Charleston is certainly not a massive urban epicenter like New York or London or Los Angeles. But with the number of new boutique hotels making their way onto the scene in the Holy City, you’d think that it was expanding at the same pace as those larger cities. And in all fairness, it is. In 2021, the Charleston area added 500 more hotel rooms to its resume.

Ninety-one of those rooms belong to The Ryder Hotel, which opened last spring. Formerly the Best Western on Meeting Street and just steps from the city market, The Ryder is a completely revamped and renovated property. Long gone are the dated interiors of the Best Western. In its place, you’ll find a vintage South Beach meets Palm Springs vibe that feels simultaneously relaxing and hip. (The hotel is appropriately named after a character in a Jack Kerouac novel.) The interior design overhaul was led by local Charleston designer Cortney Bishop, who infused everything from the lobby to the guest rooms with a tropical vintage aesthetic that you won’t see anywhere else in the city’s hotel offerings. While the rooms are not as luxurious as those in places like Hotel Bennett, the casual, laid-back aesthetic is fun, playful, and a welcoming respite after a long day touring the city.

The hotel’s pool and hotel bar, Little Palm, pop with color and energy as locals and visitors alike pack the poolside cabanas and retro pool deck for happy hour when the weather is warm. Tropical low-ABV cocktails and small bites such as tuna poke coupled with an ultra-hip bohemian coastal vibe transport you out of the Lowcountry and straight onto a South Florida beach. The lobby coffee bar can whip up an afternoon latte or iced coffee before a morning stroll or business meeting.