Though Charleston has a glut of noteworthy accommodations, there’s one that particularly stands out its winning combination of a convenient location, dazzling design, and unforgettable amenities that go beyond even the most reputable and luxurious Charleston hotels.
Opened in early 2019 by local hospitality veteran Michael Bennett, Hotel Bennett – which is managed in collaboration with Salamander Hotels & Resorts – boasts a prime address overlooking Marion Square on bustling King Street. And though the stately, nine-story Italian palazzo-style property with 179 guest rooms and suites seamlessly fits in with the historic city center, it was years in the making and fraught with legal disputes along the way – namely, over the hotel’s proposed height. Thankfully, matters eventually got resolved, and business proceeded as usual.
Despite being open for just a few years, two of them during the pandemic, Hotel Bennett has emerged as one of the city’s top places to stay. For starters: the design is nothing short of jaw-dropping, thanks to the efforts of Atlanta-based Design Continuum, Inc (DCI). Even just stepping into the entry rotunda – which is adorned with hand-painted murals depicting colonial Charles Towne’s 18th-century harbor, gleaming white marble, and a grand double-sided staircase – sets the tone for what guests can experience at Hotel Bennett.
Marrying old-world, European design with contemporary comforts, the 179 guest rooms and suites are thoughtfully appointed with spacious bathrooms with marble vanities and deep pedestal tubs, plush beds dressed in crisp linens, stocked libraries, and window treatments featuring crewelwork, a type of wool embroidery. In addition, many of the accommodations offer scenic views of King Street and Marion Square. Though the rooms are no slouch, it’s Hotel Bennett’s food and beverage outlets, and other amenities that make it so memorable.
Located on the ground floor, Gabrielle’s is the all-day restaurant led by executive chef Robert McGrattan, serving up refined fare with a Lowcountry twist. (Even humble items like the cast iron corn bread shine.) Adjacent to Gabrielle’s is Charleston’s buzziest and most photogenic bar, Camellias. The positively pretty champagne bar dripping with pink marble, an oversized crystal chandelier, and mirrored bar is a dreamy setting for a flute or two of proper fizz. Also on the ground floor is La Pâtisserie, a cheerful cafe by French pastry chef Rémy Fünfrock with fresh pastries, coffee, and sandwiches. To cool off from the Charleston sun and for terrific views, head up to the rooftop pool and its lively lounge Fiat Lux.
Despite its location in bustling downtown, The Spa at Hotel Bennett feels like a hidden away, tranquil oasis with five treatment rooms and a small, but well-equipped gym. The treatment menu is concise with just massages, facials, and nail services, but everything is performed with complete care and precision.
But arguably, the best perk to staying at Hotel Bennett is The King’s Club. The price alone – $175 per room, per night for two guests weekdays; $225 per room, per night for two guests weekends – is an absolute bargain when you factor in everything you’ll have access to, from an enticing breakfast spread to evening snacks and nightcaps, all with unbeatable views of Charleston from the terrace. You’ll also receive a complimentary spa add-on with a reserved treatment, but most importantly, the truly warm staff will make sure you feel like you’re at a home away from home.