Fodor's Expert Review The Spectator
67 State St., Charleston, South Carolina 29401, United States See on Map
A swanky Art Deco aesthetic fills The Spectator boutique hotel, which sits less than a block south of the bustling City Market. You’ll be charmed by the property’s artful 1920s-inspired design, along with its exceptional service: it’s the only hotel in town that assigns guests a personal butler who’s ever on hand to deliver breakfast in bed, line up transportation, and more. Other amenities of note include a bar that locals flock to and complimentary bike rentals.
Natural light floods guest rooms, where local designer Jenny Kennan mixed luxe velvet headboards and furnishings with Art Deco accents and plush carpet. Locally made mattresses and pillows encourage a peaceful slumber, while the in-room Nespresso machines help get you going in the a.m.
For easy access to the outdoors, book a Premier Balcony Suite, which boast their own private porch.
You’ll walk through French doors into the Carrera marble-clad bathroom, outfitted with abstract local art, a heated towel rack, C.O. Bigelow bath products, and spacious double vanities. All have a roomy walk-in glass shower; Grand Suites offer a soaking tub, too.
If you’ve splurged on a Grand Suite, don’t let that tub go to waste. Your butler will draw the bath for you—complete with spa-worthy salts—meaning there’s no excuse not to treat yourself.
The lobby oozes Jazz Age glamour with gilt lighting, mirrored ceilings, custom-painted wallpaper, and a stunning chandelier. You’ll want to sink and settle into a leather sofa in the lounge-meets-library-style bar, located just off the lobby.
Though there’s no gym on site, guests have access to a fully loaded fitness center just a few blocks away.
Your butler will bring continental breakfast to your room each morning, with fresh bagels and pastries, fruit, and juices, plus options for quiche, hard-boiled eggs, and other proteins. Your room is also stocked with locally made gourmet snacks and a mini-fridge with Charleston Tea Plantation tea, sodas, and sparkling and still water—all of which are included in your room’s rate.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Other than breakfast, you’ll have to go elsewhere for food.
You’ll receive a specialty spirit during check-in then have easy access to one of the swankiest bars in town, where ‘20s-inspired libations are carefully concocted by the hotel’s skilled mixologists. Turndown includes a small nightcap, too—like a shot of a mudslide.
Valet is available 24/7 and will be your best bet as parking near the City Market is a headache. Borrow one of the hotel’s bikes to explore the French Quarter or set out on foot. Hail a pedicab or ride-share to get to restaurants on upper King Street. Drive or ride-share to sights off the peninsula.
Though there are plenty of top-notch restaurants within walking distance of The Spectator, for some of the hippest restaurants in town, you’ll want to head north. Try Purlieu (14-minute drive)—a new hotspot that melds European cooking with Lowcountry ingredients—and The Ordinary (11-minute drive) for insanely fresh seafood cooked with aplomb. Leon’s Oyster Shop (12-minute drive) is a handsome eatery where you can find fried chicken, salty bivalves, and frosé.
While you’re on upper King Street, grab a cocktail at the speakeasy-style watering hole, The Belmont (10-minute drive). And for an extensive selection of wines from around the globe, check out Bin 152 (10-minute walk).
WHY WE LIKE IT
While the hotel’s top-notch location, impeccable design, and Gatsby-style bar will stun, the service you’ll receive will likely be what’s most memorable.
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