I preface this review by saying I haven't stayed at the Raleigh but I dropped by one night for a drink and to check out this famous hotel. I do want to stay here one time so that I can let the 40's ambiance wash over me, because there is so much to see at this hotel, and it knocked my socks off!
Even just stepping into the lobby here you feel like you're transported back in time and suddenly you're an old Hollywood film star. The back patio and pool are carefully orchestrated for a completely calm experience- the tables and wicker furniture sit casually beneath perfectly trimmed shading tree branches. The pool is a wonder of architecture, with perfectly curving lines. Conde Nast calls it "one of the sexiest pools in America". We just wanted to enjoy a drink out back there looking at the stars, sitting at that pool, but I think it was either too early or too late and there was no bartender there.
There is a small inside bar with it's own cozy ambiance. All done in wood, with an almost library-like quietness, and a relaxed bartender (I would think it almost claustrophobic in there for him without a guest to serve).
Compared to the action next door at the Shore Club, this place was dead. But I would come back here when I was looking for some quiet introspection and a debonaire vibe.
Get a preview of the architecture here: http://www.raleighhotel.com/