Travel Thursday: Our First Visit to Charleston, SC.
When it comes to southern comfort, culture, history, and hospitality, we did not need to look any further than Charleston, South Carolina. There were already many arrows, reviews, and people directing us to visit and enjoy Chucktown.
Charleston has been given the nod by readers of many travel magazines as their favorite domestic travel destination. With honors such as being named the No. 1 City in the World and the No. 1 City in the U.S. and Canada (for 5 years straight, 2013 to 2017) by the Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards and the No. 1 U.S. City by the Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards (for 6 years straight, 2013 to 2016).
In the heart of the city, one will find Belmond Charleston Place, which we were excited to call home for the next three nights. Ranked as one of the World Best Hotels by Conde Nast Traveler Magazine consecutively for the last 10 years, Belmond Charleston Place had a reputation to uphold and it did with flying colors.
We opted for the Club Level experience at Belmond. Available by private access only, the Club Level occupies the top two floors of the hotel where we thoroughly enjoyed the two-story Club Lounge. With all-day complimentary food and beverage service, including continental breakfast, afternoon tea, evening hors d’oeuvres and desserts, it would have been a pleasure to spend the whole vacation on those two floors. The staff knew our names from the first hello and were there until we sadly dragged our bags away to check out.
The staff of the hotel was dedicated to indulging its guests with the finest in Southern hospitality. They worked as a fluid team to make every part of our stay effortless. We enjoyed a bourbon tasting in the Palmetto Café, an environment that envelops you in southern charm.
The Palmetto Café is not open for dinner so we pleasured our taste buds and liver in the Charleston Grill. Named the Third Best Fine Dining Restaurant in the United States by Trip Advisor, our experience that evening will be a fond memory and hard to top. With Femi, our server, sommelier, all around rock star of the restaurant, and restaurant manager Mickey Bakst making sure we ordered the best that Chef Michelle Weaver had to offer, the evening was Pure, Lush, Cosmopolitan, and Southern.
After such a decadent meal, we decided to make an appointment in the spa, which is named The Spa, simple name, expansive treatment. My choice of treatment was a full body Tropical Ginger scrub followed by a thorough massage. I wanted to relax after the spa treatment, but the city was calling our name
The hotel is centrally located in Charleston’s historic district, surrounded by antebellum architecture, and is within strolling distance of downtown’s many boutiques, galleries and restaurants and is a member of the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA).
We experienced a great deal in Charleston, South Carolina, from tours and an energetic night life. Belmond Charleston Place itself was worthy of its own post. I'll mention more of the other activities, eateries, and excursions that we dabbled in while in Chucktown later on.
It’s said that people first visit Charleston, S.C., to experience its rich heritage. No question, this Grand Dame deserves the motto “where history lives.” Spanning more than three centuries, the city’s history lives in the swaying palmettos and towering mansions along Battery Row. It lives in the grand antebellum plantations and the circa-1800 City Market, one of the nation’s oldest. But history alone is not why 6 million visitors flock to the Charleston area year after year. The city is an artists’ enclave, boasting around 70 galleries. It’s a family destination, bursting with beaches and kid-friendly attractions. And it’s a foodie fascinator, attracting gastronomes to sample farm-to-fork Lowcountry cuisine. As the Southern saying goes, Charleston is a “pat of butter in a sea of grits”—but these are special heirloom grits, topped with succulent Carolina shrimp. And we guarantee you can’t get enough!
In closing, here are some more pictures I took of the hotel, food, and other surroundings.