Discover Charleston

Southern Romance: A Guide to Six Charming Downtown Charleston, SC Hotels

Discover the best of the Holy City When You Stay at These Downtown Charleston, SC Hotels

Charleston, South Carolina has a well-earned reputation for its hospitable charm. From residents’ amiable welcome, to the rich history and characteristic architecture that it’s famous for—not to mention the expansive culinary mecca—the Holy City’s warmth and distinguishing appeal rank it a top travel destination. 

It’s no surprise Charleston’s diverse lodging establishments elevate their game to meet varying worldwide guests’ needs and desires. It is the south after all, where your stay is as important to hoteliers as to Charlestonians sharing their beloved hometown. Choose genteel inns tucked down in quiet streets or grand spaces set apart by their luxury; the appealing range of accommodations is every bit as alluring as you’d expect from such esteemed hospitality offerings. The downtown Charleston, SC hotels represented here are but a few of the city’s top offerings; all are a destination in and of themselves.  

Andrew Pinckney Inn in historic downtown Charleston.
Distinctive character and personality set each of Charleston’s picture-postcard hotels and inns apart (Courtesy Andrew Pinckney Inn)

Andrew Pinckney Inn

Nestled in the heart of the Historic District, just two blocks north of the bustling City Market, the Andrew Pinckney Inn is a 41-room boutique hotel effusing circa 1860s splendor. A quintessential gem dressed to impress, the hotel's colorful facade overflows with window box gardens in colorful bloom. Interior décor includes traditional Charleston details—original interior brick walls, venerable wood floors, and hand-forged wrought iron—incorporated in a breezy West Indies style. From standard rooms to suites, guests chose from a variety of rooms. 

Suitable for families, three spacious townhouse accommodations afford breathtaking skyline views. Junior Suites feature extra sitting areas outfitted with sleep sofas, kitchenettes, wet bars and some with Jacuzzi baths. The complimentary hot breakfast served on the inn’s rooftop terrace is a favored amenity along with daily fresh-baked cookies, snacks and beverages. Steps away from restaurants, shopping, and other iconic mainstays, the casual elegance of this Downtown Charleston hotel exemplifies the epitome of Southern hospitality.

Amenities: mini-fridge | flat-screen TV | iPod docks | free WiFi | Valet parking extra | accessible rooms | business center | nearby gym passes | Concierge

Extra Tip: Ensure yourself the most enviable of views in the St. Philip's Suite, revealing Episcopal Church’s iconic spire from its Juliette balcony.

Charleston South Carolina is open for travel, come see how safe it is at the Meeting Street Inn.
Colorful hotel courtyards are common throughout the peninsula where guests often enjoy wine and cheese receptions (Courtesy Meeting Street Inn)

Meeting Street Inn

A stay at the Meeting Street Inn comes with an intoxicating atmosphere of intimate romance, modern comforts, and timeless Southern hospitality. Built in 1837 as the Charleston Theater, this intimate 56-room property continues to reinvent itself, remaining relevant to downtown Charleston and all its rich history. As you step through the doors, you’re welcomed into the past with indulgent amenities. 

Guests enjoy breezy, private and semi-private balconies and verandas, and a tranquil garden courtyard complete with furnishings, a fountain and an oversized soaking jacuzzi.  Complimentary refreshments, continental breakfast and evening wine and cheese reception tide guests over before savoring lunch or dinner at any of the dozens of nearby award-winning restaurants. Charleston’s finest boutiques, antique shops, and attractions are within easy strolling distance. Valet and private, off-street parking are available.

Amenities: mini-fridge | flat-screen TV | free WiFi | valet and off-street parking extra | accessible rooms

Extra Tip: For an authentic bygone experience, book a Historic House King room in the old theater section, featuring high ceilings and four-poster canopied rice beds.

Want something fun to do in May 2021? Take a road trip to Charleston and stay at a downtown hotel.
Historic details and well-appointed interiors surprise and delight when doors open to reveal their secrets (Courtesy Elliott House Inn)

Elliott House Inn

A Civil War-era private residence turned 25-room bed-and-breakfast inn, the Elliott House Inn is truly a quaint downtown choice to call home away from home. Located on Queen Street in the Historic District—with convenient walking to dining, shopping, and attractions—you’ll feel like a true convivial Charlestonian. The peaceful cobblestoned courtyard with its shady pergola is a tranquil furnished outdoor space. 

Inside, the building’s rich history reveals itself in antiques and ambiance, happily shared by the in-house historian Neal Cook. Mr. Cook, a 10th generation South Carolinian, offers exclusive private curated tours to guests. Enjoy authentic southern selections for room service, delivered from the adjacent 82 Queen restaurant, a local favorite for casual dining and Sunday brunch. Complimentary loaner bicycles, continental breakfast and wine and cheese reception ensure comfort and convenience.

Amenities: some with mini-fridge | flat-screen TV | iHome or Sony MP3 | free WiFi | off-street parking extra

Extra Tip: The inn caters to couples and adults; request a room with one of the few private patios for a truly special stay.

The Church Street Inn is open for reservations in historic downtown Charleston.
A quiet courtyard table offers shady respite under one of the many Palmetto trees at the Church Street Inn (Courtesy Church Street Inn)

Church Street Inn

For folks who love memorable adventures and thrive on being in the center of the action, try the Church Street Inn. Featuring townhouse-style accommodations, this Ascend Hotel Collection property sits at the prime intersection of Charleston’s historic City Market. Spirited energy resounds with lively pedestrians, horse-drawn carriages and bicycle taxis. After you’ve explored the brick-housed market stalls filled with hand-crafted and artisanal goods, escape the activity and relax in spacious rooms with all the amenities of home.   

Each two-story room features an efficiency kitchen—as if you’ll want to cook after discovering more dining experiences than you could fill in a year; but the mini-fridge, micro and DW are great for storing and reheating leftovers, plus easy clean up. A sitting area with TV and powder room round out the first floor; the upper bedroom level includes an additional TV and a full bathroom. With décor honoring the city’s history, you’ll rest well and wake refreshed, ready to dive again into all that Charleston offers. The inn’s staff and service earn high accolades in online reviews.

Amenities: mini-fridge | flat-screen TV | iPod docks | free WiFi | Valet parking extra | accessible rooms | business center | fitness center

Extra Tip: Ideal for families or larger parties; request a balconied room, some offer superb views of the Holy City.

Yes Charleston is open and yes there are precautions taken at every downtown hotel.
Historic piazzas afford fresh evening breezes at the Governor’s House Inn in downtown Charleston (Courtesy Governor’s House Inn)

The Governor’s House Inn

This pre-revolutionary National Landmark offers unique pleasures, aristocratic comforts, and the elegant grandeur of a bygone era modestly accented with Victorian touches. The Governor’s House Inn is the former home of Edward Rutledge, the youngest signer of the Declaration of Independence. Romance and charm combined with personalized guest attention, spectacular drawing rooms, boudoir staterooms, and breezy verandas have earned this spot multiple awards. Settle into one of 11 rooms (some with balconies) and you’ll discover the genteel lifestyle that Charleston is known for. Original details in the classic Georgian manse include original 12’ ceilings, heart of pine floors, fireplaces and triple-hung windows.

Enjoy complimentary afternoon tea and wine in your room before an evening stroll down nearby cobblestoned streets to some of the city’s finest dining. Wake to a brilliant start with complimentary breakfast vouchers redeemable at four celebrated restaurants (all within walking distance). Morning temptations include fresh-baked croissants from Gaulart & Maliclet Fast & French Cafe and vintage-mill ground grits at Miller’s All Day.

Amenities: some with mini-fridge |flat screen TV | coffee maker | free WiFi | on-site parking

Extra Tip: Book the Rutledge Suite and surprise your sweetheart with the Romantic Getaway package; accommodations feature an arch-top canopy king bed, seating areas and access to a private piazza. Package amenities include a $100 gift certificate to the acclaimed Charleston Grill and horse-drawn carriage tickets for two.

 Looking for something to do in May 2021 in Charleston South Carolina? Book a toad trip getaway at a charming downtown inn!
The footsteps of time echo under Charleston’s many flickering gaslights, as seen here in Fulton Lane Inn’s entry alley (Courtesy Fulton Lane Inn)

Fulton Lane Inn

Possibly one of Charleston’s best-kept accommodation secrets, Fulton Lane Inn is discreetly tucked into a secluded and tranquil section of lower King Street’s renowned antique district. Built in 1889, its history still abounds through quintessential details. Gas lanterns flicker in welcome, ushering you through an enchanting alleyway where open-air courtyards invite lingering; passersby from the distant street peer back with curious wonder. Inviting Victorian-era décor and Lowcountry art enliven interior spaces and guest rooms. Two-room suites with canopied beds and antique fireplaces afford views of shoppers below. Though standard rooms are on the smaller side, all accommodations boast unusual double-pane windows for extra cozy quiet.  

With access to the adjacent sister property—Kings Courtyard Inn—you’ll find the shared lobby where fresh coffee and other complimentary beverages are served daily. The Battery, historic homes and an array of nearby restaurants are accessible within an easy stroll. Tired feet? Don those favorite heels and call for a whimsical bicycle taxi to whisk you away. 

Owned and managed by Charming Inns, stellar guest service is a reliable mainstay. Complimentary in-room Continental breakfast and wine and cheese reception are but a few of their attentive details.

Amenities: mini-fridge | flat-screen TV | free WiFi | off-street parking (fee) | nearby gym access (fee) | Concierge

Extra Tip: Opt for the exquisite Cathedral Suite featuring vaulted ceilings, large windows with King Street views, a bedroom and sitting area, and a whirlpool tub with shutters opening to the bedroom.

Please be sure to contact each establishment to verify opening hours, reservation policies, health requirements, and any other variations as the months progress.