Updated: June 14, 2015
Reviews: Best Charleston Hotels - Where to Stay in CharlestonAs long as you avoid the peak of the hot summer months, when humidity can be stifling, Charleston is a great city to visit. Alright, even if you go in summer you will still probably enjoy it, you'll just be sweating more! Charleston is located on an peninsula that just out into Charleston Harbor, bordered to the west by the Ashley River, and to the east by the Cooper River -- outside the scenic harbor is the mighty Atlantic. This waterfront setting gives the historic center of Charleston a feel something like San Francisco, just without all the hills (Charleston is part of the "Low Country" region, with a lot of flat tidal marshes and swampland and very little in the way of elevation). By car, you can approach Charleston from three directions: from Mount Pleasant in the east via Hwy 17 over the Arthur Ravenal Jr. Bridge spanning the Cooper River; from the north, via the 26 freeway that intersects both the 526 Inner Beltway and further out, the I-95; and from the west on Hwy 17 across the Ashley River Memorial Bridge.
The most scenic part of Charleston is south of Calhoun St., which bisects the city east to west. A few blocks north of this is OK, but the city starts looking pretty run-down as you get closer and closer to the Hwy 26 interchange. For most tourists, you will be exploring and staying south of Calhoun St. Looking at a map of Charleston, Market St. around the intersection of Meeting St. or King St. is the real heart of the commercial part of the city. You can't go wrong with any hotels within a few blocks of here.
Most Popular Charleston Hotels and Lodging
- Holiday Inn Historic District, Charleston - 125 Calhoun St, just off Meeting St.; rooms start from just under $150 per night. Location is decent, but a few blocks farther north than we normally like to stay. This is a nice hotel, better than the average HI you come across.
- Embassy Suites Hotel Historic District, Charleston - just up Meeting St. from the Holiday Inn, rooms start around $150 per night. This one gets some mixed reviews - we recommend staying further south..
- Charleston Place (205 Meeting St) is the nicest hotel in the city. It's in a great location between Market and Hasell, between Meeting and King St. It connects to upscale indoor shopping boutiques. Expect to pay $250 minimum in the low season, up to $600 in the busier season. If you can afford it, stay here.
- The Planters Inn (112 N Market St) is another great hotel, just half a block from Charleston Place. Conveniently located, you can get beautiful rooms here with canopy beds - -expect to pay $175 minimum, up to $400.
- Doubletree Guest Suites, Historic Charleston (181 Church Street). Just one block east from Meeting St., this nice property gives you easy access to the acitivites on Market St., and is just 2 blocks from all the restaurants on E. Bay St. We stayed here most recently in the winter of 2006. Suites were spacious and comfortable, service was good, no complaints. Expect to pay $140 to $350, depending on time of year. Highly recommended. Valet parking is a little expensive at $16 per day -- consider the garage just across the street off Hayne St.
- French Quarter Inn (166 Church St) is just down the block from the Doubletree. Good location, nice quality rooms. Love the cookies and milk in the lobby each evening! Expect to pay $175-$375 per night for lodging.
- Days Inn Historic District (155 Meeting St) - for something a little cheaper, consider this one. Nothing fancy, but you should be able to find rooms for $175 or less.
Charleston, SC Inns and B&BsCharleston is famous for its southern mansion homes that line its picturesque streets in the historic district, so you may be in the mood for a more cozy inn than a commercial hotel. Some popular bed and breakfasts and inns in Charleston include:
- Two Meeting Street Inn (2 Meeting St, just off S. Battery on the waterfront). Located in a Queen Anne Mansion dating from the late 1800s, you are in a very scenic location here for $200-$300 per night.
- Battery Carriage House Inn 1843 (20 S Battery, near King St.). Eleven different rooms all offer private entrances and custom decor. Not good for small children, 2 night minimum required on weekends, but a lovely property. Expect to pay $150-$300 per night, and remember this is a 150 year old, not a new, modern highrise.
- Antebellum Bed & Breakfast at Thomas Lamboll House (19 King St, a block and a half from the battery). The home is terrific but there are a few complaints about the proprietor. If you are the type that wants to chat endlessly with the host, this might not be your cup of tee, but for accomodations, it is a good choice.