Why Design Lovers Should Stay At This Coastal-Meets-Modern Charleston Hotel

Taking cues from its coveted Charleston waterfront location, HarbourView Inn’s recent $1 million design refresh solidifies its coastal-meets-modern aesthetic complete with sun-lit guest rooms,  lots of breezy blues, and an inviting rooftop terrace that shows off views of the harbor and the Holy City’s steeple-studded skyline. 

Now, fresh off its redesign, HarbourView is offering a package that includes a private consultation with Jenny Kennan, the notable Charleston-based designer who led the luxury hotel’s makeover. The immersive package holds major appeal for design enthusiasts, especially those who often find themselves inspired by a boutique hotel’s design, wondering how they could recreate the feel at home. 

In addition to a two-night stay in the Grand HarbourView Suite, the $3,000 “Southern Design Experience Package” also includes a walking tour of downtown Charleston’s historic neighborhoods guided by Keenan. Worth noting: The hotel is a short distance from the pretty pastel Georgian homes that make up the famed Rainbow Row. The design lover’s package also comes with a $750 credit toward a purchase at Fritz Porter on East Bay Street (one of Keenan’s favorite stores; see more shops she loves below). 

For the cherry on top, guests who book this package are treated to a round of drinks at The Bar at The Spectator Hotel, which is the HarbourView’s gorgeous sister property that’s outfitted with a clandestine 1920s-style bar. Keenan led the design of the property which opened in summer 2015, impressing with its hand-painted murals and white Carrara bathroom vanities. 

As part of its June 2021 makeover, the HarbourView commissioned pieces from local artisans, like hand-charcoal drawings by artist  David Boatwright that are unique to each guest room and depict iconic landmarks in the greater Charleston area as well as custom-made drapery and restored Tiffany blue armoires. 

The 52-room luxury hotel originally opened in 1998 and was the first waterfront hotel in the Historic District. In its past life, the building was a 1930s indigo cotton warehouse. Historic touches remain in the hotel, including 14-foot high ceilings and exposed brick in the historic wing of the hotel. The interior refresh includes subtle nautical-inspired touches throughout the communal spaces, guest rooms, and private rooftop terrace, which received new furniture. 

Nautical blues, creams, and gray provide a calming color palette and the hotel’s custom carpeting is from Fine Rugs of Charleston.

Wondering where to shop when you’re in Charleston? These are a few places that Keenan has identified as her favorites: 

  • Located in a converted cigar factory, Fritz Porter curates products from contemporary designers as well as fine antiques. Find a goldmine of artisan wallpaper and textile designs here that will inspire your own home makeover. 
  • Surrounded by a lush nursery, Elizabeth Stuart’s flagship boutique and garden store has a beautiful stash of antiques, jewelry, art and décor inspired by travel.
  • More than 30 vendors from the Southeast sell unique pieces at Wynsum Antiques & Interiors, a King Street treasure chest.
  • Find an eclectic collection of furniture, rugs, lighting, antiques, and textiles at 17 South. The collective includes more than 30 vendors.


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