Thanks to some special folks in Winston-Salem, I was given the opportunity to tour Graylyn. I like to call it by the name its original owners, Bowman and Nathalie Lyons Gray, gave it rather than its current official name: Graylyn International Conference Center. Just sounds more historic and romantic.
Mrs. Gray and her sons donated the entire 55 acre estate to Bowman Gray School of Medicine of Wake Forest University in 1946. For many years the estate served as an academic psychiatric hospital facility. Fast forward to 1972: Gordon Gray purchases the estate from the medical college and on the same day donates it to Wake Forest University.
Surviving uses typical of college students and a 1980 fire, estate management was taken over by Wake Forest in 2001 and has since undergone “extensive operational, technological, and cosmetic renovations.”
Grayly isn’t really comparable to the Biltmore House, but I found myself comparing the two anyway. I love Biltmore, but if I had my choice, I think I’d prefer a stay at Graylyn. It’s a mansion with intimately luxurious and cozy private and public rooms.
NOTE: Anyone can stay at Graylyn. See reservation information here.
One very cool aspect of staying at Graylyn is the personalized Butler service:
Upon arrival, guests of Graylyn are upgraded to ”Lord or Lady of the manor.” The Butler staff at Graylyn are available day and night to meet any request. Whether it be a shoe shine or private in-room coffee service, the Butler staff will always be there to make every guest feel like royalty.
And from what I hear, the food Executive Chef Gregory Rollins sends out of the kitchen is wonderful. Hopefully, I’ll get a chance to sample first-hand some day.
Mrs. Gray’s “Scrumptious Sugar Cookie with Butterscotch Chips” are often served in the afternoons at Graylyn. And they are scrumptious.
More information about Graylyn. If you have trouble seeing the video, click here.
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If you’re planning a wedding, conference or retreat, you’d do well to consider Graylyn. Staff is experienced and creative when it comes to assisting with event and conference planning, including team building exercises.
1900 Reynolda Rd
Winston-Salem, NC 27106