Once owned by Donald Ross, the father of modern-day golf course architecture, Pine Crest Inn is known for its fabulous food, neighborhood bar, wonderful accommodations, and friendly staff. Centrally located in the Village of Pinehurst, the Inn serves breakfast and dinner daily and a fabulous breakfast buffet on Sundays.
Pine Crest Inn has a place in history in the quaint Village of Pinehurst. For golfers, it exudes historic significance and passion for the game of golf. But not just for golfers, Pine Crest Inn is the perfect spot for a romantic weekend in the historic Sandhills area, absorbing southern charm, taking a carriage ride, shopping in the small boutiques of both Pinehurst and Southern Pines, and enjoying the beauty of this New England-like village and its surrounding horse country. Because Pinehurst is central to the major North Carolina cities of Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham, Greensboro, and Wilmington, the Inn is the perfect spot for business meetings or incentive trips for your company or clients - business and pleasure can be combined in our unique environment. With over 42 area golf courses, a world class spa nearby, and an on-site restaurant and bar, Pine Crest Inn is the perfect venue for your visit!
The Inn Like a Home
When New Englander James Walker Tufts began developing Pinehurst, NC in the late 1890s, the area quickly emerged as a winter destination for Northerners who were looking to enjoy a game of golf. As the resort at Pinehurst gained popularity after the turn of the century, it became obvious that more hotel rooms were needed. Mrs. E. C. Bliss of Edgewood, Rhode Island, saw an opportunity to become a hotel owner.
After ten seasons of operating the nearby Lexington Hotel, a lodging facility for Pinehurst resort employees, Mrs. Bliss decided to venture out on her own. On February 5, 1913, construction began on the Pine Crest Inn with over 50 area residents witnessing the ground breaking ceremony with both great interest and concern. Their concern was caused by a nearby baseball field. Baseball was played with great fervor in the early days of Pinehurst and the locals did not want their field to be compromised. Fortunately, it was said that a foul ball never struck the side of the Pine Crest Inn and both baseball and the Inn continued to flourish side by side.
After eight months of construction, the news media was greeted at the completed Pine Crest Inn which opened on November 1, 1913. Local newspaper, The Pinehurst Outlook, reported as follows: "The most marked evidence of growth in Pinehurst is noted as Mrs. E.C. Bliss' new hotel, the Pine Crest Inn, which comes as a delightful addition to the list of hotels; its comfort is suggested by the charm of the exterior. Spacious colonial pillared verandas, glass entrance doors, and the decorative treatment of the building itself make it a sparkling note of color against the distant sky and pines."
The Pine Crest Inn became very popular among seasonal guests and was an immediate success. This success caught the eye of Pinehurst Country Club's golf professional, Donald J. Ross. After several years of negotiation with Mrs. Bliss, Ross and his close friend, W. J. MacNab, purchased the Pine Crest Inn in 1921.
Upon Ross' purchase of Pine Crest Inn, Mrs. Bliss returned to her position at the Lexington Hotel. Later she purchased and demolished the building in order to build the Manor Hotel, which remains today. Mrs. Bliss worked a total of 33 years in the hotel business, which made her one of the most prominent figures in the Pinehurst hospitality industry. She died in Pinehurst in 1936, but her contributions live on within the Inn.
Ross and MacNab owned the Pine Crest until Ross’ death in 1948. For reasons unknown, Ross’ estate leased the hotel to the Arthur Roberts Hotel Company of Minneapolis for four years before it was purchased by Mr. Carl Moser in 1952. Moser, a New York City hotelier of Waldorf-Astoria pedigree, had been in the hotel business his entire professional life. The Pine Crest Inn flourished through the 1950s with the reputation of serving quality food as its hallmark. Mr. Moser later managed The Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill.
In 1961, Robert Barrett, a young newspaperman from Erie, Pennsylvania, his wife Betty, and in-laws were on a golf vacation in Pinehurst. The Barretts had been to Pinehurst several times and fell in love with the place. Bob Barrett had worked his way up to the position of managing editor of the Erie Times and although he loved the newspaper business, he found himself daydreaming of having some type of business in Pinehurst and leaving the cold winters. He got wind of the fact that Carl Moser wanted to sell the Pine Crest Inn and the two men met for the first time in March of 1961. With the help of Mrs. Elizabeth Dailey, Betty Barrett’s mother, the Barretts purchased the Pine Crest Inn in May 1961.
Today's ownership of the Pine Crest Inn includes Peter Barrett as General Manager and his brother Bobby Barrett, a local CPA in Pinehurst. This once small family business has grown considerably, hosting over 7,500 guests, serving 15,000 meals, and pouring 45,000 drinks annually. The Pine Crest Inn operates 12 months a year with 50 employees on any given day.
The hallways of the Pine Crest have been graced by the likes of Bobby Jones, Henry Cotton, Francis Ouimet, Annie Oakley, Frank Stranahan, Harvie Ward, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Ben Crenshaw, Roger Maltbie, Curtis Strange, Payne Stewart, and Cory Pavin, just to name a few. Baseball greats Sparky Lyle, Graig Nettles, Ralph Houk, Lew Burdette, Tommy Davis, and Warren Spahn all visited in 1992 while participating in a local golf outing.
The Pine Crest Inn, which Mrs. Bliss so accurately described in the first ever advertisement for the property in 1913: "The Inn Like A Home," celebrated its 100th Birthday on November 1, 2013.
Original Owner Emma Bliss
Owners Donald Ross and James MacNab
Owner Carl Moser
Owners Peter & Bobby Barrett with their dad, Robert Barrett
Historic Pine Crest Inn
Historic Dining Room
Historic East Dining Room
Historic Hotel Room
History of the Village of Pinehurst
The Village of Pinehurst is a special place, a New England-style village exuding southern charm and rich with golf history. It all began in 1895 with the vision of a man named James W. Tufts. The Village was designed in collaboration with Frederick Law Olmsted, most famed for his landscape design of New York City's Central Park and the gardens at The Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC.
A few years later, a Scot by the name of Donald Ross came into the picture and designed golf courses that would soon mark their places in history. Famed golfers such as Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, Byron Nelson, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Payne Stewart and many, many more made history on Pinehurst courses. The historic significance of the presence of such golf greats in such a quaint little town, can only be truly captured by a visit to experience the Village, the golf, and its surroundings.
Pinehurst Country club is the home of the North and South Amateur, which was created in 1901 and continues still today. Pinehurst has an impressive resume, having hosted the 1936 PGA Championship, 1951 Ryder Cup matches, 1962, 2008, and 2019 US Amateurs, the US the Senior Open in 1994, and the 1999, 2005, and 2014 US Men's and Women's Opens. The US Open returns to Pinehurst in 2024.
Though known as "The Home of American Golf", the Pinehurst area is not just a place to visit for the golf. It is rich with history, artists, pottery, architecture, and is amidst beautiful horse country. Shopping in the towns of Pinehurst, Southern Pines, and Aberdeen offers quaint boutiques and specialty shops and delicious restaurants and cafes. The famed Seagrove Pottery Highway is a short drive away and the Rockingham Raceway is down the road as well. Additionally, for those who desire some pampering, there is a world-class spa in the center of the Village. Book your stay with us today by calling 910-295-6121!