DeMarco Williams

Forbes Travel Guide Editor

  • Atlanta, Georgia, USA

I love three things in life: my family, sports and travel. Knowing that most people wouldn’t find my aunts all that fascinating, I chose a writing and editing career centered around the latter two interests. Before joining Forbes Travel Guide as a Managing Editor, I earned a journalism degree from Georgia State University and penned stories for outlets such as AOL, Citysearch and Destinations Marriott — all of which made my mom pretty darn proud. When I’m not writing and editing, I’m traveling everywhere from Denver to the Dominican Republic with my lovely wife.

  • On December 16, 2013
    DeMarco Williams answered the question: DeMarco Williams

    What restaurants does French Quarter Inn have?

    The French Quarter Inn has one fine-dining restaurant, Tristan. But that doesn’t mean the hotel is limited in its opportunities to provide traditional European dining experiences with a Southern twist. To show just how much the hotel caters to guests’ taste buds, cookies, almonds and champagne await you upon check-in. Each morning, a gourmet continental spread of pastries, fruit and juices is also provided. Late afternoons offer a wine and cheese happy hour. And pretty much any other time of the day, complimentary snacks and drinks can be scooped up when the urge hits.

    But when the time comes for serious dining, head to Tristan, which is located on the ground level. Executive chef Nate Whiting has a fondness for fresh, seasonal ingredients, so expect dishes such as seared New England scallops and housemade ricotta cavatelli to burst with flavor upon arrival to your table. Because unending buzz is so strong — along with kitchen aromas — the restaurant is generally pretty busy. Having reservations in order beforehand is a wise move.
  • On December 13, 2013
    DeMarco Williams answered the question: DeMarco Williams

    What kind of golf lessons can you take at Duke University Golf Club?

    The Duke University Golf Club, the proud golf facility at Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club, offers private lessons, group sessions and clinics to visitors looking to improve their game. And while a number of courses around the state can declare similar services, few can back up the claim with a coaching roster that includes a PGA Master Professional, Ed Ibarguen, and six PGA Class A Professionals quite like Duke can. Ibarguen is an easygoing teacher who has used unorthodox methods (“Who says you can’t bend your arms when you swing?”) to get glorious results for everybody from average weekenders to sports royalty such as Michael Jordan. Ibarguen, or any of the other pros, can provide you with a single one-hour lesson or a series of six.
  • On December 13, 2013
    DeMarco Williams answered the question: DeMarco Williams

    What golf packages are available at Duke University Golf Club?

    If there’s one thing more fulfilling than basking in all the glory that is Duke University Golf Club, the prized golf facility at Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club, it’s doing so while also reveling in everything else about the elegant property. With the Blue Devil Golf Package, you not only get to play 18 championship holes, but your on-green experience is enhanced with paid cart fees, a bucket of practice balls, overnight bag storage and a personalized bag tag. And if all of that weren’t enough for you, the deal also includes an overnight stay in a classically appointed room, and breakfast at the Vista Restaurant.
  • On December 13, 2013
    DeMarco Williams answered the question: DeMarco Williams

    What golf packages are available at Duke University Golf Club?

    If there’s one thing more fulfilling than basking in all the glory that is Duke University Golf Club, the prized golf facility at Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club, it’s doing so while also reveling in everything else about the elegant property. With the Blue Devil Golf Package, you not only get to play 18 championship holes, but your on-green experience is enhanced with paid cart fees, a bucket of practice balls, overnight bag storage and a personalized bag tag. And if all of that weren’t enough for you, the deal also includes an overnight stay in a classically appointed room, and breakfast at the Vista Restaurant.
  • On December 13, 2013
    DeMarco Williams answered the question: DeMarco Williams

    What is the dress code on the golf course at Duke University Golf Club?

    The dress code at Duke University Golf Club, the beloved golf facility at Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club, is much like any other course for the discerning player — sleeved shirts and cleats with rubber spikes. While Washington Duke is a charming, traditional property that’s proud of its Southern roots, it doesn’t carry itself with an air of arrogance — and that’s certainly reflected in the relaxed-but-respectful attire donned by the golfers. Still, if you get onto the greens and feel a bit underdressed, you can always excuse yourself and go to the pro shop, a well-stocked area with all the Peter Millar shirts, Ashworth shorts and Nike hats you need to turn the fairway into a runway.
  • On December 13, 2013
    DeMarco Williams answered the question: DeMarco Williams

    What is the scene like at Fairview Dining Room?

    The scene at Fairview Dining Room, the signature restaurant at Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club, is one of elegance and Southern charm. But even with the rich-hued tapestries on the windows and staff decked out in white, button-up shirts, the place pours on the pretension a lot less than it does sweet tea. The uber-conservative vibe (long banquettes, white tablecloths) was swapped for a lightened, more-approachable one, making it the ideal place for cuddling couples, families visiting nearby Duke University and golfers discussing the day’s play at Duke University Golf Course. At breakfast and lunch, the energy is quite bright — which actually might have as much to do with the floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the greens than anything else. At dinnertime, the mood is still easy, only it has a little more rhythm to it thanks to the nightly piano tunes.
  • On December 13, 2013
    DeMarco Williams answered the question: DeMarco Williams

    What is the dress code at Fairview Dining Room?

    There is no dress code at Fairview Dining Room, the signature restaurant at Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club, so come as you are. You will see gentlemen in everything from polo shirts and khaki shorts to sports coats and slacks. It's the same with the ladies, who come dressed in T-shirts and jeans as well as dresses and basic pumps. Breakfast sees the most casually attired diners, and come dinnertime, you'll find them more dressed up in the Durham restaurant.
  • On December 13, 2013
    DeMarco Williams answered the question: DeMarco Williams

    How do you get a reservation at Fairview Dining Room?

    The best way to get a reservation at Fairview Dining Room, the signature restaurant at Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club, is by calling the establishment’s phone number at 919-493-6699. The tried-and-true online reservation site OpenTable.com is another good way to ensure your party’s place. If you’d rather handle the scheduling in person, the hotel lobby concierge can help. Or visit the greeting station at the front of the restaurant to snag a time slot — and, depending on the time of year, you might be able to slide in as a walk-in at that very moment. There’s less of a guessing game for breakfast and lunch, as walk-ins before a round of golf at neighboring Duke University Golf Course or after an afternoon in downtown Durham are the norm.
  • On December 13, 2013
    DeMarco Williams answered the question: DeMarco Williams

    What is the design style of Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club?

    Opened in 1988 as a convenient, upscale hotel option for Duke University visitors and area businesspeople, Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club has the feel of a traditional English hotel. Walk the lobby and public spaces and you’ll spot 19th-century-inspired furniture and vintage photos of university founder Washington Duke and his family. There are even a couple of dresses from the late 1800s on display. The styling in the standard rooms and suites only continue this air of a bygone gracefulness through hand-carved headboards, leather armchairs and elegant crown molding. But nostalgia isn’t the only chord played at Washington Duke. Bathrooms have been updated in the past year. The fitness center has expanded. Conference rooms added new chairs and fresh carpeting. In other words, keeping with tradition has never been more trendy.
  • On December 13, 2013
    DeMarco Williams answered the question: DeMarco Williams

    What are the rooms like at Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club?

    Designed in the spirit of a traditional English inn, rooms at the Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club are meant to leave well-heeled travelers feeling as if they have never left home. Standard rooms, many of which were given a fresh look during the summer of 2013, offer elegant crown molding, black-and-white photos of various Duke University landmarks, leather chairs and a color palette of tan, cream and blue — Duke blue, of course — to give the room just enough warmth. Bathrooms were also recently upgraded with cabinet-style sinks and walk-in showers. The Homestead Suite provides many of these same touches, but with the added luxuries of a wet bar, a sophisticated Kohler touchscreen shower system and 1,139 square feet of living space to bask in all of it.
  • On December 13, 2013
    DeMarco Williams answered the question: DeMarco Williams

    What restaurants does Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club have?

    Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club has three restaurant options — Fairview Dining Room, Vista Restaurant and Bull Durham Bar. The first is the property’s fine-dining entry. Once considered too intimidating to hotel guests, Fairview decided to loosen its collar somewhat — gone are those stuffy white tablecloths, replacing them are more cozy booths — and become more inviting. Now, everyone has the chance to nibble on pan-roasted duck breast, Carolina shrimp and grits and chef Jason Cunningham’s other fun takes on Southern cuisine. Vista Restaurant, which connects to Fairview, is a smart dining selection because of its buffet-style breakfast and beautiful views of the Duke University Golf Club. And just through a hallway, you’ll find the beloved Bull Durham Bar, a place that livens up when Duke University sporting events are going on, and transforms to a slightly reserved lounge when the action ceases.
  • On December 12, 2013
    DeMarco Williams answered the question: DeMarco Williams

    How can you get tee time at Duke University Golf Club?

    If you would like to get a tee time at Duke University Golf Club, the award-winning golf facility at Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club, you can either reserve your place online at www.golf.duke.edu — you will need to establish a user account, though — or call the club directly at 919-681-2288. If you’re aiming to play the course but don’t intend on staying at the inn, you can reserve a tee time up to 14 days in advance. However, if you’re staying at the hotel, you can reserve a time up to one month in advance. When scheduling your visit, just keep in mind that private events sometimes fill up the calendar — such are the pleasant side effects to being one of the finest courses in the state.
  • On December 12, 2013
    DeMarco Williams answered the question: DeMarco Williams

    What’s the scenery like at Duke University Golf Club?

    The scene at Duke University Golf Club, the famed golf facility at Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club, is a wonderfully maintained course that doesn’t wow with any gimmicky holes; it merely dazzles with smooth greens, hypnotic backdrops of tall pines and deceptively challenging water hazards at periodic spots. These characteristics rang true when legendary golf architect Robert Trent Jones Sr. designed the course in the 1950s, and it only continued when Jones’ son Rees reconfigured the site back in 1993. But you’ll have a feel for the tranquil surroundings long before your opening drive when you take a couple of swings from the manicured practice facility.
  • On November 22, 2013
    DeMarco Williams answered the question: DeMarco Williams

    What is the design style of Mokara Hotel & Spa?

    Once the Frank Saddlery in the 1800s, the 99-room Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotel walks with one cowboy boot steeped in its past (a front desk made of stretched leather; Wild West pictures and other accents tastefully dot additional areas of the hotel) and another focused on class (rooms have 12-foot ceilings, four-poster beds and bath butlers to draw your water). And the sense of place felt in the details isn’t limited to the rooms. The Mokara Spa, a two-story, 17,000-square-foot oasis, is awash in earthy tones and polished woods. Ostra, the hotel’s award-winning restaurant, wins you over with a modern, marine blue-speckled dining room that goes perfectly with the menu of locally farmed chicken and sustainable seafood.
  • On September 25, 2013
    DeMarco Williams answered the question: DeMarco Williams

    What is the best time to visit The Ritz-Carlton, Atlanta?

    The Ritz-Carlton, Atlanta is a go-to destination all year round, much like the Southern city itself. If you visit during the winter holidays, you’ll discover a luxury hotel that’s not only decked out in holiday décor but also one that fills its itinerary with festive events such as the annual breakfast with Santa. In warmer months, the hotel becomes the unofficial headquarters for visiting Major League Baseball fans. (That it’s just a five-minute drive from the Atlanta Braves’ Turner Field certainly helps.) Visit The Ritz-Carlton any other time of year and you’ll bump into guests on business trips, celebrating wedding anniversaries or merely exhaling from a stressful work week at the contemporary lobby bar.