SC Travel Guide
Things are heating up in Charleston, and we don’t mean just the temperature, as the race for hotel openings continues. Last November, we reported several hotels in the works and about a year ago we highlighted one in particular that was off and running.
The Spectator Hotel, in Charleston's French Quarter, is now preparing for a July opening. In fact, just in time for July 4th with a two-night offering.
The hotel’s web site shows a first available date as July 4, with a 2-day minimum at $594 per night; after that, rates start at $349.
Charleston is in the midst of a hotel boom that will just not quit. With a projected 4.5 million visitors a year pouring into one of the most popular cities in the US, do the math - the need for rooms sure seems justified. In our concerted effort to keep up with all the new developments we reached out to the Charleston Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, who shared a 'cheat sheet' of new hotels planned, proposed, or trying really hard to happen across the "Holy City."
Here's a status report on some of the hotels that are a "go", specifically in the much loved historic and Downtown neighborhoods.
Charleston Hotels / Hotel Hype / Hotel News / South Carolina Hotels / Boutique Hotels / Hotel Design / → All Tags
For a healthy dose of historic charm, pleasant peninsular climate, and small scale Southern hospitality, Charleston, South Carolina is a tough act to follow. For three consecutive years Charleston has been named the No. 1 U.S. City by Conde Nast Traveler Readers Choice Awards, and the demand for rooms is just as hot.
Next Spring, there will be 41 more rooms to choose from with the opening of The Spectator Hotel in historic downtown Charleston.
The hotel, located at the corner of State Street and Linguard Street, is being developed by Jay Keenan and Batson Hewitt of Palmetto Commercial Properties, both longtime residents of Charleston. The hotel’s location is ideal for visitors—or anyone that likes to shop— being within earshot of the historic City Market, one of the oldest public markets in the country.
Montage Hotels / Hotel Rebrandings / South Carolina Hotels / Auberge Hotels / Hotel News / Luxury Hotels / → All Tags
We're only on the third day of the new year, but we've got word of a big change at Montage Hotels--the luxury hotel company just snapped up the Inn at Palmetto Bluff in South Carolina, their first-ever East Coast property. The hotel was previously an Auberge Hotels.
While the official name change will happen on February 1st, Crescent Communities, a diversified real estate investment, development and operating company, will also put more than $100 million in to expanding the resort. That money will go towards adding 150 luxury rooms to the Inn's 50 individual cottages (spread out over a few buildings) as well as creating a premium Spa Montage and Fitness Center and expanding meeting facilities and dining options. Montage-branded residences will also be offered. But we're guessing the Auberge-branded Alligator Tracking adventure will probably disappear.
The Athens Group will be the development partner, leading a design team that includes Hart Howerton, HKS Hill Glazier Studio and Wilson Associates. Rates are currently going for about $420 for a forest view cottage at the end of January and remain the same after Montage takes over in February. Of course, rates could be adjusted upwards when the expansion is complete.
There’s nothing more beautiful than a wedding and we’ve covered many a good story here at HC. But then comes the tales of nuptials that go oh-so-wrong. And stories of nakedness. And when they mix? Whoa, daddy.
Take this OTT “Wedding Crashers”-like episode that occurred at a Charleston, South Carolina DoubleTree Hotel. 20-year old Samuel James Dengel was arrested and charged with indecent exposure after he flashed his genitals to the bride and groom during their ceremony this past weekend, according to the Daily Mail and Philly.com stories.
The mother-of-the-bride told officers she saw a naked man in the window of the hotel room at the DoubleTree Hotel where the wedding party had assembled. Dengel was apparently easy to identify due to a large tattoo on his back which he’d been showing guests earlier that day, even though he supposedly wasn't a guest of bride or groom. Written in Latin, the tattoo "Vi very veniversum virus" supposedly translates to 'By the Power of Truth, I, while living, have Conquered the Universe.' Mmkay. But, wait, there's more.
Hotel News / Hotel Renovations / Hilton Head Hotels / South Carolina Hotels / Charleston Hotels / Omni Hotels / → All Tags
Omni Hotels has been busy down in South Carolina securing the re-branding of its newest property: the Hilton Head Oceanfront Resort. Changes to the hotel will come gradually: starting first with the name change.
Though Omni's sibling company, Allegiance Hospitality, has managed the resort since 2003, now the whole place rests in Omni's hands. The current $18 million renovation, which will last through 2013, is intended to better "showcase the natural beauty of the resort." Which could mean anything really, but we're hoping for more windows that look out onto the ocean for better views. Meanwhile, time will also be devoted to the Courtyard area between the resort and the beach, as well as the pool area.
It's always a gift to find a local hotel with a good "story." Here in Charleston, SC, where we've spent the past weekend island-hopping (unfortunately, not hotel-related), we were tipped off to a small, 15-room hotel on King St—the city's main shopping strip—known as Restoration on King. And despite other, better-known places located nearby, Restoration on King has been making waves based on one major advantage: huge, loft-style rooms that actually resemble lofts.
Certain NYC hotels have claimed to model their rooms on basic loft designs—in some cases, even incorporating the word into the name of the hotel. But here's the main difference: the rooms at Restoration on King, were originally built as private condos, and only later re-purposed as hotel rooms. So between the washer-dryer machines and full kitchens, guests have more space than they could ever know what to do with. Click below for pics of the rooms!
If you can't head to India for a yoga retreat this summer, an alternative could be waiting for you in South Carolina. The Inn at Palmetto Bluff may be more known for its golf course, but it's offering a Lotus on the River wellness weekend that will get yogis all twisted—in a good way—outdoors. The hotel claims that South Carolina's naturally warm air and moisture will detoxify you as you strike a pose alongside the May River.
The three-day yoga getaway will include plenty of time for you to practice your flying crow pose. But the weekend will also include meditation, lectures from guest speakers and a full-moon kayak expedition.
We've come up with 20 Different Uses for hotel shower caps but this one was definitely NOT on the list.
This is what greeted us just moments ago at our Westin Hotel in South Carolina. A shower cap on top of the bathroom phone. Not that we're much for using the phone when we're going potty but we're guessing this phone is busted. Sorry! You'll just have to DM us instead.
Seen anything weird in your hotel room? Send us the pic or even better, drop it in the HotelChatter Flickr Pool!
You know the scene. You open the door to your brand new hotel room, run over to the window, open the blinds and bam, you are hit with the anti-view. Maybe you are looking down a dirty alley, witnessing a drug deal, staring at an air shaft in the face, or seeing a brick wall. Whatever you are viewing it is not extremely pleasurable. Help out your fellow hotel mavens by uploading your anti-views to the HotelChatter/Flickr photo pool, or by sending the photo along to us. Remember to tell us the name of the hotel and the room number with the not-so-easy-on-the-eyes view.
Truthfully, this view from the Renaissance Charleston Historic District Hotel in South Carolina is not horrendous, but we were disappointed to see that a hotel in the historic district of a picturesque city like Charleston can't avoid the dreaded rooftop view.
That's what Flickr member Mr. T. in DC saw during his stay at the Renaissance last year. But aside from a typo on a note from housekeeping, Mr. T. in DC said his stay was "quite pleasant." Room rates at the Renaissance start at $209 a night.
We've kicked off our Summer Cocktails series where we profile fun new summer drinks that hotels are making. Got one we should know about? Send us the recipe with a photo of the drink. Otherwise, enjoy and @reply us when you're wasted!
This drink is the kind of drink that makes us wanna head to Charleston and the spend the afternoon just soaking up the Southern sunshine and hospitality. The Endless Summer is served at the Peninsula Grill at the Planters Inn, a luxury boutique hotel (only 64 rooms!) set within a restored historic building in the middle of Charleston.
The Endless Summer is mostly sweet (as it should be), made with Bacardi Silver, watermelon juice, lemon juice and a little bit of sprite. And it's only $10. So you could almost make this an endless drink as well. (Not that we here at HotelChatter advocate binge-drinking or anything!) Once you've had your fill at the Peninsula Grill (named “Charleston’s Best Restaurant” nine years in a row) get a room at the hotel. Summer specials start at $199 this summer for a superior queen room.
Wanna take the Endless Summer home with you? We've got the recipe for you below.
Aloft Hotels / Hotel Openings / Snapshot / Charleston Hotels / Hotel Parties / Hotels Charities / Hotel News / Starwood Hotels / → All Tags
We spoke to Brian Harris, the General Manager of the Aloft Charleston who said:
"We had well over 500 guests throughout the night, who all loved the hotel. A lot of people said it reminds them of being in New York City or Miami and is a nice change from the more traditional hotels that Charleston is known for."