Steeped in history, this year Charleston is celebrating its 350th anniversary and every inch of the Holy City is humming with charm, hospitality, and wonder. The diversity of Charleston permeates all walks of life, from the world-class food scene and cultural institutions to perhaps the most important choice of all: where to lay your head at night. Want to experience a classic antebellum mansion? It’s here. The austere sleekness of the finest boutique hotels? It’s here. Or maybe it’s a place where your children (and your own inner child) can flip-flop between the ocean and the pool under the warmth of the afternoon sun. You’ll find that here, too. Whether you prefer a historic gem, a beachfront retreat, or an urban escape, your perfect stay awaits.
The Beach Club at Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina
20 PATRIOTS POINT ROAD
In search of a family-friendly escape with something on the menu for everyone? The Beach Club is just the ticket. It’s the only waterfront resort of its kind in Charleston, and guests can build a giant sandcastle on the beach or take a dip in one of several pools that dot the property. After some “me” time in the Estuary Spa, challenge the kids to a game of bocce ball, cornhole, or life-size chess on the 30,000-square-foot tropical deck. To go farther afield, rent bicycles, hunt for crabs, or kick back in recliner seats at the resort’s private movie theater. When evening comes, toast s’mores at the firepits before everyone crashes in one of the resort’s Family Parlor Rooms, two-room suites that feature twin beds and a king. Rise and shine with a nosh of a silky omelet or bananas Foster French toast at the Fish House restaurant, then prepare for another day of fun in the sun.
Hotel Bella Grace
117 CALHOUN STREET
A mere stone’s throw from Marion Square, Hotel Bella Grace—named for the forgiveness shown by the families of the Emanuel Nine from the neighboring Mother Emanuel AME Church—seamlessly blends Charleston’s old and new. The hotel occupies a striking contemporary structure that houses fifty guest rooms, each newly constructed with marble baths and walls adorned with works by female contemporary artists. Thirtyfive are equipped with full kitchens that lend themselves to extended visits to the Holy City, but don’t worry about stocking up—the concierge team is eager to take care of grocery needs. Adjoined is the new Delaney Oyster House, taking up residence in a classic “Charleston single” built in the 1830s. Once a part of the hotel, the independent restaurant promises guests won’t need to venture far to taste some of the best oysters in the city.
404 KING STREET
At the corner of King Street and Marion Square, is a breathtaking landmark, pairing extravagant European design with Lowcountry elements for a decadent atmosphere that is welcoming but not fussy. Each of the 179 rooms of Hotel Bennett has custom features such as pedestal tubs and floor-to-ceiling windows, some with sweeping views of the Charleston Harbor. Foodies can indulge in dinner at Gabrielle with cuisine from chef Michael Sichel, a onetime competitor on Bravo’s Top Chef. Enjoy a glass or two of bubbly at Camellias, the hotel’s pearly-pink jewel box of a bar specializing in vintage bottles of Champagne. Work it all off in the hotel’s state-of-the-art fitness center, relax in a private cabana at the rooftop pool, or visit one of the spa’s five signature treatment rooms. One thing is certain: The Bennett has set a new standard for luxury in the Holy City.
334 MEETING STREET
Upon entering the former federal government building that houses the Dewberry, guests will find a world of subtle grandeur and midcentury sophistication. Meticulously renovated, the hotel offers a brilliant contrast to Charleston’s antebellum leanings. The warm tones and sleek yet plush accents give guest rooms and suites the feel of stylish flats, each decked in handcrafted furniture and curated books from the Charleston Library Society, a nod to the Lowcountry’s literary past. Floor-to-ceiling windows offer sweeping views of the cityscape and harbor, though no view in town can match what you’ll see from the Citrus Club, the hotel’s buzzworthy rooftop hangout. Indulgent opportunities continue on the ground floor, where Parisian-inspired brasserie Henrietta’s serves delectable all-day fare, and the mixologists behind the bar in the Living Room can prepare a cocktail to your liking. Before you head out on the town, pop by Fieldshop by Garden & Gun, where you’ll find a collection of Southern-made wares inspired by the magazine.
The Inn at Middleton Place
4920 ASHLEY RIVER ROAD
For something with a modernist flair, head northwest of downtown to the serene Inn at Middleton Place. Leisurely skirting the Ashley River, Middleton Place is home to America’s oldest landscaped gardens, and admission is included in your room rate. The property represents the pinnacle of midcentury design, each cozy room featuring handcrafted furniture, hardwood floors, warm cypress paneling, marble baths with European-style tubs, wood-burning fireplaces, and dramatic floor-to-ceiling windows. Enjoy a complimentary breakfast at the Lakehouse before heading out to explore the gardens and surrounding lush green space by horse, bicycle, or kayak, then end your day with exceptional Lowcountry cuisine and wine pairings at the Middleton Place Restaurant. For those looking to relax and reflect, there may be no better retreat.
75 WENTWORTH STREET
Mere steps from King Street’s bustling shopping district, the glimmering Restoration hotel has become a must-stay in the Holy City. Here, each of the one-, two-, and three-bedroom suites has its own kitchen or kitchenette and separate spaces for lounging. Originally built as condos, the five connected buildings house guest rooms with high, loft-style ceilings, spacious walk-in closets, balconies, and tons of natural light. Prefer to take your meals alfresco? A complimentary breakfast arrives each morning in a picnic basket, perfect for transporting to the rooftop pool and deck. Also up top, the Watch Rooftop Kitchen and Spirits showcases unparalleled panoramic views of the city and serves elevated bar food and custom cocktails. Tucked away on Wentworth Street below, the hotel’s Rise Coffee Bar makes a perfect place to refuel with a latte or a cup of joe, locally sourced from Springbok Coffee Roasters.
The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort
ONE SANCTUARY BEACH DRIVE, KIAWAH ISLAND
Just thirty minutes from downtown Charleston lies one of America’s premier beachfront resorts. The Sanctuary is located on a stretch of sand that seemingly goes on forever, the surrounding flora including more than 160 live oak trees billowing with old-world elegance. The seaside mansion feel continues throughout the guest rooms and suites with marble entrances and bathrooms and ocean view balconies perfect for unwinding with a cocktail or a glass of wine. The Sanctuary is its own private enclave within Kiawah Island Golf Resort, and guests have access to all its amenities— including tee times at the world-renowned Ocean Course, host to the 2021 PGA Championship. And to satisfy the need for speed, Sanctuary guests can explore the Lowcountry using one of the hotel’s fleet of luxury Volvo cars.
The Spectator Hotel
67 STATE STREET
Here’s your chance to get dressed to the nines: The Roaring Twenties make an elegant return at the sleek Spectator Hotel. Is that Jay Gatsby holding court in the bustling lobby? Perhaps, though it’s more likely your personal butler (the hotel provides one for every guest), on hand to cater to your every whim. Located in the heart of the city where the Market meets the French Quarter, the Spectator is an easy choice for a romantic weekend or a glitzy getaway. Every morning, breakfast is delivered to each of the forty-one rooms, all exuding refined glamour with a modern twist and equipped with a wood-topped bar counter stocked with complimentary snacks and drinks from local Charleston purveyors. Explore the historic district on foot before freshening up and imbibing handcrafted cocktails in the Spectator’s speakeasy-like bar.
149 WENTWORTH STREET
Prepare to be treated like royalty. The storied Wentworth Mansion dates back to the Gilded Age, and its opulence is best represented in the Grand Mansion Suite, a two-room retreat furnished with two floor-to-ceiling marble gas fireplaces, two original Italian chandeliers, and original Tiffany stained glass. Each of the twenty-one rooms has a different layout, but pressed-tin ceilings and antique parquet floors are a constant throughout the historic, genteel space. At the adjoining Circa 1886 restaurant, guests will encounter one of the city’s finest dining rooms, beckoning with updated takes on traditional Lowcountry dishes, as well as a complimentary Southern breakfast just for guests offering the likes of homemade pastries, shrimp and grits, and rice flour pancakes.
0 GEORGE STREET
As the saying goes, good things come in small packages, and in Charleston, there’s no better example than Zero George. Nestled among dreamy cobblestoned alleyways and steeped in history dating back to the 1800s, the hotel has sixteen rooms that are elegant and refined, unfolding over three meticulously restored buildings connected by breezy walkways, elegant piazzas, and an exquisite courtyard. The effect is a space that feels intimate and warm, like being wrapped in the arms of an old friend. On-site, guests can partake in cooking classes at the award-winning Zero Restaurant + Bar with executive chef Vinson Petrillo; in the evenings, the cozy dining room transforms into one of the most coveted reservations in the city, boasting a menu of elevated seasonal cuisine. For a quick spin around town, borrow one of the hotel’s bicycles and request a bespoke itinerary designed by the knowledgeable concierge staff.
A Beer Drinker’s Guide to Charleston
A local expert weighs in on where to sip suds when you visit the Holy City
An Insider’s Guide to Charleston
Celebrating 350 years, Charleston has never looked better
Food & Drink
Ten Must-Eat Dishes in Charleston
From an elegant seafood pilau to a sublime smothered pork chop, these dishes traverse the best of the city’s food culture
The Lasting Power of Larry McMurtry’s Not-So-Secret Texas Truths
In a new book, writers pay homage to his words. Read an exclusive excerpt here
Food & Drink
Six Grilling Tips from Rodney Scott and Bryan Furman
The Southern pitmasters share a few rules of thumb
Arts & Culture
Meet Blackmon Huckabee Jr., Clemson’s Viral TikTok Crooner
A Tiger wide receiver scores big on SportsCenter—with his singing voice