Staycation at the Grand Bohemian

Renae Brabham



Oh Charleston, what an eternal spring you are. Continuously changing your face and steeple rising high to the occasion. If you ever manage to bring in enough fill dirt to make a mountain, I would never have need to leave you. In the middle of an overwhelming schedule and a level of "perpetual anxiety" as my doctor tagged it, I took a quick reprieve. One day was all that I could manage. What level of pampering could one possibly have in a 24 hour staycation? 


Well, it started and finished with a friend and a hotel. Not just any friend, a lifer. And not just any hotel, The Grand Bohemian Hotel.


I carefully avoided any information regarding the hotel and it's amenities after the booking was confirmed, I wanted to delight in the experience as it unfolded. 


My friend LaDonne and I shed our first skin when the super courteous valet attendant took the one ton vehicle away. How funny and final that was! We never inquired of its whereabouts after the keys dropped into the valet's hands. A grinning bellhop opened the door to the lobby as if it were Willy Wonka's candy factory and told us to enjoy our stay.


Oh the color! The glorious twinkling of the entrance's red blown glass chandelier had my eyes in the sky, below were couches and settees everywhere inviting me to kick my shoes off and recline. The lobby was consumed by art, texture, and lighting.    
The check-in counter clerks were very welcoming. The counter was adequately staffed, quick to get us checked in to begin our stay. 



From the lighted marble lobby counter, I could see people mulling about the Grand Bohemian Gallery and the Bohemian Wine Tasting Room. But for now, it's time to see the room! En route to the elevator, a long hall with perfect subtle lighting beckoned. Hanging at the end of the hall was a beautiful reproduction oil painting of Claude Monet's, The Houses of Parliament. It was seriously masterfully re-created.  




When the card key beeped, we opened our room door and were greeted once again by art, this time a stunning Moroccan woman done in oil. We oohed and ahhhed over the tile floor and went immediately to the star attraction of the room, an immense white scrolled headboard with a luxurious tufted mustard velvet fabric. It was just too irresistible, we dropped our bags and climbed onto the bed stacked with colorful bohemian pillows. The palette of the room played well to the Bohemian theme of the hotel, but was streamlined and not too busy. A Bose radio and a 40" Smart TV were positioned perfectly to prop and watch if we should want to. My favorite magazine sat on the table by the window, Charleston Magazine. The tiled bath was as big as my kitchen. It housed a huge tub, separate glass shower with large Kohler shower head, separate privy room, and an adjoining vanity sink area with a retractable lighted make up mirror. 



Feeling a bit parched, we decided to freshen up and head to the Bohemian Wine Tasting Room before going out to catch a Charleston Grit event at Mercantile & Mash. Don't miss the opportunity to blend your own custom wine in the Bohemian Wine Blending class, led by their knowledgeable sommeliers. The wine room is rich, streamlined, and comfortably accommodating. They have 32 varieties of wine available. You can choose to taste or buy a half or full glass. I had a half glass of Pouilly-Fuissé Chardonnay. 



We returned a couple of hours later from our event and went upstairs to the Élevé rooftop restaurant which is equally as elaborate as the lobby. I enjoyed the best seafood chowder I have ever eaten along with perfectly grilled asparagus. 


When we returned to the room, the bed was turned down, lights dimmed, blinds closed and a Bohemian music CD played softly. Two wrapped sugar cookies were on the bed. The bed, oh that bed. I sank into it assuring myself that anything else today would be overkill here.  The room darkening blinds worked incredibly, old sol was high and nigh when my eyes popped open.


After a fabulous shower (their Bohemian-inspired signature boutique toiletries are awesome), we decided to explore the hotel a bit more. The sun was warm and inviting on the rooftop outdoor terrace. We chose a comfortable couch with large pillows to recline on near the ledges that allowed us to look out over the Holy City. A gardener was filling sauna-sized pottery with ivy and tender pansies that waved at us in the breeze. We consumed a pot of coffee with a breakfast of incredible orange biscotti French toast with maple syrup. It was so relaxing that we reclined and talked for almost 2 hours.  




So, in the grand scheme of things, The Grand Bohemian is a wonderful place to relieve perpetual anxiety and I'm glad we were able to "Stay & Play in Charleston" to do it. Thank you Grand Bohemian Hotel!



Richard Kessler, President and CEO of The Kessler Collection has hit a home run here in Charleston! The purveyor/curator has combined his love of art with architecture in 11 such boutique-inspired hotels across the nation, all of which could very well make their way onto my bucket list.