A Belle and Her City!

If you’ve lived in Charleston for some time, there’s a good chance you might know Shelley Grant Julian, or possibly someone who knows her. She’s an active member of the local community and one of Charleston’s most ardent supporters.

For the past 22 years, Shelley has put her love of Charleston to good use, selling Charleston Place Hotel and the city’s many treasures to prospective meeting planners. It’s a job that she has performed with great pride and panache, and an equally high level of success. However, after more than two decades with Charleston Place, Shelley is embarking on a new chapter.

In honor of her departure, we asked Shelley to list the “Top 10” things she’ll miss about Charleston Place and sharing her city. In true Shelley fashion, she came back to us with 22. Enjoy!

22. My morning stroll to the office. Birds chirping. Delivery trucks making their morning drop-offs. And local business owners sprucing up their store fronts to welcome the day’s visitors.

21. The beautiful flowers surrounding the fountain at the hotel’s Market Street entrance, which greet me every morning as I arrive at the hotel.

20. The exchange of pleasantries with Olesya, as she prepares my morning cappuccino at the lobby coffee shop.

19. Stopping by the Orient-Express Boutique to pick up my morning copy of the Post and Courier, and sneaking a peak at any new items that have arrived.

18. The expansive views of our magnificent city and the Charleston Harbor from the Club Level lounge on the hotel’s eighth floor.

17. The buzz and energy that emanates from the hotel lobby, as leisure travelers arrive at check-in and group meeting attendees gather to depart on a tour of the city.

16. Teaming with the passionate staff from the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau at events around the country to promote our charming city.

15. Settling into my favorite stool (next to the server stand) at the Thoroughbred Club and enjoying my favorite cocktail…the Mouzon Mash.

14. Representing Charleston Place Hotel and working with the wonderful people behind our city’s signature events, including Southeastern Wildlife Exposition, Family Circle Cup and Spoleto Festival USA.

13. Catching up with Dana Berlin during one of our regular “girlfriends lunch out” at a local favorite spot—Jestine’s Kitchen.

12. Savoring every last bite of the Jumbo Lump Crab Salad at the Palmetto Cafe in my favorite booth, which overlooks the Palmetto Courtyard and fountain.

11. Spying my first SALE bag in the hand of a local or tourist walking down King Street, notifying me of the semi-annual shoe sale at Bob Ellis Shoes.

10. Catching sight of the Sullivan’s Island Lighthouse as I cross the Cooper River on my trek home each evening and leaving the events of the day to float away.

9. Enjoying one of Teresa’s famous vodka cocktails and catching up on the news around town at the bar at Charleston Grill.

8. Site inspections with visiting meeting planners. One of the favorite parts of the job, where I get to see a planner’s eyes light up as they tour the hotel and city, and get to see firsthand everything I’ve been telling them about over the phone all this time.

7. My routine lunchtime indulgence—a pedicure with Van at The Spa at Charleston Place.

6. Strolling through the Charleston City Market and admiring the renovations, new indoor shops and the goodies at the Historic Charleston Shoppe.

5.  Working with a professional, funny and great group sale’s team.

4. Leaving the office for the day and seeing the city alive and buzzing, as locals and visitors finish up shopping or step into another one of the city’s fabulous restaurants for an early bite.

3. Window shopping the Antique District and soaking up the sweet smells of the Jasmine and Tea Olive on lower King during a lunchtime walk to the battery.

2. Circling White Point Gardens and heading back to the office on Meeting Street, stopping to check in with the “Sweet Grass Basket” ladies in front of the Courthouse.  They say business is good this spring!

1. All of the amazing people at Charleston Place and throughout the city that I’ve had the pleasure of sharing my life with daily for the past 22 years!

From all of us at Charleston Place, we wish Shelley much happiness on her journey, and look forward to seeing her out and about playing tourist in Charleston.

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What’s New at Charleston Place

The first few months of 2012 have flown by with tons of activities happening around the city and Charleston Place. And with festival season in full swing and spring peeking around the corner, it doesn’t appear that we will slow down anytime soon.

We wanted to share a few pieces of recent news and developments over the past few months at the hotel.

And the award goes to…

There are the Emmy’s, Golden Globes, Grammy’s,  Oscars and countless other award shows out there, but in the Hospitality and Tourism Industry in South Carolina, the coveted hardware is the S.C. Hospitality Employee of the Year Award. This year’s honor was presented to Rick Burton, Chief Concierge at Charleston Place Hotel, for exceptional customer service.

Rick was on hand at the 47th Annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism and Travel in Greenville, SC to accept the honor. Rick has been an all-star on our hotel team for the past 16 years, providing visitors with the finest southern hospitality. Please be sure to congratulate Rick on this honor the next time you pass through the hotel lobby or stop by the concierge desk to get his sage advice on what to see and do around Charleston.

New Retailers Calling Charleston Place Home

With stores like Gucci, Lacoste, Louis Vutton, St. John’s and more, The Shops at Charleston Place already offers a truly unique shopping experience. We’re pleased to announce the addition of a few new retailers, which should come as welcome news to both residents and visiting shoppers.

Late last year, we welcomed Harleston Shoes to the collection. Located adjacent to The Riviera Theatre, Harleston carries a line of high-end men’s and women’s shoes. They will soon be joined by several well-known brand names, who will open their first retail locations in South Carolina at The Shops at Charleston Place, including Colonial Candle, Calypso St. Barth, Kate Spade and Sperry Top-Sider. Each store is currently under construction, but we will be sure to spread the word when they’re officially open for business.

Fours years and counting

For the better part of the last two decades, the Charleston City Paper has annually asked Charlestonians to show their support for the things they love about the Holy City. The “Best of Charleston” competition has become a sought-after recognition among local businesses, who lobby for the support of locals across a range of categories, including attractions, restaurants and bars, shops, local politicians and media personalities and much more.

We were honored to be recognized as Best Hotel in Charleston, which marks the fourth consecutive year the hotel has won the award. With so many wonderful hotels throughout Charleston, we’re truly grateful for the continued support from Charlestonians.

Sprucing Up the Grand Dame

Since taking over ownership of the hotel in 1997, Orient-Express has made continuous improvements to maintain the hotel’s position as Charleston’s finest accommodations with excellent amenities and friendly, attentive service. This year is no different with several nice enhancements to the property, including:

– Complimentary high-speed wireless internet is now available in all guest rooms

– High definition flat screen TVs and a state-of-the-art entertainment and messaging system is being installed

– The Club Level rooms and suites feature brand new armoires

– Guest rooms linens and window treatments are being replaced

– The Riviera, our amazing art deco movie theater turned ballroom, has been renovated

That’s all the news for now. Looking forward to a wonderful spring and plenty of visitors at Charleston Place.

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