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Charleston Regional Business Journal: Hotel Bennett to open next year beside Marion Square
December 05, 2016
by: Ashley Heffernan
Bennett Hospitality’s $101 million hotel under construction in downtown Charleston is expected to open in fall 2017 and will be operated by Salamander Hotels & Resorts, according to a news release.
General contractor Balfour Beatty Construction is building the 179-room hotel, dubbed Hotel Bennett, at the corner of King and Hutson streets beside Marion Square.
“I purchased this property more than two decades ago, and the hotel is being constructed with the same classical character and quality as buildings from over a century ago,” Michael Bennett, the hotel’s owner and the founder of Bennett Hospitality, said in the news release. “To complement the city’s architectural heritage, we are using the best materials, including beautiful limestone, marble, bronze and copper. Hotel Bennett will be viewed as one of the city’s enduring landmarks — when it opens and 100 years from now.”
The hotel will include a heated rooftop pool with cabanas and a bar, a luxury spa, a French patisserie, and event and meeting spaces. Adjacent to the lobby will be a two-tiered restaurant that will open onto terraces overlooking Marion Square. Additionally, there will be a bar featuring an etched-mirrored ceiling and reclaimed pink marble from the former library building that was once on the site, the news release said.
Many of the guest rooms and suites will have balconies overlooking Marion Square and King Street. Hotel guests will also receive preferred reservations at Bennett Hospitality Group’s nearby restaurants and performance venue, including Victor Social Club, Michael’s on the Alley, Vincent Chicco’s, 39 Rue de Jean, Coast, Virginia’s on King and the Charleston Music Hall, the news release said.
“We are thrilled that Michael Bennett is building this world-class hotel, which is incredibly important to the Charleston community,” Helen Hill, CEO of the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, said in the news release. “He enjoys a stellar reputation and is acknowledged as a visionary. The property will further enhance Charleston’s history of gracious hospitality and fine accommodations, as well as provide a gathering place for the local community.”
Virginia-based Salamander Hotels & Resorts, founded in 2005 by Sheila C. Johnson, will operate Hotel Bennett, the news release said. Johnson is vice chairwoman of Monumental Sports, which owns the NBA’s Washington Wizards, the NHL’s Washington Capitals and the WNBA’s Washington Mystics.
“We are delighted to have the rare opportunity to team with Michael Bennett and his family to operate what will become one of the finest hotels in America,” Johnson said in the news release. “In addition to promoting and positioning this stunning property, I look forward to introducing my business partners, colleagues and Salamander’s many loyal guests to Hotel Bennett.”
Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg said the hotel will serve as a gathering place for generations of Charleston residents.
“The hotel will open up to Marion Square, creating an extension of the public realm that will be enjoyed by our citizens and make us all proud,” Tecklenburg said in the news release.
Hotel Bennett’s architects of record are Buck Lindsay of Lindsay Pope Brayfield Clifford & Associates in Atlanta and Chris Schmitt of Schmitt Walker Architects in Charleston. Fairfax and Sammons Architects of New York City is the hotel’s design architect, and Design Continuum Inc. of Atlanta is the interior designer.
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