Antebellum mansions, oak-lined streets draped with Spanish moss, sprawling plantations, white sandy beaches, and mouthwatering Lowcountry cuisine topped off with a sweet dose of southern hospitality are just a few of the reasons why Charleston has become one of America’s top destinations. This seductive city layers French, English, and classic southern culture into a culinary, art, music, and lifestyle scene that will have you looking at real estate after just one weekend. South Carolina’s oldest city has charm to spare as you stroll its cobblestone streets, laden with gas lanterns and secret gardens, along The Battery and Rainbow Row.
Here are three of the hippest places to stay. And be sure to visit oceanhomemag.com to find out where to dine, shop, and play once you arrive.
Like a custom tailored suit, The Spectator Hotel exudes refinement, five-star luxury, decadent design, and customized service from the moment you arrive. Located at the enviable intersection of City Market and the historic French Quarter, this maverick boutique hotel evokes Old South charm and Jazz Age charisma, and consistently tops the list of Charleston’s very best hotels. The grand jewel box boasts amenities like 24-hour concierge service; gourmet continental breakfast delivered to your door; spa-style Carrera marble baths; and private butler service to spoil you with unpacking/packing, pressing services, shoe shine, and locally sourced snacks left by your bedside.
The 1920s-inspired bar and lounge offers a hip, Prohibition-era vibe and inventive libations made by cocktail artisan Allen Lancaster with seasonal southern flair.
Zero George Hotel
Zero George Hotel (aptly named for its address, 0 George Street) is comprised of five restored historic homes (two of which were moved from another part of town) that converge around a quaint courtyard. Architectural details showcase the charm of old Charleston while the oversized, contemporary rooms feel modern, cozy, and bright. The original 1804 carriage house plays host to the quaint lobby and open kitchen, where you can watch award-winning Executive Chef Vinson Petrillo host cooking classes and a small-bite happy hour, a fan favorite of guests. Zero restaurant serves American cuisine with a focus on hyper-seasonal fare, including herbs and veggies from its own garden, and locally caught seafood. Don’t miss the bountiful homespun breakfast in the carriage house, enjoy a sweet tea or mint julep on your private veranda or the sun-filled grand piazza, or borrow one of the courtesy cruisers to bike around the city and sightsee.
Closest to the best restaurants and shops, City Market, and myriad stately mansions, Planters Inn has been holding court in the center of Charleston’s stunning Historic District since 1884. A member of the prestigious Relais & Châteaux hotel collection, this 64-room grande dame was meticulously renovated to feel like a South of Broad private mansion.
It quickly envelops guests in old-fashioned luxury. The elegant rooms and multiple suite options feature dozens of working fireplaces, 10-foot ceilings, silk window dressings, heart pine floors, custom moldings, antiques, four-poster beds, and private terraces. Besides a hidden garden created by landscape architect Sheila Wertimer, it’s also home to Charleston’s most romantic restaurant, Peninsula Grill, and the eatery’s world-famous Ultimate Coconut Cake.