A Refined Affair at Zero George

By: Erin Byers Murray

While taller, shinier hotels continue to pop up around Charleston, a more intimate and personal hotel stay exists inside the history-bound, sixteen-room Zero George. Housed in five buildings all constructed in the early 1800s (only the main building is original to the property), the understated hotel drops you into the past with its tranquil brick courtyard, broad porches, and wrought-iron details.

The reception desk is housed discreetly in the main building and, in a cheeky twist, shares prep space with the kitchen—helmed by executive chef Vinson Petrillo, Zero Restaurant + Bar provides an elegant tasting-menu experience enhanced by the historic surroundings. Across the courtyard, the Residences at Zero George recently opened, bringing five lushly appointed suites, ranging from one to three bedrooms, for those who prefer an extended stay—amenities like a biscuit butler and bar “valet” mean you don’t need to venture far to feel right at home.

Explore Charleston from Zero George

Hop on one of the hotel’s baby-blue bicycles to explore the surrounding Ansonborough neighborhood, which sits close to the eastern edge of the peninsula. The Pineapple Fountain, Marion Square, and the Gaillard Center (home to the Charleston Symphony Orchestra) are all within an easy ride or walk.

Impeccable Food Scene at Zero George

Whether you’re seated inside the cozy confines of the dining room or the lantern-lit patio at Zero Restaurant + Bar, Vinson Petrillo’s inventive multi-course tasting menu will leave you awed, from the whimsical “snacks” of potted vegetables and foie gras doughnuts to the seafood-heavy entrees to the range of final confections. Splurge for the wine pairings for the ultimate fine-dining affair. In the morning, we’re all about breakfast in bed, with Gaggenau coffee and espresso service and a rotating selection of menu items (the house-made biscuits are a must), and starting at 5 pm, the hotel offers a wine-and-cheese board and glasses of bubbly. To experience more of Petrillo’s magic, join one of his private culinary classes on Saturdays and Sundays, which include personal instruction with the chef as well as a three-course meal.

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Stay at Zero George

Set within all five restored buildings, Zero George’s high-ceilinged rooms feel like a taste of Europe in the heart of the Holy City. Marble countertops, elegant armoires, and hand-laid tile showers are set against heart-pine floors while Frette linens and multiple pillow options will make you feel like you’re floating on a cloud.

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