The Ryder Hotel, located at 237 Meeting St. in Charleston, recently completed a year-long expansion project which includes an addition to its onsite restaurant Little Palm, along with a new coffee shop and a guest check-in site that has been moved to the side of the building.
The Ryder, in 2022, won recognition as a place to be among “Conde Nast Traveler’s” Hot List: The Best New Hotels & Industry Openings in the World. The hotel’s bar was named by “Esquire” magazine as one of the best in the country. The Ryder also won a Gold Key Award for Excellence in Hospitality Design in 2021. Makeready, which took over the hotel in 2022, operates other notable hotels and restaurants throughout South Carolina and the country. Charleston properties include a boutique hotel known as Emeline, along with restaurants Frannie & The Fox and Hank’s Seafood.
The hotel, which was formerly known as the King Charles Inn, has undergone a few renovations over the years and contains 91 guest rooms and four suites. It assumed a new name in 2021, which was borrowed from a novel by Jack Kerouac.
“Japhy Ryder was a hero in the book called ‘The Dharma Bums’ who hits the open road for adventure and spiritual inspiration,” said general manager Irvin Dinkel. “We want that for our guests.”
The Backyard at Little Palm
Creating the current buzz is a newly constructed courtyard in the center of the hotel, which is now known as The Backyard, which is an extension of Little Palm and is open daily.
Adam Jiminez, General Manager, Food and Beverage, said that The Backyard has a tropical feel and appeals to solo travelers, as well as groups. “We not only offer American fare with a tropical twist, along with shareable plates,” said Jiminez.
Guests can relax on fireside lounges while ordering items from the grill, which offers at least five items daily and include items like Mojo glazed chicken, sweet chili shrimp and coffee-rubbed pork ribs.
A new, 20-seat outdoor bar serves unique cocktails that, according to Jiminez, are bright, fun and vibrant.
Coffee Counter at the Ryder
Guests can now grab a hot or cold beverage at the “Coffee Counter” where single-origin coffee is prepared to order.
Located on Meeting Street, the new “Coffee Counter” is open to the public daily from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. and offers drip coffee, cold brew, espressos, lattes, along with teas ranging from green, to oolong, black and herbal. A selection of grab-and-go items include fruit cups, granola parfaits, pastries and croissants. Lunch offerings include items like chopped salads, Cuban sandwiches and vegetarian options.
The Gear Garage
Located near the lobby is the new Gear Garage, which, according to Dinkel, is stocked with an array of equipment for those who are headed to the beach, or simply just want to enjoy the great outdoors. The hotel offers complimentary use of bikes, longboards, beach bags, towels, chairs, coolers, boomboxes, skateboards, yoga mats and additional items so guests can make the most of their stay both on and off the property.
“These renovations add to the vibrant energy The Ryder provides to not only our hotel guests, but also the local Charleston community. With the collaborative effort of our acclaimed design partner, Cortney Bishop, we’ve created a beautiful space and now want to invite guests to dive into The Ryder,” said Dinkel.
Stephanie Kalina-Metzger is a contributing writer for SC Biz News.