Charleston has worked hard to become the belle of the Old South Ball. Awarded year after year as a top destination in the US, the city’s charm and sophistication draw visitors in; the hospitality and old fashioned Gone with the wind in ancient times, tourists keep coming back for more. The historic district in downtown Charleston is the best place to book a room in the city. Hotels are available here in every price range. The city’s many rooftops are unforgettable for watching sunsets. Museum Milethe Provost Dungeon, restored mansions and the legendary shops of king street are all within walking distance. In addition, this area is home to numerous award-winning restaurants that push Lowcountry cuisine to new heights. The free DASH trolley has three routes through the city to further explore the area.
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Where to stay for luxury
Find the feel of a bygone era in the Wentworth Mansion downtown Charleston is a property that exudes brilliance and grace. This former private home is beautifully decorated with antique finishes and sparkling crystal. The 21-room inn is pet-friendly and unique from top to bottom. An elegant spa, the locally inspired Circa 1886 restaurant, and close proximity to vintage antique shops provide the luxurious experience guests crave. Don’t miss the rooftop terrace for sweeping views of the city.
The timeless elegance of Zero George Street celebrates tradition at this exclusive boutique hotel. A courtyard with a private garden is the base and is surrounded by sixteen luxurious guest rooms made up of five historic buildings. Accented with period details and contemporary art, the soothing color palette captures the essence of Southern chic. Culinary travelers will enjoy the on-site cooking classes, often with well-known chefs. The award-winning restaurant offers the best local ingredients in their creative menu.
Often referred to as one of the most luxurious properties in the Belmond Collection, the Belmond Charleston Place surrounds guests with the finest of true Southern hospitality. The rooms feature modern technology combined with contemporary furnishings and elegant baths. The full-service spa pampers guests with rejuvenating treatments. Gourmet dining brings out the best in Lowcountry ingredients in a wide variety of restaurant settings. A retractable roof on the horizon-edge pool brings the outdoors in and provides a great place to relax after exploring the nearby city market and cultural offer.
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Where to Stay: Mid-Range
Art lovers will find The Vendue Charleston’s Art Hotel a win in every category. Located in the French Quarter, adjacent to the historic districtThe property consists of two hotels reimagined from warehouse buildings dating back to the 1780s. The hotel’s mission is to provide an art-centric experience for guests and, combined with its innovative dining options, offers a feast for all the senses. Global and local artists participate in biennial exhibitions. Steps away from many local galleries and museums, it is a perfect place to discover the wealth of artistic history in Charleston.
Cobbled streets are part of the charm of the historic Market Pavilion Hotel. Mahogany four-poster beds, rich textiles and damask couches announce your arrival in traditional Southern hospitality. Catch a sunset at the Pavilion Bar, one of the best rooftops in the city. Grill 225 brings the best in aged beef and sustainable seafood to the table.
The bold color and unique style of Marriott’s Autograph Collection shine through at the Grand Bohemian Hotel Charleston. Original artwork and eclectic style combine with dramatic accents at this 50-room property. The current trend of excellent farm-to-table restaurants in the hotel can be found in Eleve, where Southern dishes are influenced by French technique. The rooftop offers a view and a vibrant spot for sunset.
Where to stay on a budget
Budget-minded travelers will find reasonably priced accommodations at one of Charleston’s newest hotels, the Holiday Inn Charleston Historic Downtown. Guests will enjoy the refreshing saltwater pool, high-speed Wi-Fi and a seasonal menu in the restaurant with a variety of tapas.
The Indigo Inn wrapped in a shade of robin egg blue is a real find in the budget category. Sophisticated accommodations with historic renovation make up the 40-room bed and breakfast in the heart of the holy city, as Charleston is often called. Late afternoon snacks are available. The courtyard terrace, shaded by mature trees, is a lovely place to relax and read a book. Pets are welcome upon prior request. A friendly staff and a delicious breakfast are part of the property’s charm.
Museum Mile is home to King Charles Inn, one of the most accommodating properties in the famous historic district. Complimentary perks include parking, Wi-Fi, a fitness pass, an outdoor pool and sun deck, and an evening reception.
Where to stay for families
Cobbled streets lead to the entrance of the Harbourview Inn. This waterfront address has a location that families will love. Everything is within walking distance, and if you choose to venture a little further afield, the free Dash Trolley stops right across the street; good to know when kids melt their afternoon. Book a river view room and watch cruise ships and boats go by. The park across the street is a great place to burn off some extra energy while strolling to the pastel houses with hidden gardens on Rainbow Row. Milk and cookies will greet guests in the afternoon; early risers can catch the sun coming over the barrier islands. In good weather you can enjoy socializing on an early evening, often with music.
Hyatt Charleston / Historic District, one of the newest hotels in Charleston, enjoys its trendy location Upper King Street Area. This contemporary 113-room property has full kitchen units and families looking for a money-saving in-room meal will enjoy the complimentary groceries. The heated indoor pool offers year-round activities and a free breakfast is included in the price.
The family-friendly Hampton Inn Charleston-Historic District is located adjacent to the Charleston Visitor Center and along the Museum Mile for easy access to historic neighborhoods, the Children’s Museum, ghost tours and carriage rides. The pre-war hotel has been restored from an 1860 warehouse into 170 rooms and suites. A hot breakfast and Wi-Fi are included. Kids will love gazing across the river to the USS Yorktown and taking advantage of the refreshing pool facilities after a day of exploring. Babysitting services and children’s games are also available.
Where to stay for romance
Utilizing historic space in Charleston, The Restoration celebrates the city’s early beginnings by combining five buildings into one modern property for today’s visitor. Brick walls, exposed beams and large windows add to the casual hip interior. The world-class rooftop dining venue here features the finest local ingredients, from land and sea, with a farm-to-table menu. Eye-catching pop-up stores and trunk shows can be seen in the Port Mercantile; a modern shopping experience that also offers classes and supplies you never knew you needed. The Amethyst Spa takes a cue from the gemstone and offers a soothing, relaxing tranquility to the luxurious experience. Often referred to as a hidden gem and established just off Market Streetthis cozy boutique hotel has an intimate atmosphere.
The welcoming, luxurious French Quarter Inn offers a culinary package for couples. Visit the local farmer’s market with a chef and enjoy a cooking class in Gullah (American South). Borrow one of their beach cruisers and pedal to a spot along the water for a picnic. A Just the two of us Escape offers dinner at a well-known romantic restaurant and a private carriage ride. The extensive pillow menu ensures sweet dreams at the end of your evening.
The Ansonborough Inn has a storied maritime history that is reflected today in the transformation of this former warehouse. The boutique hotel was originally converted into apartments and as such, each of the suites is quite a bit larger than a normal hotel room. Exposed beams, nautical paintings and red brick give hints to the building’s past life. A complimentary continental breakfast is served each morning. Try the South’s infamous chilli on the afternoon social. Convenient close to the historic market and the waterfrontthe Ansonborough Inn is central to all the charms of Charleston.