Turn back the clock with the hotel’s wrought-iron gates, fountains and decadent lobby
City | History & culture
Charleston, located on a peninsula that dares to jut out into the Atlantic, is a charming seaport city in South Carolina. Thanks to a citywide height ordinance, much of its 18th century charm has been preserved making for atmospheric city walks from the Belmond’s downtown location. Walk past 17th and 18th century churches such as the Gothic Revival Unitarian Church and the Romanesque Congregational Church in a town that is sometimes known as the ‘Holy City’. Of equal historical import, Fort Sumter – located on its own pentagon-shaped island in the harbour – is where the first shorts were fired in the Civil War.
Interiors invite the city’s grand antebellum in with Italian Carrara marble bathrooms; classic, custom-made furnishings and luxurious bedding. Contemporary Southern artwork adorns the walls as en suite bathrooms come with walk-in rainhead showers or soaking tubs. Premier King Rooms are especially sophisticated and elegant with rich fabrics on plush armchairs and – located on the fifth and sixth floors – some come with Juliette balconies. For larger accommodation and a separate living area, suites come with city views and wet bars.
Chef Michelle serves AAA Four Diamond dishes that combine unusual ingredients with classic techniques. The menu’s split into four sections – cosmopolitan, Southern, pure and lush, which translates to exotic flavours, regional favourites, simple dishes and French extravagance respectively. Expect everything from guinea hen served in a lemon-rosemary jus to octopus salad. This being Charleston, food is served to nightly jazz sessions from acclaimed musicians with mellow notes bouncing off the wood-panelled walls for a lively yet refined atmosphere.
Looking out over downtown Charleston, the hotel’s fourth-floor rooftop pool has a retractable glass roof and porthole windows meaning excellent views from the bubbling Jacuzzi. To burn off any Southern excesses, there’s a health club equipped with a full range of free weights and cardiovascular machines. The hotel can also arrange horse-drawn carriage tours along the city’s cobblestone streets and down narrow alleys to its historic houses and out to its plantation homes.
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