Grand Bohemian Hotel Charlotte Turns Heads in City Center
Stunning lobby and reception desk at the Grand Bohemian Hotel Charlotte (Photo courtesy of The Kessler Collection)
Grand Bohemian Hotel Charlotte is a stunner located in the heart of Uptown Charlotte. We arrived at our destination to enjoy the city’s art and were fortunate to find dreamy accommodations.
The Charlotte hotel is the newest addition (2020) to the Kessler Collection, a founding member of Marriott’s Autograph Collection. We know the Kessler name intimately having stayed in some of their other fab properties in Savannah, St. Augustine, Asheville, and Orlando. Their next opening will be in Greenville, South Carolina.
Starting in the lobby, we’re reminded of those other Kessler properties because all have a focus on art, really good art. This property shows more than 250 paintings, among them two stunning pieces by Andrea Carreras of Buenos Aires that greet us as we head from the lobby to the alcove of elevators.
The lobby itself stops us in our tracks, with a bright red chandelier hanging from the gold-leaf cove ceiling above the silver, gleaming reception desk. The vibe is elegance with white marble floors striped with black veins and black high-back chairs with red seats.
Our seventh-floor King Room is welcoming with an entry chandelier, a large bathroom featuring an artistic mirror with teal-colored reflective trim, a teal leather headboard and a matching teal tufted sofa overlooking The Queen City and its skyscrapers.
Posh Queen's Lounge
The Queen’s Lounge is a posh, white, tented space off the sixth floor. Its dramatic backdrop is a 10×50-foot wall mural, a triptych of beautiful blooming roses, by Atlanta artist Niki Zarrabi. Two eye-catching Italian chandeliers hang from the tent’s two apex points giving it the regal touch along with throne-like chairs, a red-and-white color scheme and the word Amore spelled out in red script as a sculpture about three feet tall.
The hotel is a head-turner at every point, the design taking its inspiration from Richard Kessler’s travels. Argentina’s cultural influences touch the art, music and culinary offerings here.
Red is one of Kessler’s two signature colors easily spotted throughout the property. His other favorite, purple, punctuates plush carpeting in our king room and in custom carpets in hotel hallways, where waves of color are inspired by a flamenco dancer’s twirling skirt and flicking fan.
The nod to Argentina is featured property-wide. Elevator walls sport flamenco dancers in several poses in ephemeral photographs shot underwater.
As to the culinary offerings, dinner at the vibrant Mico Restaurant is a highlight. Mico is slang for monkey in Argentina, and monkeys pop up frequently here starting with the huge rain forest painting that greets diners entering at the street level. Hotel guests enter near the elevators, that entrance marked simply with a large white monkey sculpture sitting in a wall alcove.
Mico’s busy bar has a massive crystal chandelier, while the private dining room walls sport an explosion of rich-hued flowers in full bloom beneath an intricate white chandelier with a half-dozen playful monkeys holding lights aloft. The look is rich jewel tones throughout. Yes, Instagram-worthy.
The open kitchen faces beautifully displayed wines in metal and glass cabinets, visible from both sides. Spaces for diners can be casual on the bar side or a bit more formal here.
We start our evening with delicious cocktails including the signature Mico with strawberry-infused “monkey in paradise” vodka, Licor 43, passion fruit, honey syrup and lemon.
Our server is delightful and attentive. We’re impressed with entrees of caramelized queen scallops and fish Argentine-style: Branzino a La Parillo. These arrive after appetizers of a halved, blue-crab stuffed lobster tail and a serving of baked Carolina Dreams oysters.
A small, private green space is just steps from the restaurant — we saw a yoga class going on there the first day, then preparations for a graduation photo shoot the next. The park is adjacent to the hotel’s Bohemian Garden with chairs and stools in pops of fuchsia and fern green, a bright contrast to white tables and umbrellas.
Poseidon Spa on the 16th floor features a meditation rooftop terrace, and there’s a 24-hour fitness center.
To check out the rooftop Buho Bar, get your name on the list in the lobby; weekends are especially busy. If the weather’s good, choose outdoor seating to take full advantage of the great views of Uptown. Buho means owl, which inspired decorative details from outdoor sconce covers to a beautiful painting in the nearby executive lounge. Peek in at the sultry-red, private party room.
For our last day check-out, the lobby-side Starbuck’s is perfect for grabbing to-gos while the ever-on-the-ball, red-sneakered valets bring the car around. With a final look back at the gorgeous space, we step through the gleaming brass-and-glass revolving doors vowing to return.
Some Charlotte see-and-do
Grand Bohemian Charlotte is the perfect base for experiencing many of the city’s most popular cultural and historic sites, museums, shopping and sports. For us, that included the Immersive van Gogh Exhibit continuing on select dates through Oct. 31, 2021.
Here are some other options for things to see and do during a Charlotte getaway:
NASCAR Hall of Fame celebrates America’s No. 1 spectator sport that attracts an estimated 75 million fans. Try your hand as a pit-crew member and learn about the sport’s connection to NC moonshiners. Charlotte Motor Speedway is up the road in Concord;
Art lovers won’t want to miss the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, the Charlotte Mint Museum, the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture, and Levine Museum of the New South;
A visit to Discovery Place science and technology museum is popular with families;
For sports fans: Truist Field is home to the Charlotte Knights minor league baseball team; the NFL Carolina Panthers play at Bank of America Stadium; the Spectrum Center is home to the NBA Charlotte Hornets (legendary Michael Jordan is majority owner);
Charlotte’s uptown entertainment district is EpiCentre;
For outdoors lovers: National U.S. Whitewater Center is about 1/2 hour away, offering whitewater rafting, canoeing, kayaking, rappelling, rock climbing and more;
The Billy Graham Library is about a 15-minute drive from the property.
If You're Going: The chic, 254-room Grand Bohemian Charlotte is a AAA Four-Diamond property. For more information on area attractions, visit the website of the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, charlottesgotalot.com. This story appeared on GettingOnTravel.com, an award-winning blog.