Conde Nast has named this property one of the “Best new hotels in the world”. The vision for this hotel began 20 years ahead of its opening, when hotelier Michael Bennett purchased the old city library, and designed an Italian Palladian hotel to face Marion Square. The city attempted to block the height of this 9-story design, which the developer fought at the state Supreme Court, and prevailed. After a few earlier architects dropped out of the project, WLA took the job, through CD’s and to opening. Now that the hotel is open, it has garnered the highest praise from the community, and richly deserves the Conte Nast accolade.
The main entry to the hotel addresses the corner of Marion Square and King Street, in a high-end shopping part of town. From the arrival vestibule, one advances through a classic rotunda with hand-painted murals of old Charleston, into the main lobby. From there, guests can approach the registration area, the concierge, the exclusive Camille bar featured pink marble salvaged from the old library, and the restaurant / lobby bar, which spills further out to a dining patio on the Square. There is also King Street entrances to the Spa and to a French patisserie. The second floor has 10,000 SF of formal ballroom and meeting space, a lavish pre-function space and a full service Spa. A full-service concierge suite is on the fifth floor. Guest rooms, all with four-fixture toilets featuring freestanding oval tubs, are between floor three and eight. The ninth floor has a warm, traditional bar, a banquet hall, open terraces and a roof top pool with private cabanas – all surveying the beautiful skyline of old Charleston. The basement, sunk well into Charleston’s shallow water table, has 122 stacked parking spaces and the housekeeping operation, connecting to the entire hotel with a dedicated service elevator.
dba Winford Lindsay Architect (WLA)
- Charleston, S.C.