A slew of luxurious boutique hotels have been opening throughout Charleston and they all offer something for the savvy connoisseur. Everything from wine blending bars to a tucked-away speakeasy, these new places offer more than a place to lay your head for the night.
The Grand Bohemian Hotel Charleston is the one with the most pizzazz. Part of The Kessler Collection, a national hotel company that prides itself in building places that are eclectic and filled with lavish art, the Charleston property is no exception. With just 50 rooms, each one is designed with bright color schemes, taking on an avant-garde style. In the lobby, there are bright-colored glass chandeliers and artwork hung throughout.
Some of the hotel’s best assets are focused on their food and beverage programs. This includes the wine blending and tasting room (which might be one of the first of its kind), a roof top lounge, a grab-and-go café, and a progressive, American restaurant — Èlevé.
The wine tasting and blending room is a place to go with a group of friends to learn how to make your own wine. One of the onsite sommeliers will walk you through creating your own bottle and at the end, if you like it, you can purchase a bottle to go. You can also taste from one of the 32-taps of wines available. Upstairs at Eleve, Chef Riley McGillis, serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The menu was influenced from the Charleston Receipts cookbook and features several Lowcountry-inspired dishes — items like lump crab cakes, South Carolina shrimp and grits, farm-raised bison, and crispy smelt. There are a few private dining spaces and a private terrace that overlooks the Cooper River.
The Spectator Hotel is located in the heart of the French Quarter and showcases Charleston’s signature style throughout the décor. In describing the hotel on their website, they pride themselves on offering a “mix of the captivating charm of the Southern belle, the flair of the flapper, and the elegance of the socialite.” The 41-room hotel has personalized butlers available to assist in any needs and requests during the stay. The hotel bar takes on a 1920s speakeasy feel with dark wood paneling and backlit shelves filled with books and knickknacks of sorts. The head bartender Steven Huddleston has created a menu of classic cocktails with modern twists including the Holy City Julep with Virgil Kaine ginger bourbon, Striped Pig moonshine, peach puree, and a brown sugar muddle.
The massive complex about to open — Hyatt Place Charleston — might not have a big name restaurant announced yet, but it is expected to happen in the near future. The plan is to eventually house a larger restaurant on the ground level and a rooftop bar overlooking the city’s skyline.
And it is not really needed when you have places like The Ordinary and The Grocery as next door neighbors. The Hyatt’s greatest feature will be the location, which is on Upper King Street in the heart of the restaurants, bars, shopping, and business district. They will have some dining options when they open including a “free a.m. kitchen skillet™,” and a 24/7 Gallery Menu for sandwiches and snacks, as well as a coffee to cocktail bar.
It may be a little ways from downtown, but a cozy and comfortable new place to stay (and eat) is the Mixson Bed & Breakfast Townhouse. A multi-floor home in the stylish Mixson neighborhood in North Charleston offers access to the Mixson Market, Basico, and an all-access pass to the Mixson Bath & Racquet Club. There are two townhouses available on property, a one or two bedroom, and is well worth the escape.