Arts & Culture, Discovery

How to Spend Your Holidays in Charleston

Imagine sun-filled days and cozy nights, festive palmetto trees, and a city embellished with decorative lights, magnolia wreaths, and holiday charm. From magnificent holiday displays and lively performances to world-class shopping and family-friendly fun, escape to the Holy City this season and create magical memories with your loved ones.  Belmond Charleston Place Embark on an adventure to Belmond Charleston Place, and take in the magnificent holiday decor. Set between the iconic Georgian open-arm staircase, and beneath the glistening chandelier, you’ll find the awe-inspiring train display. The fully operational replica of the Venice Simplon-Oritent-Express train courses its way through 300 feet of track as it passes by European Alpine homes, churches, and hundreds of handcrafted trees. Throughout the lobby, you’ll also discover nearly 1,000 feet of garland, five Fraiser Fir trees and 100 wreaths. Teddy Bear Tea On Sundays in December, Belmond Charleston Place continues a beloved holiday tradition as children get dolled up for tea time at the Thoroughbred Club. Adults can partake in tea service, while kids enjoy teddy bear-shaped PB & Js, scones and cookies. Marvel at the custom-designed train display and enjoy live music and magic shows. Be sure to snag a keepsake picture from the professional photographer as a treasured souvenir.  Holiday Market at Marion Square The Holiday Market at Marion Square hosts a number of holiday vendors, in addition to favorite local artisans. Enjoy shopping, live entertainment, and activities for children, including photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus, December 7-17, as you peruse your way throughout the park. From handcrafted jewelry and candles to local fashion designers and artists, find the perfect gift for your loved one at the Holiday Market.    Tree Lighting at Marion Square On Sunday, December 1 from 4:30-6:30PM, head down historic King Street, just steps from Belmond Charleston Place, and discover holiday cheer. Join the celebration of the lighting of the magnificent 64-foot Holiday Tree of Lights, the official City of Charleston Christmas tree, while enjoying live performances. Holiday Festival of Lights A quick drive off the peninsula will bring you to the magnificent Holiday Festival of Lights at James Island County Park. Known as Charleston’s most cherished holiday tradition, the awe-inspiring spectacle features an estimated two million dazzling lights. As you course your way through the three-mile display of glimmer lights, guests explore holiday attractions, shopping, dining, and more. Open to the public November 15-December 31, be sure to drive through the dazzling display this holiday season.    Dock Street Theatre Spend an evening at the historic Dock Street Theatre, and enjoy family-friendly entertainment with shows like “Elf the Musical” or “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever”. Known as the first building in America built exclusively for theatrical performances, the theatre has been a part of Charleston history for centuries. The Shops at Belmond Charleston Place Find the perfect gift for your loved ones at The Shops at Belmond Charleston Place. From luxury labels for men and women to children’s stores and accessories for all, you’re sure to find the perfect gift for everyone on your holiday shopping list.
Continue reading
Sip & Savor

Sip These Seasonal Cocktails

In Charleston, the sun-filled days, cozy nights, and gentle sea breeze that wafts through palmetto trees are a warm welcome to fall’s arrival. As the season begins to change, we trade in our cool, summer spirits for cocktails that warm us inside and out. Whether you’re hosting your own holiday gathering or looking to impress your significant other, take cues from our masterful bartenders at the Thoroughbred Club, and dive into these delicious cocktails. Autumn Afternoon The unbeatable combination of whiskey, Grand Marnier, and apple cider is a crowd pleaser. Once you take a sip, you’ll be dreaming of making these all season long. 1.5oz Bulleit Rye Whiskey .75oz Grand Marnier 1.5oz Apple cider 1-2 Cinnamon sticks Combine apple cider, Grand Marnier, Bulleit Rye Whiskey, and ice in a cocktail shaker. Stir ingredients thoroughly. Strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a cinnamon stick. Peanut Butter Delight Who needs dessert when you can make this treat? The delicious flavors of peanut butter whiskey, Godiva, and other sweet spirits will make you want another slice, or, sip. 1.5oz Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey ½ oz Frangelico ½ oz Kahlúa ½ oz Godiva Chocolate Liqueur Salt for rim Cocoa powder or crush salted pretzels Dip and turn martini glass into the salt until fully coated. Pour all ingredients into a cocktail mixer. Shake and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with cocoa powder or crushed salted pretzels. Morning Dew Packed with bold, refreshing flavors, the Morning Dew mocktail is the perfect alcohol-free option for any occasion. 1oz cranberry juice 1 oz mint and basil simple syrup 1 mint leaf Soda water 1-2 cranberries to garnish Fill rocks glass with ice and stir. Add cranberry juice and mint and basil simple syrup into a cocktail mixer. Shake and strain into the rocks glass. Top with soda water, and add mint leaf and cranberries to garnish.
Continue reading

Meet the Staff: Brenna’s Favorite Things to do in the Holy City

We recently had the chance to sit down with Brenna Emerson, the Travel Industry Sales Manager here at Belmond Charleston Place. Brenna has been with the hotel since 2012, first as the Front Office Supervisor, and then the Reservations Manager. In her time at the Front Desk, Brenna worked very closely with the guests of the hotel, gladly offering her opinions of the best things to see and do while visiting. Her love for Charleston, and her appreciation for the finer things in life, has made Brenna a resident expert on how to make the most of your time in the Holy City. She shared with us some suggestions on must-see locales, as well as the best ways for you to explore while here. Consider this list your “Must Do” when taking your next trip to the Lowcountry.

Start the day with brunch
The city of Charleston boasts excellent food and rich history, and Brenna’s first recommendation combines a little bit of both. She believes that any great day in Charleston starts with brunch, and her favorite spot is Poogan’s Porch, tucked away on charming Queen Street. Established in 1976, this Southern eatery has been frequented by celebrities, politicians, and more. Whether you start your day with Biscuits & Gravy or Chicken & Waffles, you won’t be disappointed with any Lowcountry meal.

Explore and discover
In Brenna’s expert opinion, the best way to really see the city is to “strap on your tennis shoes” and just walk. You can discover quaint gardens and cobblestone paths by simply exploring the peninsula on foot. One of Brenna’s favorite spots is White Point Gardens, located at the Battery. The gardens are the perfect place to find a bench and take in all the sights and sounds of the Charleston harbor. She also loves to wander around the neighborhoods near the Battery and appreciates the stunning architectural details of the homes in the area. Insider tip: On the corner of Tradd and Legare Streets, there is a wall growing fresh rosemary that Brenna loves to show her friends when she’s on a downtown stroll. She says, “the smell is absolutely divine!”

Grab a boost
Sometimes a long morning of exploring in Charleston calls for a much needed mid-day pick-me-up. Brenna recommends popping into Beech on King Street to refuel for your next adventure. The local company is committed to serving healthy meals on-the-go, and have an array of menu items that includes hearty salads, fresh poke bowls & smoothies, plus local coffee and kombucha. Stop in for a treat that will serve the body and mind well.

Treat yourself
The best vacations call for plenty of rest and relaxation, and Brenna definitely appreciates the need to indulge in luxurious pampering. She loves to stop in to The Spa at Belmond Charleston Place and freshen up before dinner, or treat herself to a longer facial or massage when she has more time to spare. A visit to The Spa is the perfect way to look your best for a fun evening in Charleston, and she recommends trying out the 100% natural non-toxic Tata Harper ‘Nothing But Nature’ Facial.

Get your chocolate fix
After a scrumptious dinner in Charleston, if you are anything like Brenna, you may find yourself in search of something sweet to eat. She recommends that you look no further than Christophe Artisan Chocolatier, located on Society Street. Brenna admits that the price tag on these chocolate treats is a little hefty, but worth the splurge. Each piece is hand-crafted, and not only exquisite to look at, but also quite decadent to eat.

Catch a show
After dinner and a delightful dessert, the best way to end the night would be to catch a show at the Charleston Music Hall. As far as Brenna is concerned, the Music Hall is “the best music venue in the Southeast.” Located on John Street, and situated between King and Meeting Streets, the building has quite a fascinating history. It was originally known as the Tower Depot, a passenger station of the South Carolina Railroad, and was designed by Charleston architect Edward C. Jones to resemble a medieval castle.

Evening stroll
And finally, on a cool, breezy evening in Charleston there is nothing better than to grab your best friends and walk the Arthur J. Ravenel bridge. This is one of Brenna’s favorite ways to experience the charm of the city because the bridge has the best view of the harbor. Plus, it is a great way to enjoy Charleston’s mild weather. Insider tip: Look out for a friendly manatee that lives and swims under the bridge! Brenna has lovingly named the manatee “Barbara” and likes to say a friendly “hi” to her every time she visits.

To find out what items almost made the list, or to know more about any of her recommendations, feel free to reach out to Brenna at 843 724 8136 or She is always available to help those who are visiting Charleston discover just why she loves the city so much!

Continue reading