Devoid of skyscrapers, graceful seaside Charleston stands alone. Called the Holy City for its profusion of churches, the city’s prodigious preservation policy demands that no building can be built taller than a steeple. That ensures the nostalgic destination, which boasts one of the world’s largest historic districts after Rome, presents as an invitingly mysterious warren of cobbled streets, colonial buildings, Doric columns and horse drawn carriages. Amid that ancient architectural milieu, beside magnolias, jasmine and wisteria in season, The Charleston Place twinkles with the confident elegance of the Hope Diamond, a virtuoso grande dame in a city known for its manners, Gullah influences, low country gastronomic culture and big personality.
So, it doesn’t surprise me a bit when I realize that the independently owned and operated The Charleston Place lies at the slightly mystical intersection of downtown’s King Street, Market Street and Meeting Street. If one considers names auspicious (or if anyone has ever wanted to have the job of “street namer” as I have craved since I was a child), one must find joy in the fact that these three most famous of Charleston’s streets also mirror the compelling characteristics of the hotel. “King” evokes The Charleston Place’s regal ambiance as evinced by its glorious handblown Venetian glass chandelier and shiny Georgian open arm staircase. “Meeting” embodies the hotel’s propensity to invite both Charlestonians and guests alike to gather within, offering exciting local partnerships, activities and pop ups in the lobby to provide interaction and immersion in the community—such as with the Charleston Artist Collective’s lobby gallery and Art Walk, Casual Crabbing with Tia or nightly holiday extravaganzas in season (think: twice a night snow in the courtyard at Christmas). And, Market (aka where the action is) suggests the hotel’s superior location downtown, just steps from popular shops, renowned restaurants, must see historic sites and the harbour.
More About The Hotel
History meets timelessness in the hotel’s unparalleled 433 guest rooms, including four suites and two presidential suites. Opulent decor summons the city’s history with velvet upholstery and inlaid mahogany furnishings. Bathrooms, ever sybaritic, have herringbone patterned floors in Italian Carrara marble, mirrors framed in antique silver leaf and ornate sconces. It’s the perfect place to sip a “Dresser,” the word my friends in Charleston use for a cocktail you tipple while getting dressed. Splurge on an upgrade to a Club Level room, situated on the top two floors of the property, complete with private elevator access. These rooms offer numerous extras including continental breakfast, afternoon tea, canapés, evening desserts and a full beverage service.
Under the direction of Olivier Gaupin, one of only two Master Chefs in the state of South Carolina, Charleston Place’s culinary program rules. It has six distinct options, including Charleston Grill, a bastion of refined Southern fare (sample the Crab Cakes) and The Palmetto Cafe, a nod to the verdant courtyards around town, which specializes in Low Country plates—such as She Crab Soup.
Themed to honor the oldest jockey club in the United States, the Thoroughbred Club concocts handcrafted drinks in a moody, southern atmosphere. It’s the epitome of a classy hotel bar down to the piano player and in-house oak barrelled spirits.
The Spa at The Charleston Place is an urban retreat from the frenzy of our technologically controlled lives. Unplug with a Tata Harper facial or a detoxifying massage in truly serene digs. Make time before your treatment for a workout in the state of the art fitness facility or some lap swimming in the exceptional 50-foot, horizon-edge, mineral swimming pool.