Bed check: A boutique take on traditional Southern hospitality

The Zero George Street Hotel is situated in a quiet corner of the upscale Ansonborough neighborhood in Charleston, South Carolina.
The Zero George Street Hotel is situated in a quiet corner of the upscale Ansonborough neighborhood in Charleston, South Carolina. The New York Times

The overall tone of Zero George Street in Charleston, South Carolina, is opulent, laid-back Old South, but the details are modern luxe. This contemporary boutique hotel opened early last year with 16 plush guest suites spread over five two- and three-story early-19th-century buildings in a quiet corner of historic Charleston.

The Federal-style buildings, complete with wide verandas perfect for sipping wine in the moonlight, are set around an intimate courtyard filled with towering palms, cast-iron statues and lush green shrubbery. The hotel’s name is derived from its address, which actually is Zero George Street.

Situated in a quiet corner of the upscale Ansonborough neighborhood, the hotel is within short walking distance of several tourist attractions including the open-air Charleston City Market and a quaint cobblestoned warren of streets with restaurants, bars, cafes and retailers from Gucci to local honey purveyors.

My veranda queen room was done in a palette of pale sage and cream, with white shutters and elegant dark wood furniture. It was comfortable and soothing. Since the hotel concierge had emailed a few days ahead to inquire about my preferences, the bed came well stocked with firm, lovely pillows. (He also gave detailed restaurant recommendations in his email.)

Although my room shared a veranda with the one next door, it was perfectly quiet — a sweet spot to relax on a plump sofa at the end of the day.

Free bottled water, Izze clementine sodas, coffee and tea were a nice touch, in addition to the iPhone docking station and free Wi-Fi.

The bathroom was a pleasant bright space with a large glass-doored shower equipped with a sleek Grohe rainshower and hand-held showerhead.

The hotel’s Zero Restaurant serves wine, cocktails like a Palmetto Express (ginger bourbon, hibiscus syrup, ginger beer and lemon) and dishes from tempura local vegetables to pan-roasted wreckfish. (There’s also 24-hour room service.) A continental breakfast is included in the rate.

The bright setting — complete with outdoor seating on a garden patio — was lovely, although it became less so when I overheard a staff member loudly complaining about his “long, long day.”

Amenities: In addition to a super-attentive concierge, the hotel had a spacious and beautiful model kitchen off the lobby where a chef holds cooking lessons. There were also a free wine and cheese happy hour and turndown service as well as coffee, espressos and cappuccinos 24 hours a day via a sleek Miele coffee machine in the bar area.

▪ Zero George Street, 0 George St., Charleston, South Carolina; 843-817-7900; Rooms from $289 for a queen bedroom with a shared veranda.

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