The Mills House hotel has been a piece of historic Charleston’s streetscape for generations. Come 2023, it will celebrate its 170th anniversary.
Though it is currently a Wyndham Grand Hotel, it will be relaunching on Oct. 1 as a Hilton Curio Collection hotel through RLJ Lodging Trust. The hotel is undergoing a refresh from top to bottom.
The hotel’s several indoor and outdoor meeting spaces will get major upgrades, offering 10,000 square feet of event space for myriad events and gatherings. From the grand Signers Ballroom, the more intimate Planters Suite, to the striking upstairs terrace and pool deck, the Mills House provides an array of choices for planners wanting a sophisticated event with a touch of Southern hospitality.
Adjacent to the hotel is the historic Hibernian Hall, which is also available for groups staying at the Mills House.
Versatility when hosting events at the hotel is the goal, says Mary Desrosiers, the hotel’s area director of sales and marketing. Planners can host different aspects of their events in more than one area of the hotel, allowing for a more personalized approach for planners and event hosts.
Alongside the various meeting and event spaces, the hotel also offers a full fitness center, a business center, valet parking, an on-site parking garage, and daily yoga classes. Moreover, situated at the corner of Meeting Street and Queen Street, the hotel is within walking distance of Washington Square, myriad dining destinations, art galleries, and more.
All 216 guest rooms will be reimagined, and two suites have been added: a larger corporate suite and a bridal suite, though the latter is available for more than weddings.
The Mills House is also introducing two culinary concepts: an elevated coffee bar named Black Door Cafe, which opened in June, and their signature restaurant, Iron Rose. The restaurant will be open seven days a week and is “very sophisticated, but keeps with the local charm of the area,” says Desrosiers. The restaurant is slated to open in mid-October and will offer breakfast during the week, daily dinner, and brunch on weekends. The fare will feature Southern coastal cuisine using local and seasonal ingredients. Iron Rose will also be home to a private dining space for up to 70 guests.
All the hotel’s communal spaces, such as the lobby, front desk, and all-seasons porch with a view of the courtyard, will also be renovated. The elegant courtyard was originally designed by famed architect Loutrel Winslow Briggs and will offer new seating, a secret garden, and a brick fireplace.
The upstairs pool deck and terrace will be home to a new pool bar for guests to enjoy, whether for leisure or as an add-on to their event.
To bring even more local charm to the historic walls of the hotel, the Mills House partnered with southeastern artist Tracey Murrel to create a collection of original works to feature throughout the hotel.
Desrosiers notes that these renovations elevate the space in a way that maintains the character of the city.
“I think it keeps with the Southern charm and architecture that you would expect with historic hotels, but [has] the modern amenities people are looking for,” she says. With notable iron gates and a bright pink exterior, the hotel accomplishes a contemporary approach to a classic structure.
And nothing says Southern hospitality like a glass of sweet tea, which guests are welcomed with by the front desk staff upon arrival and check-in.
“That’s a big thing in the South—we greet you with a glass of sweet tea. We want you to feel like it’s home,” she says.