Restoration Reopens Hotel Loaded with Cool

Restoration Reopens Hotel Loaded with Cool

Hotel Luxury

The Cincinnati, Ohio-based developers who renovated Restoration Hotel (formerly Restoration on King) would like you to believe the hotel is the “New South,” where “high meets low meets Lowcountry.

Well, maybe.

But, whether the hotel represents Charleston or not, it does present a really cool place to park your guests, as evidenced by the fact that the hotel is already sold out for its first few nights.

I attended the reopening Thursday and got the grand tour.

Barrista at Rise Coffee Shop — photo by Ferris Kaplan


The coffee shop will be serving the standard coffees, teas and pastries, but on this night, they sweeten the service with a special espresso-infused High Wire vodka, mellowed with a Madagascar vanilla bean and a splash of cream. “I need this in my life,” moaned one of the guests about the cocktail.

The Library at Restoration — photo by Ferris Kaplan

The Library

The concierges in the communal lounge call themselves librarians, which is a little on the cute side, but this really is a library, with luxury books on culture and art from Assouline that you can check out. Unlike traditional libraries, you don’t have to be quiet, and hotel guests will be able to get complimentary wine and cheese every night from 5 pm- 6 pm or pour $10 2-ounce shots from an honor bar featuring mostly local booze.

The Gallery

The entrance to the gallery of photos from artist-in-residence Ben Gately Williams features an enlarged Gately Williams photo of a man on a motorcycle. That same motorcycle is on display and advertises the hotel’s  Open Road program. Want a sweet ride like the motorcycle? The hotel will set you up with their in-house master craftsman to customize and design your own motorcycle and you can pick it up (or have it delivered) months later. Of course, you do have to pay for it.

Treatment room at Amethyst Spa — photo by Ferris Kaplan

The Amethyst Spa

This little jewel box of a spa could easily become your ohm-away-from-home. Massages, facials, mani-pedis… the prices are a bit steep ($135 for a basic 50-minute Swedish massage), but mani-pedis are free if you book a massage in March, and locals get a 20% discount on all services, at least for now.

Guest bedroom at Restoration — photo by Ferris Kaplan

Guest Rooms

Hotel studios and suites are luxurious enough that you might want to book a room of your own, never mind reserving for your guests. The suites run $439 a night and studios run $339 a night. Both are similar, but the suites fit an extra half-bath and a soaking tub in an extra 150 square feet. The bathrooms are huge. “We could put an extra person in here,” joked one of the guests.

Rooftop pool at Restoration — photo by Ferris Kaplan


The rooftop pool may be the most Charleston part of the hotel, with a heated three-foot-deep infinity pool that looks out on breathtaking views of the city, from the soaring Ravenel Bridge to the endless steeples that give the Holy City its name.

The Watch

The bar/restaurant offers even more stunning city views. The re-opening party featured mini lemon icebox pies and tiny apple fritters to go, either one of which is worth a visit to the restaurant.

I’m not sure that the Restoration captures Charleston’s character, but it may capture the city’s heart: this is a cool hotel.