Last Updated on September 17, 2023 by The Noms
Greeted with a cocktail on arrival, the Pinch Charleston is a must visit luxury boutique hotel in Charleston. They combine modern amenities in Victorian style buildings with indoor and outdoor areas in beautifully decorated suites.
The Pinch, a luxury boutique hotel, has opened in two Victorian style buildings and one new building in Charleston, South Carolina. On our recent trip we stayed at this amazing property and cannot wait to share with you our experience!
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The Pinch Charleston
Located at the crossroads of King & George Street, The Pinch is located near clothing shops, wine bars, restaurants and the decorative facades of homes and buildings in Charleston. The hotel has a understated marquee on the corner of King and George, but the private entrance alleyway is tucked discretely nearby. If you follow the flickering lanterns to the cobblestone courtyard, the valet will greet you. At least this was our experience.
Located in two original Victorian-style buildings dating back to 1843, along with a new building, The Pinch has 22 luxury rooms and suites. They also have three fully furnished residences perfect for stays of 30 days or more.
The hotel has a lobby right off the courtyard, along with a patio and fireplace. There also is a single room spa on the main floor that offers massages and facials. There will be an Oyster house. restaurant and cocktail bar coming yet this year.
The Quinte will be off of the lobby with an ambiance of a turn-of-the-century oyster house with a marble bar. Then, a French concept restaurant will debut inside the Lequeux-Williams House. The eatery will have several dining rooms, intimate bar, and a private dining room in a former carriage house with a wood-burning fireplace, original pine floors, and copper bar.
Both restaurants will have beverage programs with quality craft cocktails as well as a curated list of local beer. There will also be an extensive wine selection with a focus on French and European wines.
The lobby features modern touches and vintage fixtures on wide plank floors. French doors and large windows invite natural light in, highlighting the space and artwork. The Pinch’s interiors have a timeless appeal, a vintage contemporary look, where each spaces combine the heritage of the buildings using materials like clay, stone, and original wood.
History of the Property
The buildings are part of the National Register of Historic Places, and The Pinch Charleston draws inspiration from the building’s past and city’s preservation efforts. They have established a place that elevates hospitality through design that has a deep respect for heritage. The Bob Ellis buildings were built in 1869, which house the hotel, spa, and coming oyster & cocktail bar. This still features the original facade on King Street.
Locals still associate this corner with the Bob Ellis shoe shop (the go-to for Manolo Blahniks, Jimmy Choos and Louboutins). But, a century ago it was a place to play billiards, the Quinte. Men enlisted for WWI would play here while they waited to deploy.
The Lequeux-Williams House, a private residence dating back to 1843, is being repurposed into a full service restaurant and bar. It also has a large third floor penthouse residence with original detailing, kitchen, and working fireplace.
The Pinch Charleston’s entrance is located at the rear of the main building off of Ellis Alley, a gas lantern lit cobblestone alley. This alley connects the lobby entrance to the Lequeux-Williams House and George Street. Upon arrival to the lobby, guests are greeted with the eccentric decor as well as a cocktail! We had a fresh Aperol Spritz made for us while we checked in. And on a hot, muggy day, it was perfection.
The Pinch Charleston was started as a passion project for hospitality visionary Randall Cook from Method Co. He is from Philadelphia and fell in love with Charleston. He purchased the buildings and they restored the exterior facades while combining insides to work as a hotel.
The Ansonborough neighborhood is in the heart of Charleston. Quaint neighborhoods are to the west, as is the quad of the Collage of Charleston. A block north is Marion Square. Caviar and Bananas, a gourmet market that has yummy coffee (we had some) and local Charleston treats. Close to shopping, tons of stores on King Street. Many top restaurants are also close by.
Charleston has such a rich history, and is one of America’s most beautifully preserved architectural and historical treasures. The area is welcoming, has romantic neighborhoods, preserved architecture, award winning restaurants and a resurgence of a thriving cultural and art scene. The Pinch Charleston is in the heart of it.
The Pinch Charleston Decor
Busy patterned wallpaper is a backdrop to mid-century sofas, modern furniture and bamboo drinks trolleys. The historic touches inside the buildings the hotel has renovated lends a sense of grandeur to the interiors. Bespoke finishings are in the minimally designed rooms.
This comprises of handmade ceramic lamps, etchings and paintings by Lucas Reiner, Lithographs by David Salle and Kelsey Brookes, as well as paintings by Fausto Rossi. There are also various photos and other artwork around the hotel. Armchairs, velvet sofas, and custom furniture pieces abound. It’s an eclectic mixture of class and contemporary pieces with vintage and antique. Found objects and living plants (they had the Bearded Florist come one day we were there) and colorful books are everywhere.
The lobby features an outdoor terrace off of the lobby and courtyard that has a wood burning fireplace, and gorgeous outdoor furniture.
Each of the rooms are slightly different from each other, but they all have the same homey feel.
Rooms and Suites
Choose from any of their 25 rooms, lofts, suites, and a few longer term residences. The top floor 1 and 2 bedroom suites are designed for families or groups of friends traveling together who want a living room space and kitchen, including a craft cocktail recipe book for the bar!
Even the smallest rooms boast handcrafted furniture, artistic lighting, equipped kitchens, hand painted wallpaper, real plants, and antique woven rugs. There are brass cocktail kits in every room with minibar liquors to choose from to make your own cocktails. This is on top of the one you are greeted with in the lobby when checking in.
There are sustainably sourced Aesop bath products and logoed refillable water carafes in the fridge. There is a focus on sustainability. The buildings (except the new one) are “recycled” preservation wins!
Handpainted Moroccan black and white floor tiles in the bathrooms, brass trim, beveled glass shower doors, and a washer and dryer in every room. King sized beds and kitchens are standard in all guest rooms.
Private balconies and terraces make rooms feel bigger, and all rooms have at least a kitchenette.
This kitchenette has marble or black walnut counters, a farmhouse sink, brass fixtures and gorgeous cabinetry.
The kitchenettes are also well appointed, with every kitchen tool that you can think of needing for a short stay. Perfect for a long weekend and cooking a few quick meals yourself on the 2 burners, using the small fridge, and they make sure to have separate trash and recycling bins, too.
The Lequeux-Williams penthouse features an open floorplan that has a separate king bedroom, spacious living and dining area, working fireplace, and a private veranda overlooking Ellis Alley.
The Pinch Charleston Food and Drink Offerings
As we said before, The Quinte will be opening this year. It will be a turn-of-the-century oyster house & bar connected to the lobby in the main building. The Pinch Restaurant is located in the other neoclassical gabled structure, across Ellis Alley.
The Quinte will have the traditions of British oyster bars and cocktail bars, with a marble bar, featuring a changing daily menu of the freshest seafood. The Pinch Restaurant will be a mashup based on French fundamentals and soulful cuisine of Charleston, inspired by seasonal and local ingredients. It will have several separate dining areas: an intimate bar and dining area in the former carriage house with a wood-burning fireplace, original pine floors, and a copper bar.
The main dining area will consist of two rooms on each floor, both with their own restored original fireplace, while the second floor includes an intimate six-seat bar. Behind the carriage house in the rear yard will be the courtyard garden, with an outdoor bar as well as forty outdoor terrace seats. This will provide a great environment for drinks and food while enjoying the outdoors. Both restaurants will have beverage programs with quality craft cocktails, local beer and wine selection with a focus on French and European producers.
A grab and go breakfast is also available to hotel guests in the lobby each morning. Help yourself to coffee, breakfast pastries, fruit and yogurt just as you get off the elevator.
Does The Pinch Charleston Have any Great Views?
There is some city view, but more so the alley and neighboring buildings.
The Pinch Charleston Amenities
- Stocked Rooms: The hotel can stock your fridge to order or arrange grocery delivery (from Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, or Harris Teeter).
- Front Desk: someone is at the desk 24 hours a day
- Air Conditioning: necessary in South Carolina
- Parking: off street parking is available, but valet is also available in their fun car carousel behind the hotel (see picture below!)
- Outdoor Spaces: Terrace with fireplace off main lobby, some rooms with terraces or balconies
- Bikes: available for guest use to bike to close-by coffee shops, restaurants and sightseeing.
There is one ADA accessible King bedroom in the hotel, it has ample doorways, grab bars, and a roomy desk. This is a brand new hotel, built to code, hallways and elevators are wide and the lobby and courtyard are all on one level with access to the elevator.
Tips & Tricks
- Families: these gorgeous surroundings and design may not the best idea for young children, but they do allow children of all ages, but no extra beds are available. And it’s definitely great for working travelers, visitors, couples and groups of friends.
- Valet Parking: parking is available on site for a daily fee. They will park your car on a car carousel – so watch them put your car away, or get your car for you, it’s pretty fun!
- Restaurants: Like we said above, there are 2 concepts coming this fall to the property. We can’t wait to go back to try them both!
- Sleep Machine: the rooms have a sleep machine each, and we advise you to use it. While the property is an urban inn, and there is noise, it also isn’t soundproof. We could hear our neighbors in their room, and people in the hallway.
- Water: There is chilled water in bottles in the fridge, so take advantage of that chilled water all you can. They will restock when they clean the room.
- Room Amenities: there are a lot of amenities we haven’t even talked about. There are laundry pods for the washing machine. Fully stocked bathroom soaps and extras in the bathroom, chilled water in the fridge, fully stocked mini bar with alcohols and snacks, sleep machine, room safe, ironing board and iron, welcome cocktail on checking in, coffee pot and fresh coffee beans to grind in your coffee grinder, wine glasses, plates, cooking utensils and dish soap if you do cook. Air conditioning can be controlled by you in the room, and our balcony had a table and chairs along with a citronella candle. There is a copper bar set (shaker/strainer and jigger) for mixing up some more drinks. It’s luxury and extensive with great touches.
- Pets: No Pets allowed. They try to be allergy free.
- Wifi: is complimentary and worked great while we were there!
- Fitness Center: while The Pinch doesn’t have their own fitness center, they give passes to one just a 5 minute walk away.
- Check In: Check in is guaranteed by 4. We were actually texted at around 2:30 and told our room was ready. It was lovely to be able to check in early!
- In Room Dining: not available yet, but will be when the restaurants open.
We hope you will try out The Pinch Charleston, as they will continue their mission of combining high design, boutique hotel experience, the extended stay model, and thoughtful culinary concepts, to bring a new level of service to Charleston’s hospitality scene. A must visit!
Rates for the Pinch Charleston start around $400 for a King Room, and $450 for a One Bedroom Suite.
Where to Eat
- Delaney Oyster House – fresh local oysters, 3 blocks away
- The Watch – rooftop restaurant, we watched the sunset from here, at the Restoration Hotel – 2 blocks away
- FIG – Lowcountry homage food, 4 blocks away
- Edmund’s Oast – Brewery, Taproom and Restaurant. Multiple locations farther away but tasty food and cocktails!
- The Establishment – Seafood Restaurant
- The Ordinary – Oyster Hall
Things To Do
- Historic Charleston City Market
- Walking Tours – we found all the alleys around Charleston, plus beautiful houses and streets, including Rainbow Row
- Joe Riley Waterfront Park – with the famed pineapple fountain
- Nathanial Russell House – Tours available
- Aiken Rhett House – Tours available
- Fort Sumter National Monument and Fort Moultrie
- Gibbes Museum of Art
- Angel Oak Tree – on James Island
- Patriots Point – Naval and Maritime Museum
- Rise Coffee Bar (Restoration Hotel) – 2 blocks away
- Caviar and Bananas – Coffee & Market with local goods – 2 blocks away
- Kudu Coffee & Craft Beer – A combo shop of coffee all day and craft beer in the afternoon and evening. 2 Blocks away
Craft Cocktail Locations
- The Watch (rooftop bar and restaurant) at the Restoration Hotel – 2 blocks away
- Blind Tiger Pub – Historical Pub with courtyard dining
- Bar Vaute – at Brasserie la Banque – food available also
- Little Palm Bar – at the Ryder Hotel. Food available also, poolside
- Doar Bros – Modern cocktails
- Gin Joint – Also has food
- Citrus Club or Living Room – at the Dewberry Hotel
- Last Saint – Cocktail Bar
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Other Places to Visit
- Sonoma Vineyards with Guest Houses
- 24 Hours in Kansas City
- Healdsburg, California Hotels
- Boulder Mountain Guest Ranch
- Dubuque, Iowa Weekend
- Highlander Hotel – Iowa City, Iowa
- Kansas City Spirited Travel Guide
- Corvino Supper Club – Kansas City
- Thomas George Vineyards & Guesthouse – Sonoma, California
- Humboldt Bay Social Club
- Napa Valley Itinerary
- Sonoma Valley Wineries
- Hewing Hotel – Minneapolis, Minnesota
- Killiecrankie House – Pitlochry, Scotland
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