Marriott's new AC Hotel Spartanburg opens in South Carolina

AC Hotel Spartanburg

AC Hotels by Marriott officially opened the brand's first location in South Carolina with the AC Hotel Spartanburg.

The arts-focused AC Hotel in Spartanburg, S.C., blends old with new, emulating a long tradition of urban lodging. Classic masonry combines with custom accents to craft a façade of decorative stone and brick with a barrel tile roof. The style emphasizes a European-inspired sophistication designed for today's business and leisure traveler. AC Hotel Spartanburg is locally owned by the Johnson family, and operated by OTO Development, a Johnson Management company.

"This AC Hotel reinvents the Spartanburg skyline," Geordy Johnson, CEO of Johnson Management, said in a statement. He noted that the 10-story property is the first new hotel to open in Spartanburg's central business district since 2004. "It's a dynamic addition to a rapidly revitalizing downtown and everything - from architecture to amenities to artwork - is designed to introduce South Carolina to the AC brand's 'New Way to Hotel.'"

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Constructed of nearly a quarter-million bricks, the hotel is on track to attain LEED Silver Certification. Architectural design was a collaboration of DC-based David M. Schwarz Architects and Spartanburg's McMillan Pazdan Smith, with interior work by DLR Group of Minneapolis. Robins & Morton served as general contractor.

"The level of detail is amazing," Corry Oakes, OTO president and CEO, said in a statement. "The hand of the craftsman is evident throughout."

The 114-key AC Hotel Spartanburg offers five suites and 109 guestrooms with either two queen-sized beds or a king plus pullout sofa.

"Our guestrooms are designed with a subtle European sensibility -- neutral colors, sleek furnishings, natural lighting and an open sense of space," Alyssa Stroup, GM of the hotel, said in a statement. "The AC brand's philosophy is to focus on essentials - and only essentials - so that there's nothing unnecessary in the room, but what is there is better. So these rooms are incredibly functional, with details like adjustable reading lamps, USB charging ports, free WiFi and mini-fridge."

Interior common spaces incorporate crown moldings, raised paneling and other traditional architectural detailing juxtaposed with modern fixtures, furnishings and artwork. The hotel's lobby and second floor showcase a selection of masterworks on loan from the nationally acclaimed Johnson Collection. Guests are encouraged to interact with the more than 40 objects on view, such as paintings, works on paper, textiles and sculpture - created by artists associated with the progressive arts enclave of Black Mountain College. 

A guestroom rendering of the AC Hotel Spartanburg

Sequestered in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains, Black Mountain College was a laboratory for creative experimentation. Open from 1933-1957, the avant-garde school attracted a coterie of groundbreaking artists who went on to shape modern art in this country and beyond. AC Hotel Spartanburg's three meeting rooms are named for four key figures in Black Mountain College history: Anni and Josef Albers, Ruth Asawa and Kenneth Noland. Designed for flexibility and awash in natural light, these rooms offer 637, 847 and 1,177 square feet of space, with the option to combine into one large 2,662-square-foot space. The rooms are configured for business meetings—complete with LCD projectors, large drop-down screens and total connectivity—as well as social events such as wedding parties, class reunions, club luncheons and community gatherings.

Other amenities at AC Hotel Spartanburg include an outdoor pool with patio, a business center and a 24/7 fitness room with 11 machines plus free weights. The AC Kitchen serves a European-inspired breakfast with freshly baked croissants, sliced prosciutto and cheese, savory and sweet breakfast tarts, yogurts and fresh fruit.

The AC Lounge in the lobby emphasizes the AC signature Gin & Tonic, Spanish wines, crafted cocktails created with liquor distilled by Spartanburg's Mottes & Sons Bootlegging Co., and local microbrews from RJ Rockers Brewing Co., which is located right across the street—so "local" truly is local.  A tapas menu includes small plates with a Spanish flair. A train whistle launches Happy Hour every evening in the AC Lounge, as the bartender offers samples of "The Crescent," the hotel's signature cocktail, along with the backstory of the drink's namesake. The Crescent—one of the first-ever trains designed for passengers, with elegant dining, specialty cars and upscale services—enjoyed an always-anticipated stop in Spartanburg along its crescent-shaped route from New Orleans to New York. 

The 10th floor of the property is devoted to a rooftop restaurant—scheduled to begin operations in late January—with an open-air terrace that serves up 360-degree views of the city. Operated by the Rick Erwin Dining Group and helmed by executive chef Mark Grasso and GM Mark McCalmont, Level 10 is a concept centered on seasonally driven small plates, handcrafted cocktails and a wine cellar for all tastes. Featuring tasting-style portions of pastas, seafood, lighter fare and signature steaks, the restaurant's emphasis on shared plates enhances AC Hotel Spartanburg's community-driven Southern hospitality.

Level 10's design is the work of Greenville S.C. architects Craig Gaulden Davis. The ambiance incorporates tailored materials, hand-crafted finishes, custom chandeliers and high coffered ceilings to complement the unparalleled skyline views.

"When it opens next month, Level 10 will reflect the same commitment to interior design, Southern hospitality, and quality service as AC Hotel Spartanburg," Rick Erwin, founder of Rick Erwin Dining Group, said in a statement. "This menu and the unique atmosphere we have created is designed to cater to the city's visiting guests as well as locals, whether for special occasions or simply for weeknights when they don't feel like cooking at home."

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