It’s a piece of cake to choose the adorable town of Charleston, South Carolina for a vacation destination; and it’s another no-brainer to choose where you’re staying. The historic while simultaneously luxurious Dewberry hotel marries the old-world charm of Charleston (isn’t that why it’s such a hotspot in the first place?) with a stylish and chic mid-20th century edge that attracts the cool kids, as well as the classics. Below, Chairman and CEO of Dewberry Capital Corporation and owner of The Dewberry Charleston, John Dewberry, shares the story behind this magnificent property and all that it has to offer.
What makes the property so special?
I have always seen the immense potential of this space, and as a champion of historic preservation I pushed forward in earnest even amid challenges to the project. People have a way of forgetting, but in a reader’s poll more than 90% of Charlestonians wanted me to tear down the building. The Dewberry is truly a labor of love in that way, a vision brought to life over eight years of meticulous care driven by the goal of presenting Charleston from a very specific perspective. You will see elements of the Lowcountry juxtaposed with mid-century modern pieces in a way that succinctly marries elements of the past and present. It’s a philosophy we’ve coined “Southern Reimagined.”
Speaking more broadly, The Dewberry is truly a unique—and uniquely personal—experience for me. At one point in the design process, my father and I were both battling forms of cancer; before he passed away in 2011, I told him I was going to name the hotel after him. Nothing is more special than that.
What is the rate?
The hotel’s rate begins at $350. For a Charleston Flat, the rate starts at $499.
What’s an interesting tidbit about the hotel that speaks to its status as an icon?
The Dewberry occupies the former L. Mendel Rivers Federal Building, one of the city’s few existing examples of late 20th-century modern design, which was commissioned by President John F. Kennedy in the 1960s. Elements from the original building have been seamlessly woven into the design, including a plaque found in the lobby area. The hotel boasts a lobby-level Brass Bar in The Living Room, which recently won Imbibe Magazine’s Top Bar for 2018 and also in its 1st year received a James Beard Award nomination.
What’s your personal favorite room?
The Charleston Flat is my favorite room at The Dewberry. It feels like a sanctuary and is handsomely designed with touches of leather, travertine and marble. Depending on which room you are in, you get an amazing view of Marion Square or the steeple of the over 200-year-old Second Presbyterian Church next door. We are Charleston’s ultimate vantage point.
Can you name any celebrity guests?
While we are not able to comment on the names of our guests, I can share that since opening, The Dewberry has quickly become a home-away-from-home for entrepreneurs, entertainers, influencers, artists, titans of industry and pretty much any other VIP that visits Charleston.
What makes the spa so unique?
The Dewberry Spa, located on the second floor, was modeled on my carriage house and incorporates a native Southern botanical, the antioxidant dewberry plant, into each treatment and all products and offerings are curated by renowned spa expert Lydia Mondavi. It’s not my namesake, but it fits into the restorative menu of the spa perfectly.