Where to Stay in Charleston

All day yesterday, I attempted the long process of booking a hotel. I suppose it is not typically a long process, but for me, it is. I have status at a few hotel chains, and I always have this argument in my head about whether I should stay somewhere to get points … or if I should stay at the cheaper place. Yesterday was no different. I've stayed at a few hotels in Charleston in the past 10 or so years, so I have definitely developed a taste for what I do and don't like in hotels there. Given that I only had a few days in which to look for a hotel and price points to consider, it was a struggle for me to not be able to choose the hotels I am familiar with and love. I decided that I would give those hotels a shout out in this blog post since I won't be staying at any of them over the weekend.


Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina

A few years ago (maybe 4?), I made plans with a friend to visit Charleston. She cancelled last minute, but I convinced Justin to take me anyway. (Summer birthdays are great for convincing husbands/boyfriends!) We couldn't afford to stay by the beach (who wouldn't choose the beach first anyway?), but I wanted to stay near water. CHR&M was a good much cheaper alternative. It had just gone through renovations and prices were much less than they are today. Unfortunately, years later unless you book through groupon or some other fantastic hotel deal site, the hotel is far more expensive. Nevertheless, it is always my first choice.

CHR&M is located right on the marina (as the name implies) and also right at the touristy Patriot's Point. They have a boat that goes back and forth from the hotel to Charleston city proper and you are within a quick drive to the beach at Isle of Palms. Another feature is the summer bonfires (which I've never seen) and the variety of things for the elderly to do. If you go on July 4th, you are set up perfectly to watch the fireworks. And one of my favorite things to do is to meander the property and especially exploring the marina at night. In my mind there is nothing more magical than hearing and seeing the boats on the water at night. Truly fantastic. :)

The large rooms are simply lovely at CHR&M decorated in yellow and blue making you feel as though you are at home rather than at a hotel. I recommend getting a room on a higher floor looking out at the marina, because the parking lot view just never seemed to be too appealing to me. Don't worry too much about booking a room with a fireplace. As beautiful as the fireplace is, it is not worth the extra money since you get a balcony with a (regular) double queen room anyway for a lot less.

Seaside Inn

My first trip to Charleston, we stayed at this hotel which I managed to get at the cheap, cheap price of $150 a night in the middle of summer. Granted they had just done renovations, and this was maybe 10 years ago. I never saw SI as an amazing luxury hotel which is why, given the price increases, I have only been back once. In other news, the breakfast was lackluster (cold pastries, juice, coffee, and cereal) and my husband (boyfriend at the time) once saw a roach on the floor. (I know. Gross, right?!) The beach was just steps away though, and you could sit outside your room (even if you didn't have an ocean view) and hear the ocean, which was a nice perk. I also loved that cute little bars with frozen drinks and gift shops were all within walking distance. Who doesn't want to go for a late night Ben & Jerry's run? :)

Best Western: Patriot's Point

Last year Justin and I went and stayed at the BW for July 4th weekend. We got a fantastic deal on travelocity and were, once again, traveling with family who were more conscious about money than I am. Spending $70/night or so on 3 nights between 4 people and getting a free breakfast included sounded fantastic. And it was. The hotel itself was lackluster. It was definitely a Best Western without much decoration or flare. It was within (a long) walking distance of Patriot's Point where we went to see the fireworks, but it was within walking distance. We didn't even have to worry about where to park the car! Or driving through traffic after the fireworks! The breakfast was even pretty good with eggs, bacon, pastries, juice, coffee, and waffles being served. While the BW will never be my favorite place to stay, I definitely recommend it if you can get a room for a good price. It's a fantastic budget hotel. :)

Marketplace Pavillion Hotel

If you are looking to stay in historic downtown in luxury, this may be the hotel for you. Justin and I went with some friends of his on a loooooonnnnngggg weekend date and stayed here, a place I never would have considered on my own. The hotel is right smack dab in the middle of town and you pay for that when you stay at this hotel. The interior is gorgeous and they offer packets of coffee and tea in the room along with pastries on each floor in the morning. Because we were vacationing in February, the pool was closed, but I'm not sure I would want to go to this hotel's pool anyway. It is located on the rooftop next to a bar that is open during the summer to the public. The bar area is fantastic for watching the sunset even if the food is a bit expensive. As fancy as the hotel is, I would have a hard time returning and paying such a high price for the little bit of value I seemed to get out of this hotel. I would much rather stay at the beach if I'm going to pay so much. Then again, I don't find much value in staying in the historic Charleston city limits anyway.

Hampton Inn: Historic Charleston

For someone who doesn't find much value inside the historic city limits of Charleston, I still found myself enjoying a stay at this fantastic hotel last year. I was put in a room on the bottom floor with a door that led straight out to the pool. Heck yeah! :) Unfortunately we only got to stay for one night, but we took full advantage of all of the hotel amenities. Free hot drinks all day, free buffet style breakfast in the morning, free cookies in the afternoon, free shuttle service into the city, fantastic staff, and help obtaining forgotten toiletries all made our stay at this hotel fabulous! We felt like royalty!

The rooms were decorated wonderfully. We stayed in a room with 2 queen beds and the room was huuuuuuuggggggeeee! (Yes, the exaggeration is warranted.) Honestly I can't remember any of the rooms amenities because we were there for such a short period, but it definitely felt worth it. If I go on vacation, I like feeling like royalty and taking advantage of hotel perks. I highly recommend this hotel especially if you have status with the Hilton chain, want to stay in historic Charleston, or are traveling with family. It is definitely worth it.

Holiday Inn Riverview

I can't really tell you a whole lot about this Holiday Inn since it was years ago that I was there, but, from what I do remember, this hotel is a great place to watch 4th of July fireworks from your room. They don't really offer any amazing amenities and the rooms aren't stunning, but you are much closer to Charleston city center, you have great views of Charleston from the higher floors, and the price is comparably a lot lower than other hotels in that area. There are definitely benefits to this hotel if none of your preferred hotels are available. It was one of the few I was considering for my most current weekend getaway.


This weekend Justin and I will be staying at our seventh hotel in Charleston, one that we have never stayed at before, the Daniel Island Hampton Inn which provides free breakfast, cookies, drinks, and shuttle service and has high ratings on TripAdvisor. I'm hoping it will be an awesome experience, but you never know. I tried to choose a place with lots of amenities, as close to Charleston (or the beach) as possible, and some place that I have status with. It was between this and the Holiday Inn (Riverview or Downtown). (The price point* and free cookies won me over. haha.)

Have you ever stayed at any of these hotels when visiting Charleston? Would you recommend them? (I'm not even going to ask if you've ever been, because if you haven't, you must go! The sooner, the better!)

See my recommendations on what to do and where to eat in Charleston.

* Don't forget that Hilton hotels are offering $50 back when you use your Amex for hotel stays costing $250 or more between now and 9/2/14 and tweet at #AmexHilton with your linked (to Amex) twitter account. See offer terms and conditions here.

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