When traveling to places like India and Mexico, it is not uncommon to find some hotels and private home fronts intentionally understated so as not to advertise interior opulence and wealth. In Charleston, South Carolina, The Restoration on King definitely fits into this category. With an unpretentious and nondescript facing that leads to the lobby, it is easy to miss the hidden treasures that lie within: unknown architectural treats, unexpected luxury boutique suites, and of course, uncompromising southern hospitality and service.
Located on the corners of King & Wentworth in the heart of Charleston's antique district, The Restoration is a 16-suite hotel with the look and feel of boutique comfort along with the sleek minimalist design associated with loft living. Originally constructed in the late 1800s as a Charleston brownstone building, it underwent a massive restoration several years ago before the housing market bust - first for converted condos and then a hotel - and finally opened in April 2010 as Charleston's newest and most luxurious boutique hotel. Now it ranks as Charleston's first boutique hotel and has received the coveted AAA Four-Diamond rating.
Southern Comfort with Room to Spare
Not only are the rooms airy and spacious, they are probably the largest hotel rooms in the city, ranging from 782 square feet to the largest at 1,271 square feet. This is definitely dramatic living space at its casual best. Guest suites feature twelve foot ceilings, large picture windows, exposed natural brick walls and original knotty pine flooring - bringing a scintillating warmth and exciting texture to the interior decor. Locally-inspired artwork decorates the suites, hallways, and lobby.
With a suite color scheme of white and chocolate punctuated by accents of baby blue, it is an earthy palette that is as soothing as it is comfy. Gilchrist & Soames bathroom amenities outfit the ultra-modern bathroom with waffle-weave spa robes for after-shower. In the bedroom, plush pillows and high thread-count bed linens had me sleeping soundly throughout the entire night.
High-Tech Meets Decadent Décor
Large flat-screen televisions and iHome stations are featured in the living space, making it easy to charge iPhones and iPads. My suite had a large writing desk by the window with free wireless internet access, making it easy to finish a bit of business. Unfortunately for me, the lush throws on the sofa beckoned effortlessly to me to curl up on the couch for the evening news.
A high-tech kitchen comes fully equipped for in-house cooking and intimate dining for those so inclined. Stainless steel appliances along with a microwave, coffee maker and dishwasher provide a counterpoint to granite and marble countertops. And who would have ever guessed that each suite comes with its own washer and dryer?
Romantic Rooftop Interludes
Even though some of the suites have attached private patios, all guests have access to the rooftop terrace and lounge. This sipping terrace is easily one of most romantic in Charleston, with views of historic Charleston on all sides. (Southern Living Magazine listed The Restoration as the "Best for Romance" in the city in a January 2011 article.) Seating is comfortable with a variety of wicker-like sofas, chairs, and bar stools to choose from. Just as romantic as evening wine on the terrace is sipping morning coffee on the roof while watching the sun rise as the city awakens below. Though a packed picnic breakfast basket is delivered daily to your suite door, it is my understanding that you can opt to have it delivered rooftop.
That brings me to a point of how best to share all the extra amenities not yet mentioned that accompany an overnight stay at The Restoration. Listed below are some of their unique offerings:
* Freshly baked cookies and milk at night
* Evening wine & cheese reception
* Complimentary access to East Shore and Eco Fitness Athletic Clubs
* Two complimentary bikes (first come, first serve basis)
* Two Apple iPads (first come, first serve basis)
In-House Meals to Fine Dining
While the hotel does not have a restaurant as of this date, it is within easy walking distance of many of Charleston's outstanding restaurants. The concierge will be more than happy to secure reservations for you as well as print out a map of walking directions. Plus, there is room service available from four nearby restaurants as well as grocery delivery and stocking service upon request. During my two-night stay, I dined on low country cuisine at Poogan's Porch then fresh off-the-boat seafood at Blossom, while getting a slice of bourbon pecan pie as take-out dessert from Kaminksy's. And just around the corner for lunch is Jim 'N Nick's, where I dined on a "scratch-made" pitmaster's plate of mouth-watering barbecue.
The Restoration is conveniently located for an intimate exploration of Charleston - whether on foot, by horse-drawn cart, tour bus, or automobile. Be sure to pick-up a sweet grass basket from the Old City Market, explore historic downtown, go antiquing on King, and stroll the Battery amidst massive oak canopies and antebellum mansions. A stay at The Restoration makes all this extremely accessible.
For more info visit RestorationKing.com