‘Grand’ ‘stylish’ ‘luxurious’ ‘elegant’ and ‘comfortable’, are words that epitomise Hotel Bennett; not forgetting the friendly, charming service – where nothing is too much trouble; the warm welcome and the hotel’s fantastic location in downtown Charleston. Hotel Bennett definitely has the ‘wow’ factor.
A great location
Hotel Bennett is approximately 30 minutes’ drive from South Carolina Charleston airport, now served by twice weekly BA flights from London. And the hotel is conveniently located on King Street, Charleston’s main shopping street, and overlooks the greenery of Marion Square where farmers’ markets and various festivals are held. A plaque by one of the entrances commemorates the 42-day long 1780 siege of Charleston.
Modern, traditional and Southern style
The hotel which opened in January 2019 is the brain child and creation of Charlestonian Michael Bennett. It’s a blend of modern with traditional, plus a generous spoonful of Southern style (think elegant antebellum houses with sweeping staircases and painted foyers with stunning floral displays) and hospitality.
It’s actually nine stories high, and with its public rooms and 179 bedrooms and suites covers a large corner site, yet somehow doesn’t feel overwhelmingly large.
The top floor is given over to a roof terrace and bar plus pool and stunning views out over the water. There is also roof terrace on the third floor.
Bedrooms in restful neutral shades
The bedrooms in restful neutral shades are a cunning mix of traditional and modern – the sliding mirrored door which separated my bathroom from the bedroom fascinated me, but in spite of tuition from the oh-so-patient room service staff I never quite got the hang of the high-tec controls needed for the lights and window blinds – switches would have served me better.
But I did appreciate the wonderful comfy bed, the settee, all the drawer space, the beautifully equipped bathroom and the easy to use coffee machine.
A Faberge egg of a bar
You could be forgiven for thinking that you were sitting in a Faberge egg as you sit enjoying an aperitif in the shimmering Camellia champagne bar with its pretty ceiling and pink marble (rescued from the old Charleston library which previously had stood on the site of the hotel).
Places to eat in Hotel Bennett
You can eat well in the Bennett – there is the ground floor La Pâtisserie with its all too tempting selection of breads and pastries; the roof top Fiat Lux bar also serves a selection of ‘plates’; the pretty-in-pink Camellia Champagne bar serves decadent light bites, plus desserts and afternoon tea; whilst the elegant fine dining Gabrielle restaurant under the direction of Executive Chef Michael Sichel and Executive Pastry Chef Rémy Funfrock offers breakfast, lunch and dinner menus – and the cooking is excellent.
One of the Gabrielle restaurant’s signature dishes is Eggs Bennett – the hotel’s take on Eggs Benedict – comprising supremely tender (cooked to your preference) medallions of filet steak with a Bearnaise sauce. Truly delicious, and arguably my best breakfast ever.
Last but not least the terrific staff
And then there are the terrific staff, who always smiled and acknowledged me; my lovely breakfast waitress always happy to give advice, Charlie the fantastic Concierge who seamlessly sorted out my problems and of course the friendly and charming doormen and reception staff. A huge thank you to them all; one way and another Charleston’s Hotel Bennett – definitely serves up the wow factor.
Hotel Bennett: hotelbennett.com
Read more about the city in our article Discovering Charleston
British Airways: Charleston is now served by direct twice a week flights from London Heathrow to Charleston. britishairways.com/en-gb/destinations/charleston/flights-to-charleston