We had long looked forward to last summer’s opening of The Spectator Hotel in Charleston’s historic French Quarter. Advance publicity suggested that it would be a boutique hotel like no other, inspired by the elegance of the art deco period and dedicated to the highest level of service. This winter, we had the chance to experience it.
The hotel’s variegated brick exterior pays homage to the neighborhood’s historic buildings, including the old City Market, which is just a few steps away. Other nods to history are the suspended metal canopy over the entrance and a stack of balconies on the south corner, graced with wrought-iron railings. Fun fact: The railings’ motif is inspired by a popular lace-up shoe from the ’20s and ’30s, called a “spectator.”
Guest rooms have an art deco vibe. Fabrics, in muted tones of sage, beige and white, are full of interesting textures and patterns and beg to be touched. Other luxuries include fine linens, gleaming white marble baths, Nespresso machines and a bedtime treat: chocolate liqueur cups.
A special touch is the personal butler who greets guests on arrival. He acts as valet and concierge—and brings a large continental breakfast to their rooms in the morning.
The hotel doesn’t have a dining room, but that’s not a problem given the number of outstanding restaurants within walking distance. The characterrich, spacious bar, with its warmly lit bookshelves and multiple seating areas, is the place to relax with friends. Here, master mixologist Steven Huddleston Photographs courtesy of The Spectator Hotel prepares his sophisticated, custom-crafted cocktails. This spring, be sure to order My Spicy Squeeze, a mix of Tequila Ocho infused with chili peppers, passion fruit liqueur, mango puree and a cinnamon, coriander, turmeric tincture.
The Spectator Hotel has earned a Four Diamond award by AAA, one of only 109 properties in the United States to receive that honor. If you’re looking for a pampered escape in the heart of historic Charleston, you can do no better. thespectatorhotel.com, 843-724-4326.