Hotel du Pont

A Delaware landmark for luxe lodging
Long before the Field of Dreams expression “If you build it, they will come” became part of pop culture, the DuPont Company put the phrase into practice with Hotel du Pont. It was 1911, and Wilmington, Delaware, was becoming a business hub, thanks in large part to the DuPont Company. Yet a hotel hadn’t been built since 1873. That changed when the company opened Hotel du Pont in 1913, sitting in the heart of the downtown business district.

A century later, the property is so well known in Delaware that most simply call it “the Hotel.” People come here to dine in the Green Room, and watch Broadway shows in the DuPont Theatre. The luxury hotel has attracted numerous VIP guests, including Joe DiMaggio, John F. Kennedy, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Katharine Hepburn.
Our Inspector's Highlights
• Opened in 1913, the white stone of Hotel du Pont’s exterior evokes a European design sensibility. French and Italian craftsman helped create the structure, which took two years to build and cost more than $1 million.

• In the past, the lobby furniture was a tad prissy. But it was redone in 2010, and today there’s a beautiful medley of Art Deco-like chaise lounges with undulating backs, leather club chairs and plantlike standing lights.

• For culture, you need look no further than the luxury hotel, which has the DuPont Theatre — Wilmington’s “Little Broadway” — onsite. Pick up a self-guided walking tour brochure at the lobby desk and explore the hotel and theater.
Things to Know
• Due to its downtown location, surrounded by offices, it’s not as favored by leisure travelers, especially on weekends when this area rolls up its sidewalks.

• But if you’re looking to stay in a posh property and you have a car to explore the Brandywine Valley, DuPont is the Delaware spot for you.

• Must-see attractions near the hotel include Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library and Longwood Gardens (both former DuPont estates); and the Brandywine River Museum, which houses the works of three Wyeths: N.C., Andrew and Jamie.

• Peek into the hotel’s Gold Ballroom suite, opened in 1919. Your jaw will drop as you gaze at the marble staircase.

• The main room is worthy of a French palace, with allegorical figures of Cleopatra and Catherine the Great of Russia on the wall, and an ornate ceiling.
The Rooms
• Renovations have actually reduced the number of rooms at Hotel du Pont to 217, including 11 suites. But that’s a good thing, allowing for spacious accommodations.

• The Luxury Guestrooms actually have two rooms: a sitting room and bedroom. A nifty mahogany cabinet, which looks like a pillar, rotates so you can view the TV in either space.

• The carpeting and upholstery are in classic shades of gold, beige and taupe, while the woodwork is dark and rich.

• Vanity countertops are made out of DuPont’s Corian, of course. While sophisticated and classic, the Wilmington hotel rooms are also comfortable. And there’s not a fussy touch in sight.
The Restaurants
• Hotel du Pont’s premier restaurant is the Green Room, which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner in a space that epitomizes the Gilded Age.

• The Lobby Lounge, which lines the corridor leading to the DuPont Theatre, offers a lighter menu. Try the grilled ahi tuna, a burger on a brioche bun or a turkey club.

• This area also serves an afternoon tea from 3 to 4:30 p.m and the section is highly popular on theater nights.

• The casual Grill is on the hotel’s lower level, and it’s open 7 a.m. to 1:30 p.m for you to snag pizza, fish and chips and a patty melt on rye.

• Locals know all about this restaurant (they buy pies here for the holidays), But since it comes out of the luxury hotel’s kitchen, the main ingredient in any dish here is the cachet.
Getting There
11th & Market Streets, Wilmington, Delaware 19801
TEL302-594 3100
ILG (12-16 min)  
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