Kessler CEO talks plans for $110M luxury boutique hotel in uptown


Expect this $110 million boutique hotel to bring a little sparkle — and funk— to uptown.

Construction is officially underway on the Grand Bohemian Hotel Charlotte. Plans call for that 254-room, 15-floor hotel to open in March 2020.

A groundbreaking was held Thursday, but this is a project three years in the making, says Richard Kessler, CEO of The Kessler Collection. 

Kessler has been hands-on in the entire process to bring the Grand Bohemian to Charlotte, from choosing the city and site to working with designers on the project.

“What we’re building will be here for decades. We’re adding to the city and skyline for decades to come,” Kessler says.

He was drawn to the Queen City because of its future potential — and need for a unique hotel. Expect classical architecture and contemporary touches — all with an Argentinian flair.

“We’re not creating hotels. We are creating entertainment centers,” Kessler says. “It’s a piece of art.”

That Orlando, Fla.-based hospitality company acquired a 0.6-acre site next to the Carillon Tower at Trade and Church streets in 2015 for a little more than $3 million. 

The hotel will have 32 suites. An open-concept restaurant will bring the flavors of Argentina to Charlotte with a steak-oriented menu. 

A lounge and bar with sidewalk and park seating as well as a Starbucks are planned.

The 16th floor will be home to a rooftop bar with views of the Queen City.

It also houses the signature Poseidon spa with services such as hot stone massage, lavender peppermint scalp treatment and aqua gel facial masks in addition to a 24-hour fitness center with cardio machines and custom-programmed music.

here’s also 18,000 square feet of customizable meeting space for everything from corporate functions and holiday parties to weddings. That includes a mix of indoor and outdoor space with three breakout meeting rooms, a private dining room, a 4,400-square-foot ballroom and as well as a rooftop terrace.

Think hundreds of pieces of dynamic art throughout the hotel. (Side note: Kessler himself buys that art.) 

Expect rooms to cost in the $300 range, Kessler says.

The Grand Bohemian flag is part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection.

The Kessler Collection’s portfolio includes nine luxury boutique hotels, including sister properties in Asheville and Charleston, S.C.

“People really enjoy our hotels because we do something different than anything in the marketplace,” Kessler says. “In most cities we’ve been in we’ve been the No. 1 market leader.”

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