A warm and elegant Charleston charmer
Stepping into Wentworth Mansion is like entering someone’s inviting home. That’s because the Second Empire-style structure was built as a four-story abode for cotton merchant Francis Silas Rodgers and his family in 1886. Though it was converted to a 21-room hotel in 1997, some of the original features remain. See carefully preserved remnants, such as the colorful Lewis Comfort Tiffany glass door panels in the main entrance on Wentworth Avenue, the grandfather clock and bookcases in the warm parlor, and the hidden-away rooftop cupola that affords a nice view of the city.
Although the Charleston hotel has history, you won’t find dusty décor here. Rooms are elegant and luxurious. Plush velvet in light brown and sage covers the sofas, fainting couches and even fans around the dark wood sleigh bed to form an eye-catching headboard. Cream marble fireplaces, which come in every room, turn on with the flick of a switch. The light and airy bathrooms are equally luxe with a roomy whirlpool tub and separate two-person glass-walled shower.
The old stables were transformed into a 1,000-square-foot spa in 2005. Yet the best amenity is probably found next door at Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Circa 1886. The fine-dining restaurant sits in the former carriage house. There, executive chef Marc Collins turns out excellent seasonal Southern fare using local ingredients in a cozy 50-seat dining room with romantic alcove tables. Plentiful food and drink is a hallmark of this historic hotel, including the coffee and croissants in the morning, the lemonade and iced tea in the afternoon, the wine and hors d'oeuvres in the evening, and the traditional Southern sherry, port and brandy on offer all day.