Rising over Falls Park on the Reedy River, the Grand Bohemian Lodge in Greenville commands attention outside and in. Its forest-green exterior, exposed timber beams, and four-sided stone fireplace blend with the surrounding setting beside the waterfalls, harkening back to the hunting lodges of Theodore Roosevelt’s escapades. However, details like the lavish Poseidon Spa, three top-tier food-and-beverage options, and curated gallery with art from Richard C. Kessler’s personal collection, make this hotel anything but rustic.
The luxury lodge is the culmination of seven years of planning between Greenville’s mayor Knox White and Kessler, CEO and president. The hotel titan was dubious when the mayor first approached him in 2015, determined to establish the South Carolina city as the next destination in the Grand Bohemian’s collection. When Kessler visited, however, he was sold on the pristine landscape at the waterfalls’ edge. Today, his vision preserves the surrounding park’s natural beauty and tranquility in the shape of a 128-room hotel in the heart of downtown Greenville.
Steps from the lobby, Liberty Bridge leads foot traffic over the waterfalls—and people sunbathing along the rocky riverbed, reading in the park, jogging below—into the downtown’s Main Street, lined with Greenville’s breweries, bistros, galleries, bookstores, and boutiques. From downtown, you can also pick up the Swamp Rabbit Trail, a 22-mile multiuse path that leads to Travelers Rest.
Between the Trees, one of Greenville’s newest restaurants, makes its home in the lodge’s west corridor. The seasonally driven kitchen is helmed by Michelin-starred chef Nicolas Abello. Go for the Chattooga rainbow river trout with pickled mushrooms, and get the paper-thin bison carpaccio for the table. For drinks, head downstairs to Spirit & Bower, a bourbon bar with a robust selection of rare spirits. Back upstairs, the Lobby Bar invites guests to settle in with assorted sparkling wines and Champagne, caviar service, and selection of local cheeses.
The woodsy setting comes to life in the lodge’s rooms. Mossy velveteen headboards, silver branch-like light fixtures, marble-topped coffee tables—each detail evokes images of the surrounding park and waterfall. Rooms are decorated with art from Kessler’s personal collection, peppering the space with scenes of early America’s wild frontier. Don the plush, signature bathrobe and start cranking the Nespresso machine—like George Clooney might—and relish the suave surroundings.