The Beach Club at Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina offers luxury accommodations with southern hospitality.

JB McCabe/Freehand Photography

If you’re looking for a luxurious escape this fall with a prime waterfront setting, consider The Beach Club at Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina. This posh 92-room refuge lies one nautical mile across the harbor from downtown Charleston in the quaint town of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.

“There is no place around that offers what we do,” says Nick Saltmarsh, general manager of The Beach Club. “We offer the tranquility of being on the water at an elegant resort with amenities that cater to guests ranging from honeymooners to families.” What’s more, he adds, the resort naturally caters to people’s new post-pandemic needs. In addition to an expansive footprint that allows for social distancing, the property has numerous outdoor features, including a private beach, three pools and several open-air eateries.

A chic sister property to the adjacent Charleston Harbor Resort, The Beach Club was designed to blend in with the architectural style of Mount Pleasant Village by combining a maritime aesthetic with modern Lowcountry design. The latter is a Southern architectural style developed to keep people cool before the advent of air conditioning with elements like wrap-around porches, open floor plans, tall ceilings, and door transoms to boost light and airflow. You’ll see many of these architectural touches at The Beach Club, including common areas with open floor plans, lofty ceilings, and decorative arched door transoms. Around the resort’s exterior, you’ll find porch-like sitting areas set with rocking chairs where you can chill out with a glass of iced tea or something stronger. 

The guestrooms also embody this maritime-Lowcountry mix with ceiling fans and private balconies to maximize breezes and water views. Beachy hues of white and blue adorn the walls and ceilings and crisp white and blue linens bear tropical pops of yellow, coral and lime green. Lest you forget that you’re in one of the country’s most famous port cities, framed nautical rope knots and seashell artwork hang on room walls, while local oyster shells embellish fireplaces and vanities. Even the slatted benches topped with cushions at the stern of each bed resemble lobster traps. Bathrooms have marble accents, soaking tubs and walk-in showers.  

As you journey down the guestroom corridors, only the trained eye would spy the curtain rods shaped like boat paddles and the three different blues on the walls that, according to studies, says Saltmarsh, evoke a greater sense of well-being than if the walls had been a single shade of blue. “They’re subtle things, but our goal is to make everyone happy,” he says, “and give people a sense of place, like they’re at their grandmother’s beachside mansion.” Look closely at the hand-tufted English carpets in the common areas and you’ll see they have burgees and local palmetto trees woven into the design. 

So what to do other than soak up all this splendor? It depends on whether you feel like being active or kicking back. 

For those eager to move, the resort has a well-equipped gym. It also has bikes you can rent to pedal to nearby Sullivan Island or elsewhere. Sign up for a sailing lesson at the marina, try offshore fishing or take a water taxi across the harbor and explore downtown Charleston—the antique stores, colorful homes, boutiques and restaurants.

If you want to relax, cocoon yourself in a private cabana by the resort’s pool, where you can lunch on local shrimp rolls from the Tiki Bar. Need to stretch your legs? Channel your inner “The Queen’s Gambit” by moving a chess piece on the life-size chessboard, then head to Estuary Spa for a Nirvana Stress Release Massage with lavender oil. 

Come evening, order a sun-downer at The Reel Bar overlooking the resort’s beach and watch that great ball of fire sink down over the horizon. Then, head to the Fish House to feast on Southern specialties like She Crab soup, roasted grouper or Charleston shrimp and grits, along with a selection of fine wines. 

One of the resort’s more unique amenities is its plush, 30-seat movie theater complete with popcorn. However, if privacy is more your style, it’s hard to rival the pleasure of savoring a nightcap on your own private balcony with shimmering lights of Charleston dancing across the harbor.  

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