October 25, 2016

Hospitality Giants 2016 Takes Over Charleston

For this year’s Hospitality Giants, a group of over 100 guests, representing the top design firms, developers, and manufacturers in hospitality, descended on Charleston, South Carolina, for a three-day summit on the industry.

The festivities kicked off with tours of the Dewberry hotel, which just opened this summer in Charleston. The 155-room boutique hotel features interiors designed by Workstead. Principals Stefanie Brechbueler and Robert Highsmith led tours of the space, which is located in a rehabbed 1960s federal office building. After the tours, the celebration formally began with a welcome dinner in the hotel’s ballroom.

On day two, Interior Design editor in chief Cindy Allen kicked things off with a presentation on hospitality trends. She shared recent hotel projects published by the magazine, as well as findings from Interior Design’s annual report on the sector, which appears in the upcoming October issue. 

Following Cindy’s introduction were sessions with a range of the city’s creatives, including artist and taxidermist Becca Barnet and Charleston poet laureate Marcus Amaker, who recited an original poem that he wrote for Hospitality Giants.

A lunch at the award-winning restaurant Husk was followed by small-group activities around town, including a tour of the Urban Electric Company factory, visits to the historic Aiken-Rhett house, and a tasting at Charleston Distilling Co.

Dinner on the second night was held at Boone Hall, a stunning working plantation that spans 738 acres. With live music and cocktails overlooking the water, the meal was a memorable way to unwind after a jam-packed day.

Before returning home to their respective cities, attendees gathered one last time on day three. The final speaker of the event was former Charleston mayor Joseph P. Riley, who spoke about his efforts to restore the city’s historic architecture and create a vibrant downtown community during his 40 years in office. He reaffirmed the crucial role that design projects such as hotels have in a city’s wellbeing—a fitting note on which to close the three-day exchange of ideas and inspiration.

Follow #idgiants for more highlights from the conference!

A very special thanks to our sponsors: Craftmade/Woodard, Kohler, Phillip Jeffries, Lefroy Brooks, Lexmark Carpet, Kalisher, Milliken, Montague, Kravet Contract, RH Contract, Littman Brands, Sunbrella, Design Within Reach, Cancos Tile & Stone, JANUS et Cie, Rocky Mountain Hardware, Durkan, Shaw Hospitality Group, Interface, Delta Faucet Company, Rohl, Silver State Inc., The Urban Electric Company, Carnegie, Cambria, and Hansgrohe.

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