Discovery

Experience the Magic of the Belmond Charleston Place Holiday Train

Inspired by the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express (VSOE), the world’s most legendary train and one of Belmond’s seven luxury rail experiences, the holiday train is one of Belmond Charleston Place’s most memorable traditions. Since 2001, this fully operational replica has been traversing the hotel’s grand lobby every holiday season. Visitors will marvel at the train’s intricate design as it travels across more than 300 feet of track. The immense spectacle of the scenery is certain to grab attention. Complete with a hand carved, eight-foot mountain, hundreds of handcrafted trees, and a miniature world of ski resorts, hotels, inns, shops, and vintage automobiles, the glorious scene takes visitors back to alpine Europe during the early 20th century, with the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express was in its early days.

New this year, guests and visitors can witness several train models that replicate the famous Thomas & Friends television show, courtesy of model train designer and enthusiast Lou Nappi. The Nappi family has been arranging the impressive model train scene for nearly two decades, with four generations of family members working to put the centerpiece of the Belmond Charleston Place lobby together.

Watch our time lapse video of the magical train come to life. The train operates daily from 8am to 10pm in the lobby of Belmond Charleston Place from November 22, 2018, to January 2, 2019. The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express has often been called the “king of trains and the train for kings” – quite fitting for this behemoth among miniatures.

 

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Discovery

What is Hidden Charleston?

Welcome to Hidden Charleston! Hidden Charleston is about the best of Charleston. The sights, tastes, and experiences, which delight both first-time visitors or locals who have called this city “home” their entire life.

Join us as we explore the many unique aspects that blend together to make Charleston a one-of-a-kind destination. From charm, rich history, and Southern hospitality to amazing beaches, shopping, and culinary experiences.

And along the way, we’ll unearth the city’s hidden gems, as seen by the team at Belmond Charleston Place. Whether you’re a local or planning your first visit to Charleston, we think you’ll enjoy the content on these pages. Here’s a glimpse of what you can expect from Hidden Charleston:

Discovery: Authentic discoveries and “off the beaten” path adventures in and around Charleston.

Arts & Culture: History is alive in Charleston. We’ll share tips on the sights to see and the best way to explore them.

Sip & Savor: If it’s about food, wine, and spirits, you’ll find it here. It’s why Charleston is one of the country’s top foodie destinations.

Wellness:  Charleston’s great outdoors is the perfect backdrop for adventure.  Whether it’s by land or sea, we’ll share our favorite wellness activities.

News: What’s happening around Belmond Charleston Place. News, events, and the latest offers to help you plan your next visit.

On behalf of everyone at Belmond Charleston Place, we are happy you stopped by. Welcome to Hidden Charleston!

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Arts & Culture, Discovery

Charleston’s Spooky Side

Halloween is approaching frighteningly fast. That means it is time for pumpkin carving, costume parties, candy corn and of course, getting spooked! Charleston is one of the oldest cities in the United States and has been named one of the top ten most haunted so it is the perfect place to get into the Halloween spirit. In this blog post, you will learn about some of the spookiest sites in Charleston. Stop by on your next visit to Charleston…if you dare.

Old City Jail
Located at 21 Magazine Street is the Old City Jail, arguably Charleston’s most haunted location. It was operational from 1802 to 1939 and was featured in an episode of the Travel Channel’s “Ghost Adventures”. Denmark Vesey, famous for leading a slave rebellion, and 19th-century pirates were jailed here before being hanged. The most intriguing tale regarding the Old City Jail involves Lavinia Fisher, the first female serial killer in the United States. She and her husband, John Fisher, operated a hotel called the Six Mile Wayfarer House. After many male travelers were discovered missing after last being seen at the hotel, it was discovered that Lavinia and her husband were robbing and murdering their guests. The couple was sentenced to hang on the gallows behind the Charleston Jail. Before being hanged, John prayed that his soul be saved while Lavinia was anything but repentant. Lavinia requested to wear her wedding dress and yelled “If you have a message you want to send to hell, give it to me – I’ll carry it” before jumping off the scaffold herself. Today, the Old City Jail is an official “Save America’s Treasures” project of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the White House Millennium Council.

Provost Dungeon
The Provost Dungeon is located at 122 East Bay Street beneath the Old Exchange Building which was used as a customs house and post office. Soon after taking control of Charleston in 1780, the British started housing local criminals and insubordinate soldiers beneath the Exchange Building. Pirates and deserters were also housed in the “dungeon”. Some people were only held here for a short time before being transferred to other jails or prison ships but others remained until their death. Today, costumed guides lead you through a piece of history that tells the story of what it once was like to be condemned and confined in terrible conditions.

U.S.S. Yorktown
Now decommissioned and docked at Patriots Point in Mount Pleasant, the aircraft carrier known as the U.S.S. Yorktown was active during WWII, the Korean War and Vietnam. Over the years, there have been a number of reports of unexplainable noise, sightings and activities from visitors, employees and area law enforcement officers. The spirits of those who lost their lives while aboard the ship seem to still be on active duty. The U.S.S. Yorktown was featured on the Syfy Channel’s “Ghost Hunters” earlier this year. Their findings include ghostly figures caught by thermal imaging, unexplained footsteps and voices. The U.S.S. Yorktown is now offering guided ghost tours that detail these findings as well as other accounts.

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