Rooms from $269.
This 41-room, three-story boutique hotel evokes a bygone Southern Jazz Age but offers a level of modern service on par with a Four Seasons. A smiling valet bellhop greeted me on the palm-lined street to assist with luggage and park the car. After a quick check-in at reception (the space was beautifully decorated with hand-painted floral wallpaper), a friendly butler was assigned to us. Ours, who was introduced as Mr. Spencer, was eager to please in a slightly phony American way that I appreciated but that made my Swiss husband roll his eyes. The lobby was elegantly furnished with tea-colored leather Chesterfield sofas, turquoise velvet sofas and contemporary art. Opposite it were a leather-trimmed library and a six-stool lobby bar with vintage books and a taxidermied albino peacock that could have been pulled from a Tennessee Williams set.
The handsome hotel, with zinc-lined windows, designed by the Charleston architecture firm LS3P, opened in 2015 in the city’s charming, brick-lined French Quarter. One block from Charleston’s historic City Market, it is on a back street away from the tourist trolleys and horse-drawn carriages that clog the city streets. Dozens of restaurants are within walking distance, as are the Battery neighborhood and Waterfront Park.
There are nine room categories, but the only unit available the night of our stay was the disabled-access traditional queen, which featured two comfortable queen beds topped with high-quality sheets and duvets. The extra space — 400 square feet in total — offered ample elbow room for a road-tripping couple who had been cooped up in a car. The eggshell-white walls and mint green carpet lent the room a crisp Southern vibe, while gossamer curtains on a window overlooking leafy Linguard Street filtered in natural light. There were fresh lilies in a vase, vintage pendant lamps, a free half-bottle of bubbly, free Wi-Fi and coffee. Other rooms had private balconies and courtyards.
It was spacious with white floor tiles, luxurious white marble walls and a heated towel rack. Tasteful C.O. Bigelow toiletries were provided, but the sink counter was overloaded with hair dryers, makeup bags and Q-tip-lined silver trays that left little space for our own things. In the shower, there was a foldaway handicap bench, but annoyingly no dish to set the shampoo and soap on.
The 24-hour butler service was a ritzy gesture, but largely went unused during our one-night stay, as did the complimentary bicycles and friendly young concierge. What the hotel called its “social gathering area,” or lobby, was gorgeous, but felt a bit precious for a common room. There was no pool or spa, and valet parking cost an additional $30.Dining
There was no dining room, but a free in-room artisan breakfast offered an upgrade from the usual fare and included mini quiches, ham and chive biscuits, organic yogurt, brûlée grapefruit and cranberry juice. The complimentary minibar was stocked with yummy local goodies like cheese straws, banana nut chia bars, blood orange soda, wheels of goat cheese, salami and chocolate-covered dried cherries, all of which Mr. Spencer said would be replenished should we want more. Downstairs, the lobby bar’s cocktails — spiked with local ingredients like Virgil Kaine Bourbon and house-made pumpkin liqueur — are a major draw, though it was quiet the wintry Tuesday night of our stay.
This stylish addition to Charleston’s hotel scene offers an authenticity you won’t find in a chain hotel and a sophisticated level of service with touches of fabled Southern hospitality.