What’s Classic and What’s Coming in Charleston: Hotels

From luxury to laid-back

Kinsey Gidick is a writer and editor at Charleston City Paper, where she handles the Cuisine and Arts sections.

“You can’t overlook the landmark of Charleston Place. After twenty-eight years, it still manages to be Charleston’s most elegant option. There’s a rooftop spa and pool, which continually upgrade and reinvent their services; don’t miss the Moroccan oil massage.

On the corner of Meeting and Market, the Relais & Châteaux Planters Inn remains relevant due to its unflinching commitment to service. That dedication can be seen from the teddy bears that greet you in the rooms to the helpful concierge. And a meal at the on-site Peninsula Grill is much more than the famed coconut cake—trust me.

It could be easy to overlook the HarbourView Inn, tucked down on Vendue, but it’s one of my favorites. The location right on Waterfront Park is fantastic, and this place gets extra points for having spacious rooms, a more-than-helpful front desk staff, and jelly beans in the lobby.

The latest in luxury accommodations to hit the city, Zero George is possibly the most stylish and romantic inn I’ve ever seen. It’s incredibly quiet—a surprising retreat in the Ansonborough neighborhood. The tucked-away courtyard encourages sunset happy hours, while the rooms have classic high ceilings.

And all eyes are on the forty-one-room Spectator Hotel, which is scheduled to open in spring of 2015. The boutique property—just one block from the Historic Charleston City Market—aims to be a social gathering place, with a bar serving classic cocktails. But Charleston has a lot of spots known for their cocktail programs, so Spectator will need to up the ante.”