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Lodge-Inspired Luxury by DDC Journal

May 3, 2022

Owner, developer and manager of specialty hotels, restaurants and retail sites Kessler Collection Design and Development is adding to its robust luxury portfolio of expansive hotels and resorts with the Grand Bohemian Hotel Greenville in Greenville, South Carolina. When completed, the seven-story, $75 million hotel will house 187 guest rooms, 30 of which will be designated as suites with private balconies. Located in the historic Falls Park on the Reedy River, the Grand Bohemian Hotel Greenville is uniquely positioned to bring a new luxury experience to the Greenville area, while simultaneously serving as a civic gateway between the city’s rising downtown and the park that has become an oasis for residents and visitors alike. Embracing Falls Park’s importance in the community, the design of the hotel was tailored toward creating a seamless contextual fit with its picturesque setting, modeled after the rustic lodges that are prominently featured in the state’s national parks. “We wanted to make sure that this building, in context to where it is, really had a purpose and a place in the market,” says Kessler Collection’s President and COO, Mark Kessler. “The design of our product really draws from the traditions of the great park lodges. With the massing and the design of it responding to the natural features [and] views of the topography that are unique to the site, the building really has a place in there and really feels like it belongs in the park.”


Breaking ground in April 2019 with a 20-month project timeline, the original completion date for the Grand Bohemian Hotel Greenville was scheduled for spring of this year. However, in navigating distinctive topography and site terrain as well as extensive foundational modification, the start of vertical construction was delayed. “The site is on such a severe slope that we had to do some soil stabilization so that the bank would not erode away over time,” Kessler says. “We ended up putting in a platypus-type system, which is basically a big soil-nail system. They’ve got a big net[to] drive big soil nails into the soil to stabilize it with a geo-fabric mat, and then the native or planted vegetation can grow back through that. That took some time, along with weather delays and some COVID-19 delays for building materials.” Designing the fit of the hotel’s mass and size in a tight downtown site while remaining sensitive to how the building interacts with the park also
proved to be a challenge. “You’re designing with the context of being in a park, but also being in a downtown city location,” says Kessler. “This site was just so unique that we had to find something special. What we realized in developing in this location in Falls Park on the Reedy River is that this would become the signature piece for downtown Greenville, because that city park is probably
the most visited part of the city; [it’s] very high profile.” Transforming challenges into opportunities, Kessler crafted a property unlike any it has done before, blending the architectural expression of park lodging with the highly amenitized experience of luxury for the modern traveler  in the center of a bustling downtown area. “If you stand in any of those rooms on the river, all you see is the park [and] green space on one side, and on the other side, you see a downtown,” Kessler says. “Once you check in the hotel, you walk in the lobby and you feel like you’re in one of the lodges of one of our national parks. You get in your room, walk out on your balcony [to] have your coffee overlooking the roaring river down there, [and] you would never believe you’re in Downtown Greenville. I
think that’s something so unique that we don’t have anywhere else.” In addition to its signature full-service Poseidon Spa, the Grand Bohemian Hotel Greenville has several high-end amenities, including a twostory restaurant and bar overlooking the river, multiple indoor and outdoor event spaces and an art collection curated by Kessler Chairman and CEO, Richard Kessler.


In concert with the City of Greenville’s Strategic Downtown Master Plan, the new Grand Bohemian hotel will help to usher in the next generation of development by creating a purposeful destination that redefines luxury for the city and its visitors. With several infrastructural and landscaping improvements planned for East Camperdown Way, the City will also improve connectivity and access to  further increase the appeal of the area and drive future development and investment. Despite the numerous and complex challenges the project team had to overcome early on, the grand opening for the Grand Bohemian Hotel Greenville is currently on schedule for November 2021. “We’re very proud to put our name on it, [and] the City is very proud to have a new hotel that’s redefined the luxury experience in Greenville,” says Kessler. “There’s an older hotel there, but there’s not really a luxury destination, so from that perspective, we’ve really defined what luxury is in that market from a food and beverage point of view and from a lodging and guest experience point of view. At the end of the day, you’ll have something that the locals are proud of [and] the visitors want to visit.”

Written By: DDC Journal (Fall of 2021)