Hotels in the Charleston Area

by Debbie Selinsky
A carriage ride through the historic district is a must-do in Charleston.

A carriage ride through the historic district is a must-do in Charleston.

charleston carriage image by Sirena Designs from

For nearly two decades, Charleston, South Carolina, has sat near the top of Conde Nast Traveler Magazine's best US destinations list. That's not surprising since the vibrant southern port city is rich in history (Fort Sumter and antebellum plantations), the arts (the Spoleto Festival), great restaurants, family-friendly attractions (South Carolina Aquarium) and many fine hotels, resorts and bed & breakfast inns. Favorite places to stay include the historic district downtown, which is convenient to the cruise port, and nearby beach islands.

For History Buffs

If you're fascinated by southern and Civil War history, you might enjoy staying at the Mills House Hotel in the downtown historic district. The hotel, which is more than 150 years old, has played host to Theodore Roosevelt and Robert E. Lee, and is the only hotel in the city's famous Museum Mile. The fully renovated hotel, which has significant meeting space and a full-service restaurant, is included on Conde Nast Traveler's Gold List of Hotels. Highlights of the seven-floor, 214-room facility are the registration lobby's ornate chandelier from the Belle Meade Plantation in Nashville, and an art collection by Anthony Hale, who was responsible for the art collection during the Kennedy White House renovation. The distinctive pink Mills House is practically next door to the Dock Street Theatre, the Market Place and the famous King Street antique district.

For Luxury Lovers

If your ideal vacation includes spa treatments and fine dining, you won't be disappointed in Charleston Place. The Orient Express-style hotel offers leading edge spa treatments in a large facility that was included in Conde Nast Traveler Magazine's list of top hotel spas. Charleston Place, located in downtown Charleston, has also been honored for its Charleston Grille, a AAA 4-Diamond and Mobil 4-star restaurant that features Southern, French and continental specialities such as Sweet Potato Casserole Ravioli and Duck Comfit with Blackberries. A casual restaurant and a bar and lounge are also in the hotel, which is connected to luxury shops selling labels like Gucci, Lalique and Jay Strongwater. The hotel, which has concierge service, meeting space and a rooftop pool, offers a package that gives you 40 percent off the third night when you stay three nights.

For a Longer Stay

If you're planning on staying a while in the Charleston area for business or pleasure, you'll want to check out Restoration on King, a renovated structure with exposed brick walls and original wood floors. The hotel has 16 luxury suites -- the smallest of which is 782 square feet and the largest, 1,271 square feet in size. Located at the corner of Wentworth and King Street in the heart of the antiques district, the hotel suites have modern kitchens, complete with gourmet cookware, dishes, fridges and microwaves, as well as modern bathrooms and washers and dryers. To help you with meals, the hotel offers "room service" from four nearby restaurants and a grocery shopping and stocking service. Guests can grab cookies and milk in the lobby in the evenings or visit with other guests and managers over wine and cheese. One- and two-bedroom suites are available, some of which have balconies that overlook old Charleston. A favorite gathering place is the elegant rooftop lounge. The hotel is near all the historic district's attractions.

For Beachcombers

Charleston's metro area includes the Isle of Palms, which offers an alternative to beach-lovers. Wild Dunes Resort on the Isle of Palms is a 1,600-acre oceanfront village that includes the Boardwalk Inn, a AAA 4-Diamond property on the beach, oceanfront pools, a boardwalk and restaurant. Guests at the 93-room hotel also have priority access to golf tee times and discount rates at the Links Course and Harbor Course, and are 30 minutes from Charleston's city center.

For the Budget-minded

Charleston offers many hotels that work well for families traveling on a budget. An example is the Days Inn at Patriot's Point in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina. Located a half mile from the USS Yorktown and the Maritime Museum at Patriot's Point and three miles from Charleston's historic district, the Days Inn is also five miles from the beach at Isle of Palms and seven miles from Boone Hall Plantation. You can grab an inexpensive meal 24 hours a day at the on-site Huddle House or vist a nearby restaurant. Amenities include an outdoor seasonal pool, fridge and microwave in each room and free WiFi.

About the Author

Debbie Selinsky is an award-winning writer based in North Carolina. Selinsky is the former senior editor of "Success Magazine" and deputy director of the Duke University News Service. She has written about travel for many years and specializes in cruise travel, having sailed on more than 100 cruises. Selinsky attended North Greenville University, Oregon Institute of Technology and the Poynter Institute for Journalistic Excellence.

Photo Credits

  • charleston carriage image by Sirena Designs from