The Spectator Hotel Lounge

I woke up this morning super excited.  Similar to that childhood feeling of Christmas morning.

Yesterday The Spectator Hotel opened and tonight is the grand opening party.  

Our team at LS3P worked tirelessly with Jenny Keenan Interior Design in developing the design for The Spectator.  We had a team of wonderful clients at Palmetto Commercial Properties.  They had one simple goal:

To make The Spectator the classiest, most unique boutique hotel in Charleston.

Easy enough? Right?

Seeing The Spectator throughout construction has been a dream.  Hats off to CPI Construction for their herculean effort finishing The Spectator.

In the next few weeks, I will be unveiling photos and stories of The Spectator.  You have probably already seen an uptick in Spectator photos on my Instagram.  And if you haven't been following my Instagram?  What up with that?  Here are some quick links:

Today's tour is the:

Spectator Lounge

Ever wonder how the design for a hotel begins?  

Well it starts in the bar of course!  Haha....Just kidding.

In fact, The Spectator originally didn't have a bar.

The initial concept design for The Spectator was developed in the fall of 2012.  That gives you an idea of how long it takes for an architecture project to develop.  

The sketch below was presented to our clients at a meeting in November of 2012.

Original Spectator Lobby Sketch.  November 2012.  LS3P

A couple things I'd like to point out with this original sketch.  First off, it was a beautiful hand rendering by my good pal, Liz Corr.  Nice work, Liz!

The original concept for the lobby was that it would feel like a grand living room.  A living room you might find in a home.  A very big super fancy home.  Like the one the Great Gatsby had.

Entrance to the lobby occurred through an exterior stoa.  The lobby was divided into two living room spaces.  

I had one idea in this drawing that I am going to shamelessly take credit for.  

Just one idea!

I have always wanted a library in my own home.  And since I live vicariously through our design projects, I squeezed in a small library at the far end of the lobby. 

At the time, I doubted that the library would make the cut, but I thought it was a cool idea nonetheless.

At the meeting our clients were very pleased with the design.  The lobby drawing was the first time everyone started to get a good feel of the character of The Spectator.  

The meeting was wrapping up and then suddenly something profound happened.  Someone at the meeting said:

"What if we served cocktails in the lobby?"

A bar or lounge was not originally part of the program.

But one by one everyone in the room perked up......"Yeah"....


"I think that's a good idea."

"Awesome idea!"

"We should totally do that!"

And The Spectator Lounge was born.  

We went back to the drawing board and reworked the lobby plan.  Here was the revised lobby and lounge plan.  And this is essentially the design that got built:


You will notice that the lobby size got cut down.  The reception moved over to the far right side of the plan.  And the area that was originally the reception became the bar.  We also shifted the main entrance to the center.

But what happened to Steve's library?

The Library Survived!

In fact, the library grew in size and became The Spectator Lounge.  

So enough of my design babbling.  Here are some brand new pix of The Spectator Lounge:

From this view point you can see through the Lounge into the lobby in the background.

The lounge is decked out in very classy and comfortable seating.

Here is the star of the show.  Interior designer, Jenny Keenan, and her son, Jay Keenan III.  Jay had never seen a real architect before.  Notice his amazement.

If Jenny Keenan is the star.  This peacock is a very close runner-up.

And guess what.  The lounge manager, who you see stocking the bar, his name happens to be Steve.  Um.......can you say it was meant to be?

One of the coolest things about the lounge: The Ceiling.  Clad with antique mirrors and mahogany beams.  How did we hang giant antique mirrors from the ceiling?  I can't give away all of the secrets!

You know....the lounge does not have a name.  Steve's Library has a nice ring to it........dreaming....

Love that peacock!

That is all from The Spectator Lounge.  Next up on the tour.  The Lobby.

Happy Spectating!

Steve Ramos, AIA, LEED AP

Want to see more about the Spectator:

The Spectator

The Story of Designing the Spectator Corner: Corners are important!

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