Vacation, staycation, escap-ation … whatever you want to call it, there’s no better thrill than checking into a new boutique hotel and being pampered for the immediate future. This year welcomed some amazing new and renovated hotels all over the country, but we can’t help but show our Southern pride by spotlighting a few of those regional boutique hotels that took our breath away ( … not just because of the on-site gyms).
Here’s a look at some of the South’s newest boutique hotels, including those that went through major renovations. By the time you finish this article, you’ll be ready to live like a tourist in your own city faster than you can say “room service.”
Hotel Clermont | Atlanta, GA
789 Ponce de Leon Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30306 • (470) 485-0485
If you don’t know about Hotel Clermont’s wild and wacky history, you’re either new to Atlanta or you believe the cool 94-room boutique hotel, currently standing in Poncey-Highland, is the only iteration of this legendary Southern landmark. Before we can go into how fantastic Hotel Clermont’s renovation is, we need to remind readers of its rich, sordid past. Opened in 1924, it eventually became the city’s most famous motor lodge and became known for its basement adult entertainment venue, the Clermont Lounge (ask any Atlantan about Blondie and her feats of creative can crushing).
The renovation pays homage to Hotel Clermont’s storied past with 76 standard rooms and 15 bunk rooms, which house four guests per room and exist as an ode to the hotel’s revolving door of notable musical guests. Head downstairs to Tiny Lou’s for a great meal from this hip French-American brasserie; or walk upstairs to the rooftop bar that looks across metro Atlanta and is a cool place to chill on the AstroTurf and socialize with friends over a glass of anything.
Hotel Bella Grace | Charleston, SC
115 Calhoun St, Charleston, SC 29401 • (843) 990-7500
Charleston’s Hotel Bella Grace opened late this summer and is an amazing combination of historic and contemporary design. Named in honor of the acts of faith and forgiveness demonstrated by the families of the Emanuel Nine, the luxury boutique hotel features 50 rooms sure to impress each and every guest. Because the Bella Grace is a Residence Inn by Marriott, the hotel’s studio suites are designed for longer stays, with separate living and sleeping areas, which include fully equipped European-style kitchens, personal concierges, grocery delivery and free hot breakfast and Wi-Fi.
These modern amenities and stunning aesthetics sweetly complement the neighboring Delaney House, which serves as the hotel’s hospitality and meeting space. This historic home dates back to the 1830s and changed hands several times over the years. Its name comes from James Delaney, who bought it in 1880 and lived there with his wife and seven children, as the home stayed within the Delaney family until 1958. Whether you want to touch Charleston’s deep-rooted history or live in the now, Hotel Bella Grace is a fantastic connection to both.
Fairlane Hotel | Nashville, TN
401 Union St, Nashville, TN 37219 • (615) 988-8511
From the same people who brought Atlanta’s Hotel Clermont back to life, Fairlane Hotel recently opened, and it’s been getting crazy good reviews from hard-to-please experts and regular Joe-schmos alike. Situated in Nashville’s downtown business and arts district, Fairlane Hotel offers a rad aesthetic of mid-century modern (my personal fave) to create an ambiance that resembles somewhere Don Draper would stay in 2018.
Absorb Fairlane’s retro-modern design in any of the guestrooms — the queen and king rooms are comfy retreats; the 12 suites have so much style you’ll assume Mad Men airs 24/7 on your hotel TV; twin penthouses are bursting with ’70s swag and a swinging fire pit, among other amenities. You can live really large with the option of combining both penthouses for the ultimate Nashville experience. Head out of your guestroom, daddy-o, for some tasty eats at Ellington’s, a retro-modern restaurant and bar serving nostalgic, mid-20th century staples. There’s also Union Teller Coffee Counter, for a freshly brewed Stumptown coffee, and Mile End Delicatessen, the first satellite location of this beloved New York City-based brand. SB Tip: Order one of their Montreal bagels — any flavor is delish.
Perry Lane Hotel | Savannah, GA
256 E Perry St, Savannah, GA 31401 • (912) 415-9000
Savannah is a city dripping in charm, history and style, and the only way to truly experience it is to stay at a hotel that also exudes those same qualities. Perry Lane Hotel offers 167 elegant rooms, including 12 gorgeous suites, and a property that guests will never want to leave. Located by iconic Forsyth Park, Perry Lane Hotel represents Savannah well, especially in the art department. As residents and visitors know, the city is steeped in a culture and appreciation of the arts, and Perry Lane Hotel took this history to heart by closely considering its own eclectic local art collection. The hotel’s art and style were inspired by muse Adelaide Harcourt, a fictional seventh-generation Savannah native and grande dame.
So what does Ms. Harcourt have to say about the rest of the hotel? We think she’d be in love with the property’s attention to detail, beyond just the inspirational artwork. Perry Lane has three on-site dining establishments: The Emporium Kitchen and Wine Market, which serves locally sourced menu items; The Wayward, a cocktail bar; and Peregrin, the rooftop hangout. Adelaide would also be happy to know that her pooch can enjoy all that Perry Lane Hotel has to offer, since this is a dog-friendly hotel, and she can squeeze in more shopping on site, at the Andie Kully boutique.
Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel | Charlotte, NC
303 S Church St, Charlotte, NC 28202 • (704) 445-2626
A city as elegant and refined as Charlotte needed a boutique hotel to match. Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel opened last year to honor Charlotte’s Southern roots while also celebrating the modern vibe that has electrified the city. Tryon Park offers 217 striking rooms and suites in this luxurious boutique hotel that pays homage to the grandeur of the South. In fact, this combination of old and new can be felt in the lobby, where a three-story crystal light sculpture and grand staircase welcome guests as they wet their whistles at the sweet tea bar.
The guestrooms all feature a modern, soothing palette and spa bathroom, with half of the rooms overlooking Romare Bearden Park and BB&T Ballpark and the other half facing uptown Charlotte. If you want to go all out, each of the hotel’s suites, which vary in size, offers a calming living room, wet bar and floor-to-ceiling windows. Go the unexpected route when it comes to expected Southern cuisine by dining at Angeline’s, the on-site restaurant featuring Italian-inspired, modern American food. And you can work off all that pasta by visiting the fitness center or meditating upon your in-room yoga mat. Whatever brings you to Charlotte, you’ll be happy to soak in the city at Tryon Park.
Bobby Hotel | Nashville
230 4th Ave N, Nashville, TN 37219 • (615) 782-7100
There’s just something intrinsically cool when you tell people, “I’ll see ya at The Bobby.” I mean obviously, it’s just a rad name for a hotel, but Bobby Hotel is actually a sight to behold. Located in downtown Nashville, the newly opened Bobby pays homage to the treasures collected during travels around the world. “Bobby” is a traveler who has a story to tell and wants to share that story with anyone and everyone.
Each of the 144 guestrooms slightly differs from the next, all inspired by different curated collections from around the world. And whether you have a standard, deluxe or suite room, they all have rainfall showerheads and William Roam bath amenities. However, if you do want to splurge, go for the two-bedroom, 1,811-square-foot suite, complete with huge dining space and bar overlooking Nashville. After you’ve built up an appetite from all that lounging, head to one of the four on-site restaurants at Bobby, including Bobby’s Garage Bar, a gritty establishment sure to impress gearheads and regular folk alike, or skip the grit and head to the hotel’s spa and select one of six decadent services.
Whether you stay overnight at one of these new Southern boutique hotels or just stop by to grab lunch and tour the lobby, make sure you take some time for yourself. As Donna and Tom said it best, “treat yo’ self!”
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