Hotel occupancy may still be down 22.8% from this time last year, according to the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism, but development is in full swing.
The 175-room Embassy Suites by Hilton Charleston Harbor opened early this month in Mount Pleasant.
The Zero George Hotel announced it would be expanding this spring with the opening of The Residents at Zero George in Charleston’s Ansonborough neighborhood.
Now Downtown Charleston’s Historic District is poised to debut its newest hotel, The Ryder, this May.
The boutique hotel, named for the Jack Kerouac character Japhy Ryder, will have 91 rooms and two food and beverage outlets, according to general manager Ryan Rauscher.
With a fun-coastal-meets-Bohemian vibe, it’s aiming for an upscale hospitality client at its 237 Meeting St. location.
Rauscher expects the lifestyle hotel will attract locals along with tourists for its emphasis on socialization and community interaction — something he understands people are craving right now.
“We’re opening at the perfect time,” Rauscher said. “People are ready.”
With COVID-19 inoculations increasing and Gov. Henry McMaster lifting the ban on large gatherings and nightly alcohol restrictions, Rauscher said the timing is right to open successfully.
On board with the Ryder team for a year, the general manager wanted to create something that adds to the city’s appeal. He brought on Cortney Bishop Design and Goff D’Antonio Associates, both award-winning Charleston-based firms, to plan and execute the hotel’s light and airy coastal design.
Accommodations have a “playful energy,” Rauscher said, and showcase custom furnishings created by New Breed Furniture out of Wisconsin.
Keeping on par with Charleston’s famed dining scene, The Ryder’s main restaurant, Little Palm, will have plenty of culinary experiences. Gin & Luck, the hospitality company behind New York’s hot spot Death & Co., will exclusively provide food and beverages.
Guests also will have opportunities to enjoy constantly evolving and one-of-a-kind excursions, such as building their own surfboards, in addition to the city’s traditional tourist attractions.
“We’re offering this creative approach to travel,” he said. “Our guests will experience something new every time they come to Charleston and The Ryder.”