This is the third blog in a series in which I will be reviewing the architecture of 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 am doing a countdown of the top 15 hotels as ranked by TripAdvisor. 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 TripAdvisor.
On Tuesday I reviewed 15-11
And today 5-1. Best in class y'all!
That's what this 16 room inn has that is so hard to capture with new architecture. Authenticity. The hotel property is a collection of 5 historic houses that work together to form a charming entrance courtyard. It is a small property, but stepping into the courtyard takes you into a different world. The richness of the detail is just perfect.
It is not surprising that this new inn has risen to the top after only a few years of being on the market.
Did I conjure up this entire hotel blog series for yet another excuse to shower praise upon The Spectator Hotel?................maybe.....I'll never tell!
It brings me great pride to see The Spectator rise all the way up to the #4 spot after only 2 1/2 months of being open. Quite impressive for this 41 room inn. Well done Spectator staff!
Our goal for The Spectator was to strike a balance between old and new. The massing and materials have roots in traditional architecture yet the sharpness and simplicity of the details are inherently modern.
The most defining feature of the entrance is the 42' long canopy. Did I mention that I'm a canopy guy? The hotel is slightly elevated which gives it just a tad bit of prominence. The large window openings help provide a strong connection between the lobby and the streetscape.
One thing that all of these top hotels have in common is that each creates its own unique sense of place. And the Wentworth Mansion is no exception. As the name states, your stay in this hotel will be the epitomy of luxury. And the entrance on Wentworth Street is a good sign of things to come.
The 21 room Wentworth Mansion actually has an awesome little garden on the back, which is what most people will experience upon arrival. But I thought that the pedestrian entrance on Wentworth Street was the best view of this grand hotel. Very grand.
I bet you're a bit surprised about this one..eh? Seems pretty unassuming. No doubt, this entrance is pretty diminutive. But the Restoration packs a mean punch. In fact, the Restoration is known for having some of the highest average daily rates on the peninsula. The property was originally developed as condominiums and was changed to an inn during the economic downturn. As a result all of the units are large suites.
And it has been a huge success. Similar to The Vendue, The Restoration is a collection of several buildings. Although the entrance is small, the little lobby beyond is very charming and the entrance canopy is pretty slick. Also, an addition to the hotel is under construction 2 buildings over to the right and will have a brand new lobby that will link the two hotels together. This Restoration is just getting started!
Not only is the French Quarter Inn ranked #1 among Charleston Hotels on Trip Advisor, it also takes the #2 spot in the U.S. Not bad for this quaint 50 room inn. The French Quarter Inn is actually the sister property to The Spectator. Some of my colleagues at LS3P designed this property about 12 years ago.
The French Quarter Inn entrance has a lot of things going for it. First, it is off a tertiary street that gets very little traffic. Second, it has a covered drop-off area under the building. These things may seem very utilitarian but this is a huge benefit to the operation of a hotel and it makes for a very peaceful welcoming entrance for visitors.
The French Quarter Inn has a stunning 4 story atrium just within the entrance doors. Right from the get-go visitors realize they are staying in a special place.
Congratulations, French Quarter Inn!
Well that's it folks!
How bout it. A lot of great design ideas here. I'm feeling charged. How about you?