THE VIBE: With its oversized rattan furnishings, lazy-swinging ceiling fans, and pops of live greenery, the lobby at the Loutrel closely resembles a Southern front porch—a fitting welcome to this quaint, 50-room inn set at the lower end of Charleston’s peninsula. Artwork from around the region punctuates the space, starting with a multi-paneled garden scene by local painter Linda Fantuzzo, while the botanical theme shows up in each room, courtesy of live orchids and Matouk throws in a range of pastel shades. Add in its ideal location, blocks from Rainbow Row, the Pineapple Fountain, the Battery, and downtown’s cobblestoned alleyways, and you’ve got yourself a fitting home base to explore the Holy City.
THE NEIGHBORHOOD: Gardens tucked between wrought iron fencing, historic homes, and blooming window boxes give this part of Charleston its character and soul. The hotel sits in the French Quarter, steps from the historic city market and right between the restaurant rows of East Bay and King Street. Ask ahead and the Loutrel will provide a private walking tour around this historic neighborhood.
THE FOOD SCENE: Quintessential Southern hospitality starts with a cold beverage and guests here are greeted with one, such as a botanical-based swizzle, as soon as they check in. The Veranda Lounge fills part of the lobby with its gleaming bar and lounge seating and provides a tight menu of items for snacking and light dinners, like a cheese and charcuterie board, bar snacks, flatbreads, and salads. For something more private, the Study is a cozy, living room of a space for more intimate groups. That’s also where you’ll find breakfast each morning, a spread of pastries, fresh fruit, yogurts, and juices. Hotel guests also have the treat of exclusive access to the rooftop terrace where a bar is stationed each evening for cocktails and appetizers. Head up there on Thursdays at 5 pm for a narrated glance at the surrounding skyline, which includes a handful of the church steeples that give Charleston its nickname.
THE DIGS: You’ll find modern, understated comfort in the guest rooms, which are outfitted in light blues and grays with glints of gold accents. High ceilings and floor-length drapes bring drama while pastel hues from local artwork soften the space. Don’t miss the mezzanine level where you’ll find a club room complete with a lending library and snacks and the Peloton-equipped fitness center.
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- by Hannah Lee Leidy
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