The house was built by James N. Umstead around 1890 in the 'Queen Anne' style. The Durham Bed and Breakfast features a huge wraparound porch with 21 Tuscan columns. Dolly and Frank spent nearly three years in intensive restoration of the property and opened for business in the fall of 1990. High curved ceilings, heart-pine wainscotting, raised wood panels, nine original mantels, doors with original hardware, and all-original Southern Pine flooring will delight the historical buff. Antiques of the period are abundantly distributed throughout. The yard is fully enclosed with custom front fencing and gate. Mature floral gardens and flowering trees highlight the landscaping. The backyard is suitable for private events. There are four primary guestrooms, each with its own private bath. Each has its own distinctive character and is highlighted by antiques of the period. For the convenience of our guests we are open year-round, including major holidays, except for occasional short vacations during slower periods. Free cable and wi-fi. The inn, designated as Durham's first historic landmark, is just minutes away from Golden Belt (art colony), Durham Bulls Athletic Park, the new Performing Arts Center, Carolina Theatre, American Tobacco Campus, Brightleaf Square, and the Duke East Campus (free bus service now offered). Consider us as your 'home-away-from-home' to help make your Durham visit especially memorable! Ask about our "extended stay" options--minimum one week stay. Extra 25% discount for stays of a month or longer.
4.4 on April 09, 2014
Frank and Dolly always go out of their way to make me and my partner feel welcomed. After offering a drink, they take the time to chat with us and are genuinely interested in hearing about our experiences. They also encourage other guests to join the conversation, and the cozy feel makes the Blooming Garden Inn a home away from home, which is just what a great bed and breakfast does. The home-made hot breakfasts are always outstanding (the ginger waffles and spinach quiche are wonderful!) and provide another opportunity to share experiences with other guests. This worked out well in talking about the films at the recent Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. I only wish all the guestrooms had en suite bathrooms and showers, but in a historic house like this one, I know that's not always possible. Nonetheless, I highly recommend a stay at the Blooming Garden Inn.
4.6 on February 16, 2014
We were in Durham for a Duke game over Valentine's Day weekend and had the pleasure of staying at the Blooming Garden Inn. When we arrived late on Friday night, Frank and Dolly had stayed up late to greet us and even had a box of Valentine's Day chocolates waiting. Frank and Dolly have done an amazing job restoring this historic property and treat their guests like family. The room was cozy, the food was delicious and the company was charming.
5 on November 07, 2013
My fiancé and I made plans to come to Durham to see a musical performer at the Carolina Theater. We found Blooming Garden Inn to be close to our venue and decided to stay there. We weren't sure what to expect but we were pleasantly surprised! Upon arrival we were welcomed in and offered tea and treats. We talked about why we were here etc. They offered advice on places to eat and even offered to make the reservation for us. The breakfast was amazing and I loved the attention to detail. Our hosts Dolly and Frank were very friendly and helpful. And the best part was the theater was walking distance so we didn't have the headache of trying to find parking. We felt safe walking, and safe in the neighborhood we were staying in. We had an amazing time here and will definitely come back!
5 on October 11, 2013
My husband and I have stayed at the Blooming Garden Inn multiple times. We view it as our default stop-off point when we make the long drive across the state of North Carolina. The lodgings are pleasant and breakfast is delicious, but what we enjoy most are the Innkeepers. Frank and Dolly go out of their way to get to know their guests and also to tell great stories about the adventures they have encountered in life. I know we will be returning for years to come.
4.8 on August 12, 2013
I was very lucky to discover the Holly House, the longer term stay house of the Blooming Garden Inn. I was looking for a place to stay during my sabbatical leave at Duke, but what I got was much more than that. I found a home away from home, a family that adopted me for the six months I was there, and an ever changing variety of house mates who quickly became life-long friends. So it is not only affordable and convenient to stay at the Holly House (named after the two enormous American Holly trees in front), but it is also good for the soul. In terms of practical considerations, it is an easy walk to the Bull City Rider bus, the DPAC (a must visit place, if you are at all interested in the performing arts), baseball stadium, and a number of restaurants, bars, lounges, and coffee shops, not to mention the farmers market. The beds are very comfortable, the kitchen has all the necessary cooking equipment, utensils, and dishes, so it is essentially as comfortable as being in your own house. All you have to do is pack your clothes and a toothbrush and you can move into your new home. The owners will make sure you know more about Durham than most locals as they literally know everybody. So you will be directly plugged into the heart of Durham.
4.4 on May 12, 2013
We discovered "The Blooming Garden Inn" by chance through a short note in our german guidebook. Dolly and Frank are wonderful hosts and both of them really made us feel very welcome in their beautiful house. The healthy and excellent breakfast prepared by Frank comprising fresh fruit salad and delicious homemade waffles and was served at the big table in the dining room, offering a nice opportunity to meet and talk to the other guest. The warm welcome and the interresting travel recommendations from Dolly and Frank turned our short stay in Durham and "The Blooming Garden Inn" into a wonderful experience.
5 on February 24, 2013
My husband and I really enjoyed our stay with Frank and Dolly. Our hosts went the extra mile to make sure we had everything we needed and make us feel right at home. Breakfast was wonderful and we really enjoyed the the extra time that Frank took with us to answer our questions about the history of the inn and the beautiful antiques througout the home. You can't go wrong with this adorable inn and Frank and Dolly as your hosts.
4.6 on February 10, 2013
I am a postdoc at Duke, and this is my first time in the US. I was looking for somewhere comfortable and affordable to stay while I 'got on my feet' in a new country. Holly House, part of the Blooming Garden Inn, offers self-catering extended stay accommodation and turned out to be ideal for me. I ended up staying for nearly four months, longer than I had at originally planned! Frank and Dolly are probably the most friendly and welcoming B&B hosts you will find, which I really appreciated as I was in an unfamiliar place. It was also nice to have the company of some of the other extended stay guests in Holly House (as well as the two house cats!), and the sense of community is something I would have missed out on elsewhere. The house itself is beautiful, and a lot of care has been taken with the furnishings. The Victorian style makes a pleasant place both to work and relax, with wireless internet provided. I would recommend Holly House to anyone who is needing affordable temporary accommodation and is looking for a 'home away from home', and the arrangement may be especially attractive to visiting scholars/students who are needing a base while in Durham.
4.4 on January 30, 2012
A B&B is only as wonderful as its hosts, and Dolly and Frank are exceptional. Staying at their inn was like being taken into family, only theirs is more fun then mine ever was! Even though we were in Durham on a cold, rainy January weekend, their garden still blooms.
4.8 on July 14, 2011
The Blooming Garden Inn is an oasis in the middle of Durham. Just minutes from downtown and the Duke Hospital/University area it is quiet, comfortable, and relaxing. Frank and Dolly are wonderful hosts who are quite willing to share stories and experiences with you. We were introduced to several things at breakfast that have now become favorites with my wife and I. There's nothing like a swing or glider on the wrap-around porch to just melt the tension of the day away. If you need a place to stay in Durham you can't do better than the Blooming Garden Inn!
Bed and Breakfast
Dolly & Frank Pokrass