Restoration on King, Charleston, South Carolina – Hotel Review

By Jonathan Spira on 19 August 2012
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Discreet signage at the Restoration on King

Charleston is a city that has seen a tremendous renaissance in the past 30 years, with investment in the city and strong economic growth.  This has translated into a renewed commitment to historic buildings and the creation of new hotels and restaurants.

One new hotel is the Restoration on King, which first opened its doors in 2010 after combining four buildings that in part date back to the early-to-mid nineteenth century.  Despite its roots, there is nothing old-fashioned about the hotel except perhaps for the service and gracious hospitality it offers.

Reception area

When I had a question about the hotel prior to booking a room, I looked first on the website and then called the hotel’s main phone number.  I was surprised that one of the options on the hotel’s automated attendant was “for the general manager, Howard Letts, press 2.”   I pressed “2.”  But would I be connected directly with the GM, I wondered.  Seconds later, Mr. Letts had picked up the phone and answered my questions.  I knew I would like this place.

A few weeks later I arrived by car, direct from the BMW factory in Spartanburg, South Carolina, where Christian Stampfer, our European editor, and I had taken delivery of a new BMW X5 diesel.

The Restoration on King was a bit hard to find at first, even though it’s right where it’s supposed to be.  Its signage and entrance are discreet, not a bad thing.

Indeed, entering the ROK is like entering a private club or someone’s living room.


My Luxury One-Bedroom Suite with Private Patio was all that and more.  The rooms (all rooms are suites) have a rather dramatic décor with comfortable and elegant furnishings, large windows, and an open kitchen.  An enormous chest of drawers, comfortable chair, and flat-screen television completed the picture. The bedroom featured a king-size bed, a large walk-in closet, and a large bathroom with two sinks.

The bed itself was extremely comfortable and I woke up each morning well rested and ready for my rather full calendar of activities.

The living room had a separate dining area, seating four, adjacent to the kitchen.  The dining area is almost a necessity as breakfast is served in baskets each morning, delivered to the room.

The outdoor terrace, almost as large as the room itself, had a comfortable outdoor sofa and table.  It’s only a shame that the weather was quite as hot and humid as it was (which is typical of Charleston weather in the summer) as I’m sure the terrace is a very pleasant place to spend a few hours in the spring and fall.

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