There’s a reason Charleston is a staple on just about every “top destinations” list, why the Holy City—home to more than 400 places of worship—was named the No. 1 U.S. city by Travel + Leisure magazine. It’s got history, charm, and some of the country’s best cuisine.
And now, with the 2015 opening of The Grand Bohemian Hotel Charleston in the heart of the historic district, you can get a taste of the Kessler Collection’s signature touches—the whimsical art, the Bohemian luxury, the vibrant colors—all with southern hospitality and a walking-distance proximity to some of the city’s best offerings.
The 50-room luxury boutique hotel, located in at the corner of Wentworth and Meeting streets, is just steps away from the Charleston Market and Kings Street shopping, and less than a half-mile’s walk from the salty breeze of the waterfront.
The luxurious accommodations are a chic as they are comfortable—in bold, vibrant colors inspired by the French influences on historic Charleston. And each guest room (and hallway) is home to original, distinctive pieces of art, each selected especially for the space.
On the ground floor, tour the 1,100-square-foot Grand Bohemian Gallery, which showcases works from national, regional, and local artists. There you can buy framed art, sculptures, and one-of-a-kind jewelry and accessories.
While you’ll certainly want to explore some of the city’s world-famous restaurants, start your journey at the hotel, where the farm-to-table culinary offerings with a regional focus are earning well-deserved accolades in a city known for its food.
Set on the fourth floor of the hotel, Élevé offers mouth-watering dishes with coastal influence alongside craft cocktails. And that view—outside on the patio, you’ll get breathtaking views of Charleston’s historic skyline, the perfect spot to stop, sip, and enjoy the experience.
The Grand Bohemian Hotel Charleston also hosts wine tastings and wine blending classes, led by the in-house sommelier. The 90-minute interactive wine blending is both an education and an experience—and you leave having created your own bottle, complete with a custom-designed label.
For casual dining, head across the street to Jestine’s Kitchen, known for its fried chicken and home cooking. Just ask the line of people waiting to get in, no matter what time of day it is. The locals also love Leon’s Oyster Shop, where you can wash down the fish with cheap beer and champagne.
For a high-end experience, you can’t go wrong at Husk, Henrietta’s, or The Ordinary. We’re also big fans of The Darling Oyster Bar. The sea-themed interior with nautical flair includes an oyster bar and creative delicacies (clam chowder over house fries, anyone?). Then head back to Élevé for a nightcap, and rooftop lounge session.
Your Holy City Bucket List
1. Browse the Charleston City Market: Yes, it’s touristy, but it’s also where you can watch dozens of resident artists craft handmade sweetgrass baskets.
2. Stroll The Battery: Walk the cobblestone streets (ladies, wear flats) at the city’s southern tip, as you gaze on four- and five-story mansions overlooking the harbor.
3. Relax at Waterfront Park: Here you’ll find the iconic pineapple fountain and a pier made from native palmetto trees.
4. Bask at the beach: Pack a picnic and go to one of the city’s two closest coastlines: Folly Beach and Isle of Palms, where you’ll find free beach access.
5. Take a tour: If you’re a Charleston veteran, there’s no need. But if it’s your first time, take a leisurely carriage ride or a walking tour with a local.
6. Visit a plantation: The Charleston area is home to some of the South’s most beautiful and iconic houses and gardens. Boone Hall Plantation, where some of The Notebook’s epic scenes were filmed, gives you an unflinching portrait of life in the 1800s, for both the aristocrats and the slaves.
7. Shop on Kings Street: Leave room in your suitcase because just steps from the Grand Bohemian Charleston are some of the nation’s top spots for shopping and dining.
8. Eat a praline: As you stroll historic downtown, answer the siren’s call of “hot pralines” from the storefronts. The combination of brown sugar, pecans, and butter (lots of butter) is utterly unforgettable. You’ll want a box to take home