Festive Fun Awaits

The holidays are a magical time of year at Belmond Charleston Place. Here are some of the activities within the hotel that make it one of Charleston’s most unique holiday stays.

Holiday Train

Upon arrival, you will be entertained by an immense model train display, inspired by the legendary Venice Simpson-Orient-Express. The miniature replica travels more than 300 feet of tracks through a snow-covered village complete with shops, resorts and an eight-foot tall hand carved-mountain. Delighting kids of all ages through January 2.

The Shops at Belmond Charleston PlaceShopper’s Delight

Knock out your gift list with a stop at The Shops at Belmond Charleston Place. Delight that special someone with a timeless gift from Gucci or Louis Vuitton and pick up stylish clothing for Mom and Dad at Anne Fontaine and Tommy Bahama. With more than 20 world-class stores, you will find something for everyone on your list.

Extended Shopping Hours:

December 12-23 10am to 8pm

Except for the following days:

Sunday, December 18 12 noon to 5pm

Christmas Eve 12/24 10am to 5pm (Saturday)

Christmas Day 12/25 Closed (Sunday)

New Years Eve 12/31 10am to 6pm (Saturday)

New Year’s Day 1/1/17 Closed

Located on the 4th floor, The Spa at Belmond Charleston Place offers local products and indulgent gift ideas. Treat yourself to a pedicure post shopping or pick up a gift card for that hard-to-please person on your list.

Meeting at MarketMemorable Meals

Catch up with loved ones over with a draft beer in the new sporting pub, Meeting at Market. Or toast to the holiday season at the newly expanded Thoroughbred Club, which features a variety of seasonal cocktails, including The Conductor, inspired by the model train in the lobby.

Celebrate the season with good cheer, good company and and gourmet meals. Join the Charleston Grill on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day for Chef Michelle Weaver’s special prix fix menu featuring several choices for each course. Or indulge in informal elegance at the garden-like Palmetto Cafe, which is offering a Christmas Day Buffet.

Reservations required. Call 843-577-4522.

With so much to do this holiday season, it is the perfect time to visit Charleston and Belmond Charleston Place.

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Downtown Discovered: The French Quarter

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Downtown Charleston, also known as the Historic District, offers a host of smaller neighborhoods within the city center, each with a unique personality and experience for visitors. Our previous post in this series had us exploring picturesque South of Broad and now the French Quarter, also known as the Art District, beckons.

Location:
Named the French Quarter in 1873, the area is roughly bordered by Market Street to the north, Broad Street to the south and extends from the Cooper River westward to Meeting Street. Most of the French Quarter is located within the area that comprised the original colonial walled city of Charles Town, the only walled city built by the English in North America.

Concierge Tip: The only above-ground portion of the city’s earliest defenses still visible is located on the site of the Old Powder Magazine, Located on Cumberland Street, this National Historic Landmark was completed in 1713 and housed the community’s store of gunpowder. Open Monday-Saturday for tours.

History:
The name “French Quarter” was derived in the 1800s when preservation efforts began to protect warehouse buildings on the Lodge Alley block, largely occupied by French Merchants. Local vendors also sold their wares, including meat, vegetables and fish, at the city market. Built between 1804 and 1830, the land was ceded to the city by Charles Cotesworth Pinckney for the express use that it remain as a public market for perpetuity. The current Market Hall was erected in 1841, after the previous building was destroyed by fire. Recognized as one of the oldest in the country, the Charleston City Market is a beloved institution for locals and visitors, especially since it’s home to more than 50 sweetgrass basket weavers who carry on this Lowcountry tradition.

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Concierge Tip: Following a $5.5 million makeover, the City Market now houses vendors and food purveyors. Grab lunch and then make your way down Church Street. One of the most photographed spots in the city, St. Philips Episcopal Church is home to the oldest congregation in the state of South Carolina. Notice the church’s foundation in the middle of Church Street. Locals say that the church was built this way so that even if you were not a believer, when you rode down Church Street you had to acknowledge the presence of God. Also worth a visit are the Circular Congregational Church and the French Huguenot Church, the only such congregation in the United States, both located on Meeting Street.

Places of Interest:
While the historic French Quarter is small, art and culture abound. The first building in the country designed for theatrical use, the Dock Street Theater, is located on Church Street. First opened in 1736, the theater still produces performances every year. The area is also home to numerous art galleries. Spend the afternoon browsing Gallery Row, located on Broad Street before visiting those located on Church and State Streets. Currently closed while it undergoes a multimillion dollar renovation, the Gibbes Museum of Art is slated to reopen in the spring of 2016 with a renewed focus on American Southern art.

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Concierge Tip: Our restaurants, The Palmetto Cafe and Charleston Grill, are filled with art by local artists, included notable painter Robert Lange. Lange’s studio is open daily, and private tours can be arranged here and at a variety of other studios. If you find yourself here on the first Friday of March, May, October or December, enjoy the French Quarter Art Walk which is free and open to the public. Galleries open their doors for patrons to mingle with artists over refreshments. Stroll among gas lit lanterns and discover the works of more than 500 artists of various styles and mediums.

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A Community United

CPH_1732_ACommunityUnited_Jul15_Logo_FB_HeaderThe sounds of Charleston during the summer time are unique and easily recognized by tourists and locals. You can often hear the distinct hum of cicadas, the clop, clop of horse’s hooves on the pavement as they carry tourists through the historic district of our beloved Holy City, and the ringing of church bells on almost every corner. However, on the night of June 17th, all those sounds seemed to stop. Nine innocent men and women were shot during their regular Wednesday night bible study at the historic Emanuel AME Church. The church lost their senior pastor, state senator Clementa C. Pinckney and nine families lost their loved ones. Would the Charleston community ever be the same?

Only time will tell but in the days after the tragedy, Charleston emerged as a strongly unified city. Grief and anger turned to love. The sounds of singing, prayer and encouragement filled the air. The community of Charleston had not backed down in fear; instead, they united in love, inspired to find ways to help those affected and make a change in our community.

Almost over night, more than 50 restaurateurs and beverage purveyors, under the direction of Mickey Bakst, General Manager of Charleston Grill, came together to donate food and beverage for a fundraising event for the families.

The event is already being described as unforgettable. Being held July 9th from 6:30-9:30pm in the Belmond Charleston Place Grand Ballroom, A Community United Event will donate 100% of the proceeds to the families of Emanuel AME. The event is also hosting an auction, available to supporters around the world. Beginning July 3rd at noon and ending July 9th at midnight, the more than 250 items are as varied as a VIP Grammy ticket package, 8-night Cape Town and Safari camp package and more than 100 pieces of art. Additional auction items will be available during the event. The evening will include music by The Mark Sterbank Group and the Lowcountry Voices gospel choir along with a program featuring Charleston and AME Church leaders. 100% of proceeds from the auction and the event will be donated directly to the nine families whose lives were forever changed that night.

Tickets for the event are $200 and can be purchased here.

If you are unable to attend the event, you can still support by participating in the auction online. All bids can be activated directly from your mobile phone.  View items and bid.

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