I thought it might be wise to wait until after the DNC to post this so that the Secret Service didn't decide to come talk to me. While staying in Charlotte, I had a great view of the comfy complex where I believe President Obama and the First Lady stayed (along with staffers and security!):
It may not look so posh from this vantage...I was mostly able to see the activity in this parking lot as vehicles (including police and other security vehicles) were scanned before they could approach the property.
I never did see anyone playing tennis.
In any case, the Obama team picked a cool corner of Charlotte for the Obamas & Company to hide out.
This is the front of The Ballantyne Hotel & Lodge:
I once stayed at The Ballantyne for a single night a few years ago. If I were writing a TripAdvisor review I'd say -- very nice.
There wasn't a lot of sun in Charlotte this week. But any inclemency need not have deterred a determined swimmer:
It is a golf resort...which was probably also a plus for President Obama (though I'm not sure if he had time to play):
There had been a few local media reports in the lead up to the DNC about the "dignitary" who might be staying at The Ballantyne. And by Monday the theory was in "widely believed" category. By the last day it was confirmed. The reports I saw were mainly focused on the traffic impact for local residents:
The traffic impact included the route to the dandy Aloft Charlotte Ballantyne where I was staying. There was a police checkpoint before you could approach the Aloft and guests had to show two kinds of dashboard displays to use the parking lot.
The road to the Aloft continues to go around the back of The Ballantyne property -- but traffic was totally blocked by concrete barriers and security just past the Aloft.
You can see where the Aloft sits on the right of the map above...just below are the two tennis courts I could see from my window.
And just below the tennis courts is The Lodge. The main hotel sits to the left of the map. Now -- I don't believe the Obamas were staying in the main hotel...I was able to drive in and out of the parking lot pretty easily. The real security and barriers were back by The Lodge. The hotel also has a Cottage -- more on that below. First let's take a look at the front of The Lodge:
If you were having a big family reunion, you would want to book this place! It is 40,000 square feet of fun. There are 35 guest rooms.
President Obama is notoriously competitive at sports and all kinds of games. Could that have applied to a round of billiards?
The Lodge even has it's own gym in case anyone, ahem, needed to tone up her triceps:
But it's not all fun and games at here -- plenty of space for the serious meetings:
By the way -- there are a variety of centerpiece options:
Not so nautical? Try the horse:
They like horses at The Lodge:
The rooms at The Lodge do look nice:
But we can't be positive if this is where the Obamas slept. They may have been in The Lodge...but I also mentioned The Cottage:
The Cottage is 3,670 square feet. There are four king bedrooms:
Each bedroom has its own bathroom:
There are plenty of cozy options for gathering:
Or sharing that 6:30 meal the President mentioned:
And, of course, golf is just steps away:
Oh -- did I mention the rumors that Oprah was staying at The Ballantyne, too? That was the speculation at EOnline.
All in all, the presidential advance team did a dandy job of picking the digs.
If Obama seemed a bit tired and glum during his big speech...it certainly can't be blamed on the accommodations!