Step back into Roaring ’20s

The Spectator is the newest hotel to open in Charleston’s historic district.

A new hotel inspired by the Roaring ’20s has joined the lodging lineup in downtown Charleston, one of several scheduled to open in the coming months.

The three-story Spectator Hotel at State and Linguard streets, near the City Market, has 41 guest rooms, eight larger suites and a staff of concierge-like “butlers” who wear three-piece suits.

“The butlers are the face of the Spectator Hotel,” Brent Gresham, general manager of the newly opened property, said Thursday. “It’s not the front desk or concierge where it’s the hub. The hub is the butlers.”

The nattily dressed staffers also are equipped with some 21st-century technology. Each one has an iPad Mini for any requests they need to handle for a guest, such as finding a pet sitter, said Gresham, who also manages the neighboring French Quarter Inn on Church Street.

“We can do the steaming, shoe shining, we can sew a button. … I like to say that we’re genies,” he said. “We never say no.”

The butlers also check in guests, making the traditional front desk “a support system to let these butlers expedite that process,” Gresham said.

The cost to stay at the Spectator, developed by longtime local real estate investors Jay Keenan and Batson Hewitt, runs about $400 or more a night. They broke ground on the $16 million project in May 2014.

“Vintage touches and high-styled Hollywood glamour are complemented by modern sensibilities,” Keenan said in a statement.

Gresham stressed that service is paramount in a crowded market.

“In this town, there’s many beautiful hotels ... but we hang our hat on service,” he said.

The Spectator joins a growing hotel base on the peninsula. Two adjoining Hyatt properties on Upper King Street and the boutique Grand Bohemian Hotel at Meeting and Wentworth streets are nearing completion.

While Charleston could get too “saturated” with rooms someday, Gresham insisted the market isn’t overheated.

“It’s not there and it’s not near there,” he said.

Reach Allison Prang at 937-5705 or on Twitter @AllisonPrang.