Hotel Bennett Announces Leadership Team
179-room luxury hotel on Charleston’s Marion Square will be led by Managing Director Vijay Singh, as well key executives with intimate knowledge of the Charleston and luxury markets
Vijay Singh - Managing Director, Hotel Bennett
CHARLESTON, SC (December 14, 2017) – Hotel Bennett, the grand new luxury hotel under construction on King Street and overlooking Charleston’s iconic and historic Marion Square, has announced its opening leadership team.
The 179-room property is being led by Managing Director Vijay Singh, the highly-respected, Charleston-based hospitality executive who has spent the last six years working as vice president of operations for Salamander Hotels & Resorts. Heidi Nowak has joined as the hotel’s director of sales and marketing after a distinguished career with the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, while Lindsay Forseth has been appointed as the director of catering and conference services after moving from Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg, VA. Ryan Quinlan, formerly of The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island, is the hotel’s director of engineering.
“I’m proud to be working alongside such knowledgeable and experienced professionals to open the most luxurious property Charleston has ever seen,” said Singh. “We look forward to delivering world-class service and becoming a true community gathering place for the city’s residents.”
European in its design, Hotel Bennett is scheduled to open in Summer 2018 and features elegant guestrooms and suites opening onto the square, a two-tiered restaurant with outdoor seating, and a stylish bar and lounge. The hotel will also include a spectacular rooftop pool and bar, a luxury spa, a patisserie, and over 14,000 square feet of grand event and meeting spaces.
The luxury property is named for the Charleston-based Bennett family, and is owned by local hotelier Michael Bennett and his company Bennett Hospitality, operations for which are overseen by veteran hotel executive Marty Wall. Hotel Bennett is being managed by Salamander Hotels & Resorts, the luxury hotel company founded by Sheila Johnson and led by noted hospitality executive Prem Devadas.
Before joining Salamander, where he oversaw the openings of three luxury hotels, Vijay Singh was the general manager of The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island, a Forbes Five Star and AAA Five Diamond award winner. A veteran of some of the country’s finest hotels and resorts, Singh also spent 13 years with the Ritz-Carlton Company working at resorts in Naples, FL; Atlanta; Amelia Island, FL; Cleveland and St. Louis.
Heidi Nowak arrives at Hotel Bennett after working in leadership roles for 20 years with the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, most recently as the director of sales and marketing at the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman. For the previous seven years, she served as director of sales, marketing, meetings and special events at the Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte, a AAA Five Diamond property. She has also worked in Miami, New York, Detroit and Washington, D.C.
For the last three years Lindsay Forseth has worked as the director of catering at Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg, VA, which opened to international acclaim in 2013. Prior to joining the Salamander team, she was the director of catering at Lansdowne Resort in Lansdowne, VA, and previously spent five years as catering manager at the Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner in Virginia.
Formerly the director of engineering at The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island, Ryan Quinlan has worked in the hotel industry for nearly 20 years. A certified electrician and HVAC technician, he was part of the team that helped open The Sanctuary in 2004. Quinlan has also worked for Blue Green Vacations and G.E. Automations.
Prominently located on Marion Square, the hotel’s historic site formerly housed the original west wing of The Citadel, South Carolina’s Military Academy. More recently, it was home to the Charleston Library. Today, Marion Square, the most famous green space in the city, serves as a central gathering location for world-class events and festivals.
Hotel Bennett’s sweeping lobby will serve as a gathering place for visitors and locals alike. The signature restaurant and its bar open onto dramatic terraces overlooking Marion Square, offering an outdoor dining experience unlike any other in Charleston. The hotel will also feature Camellia’s Bar, featuring an etched-mirrored ceiling and reclaimed pink marble from the former Charleston Library for its bar and table tops.
Stylish guest rooms and suites will include high-quality, custom furnishings which reflect the authenticity of the Charleston area’s surroundings. More finely appointed than traditional luxury hotel guestrooms, they will offer elegant bathrooms with designer pedestal tubs, separate showers, luxurious bedding and locally inspired artwork.
Drawing on the inspirational venue, the hotel’s signature spa will create an urban oasis for guests with treatments that incorporate the area’s maritime surroundings. The spa will also provide a true King Street shopping experience for those browsing the exclusive retail offerings.
The rooftop experience will feature an elegant, heated pool at its epicenter, spectacular views of Charleston and what is destined to become one of the most iconic hotel bars in America. By day, the pool, bar and terrace will provide a peaceful retreat for the hotel’s guests, serving chilled drinks and creative, lighter fare. In the evening, it will become the city’s most sophisticated new gathering place.
Hotel Bennett will also offer corporate groups and destination weddings the most luxurious new event spaces in Charleston in which to meet and celebrate, including a 6,600-square-foot Grand Ballroom, elegantly appointed boardrooms and a spectacular rooftop event location.
About Bennett Hospitality
Founded as the Bennett Hofford Company in 1983, Bennett Hospitality is today one of the largest locally-owned companies in Charleston, S.C. The company is a multi-faceted, full-service real estate and development company, as well as a hospitality, restaurant, and asset management company. The company owns 18 hotels, eight restaurants and a catering company in four states. Projects are developed, constructed and managed in this framework and range from award-winning resort developments to the re-design and re-development of two city blocks, including six restaurants, a 1000-seat music hall and two hotels in downtown Charleston. For additional information, visit www.BennettHospitality.com.
About Salamander Hotels & Resorts
Salamander Hotels & Resorts is a privately owned and operated company based in Middleburg, VA, just outside Washington, D.C. Founded by entrepreneur Sheila Johnson in 2005, the company has a luxury portfolio featuring two distinct collections. The Signature Collection includes the stunning Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg, a 340-acre equestrian-inspired property near Washington, D.C.; The Henderson, a 170-room grand beach resort in Destin, FL; NOPSI New Orleans, a new 217-room luxury historic hotel re-imagined which opened in July 2017; and Hotel Bennett, a 179-room luxury hotel in Charleston, SC, opening in summer 2018. The Golf Collection includes the famed Innisbrook Resort in Tampa Bay, which hosts an annual PGA TOUR on its Copperhead Course; the elegant Reunion Resort in Orlando, which includes Signature Course designs from Nicklaus, Palmer and Watson; and the recently renovated oceanfront Hammock Beach Resort in Palm Coast, FL, home to layouts by Nicklaus and Watson. All Salamander properties are members of Preferred Hotels & Resorts. For additional information, visit www.SalamanderHotels.com.