Charleston bucks tradition with the new Grand Bohemian Hotel.
Why Go: Charleston has long been one of the most cordial cities in the United States. Strict building codes have ensured that church steeples, rather than high-rises, grace its skyline. Hotelier Richard C. Kessler scoured the South Carolina seaport for over a decade before securing the location of the Kessler Collection’s newest hotel, the Grand Bohemian Hotel Charleston (a member of Marriott’s Autograph Collection Hotels), which opened in August with picturesque views of the cityscape from its rooftop bar.
What to Expect: In contrast to its surroundings, the 50-room boutique hotel has an unchurched, avant-garde quality about it. Splashes of color are displayed unabashedly on yellow upholstered furniture in the guest rooms (from $400), and red chandeliers hang in some public spaces. Kessler’s personal interest in art is apparent from the collection of thought-provoking works on view throughout the hotel and the 1,100-square-foot Grand Bohemian Hotel Gallery exhibition space. In-house sommeliers teach 90-minute wine-blending courses, while the tasting room lists 32 selections available by the half or full glass. There is also a small gym, but no spa.
How to Get There: Allow about 20 minutes for the 12-mile car ride from Charleston International Airport. (grandbohemiancharleston.com)