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Charleston's boutique Hotel Bella Grace sold

Hotel Bella Grace sign (copy) (copy)

The Hotel Bella Grace on Calhoun Street recently changed hands. File/Staff

A boutique hotel in downtown Charleston is under new ownership. 

The 50-room Hotel Bella Grace was sold by 115 Calhoun Hospitality LLC to Odyssey Propco X LLC, which lists the same Fort Worth, Texas, address as TPG Capital, a global investment firm that manages $109 billion in assets and is preparing to go public in a $9.5 billion stock offering.

The sale price was $27.3 million, or $546,000 per room key, according to Charleston County property records. 

The hotel, which is across the street from Mother Emanuel AME Church, opened in 2018. 

Original owner Donald Semmler, a former Marriott executive who also opened the Andell Inn on Kiawah Island, told The Post and Courier at the time that the downtown lodging was inspired by the families of the nine Black parishioners killed at Emanuel AME in 2015. 

In court, family members told the killer, an avowed white supremacist, that they forgave him. 

“It’s a salute to that act of forgiveness,” Semmler had said of the name at the Hotel Bella Grace's ribbon cutting. 

The property, which included a historic home, the Delaney House, was bought in 2015 for $3.2 million. The house, built around 1830, was restored, serving as a gathering area and a place for drinks, breakfast and light bites to be served to guests. 

In 2019, new plans were unveiled at the Delaney House. The Neighborhood Dining Group was brought on to open Delaney Oyster House, a seafood restaurant and raw bar. 

Since 2019, the hotel has been part of the portfolio of the Atlanta-based hotel management company Davidson Hotels & Resorts.  

Davidson also manages The Ryder, which opened in 2021 in the former King Charles Inn space, and recently took over management of the Mills House Hotel at Meeting and Queen streets in the fall. 

A spokesperson for Davidson said Hotel Bella Grace's new ownership declined to comment on the acquisition. 

Going for gold 

A downtown Charleston hotel has been named to a list of the best hotels and resorts in the world to stay at in the new year. 

The Dewberry, a high-end hotel housed in a former mid-century office building across from Marion Square on Meeting Street, made Condé Nast Traveler's "Gold List" of the world's best lodgings for 2022. 

The hotel was one of just 12 in the U.S. to make the cut. Other American picks included the Chatham Bars Inn on Cape Cod, Bellagio in Las Vegas and The Moorings Village in the Florida Keys. 

For the first time, editors across the travel magazine's seven international editions made the picks.

The list describes The Dewberry's "JFK-era cool factor" and "elevated and elegant" but not fussy vibe. 

According to Condé Nast's editors, The Dewberry's "largest draw" is its rooftop for "sunset cocktails." That rooftop, Citrus Club, has been the subject of an ongoing court battle with the city of Charleston that could make its way to the state's highest court. 

Following an October decision from the S.C. Court of Appeals that said the city was in the right when it said The Dewberry can't have its rooftop bar, the hotel filed a petition asking the S.C. Supreme Court to hear the case and reinstate a lower court's ruling in The Dewberry's favor.

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Reach Emily Williams at 843-607-0894. Follow her on Twitter @emilye_williams.

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