Four of the best boutique hotels in Charleston

If you're heading to the South Carolina city, check in to one of these new openings.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019,
By Julia Buckley
Hotel Bennett is a hulking, neo-classical pile overlooking Marion Square on the edge of the historic ...
Hotel Bennett is a hulking, neo-classical pile overlooking Marion Square on the edge of the historic district.
Photograph by Hotel Bennett

1. Hotel Bella Grace
Thanks to direct flights from the UK, Charleston’s star has been steadily rising. That, of course, means new hotels with big chains moving in, and the Bella Grace, which opened in August 2018 and is run by Marriott, is one of the most exciting. This is a true incarnation of the ‘new’ side of Charleston: a modern building tacked on to an elegant 19th-century house opposite the landmark Mother Emanuel AME Church. The church was the site of a tragic mass shooting in 2015 and the hotel’s name, Bella Grace, is a nod to the dignity with which the local congregation responded. Today, that heritage building — the Delaney House — serves as the breakfast room and bar, while the 50 bedrooms are housed in the new-build structure which cocoons it. The look is luxury tempered by modernity — floor-to-ceiling marble slabs in the lobby are paired with white-brick walls and industrial-style fittings. All but 15 rooms have a kitchenette, and those at the front have views of the beautiful white church across the street.
Prices from £241

Indigo is a chain that nods to each hotel’s location.
Photograph by Hotel Indigo

2. Hotel Indigo
Indigo is a chain that nods to each hotel’s location, and here in Mount Pleasant the bright, modern rooms pit pastels against deep indigo walls (crops used to make the dark-blue dye were grown here in the 18th century) while the restaurant relies on locally sourced ingredients.
Prices from £88

3. Hotel Bennett
This hulking, neo-classical pile overlooking Marion Square on the edge of the historic district is another new build — which means guests can expect huge, marble-heavy rooms with plenty of mod cons, plus four restaurants and two terraces, including a rooftop with a pool overlooking downtown.
Prices from £238

It’s all about the beach at this renovated spot on the Isle of Palms.
Photograph by The Palms

4. The Palms
It’s all about the beach at this renovated spot on the Isle of Palms, one of the lagoon islands just below Mount Pleasant. It’s just small enough, with 57 breezy modern rooms, many of which overlook the water, as well as a saltwater pool deck and a strip of beach across the marram grass.
Prices from £93

Published in the Jan/Feb 2020 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)

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