

Taxes and fees are additional

Additional information about rental rates

Cleaning Fee $150
Damage Insurance $59

3 night minimum stay

Rate may be higher for holidays, special events, or seasonal reservations

13% tax not included in rate

$150 cleaning fee

Longer rental terms available

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 50% refund if canceled at least 7 days before arrival date.
  • 100% refund if canceled at least 14 days before arrival date.
  • Service Fee fully refunded on cancellations that qualify for 100% refund.

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