Soon, some of the priciest guest rooms on the Charleston peninsula will be open.
Hotel Bennett, the eight-story European-style luxury lodging next to Marion Square, announced it is accepting reservations starting in mid-January.
The 179-room, $100 million-plus full-service property at the former site of the county's main library has been in the works for more than 13 years. Developer Michael Bennett of Charleston-based Bennett Hospitality has called it the "biggest project" he's ever taken on.
Initially, the hotel was projected to open around the fall of last year, but the date has been pushed back several times. Bennett has been "highly focused" on the guest experience and has said he will only open the hotel when he feels it is ready, said Marty Wall, managing director for Bennett Hospitality.
The exact opening date will be announced in the coming weeks, Wall said.
Right now, reservations can be booked on the hotel's website for up to a year in advance starting Jan. 15.
The lowest rate available is $407 before tax for a January weeknight stay in a standard "Charleston King" room. It comes with a full breakfast for $470 or club access for $495.
Several more luxurious options are available, too. One- and two-bedroom suites are listed for as much as $2,677 for its first open weeknight in January, before tax and other add-ons.
Getting Hotel Bennett off the ground was a lengthy process. The developer first announced the plans in 2005, but a legal dispute sidetracked the project for years.
Preservationists sued after the city rezoned the site in 2007 to allow for the 105-foot-tall building, saying it would overshadow Marion Square. The S.C. Supreme Court ruled against the opponents in a 2012 decision, and Bennett's plans had to go back through the approval process a second time. Construction began in April 2015.
Early last year, Bennett Hospitality brought on Salamander Hotels and Resorts to manage the property. Prem Devadas, one of the founders of the Virginia-based company, is a former Kiawah Island Golf Resort executive and a onetime chair of the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.
To prepare for opening, the hotel is looking to recruit about 200 staffers. A hiring event at the Gaillard Center will be held Nov. 19 from 7:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Positions are available in multiple areas, from the spa to the bars.
At least one key vacancy has been filled. The hotel recently named Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts veteran Paul Cherrett as its new managing director. Most recently, he worked for about four years as managing director for the La Quinta Resort and Club near Palm Springs, Calif.