It is no secret that Charleston is seeing an unprecedented amount of growth. This place is seriously booming!
One of the most common building types we are seeing is new hotels. Even during the recession, hotels were being developed.
People frequently ask, "Don't you think Charleston is going to max out on hotels soon?"
To which I answer..."Not even close!"
When your town is voted the #1 U.S. City to visit by Conde Nast you better believe people are going to come and visit. And what if you are rated the #1 city for 4 years a row? Including #2 in the world.
Open the flood gates!
Plus, for most pieces of property on the peninsula, hotel rooms are capped at 50 rooms. Meaning lots of small hotels. It will be a long time before the market is saturated.
As an architect who designs hotels, this hotel boom does not bother me...wink, wink. At LS3P we have a few hotels in the pipeline and I can see many more for years to come.
This past year I have had a laser-beamed focus on seeing The Spectator and The Bohemian be completed. And with these new projects coming down the line, I decided I needed a tuneup.
I'd be a fool to not scout out the best hotel properties. So I decided to be a tourist in my own town and do some research. This is the first blog in a series in which I will look at the top 15 hotels in downtown Charleston.
So how did I pick the top 15?
I didn't. I am letting the people pick.
I will be doing a countdown of the top 15 hotels as ranked by Trip Advisor. And for each blog, I will focus on one particular hotel feature.
And what better place to start than at the front door. This blog is a countdown of the hotel entrance architecture of the top 15 hotels as voted by Trip Advisor.
The Charleston Place with 440 rooms is the largest hotel on the peninsula, so it is only fitting that it has a grand entrance. Grand indeed! The best part about this hotel entrance is that it has its own private drive court and porte-cochere. Having this amount of space for a proper drop-off is a big luxury in our small city where space is limited. It also makes for a very comfortable and welcoming entrance.
And more importantly when you arrive...........you feel like you have arrived!
I love this building. You can't take a bad picture. If I were to suggest to a client that we make their building bright yellow, they would laugh me out of the room. But it works here. This quaint little 41 inn is the perfect snapshot of Charleston. Small, quaint and beautiful. Enough said.
King Charles Inn
The 91 room King Charles Inn has seen a series of upgrades over the last several years. The building appears to be built more after a suburban hotel prototype. Nonetheless, with the renovations it has become a respectable looking building. The entrance improvements including that sharp little canopy has added a nice touch of of sophistication. Well done King Charles.
At first glance it is hard to tell that this 84 room hotel is in fact a hotel. That is because The Vendue is a conglomeration of several historic buildings that have been stitched together. And I think this mashup is the main strength of the hotel. The lobby literally stretches the length of Vendue Range and includes an awesome art gallery featuring contemporary Charleston artists. This provides multiple points of entry and a very active facade. Love that canopy! Did I mention I like canopies.
O.K. O.K. The entrance to the Indigo Inn leaves a little bit to be desired. Something about the asphalt running right up to the building and the sparse landscaping is a little harsh. And if you are going to have a symmetrical facade then it is best to have the door in the center. But to be fair to the Indigo Inn, this was a historic structure that was restored and transformed into an inn. And it is the historic charm that keeps people coming. Just like Charleston! The architecture of Charleston is quite modest, so this Inn is rather appropriate.