“People come to Charleston, first, for its history and, second, for its food.”
These words were uttered by Charleston Area CVB’s C. Doug Warner during a recent LGBT media trip to queer Charleston, South Carolina—and a recent visit to the Palmetto State city showed that it had a lot more to offer than the stereotypical sultry heat.
The first stop in Charleston was Belmond Charleston Place ( 205 Meeting St.; CharlestonPlace.com ), a hotel known far and wide for its elegance and efficiency—even in the face of a technological glitch and temporarily altered the check-in process for guests ( e.g., manually filling out forms ). Fortunately, staffer Star saved the day.
Besides the visual attractions such as the huge chandelier in the lobby and the twin staircases, there’s the Thoroughbred Club, which offers light bites, smooth drinks and cool entertainment.
Our media group was fortunate enough to stay on Belmond’s exclusive Club Floor—commonly called the hotel within the hotel. With 72 guest rooms, is floor offers numerous extras, such as a complimentary continental breakfast, afternoon tea, evening hors d’oeuvres, after-dinner cordials and desserts, and full beverage service. As the famous commercial line goes, “membership has its privileges.”
However, the hotel offers plenty for all. My spa facial was a soothing ( and pleasantly talkative ) experience, and the health club ( which must be reached by walking through the humid pool area ) was much larger than I’ve seen at most hotels. There’s also shopping available, thanks to plenty of boutiques on the first floor.
Dining at Belmond is a must. The Charleston Grill has earned a AAA Four Diamond Award—and with good reason. Chef Michelle Weaver’s menu is divided into four categories ( Pure, Lush, Southern and Cosmopolitan ), and everything I tried was incredibly delicious.