Charleston continues to be the South’s shining star, and with good reason. New restaurants and retailers seem to be pop-ping up on every corner, and the city’s manageable population of 128,000 offers visitors a warm welcome. There’s an ease to Charleston, as open doors give way to art galleries and retailers, while a quick drive outside of the center of town reveals stately plantations that remind us of freedom’s fragile history. With new non-stop service from Denver and St. Louis, Charleston is becoming even more accessible.
This is a city that is now playing with the big boys on the hospitality front with the recent opening of The Spectator Hotel (67 State St., Tel: 843-724-4326. www.thespectatorhotel.com), a luxury property in the heart of the Historic District. The 41-room boutique hotel pays homage to the Roaring Twenties, and in the spirit of the fictional Jay Gatsby, guests can live the high life. Complimentary amenities include a well-stocked “dry bar” of locally sourced nibbles, bike usage to easily buzz around town, and a welcome cocktail (have two, they won’t mind).
Beyond the Spectator’s plush digs designed by Jenny Keenan, the hotel’s biggest draw is its signature butler service. In addition to typical concierge-related tasks such as restaurant recommendations and local attractions, butlers will unpack luggage, lightly press your clothes, and go on the hunt for nearly any quirky request.