The largest and oldest city in South Carolina, Charleston is a charming place to visit that has a sophisticated old-South feel and look to it. Founded all the way back in 1670, its historic downtown lies on a peninsula between two rivers and boasts lots of beautiful old buildings and cobbled lanes.
In addition to its many historical sights, the city has a wealth of fantastic hotels; many are located in grand mansions or gorgeous townhouses. While these look simply stunning, the Southern hospitality on offer wherever you go is sure to live just as long in the memory.
Let’s have a look at the best hotels in Charleston, SC:
1. Belmond Charleston Place
Located right in the heart of historic Charleston, Belmond Charleston Place is a luxurious and lavishly decorated five-star hotel. While its lobby boasts crystal chandeliers, marble floors, and an open-arm staircase, its rooms are just as impressive with their antique furnishings and artworks.
Belmond Charleston Place also sports a wonderful swimming pool and spa, as well as award-winning restaurants. In its elegant bar, guests can enjoy nightly jazz performances.
Location: Very centrally located, Belmond Charleston Place lies right next to Charleston City Market, within walking distance of all the main sights and attractions.
2. Wentworth Mansion
Built in the late 1800s, Wentworth Mansion exhibits some gorgeous architecture. Its opulent interior is no less striking than its fantastic facade. Once a private residence, the mansion is now a fabulous five-star hotel that guarantees guests a delightful stay.
Dripping with Southern charm, the hotel features a luxury spa, and complimentary drinks are provided in the bar each evening. Exquisitely decorated, its rooms are fitted with fine furnishings and grand fireplaces, with a whirlpool tub in each one.
Location: Wentworth Mansion lies ten to fifteen-minutes walk from many of Charleston’s main sights.
3. The Dewberry Charleston
Another excellent five-star hotel, The Dewberry is set in a lovely spot overlooking Marion Square. It boasts a magnificent rooftop bar. While its modern exterior is unremarkable in comparison with other Charleston hotels, its interior is grand and glittering.
Besides its refined rooms, The Dewberry has a brilliant brasserie-style restaurant and cocktail bar for guests to enjoy, as well as a spa, fitness centre, and library.
Location: The Dewberry is located just minutes away from Charleston Museum, the American Theater, and Charleston Farmers Market.
4. The Vendue
Not one but two hotels, The Vendue is set across five historic warehouses that lie in Charleston’s French Quarter. The design and decor is very art-oriented: both 19 Vendue and 26 Vendue exhibit lots of unique artworks and art installations.
This makes the four-stay hotel a joy to stay at, with each room and public space caringly and creatively curated. The other main highlight is The Vendue’s airy and spacious rooftop cocktail bar.
Location: The Vendue is just a five-minute walk from Charleston City Market. Charleston Waterfront Park is even closer. Guests can rent bikes for free to explore the city.
5. Market Pavilion Hotel
Beyond Market Pavilion’s beautiful façade, guests will find a lovingly and lavishly decorated interior that exudes taste and grandeur. While its public spaces look a treat, its rooms are equally extravagant and are all equipped with flat-screen TVs.
The highlight, however, is its rooftop pool and terrace. There are phenomenal views out over the waterfront from the Pavilion Bar.
Location: Many fine restaurants, bars, and shops lie around the hotel, with both Waterfront Park and Charleston City Market just a five-minute walk away.
6. Hotel Bennett Charleston
One of the tallest buildings in Charleston, Hotel Bennett and its brilliantly bright white walls certainly stand out from the crowd. From its lofty rooftop bar and pool, guests can enjoy breathtaking views out over the city.
Inside the five-star hotel, everything from its rooms and restaurants to its ballrooms, spa and wellness centre are the pinnacle of sophistication.
Location: Located on Marion Square, Hotel Bennett is just a couple of minutes walk from Charleston Museum and a host of shops, restaurants, and bars.
7. The Spectator Hotel
While The Spectator may not have its own restaurant, spa, or fitness centre, the hotel more than makes up for it with its splendid service, style, and Southern hospitality.
Equipped with all the latest amenities, its boutique-style rooms are a delight. The undoubted highlight is the five-star hotel’s speakeasy bar. With complimentary cocktails on arrival and a personalised butler service, The Spectator is not to be missed out on.
Location: Very centrally located, The Spectator lies just minutes away from Charleston City Market and Waterfront Park.
8. The Restoration Hotel
Set across five historic buildings in downtown Charleston, The Restoration is a wonderful hotel boasting 16 sumptuous and spacious suites. Each of these is tastefully decorated, with lots of exposed brick on show alongside fine furnishings and fetching photography installations.
In addition to this, guests can make use of its spa, restaurant, and bar, as well as the rooftop pool.
Location: Most of Charleston’s main tourist sites and attractions lie within ten or fifteen minutes walk of the hotel.
9. French Quarter Inn
If you’re after a warm and welcoming stay, you can’t do much better than the French Quarter Inn. After having been greeted with complimentary champagne upon arrival, guests are treated to a free gourmet continental breakfast every day, as well as port and wine receptions. Milk and cookies are served in the evening.
The French Quarter Inn’s outstanding service really sets it apart. While it may not have a spa, pool, or gym, its boutique rooms and elegant decor guarantee a relaxing and memorable stay.
Location: As it is located right next to Charleston City Market, the French Quarter Inn is ideally situated for getting around town.
10. The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel
Built all the way back in 1853, the Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel has managed to retain all its elegance and grandeur without feeling old-fashioned or outdated.
Besides its stylish rooms, the hotel boasts a gorgeous courtyard and highly-rated restaurant, with an outdoor swimming pool also on offer.
Location: Plenty of bars, restaurants, shops, and historic buildings lie right on the hotel’s doorstep, so you can easily walk to wherever you need to go.
11. Harbourview Inn
Set right on the coast, Harbourview Inn is blessed with beautiful views out over Charleston Harbour, with sunsets from its rooftop terrace being particularly spectacular.
The luxury boutique hotel’s rooms are very elegantly decorated, and the Atrium Lobby also looks very stylish. Although there is no spa, pool, or on-site restaurant, Harbourview Inn kindly offers free wine and cheese receptions to all of its guests.
Location: Just a short walk from the waterfront and pier, Harbourview Inn isn’t far from Charleston City Market, which is ten minutes away on foot.
12. Planters Inn
Located right in the heart of historic Charleston, Planters Inn is a fabulous four-star hotel that is as charming as they come. Staff are very courteous and welcoming, and there is a laidback yet luxurious air about the place.
Featuring four-poster beds, flat-screen TVs, and marvellous marble baths, its rooms are tastefully decorated – as are its lounge, lobby, and business centre.
Location: You couldn’t get much more central than this: Planters Inn lies on the corner of Market Street and Meeting Street – the beating heart of the city.
13. Francis Marion Hotel
Long a favourite with visitors to Charleston, the four-star Francis Marion has lots of fine features and fantastic furnishings that harken back to when it was opened in the 1920s. Its lobby looks exquisite, and its beautiful ballrooms are just as mesmerising.
Recently refurbished, its elegant rooms are now equipped with all the latest amenities. Besides its superb location, the Francis Marion also has a great restaurant for guests to try, as well as regular live jazz performances in the bar.
Location: Situated on King Street right next to Marion Square, the hotel is close to the Charleston Museum as well as lots of shops, restaurants, and bars. The French Quarter is just a kilometre away.
14. Andrew Pinckney Inn
Instantly recognisable thanks to its bright yellow exterior, Andrew Pinckney Inn is a wonderful four-star boutique hotel that exudes old-world charm. While its rooms are tasteful and traditional in design, they are all kitted with flat-screen TVs and iHome docking stations.
Although there’s no on-site restaurant, many guests noted that the complimentary breakfasts out on the rooftop terrace were a highlight of their stay.
Location: Andrew Pinckney Inn is just a stone’s throw away from most of Charleston’s main tourist attractions.
15. John Rutledge House Inn
Built all the way back in 1763, this gorgeous building features lots of majestic wrought ironwork, as well as inlaid wooden floors and lovely little porticos. The four-star hotel’s rooms are just as magical, with marble fireplaces and period furniture on show alongside more modern amenities.
Besides its delightful decor, John Rutledge House Inn also boasts an airy and atmospheric courtyard in addition to an opulent ballroom.
Location: John Rutledge House Inn is just a ten-minute walk from Charleston City Market.