Search the best hotels in Charleston
Charleston has a warm Southern hospitality about it. With graceful old buildings and romantic, jasmine-twined verandas, its friendly restaurants, charming churches and beautiful old cemeteries. Charleston’s beauty was protected during the Civil War - it was captured without much damage - and these days the city’s skyline is protected by building restrictions which keep everything limited to a few floors. The best places to stay in Charleston range from charming, reasonably priced B&Bs, through converted mansions to palatial hotels with all the service trimmings.
So when you’re looking for the best places to stay it’s worth considering which areas you might want to be based in as well, there’s plenty of choice. The largest hotels are clustered around the peninsula within walking distance to most of Charleston’s historic treasures. If if you have a car then you may prefer to be based in West Ashley or Mount Pleasant which are quieter and more affordable, or North Charleston which is closer to the airport.
What Not To Miss
- Charleston is one of the most popular Southern destinations and there’s a lot here for visitors to see. You’ll encounter a lot of folk taking walking tours, but it’s easy enough to plan your own - or you could opt for a carriage ride!
- The Charleston Museum is an obvious choice to start with, as are Fort Sumter in the harbour, or the Old Slave Museum.
- The Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon, the Aiken-Rhett House - which was a plantation houseand is now a museum - and the Naval and Maritime Museum are other places to visit to glean more about this wonderful city’s past.
- Then there’s the French Quarter for its architecture, Battery Point for the gardens, the Aquarium, the Gibbes Museum of Art and a number of wonderful old mansions. There are also all those churches and places of worship… there’s really a lot to see here!
- And of course there’s also a lot to taste here! Charleston is especially well known for seafood, but there’s plenty of choice and again that famous generous Southern hospitality.
Our pick of the best places to stay in Charleston are all ideally situated for exploring this fascinating and historic city.
The best places to stay in Charleston
For boutique charm
- Zero George Street has been converted from three 19th Century mansions and has a unique, very Southern charm. There’s a cooking school in the sophisticated restaurant and 18 beautifully furnished rooms and suites.
- Wentworth Mansion is a Golden Age mansion with marble floors, vaulted ceilings and some very nice antiques. There’s a spa, places for your pet and a complimentary breakfast.
- The John Rutledge House Inn is a historical townhouse converted to a 19 room hotel with large, light, elaborate rooms - some with Italian fireplaces - complimentary breakfast and just a short stroll from the oceanfront.
- The Spectator is a boutique hotel in the centre of historic Charleston, evoking the style of the roaring twenties, complemented with Southern charm and hospitality. Stylish rooms and suites with an art deco vibe, some with balcony or terrace and gourmet breakfast delivered to your door. A chic city centre spot.
For city chic
- Planters Inn is a 19th Century inn in the heart of the historic district. There are around 60 spacious rooms, some with four-poster beds and private sitting rooms, and there’s a grill restaurant. This is one of the best places to stay in Charleston if you're here for the history.
- As is the Belmond Charleston Place, a 430 room hotel known for its old Southern hospitality and the Charleston Grill restaurant.
- The Restoration on King is an old hotel reborn into a modern apartment hotel with fully equipped kitchens, including washing machines, picnic breakfasts and a wine and cheese reception every evening.
- The Dewberry is a beautifully designed hotel set in an historic building. Perfectly mixing contemporary style and traditional charm, rooms are chic and homely. A fabulous French brasserie and two bars set the scene for elegant evenings of cocktails and oysters. A glorious hotel that encapsulates that Southern charm.
On the waterfront
- The Harbourview Inn is a 52 room townhouse mansion in the historic district of Waterfront Park close to both the shopping and antiques district. The decor is traditional and some of the rooms have four-poster beds and fireplaces.
For great value
- Kings Courtyard Inn is a 41 room hotel behind a 1853-built Ancient Greek style facade. You’re close to the market and the river and there’s a complimentary breakfast.
For an apartment
- If you'd prefer a self-catering option this holiday - don't hesitate to visit our online partner Booking.com for a fantastic selection of centrally-located properties.
- Fly to Charleston International Airport located 19km (12 miles) from Charleston with a wide selection of domestic flights.
- Alternatively, there are bus and rail services to Charleston.
- If you want to rent a car to explore Charleston, for prices visit our online partner Rentalcars
- Best time to visit - September to November provides typically pleasant temperatures for enjoying all the city has to offer.
Still not sure?
Best Hotels in Charleston
Kings Courtyard Inn Charleston (South Carolina) 41 rooms from AU$292Sights nearby - Drayton Hall Plantation is the oldest 18th Georgian Palladian building resting on the Ashley River.Great walks - At dawn, or at dusk, walk south of broad.Romantic - Good for couples.Four poster beds - For romantics.
1853 Ancient Greek revival facade, classically decorated interiors and two courtyards. High ceilings, original features in the comfortable rooms with private bathrooms and complimentary breakfast. Step back into Charleston's history through tours and mansions, or explore the modern day restaurants. See More
The Restoration on King Charleston (South Carolina) 15 rooms from AU$394Sights nearby - Angel Oak - a live oak tree over 1,400 years old.Local markets - Charleston Museum for local and natural history.Seaside - Ideal for a seaside holiday.Full of characterRecommended by - Tablet
Old downtown hotel offers local elegance, hardwood floors and exposed brick. Fully equipped kitchens (with dryer and washing machine), comfortable double beds and modern bathrooms. Breakfast offered in picnic baskets, wine and cheese reception every evening and cookies with milk as a nightcap. See More
Harbourview Inn Charleston (South Carolina) 52 rooms from AU$330LuxuryLocal markets - The Old City Market.Sights nearby - Waterfront Park.Views - Great views from hotelRecommended by - Tablet
This townhouse mansion in the historic district on the Waterfront Park maintains the traditional interiors such as high ceiling reception, welcoming fireplace and art works. Rooms boast fine linens, four-poster beds, whirlpool baths and breakfast in-room. City exploring is accessible. See More
John Rutledge House Inn Charleston (South Carolina) 19 rooms from AU$396Sights nearby - Fort Sumter is where you can imagine the first shots of the Civil War.Great walks - Step back in time and explore Charlestons history on a walking tour.Full of characterRomantic - Good for couples.
Ornate ironwork facade, elaborate interiors with Italian fireplaces make this historical townhouse a Charleston boutique favourite. Large light rooms with complimentary breakfast and access to a relaxing courtyard. Plantations, history and oceanfront strolls await you from this prime spot. See More
Zero George Street Charleston (South Carolina) 18 rooms from AU$424Foodies - The Zero Cafe has earned glowing reviews for its locally sourced and seasonal cuisineTraditional - The hotel features many original features including heart pine floors and high ceilings.Cooking classes - Every Monday and Saturday classes are held in the Kitchen Carriage HouseSights nearby - Middleton Place: a National Historic LandmarkRecommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith
The Dewberry Charleston 155 rooms from AU$438City Style - An elegant property complete with French-style brasserie and two cocktail bars.Sights nearby - Visit the eccentric stately home, the Calhoun Mansion.Romantic - Good for couples.Full of characterRecommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith, Tablet
A beautifully designed hotel set in an historic building. Perfectly mixing contemporary style and traditional charm rooms are chic and homely. A fabulous French brasserie and two bars set the scene for elegant evenings of cocktails and oysters. A glorious hotel that encapsulates that Southern charm. See More
Planters Inn Charleston (South Carolina) 64 rooms from AU$484Local markets - Charleston City Market is a chance to meet Lowcountry artisans including more than 50 Gullah sweetgrass basket weavers.Great walks - Middleton Place or Magnolia Gardens, previous plantation houses, offer some brilliant gardens.Sights nearby - Confederate Museum.Seaside - Ideal for a seaside holiday.Recommended by - Relais & Chateaux
Prime location in the historic district, a 19th Century inn with classic interiors and fine dining at Peninsula Grill. Spacious rooms offer four-poster beds, private sitting rooms and bathrooms. Dine al fresco, or explore the city market for many other options. A historian's dream stay. See More
Belmond Charleston Place Charleston (South Carolina) 434 rooms from AU$535Great walks - Head to Waterfront Park for walk trails and fountains.Sights nearby - Confederate Museum closeby.Views - Great views from hotelLively - Hip and happening.Recommended by - Tablet
Old South hospitality, grand reception rooms and prime spot in the historic centre. Rooms are conservatively decorated with marble bathrooms and city views. Charleston Grill is southern cooking at its finest and a drinking hole for locals. Traditional hotel is home to an indoor pool, spa and gym. See More
86 Cannon Charleston 7 rooms from AU$550Local exploring - Set in a leafy area of Charleston, close to high-end boutiques and restaurants, this hotel is a luxury base for local exploringRomantic Break - With beautifully appointed suites and two open-air terraces, this hotel makes an indulgent couples' getawayCity Style - Set in a heritage property in a stylish Charleston neighbourhood, this hotel has reams of local city charmSights nearby - Visit the Morris Island Lighthouse, located on the southern side of the entrance to Charleston HarborRecommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith
This boutique hotel is nestled within a 1860s residence in the heart of Charleston. Interiors blend mid-century elegance with classic French design and a touch of Southern style. With nightly wine and cheese served on the hotel verandah, this is a discerning city bolt-hole. See More
Wentworth Mansion Charleston (South Carolina) 21 rooms from AU$594Great walks - This pet friendly hotel is the perfect place for all the family, and there are many parks to take your pooch for a walk.OpulentRomantic - Good for couples.Full of characterRecommended by - Small Luxury Hotels, Fodors
America’s Gilded Age mansion oozes Charleston history through its marble floors, vaulted high ceilings and antique furnishings. Large rooms with fireplaces are unique and with modern amenities and complimentary breakfast. Enjoy a range of spa treatments or head out to explore yester-year. See More
Hotel Bennett Charleston 179 rooms from AU$724City Style - A sumptuous, luxury hotel mixing European grandeur with Southern hospitalityLocal exploring - Walking distance from the historic part of CharlestonLocal markets - Visit the weekly farmers market that's held at Marion SquareSwimming Pool - Outdoor rooftop pool
The Hotel Bennett has an imposing white exterior which opens up onto suitably grand interiors. Luxurious rooms have a traditional European feel with antique-style furniture and lavish bathrooms. Excellent regional dishes are served in the restaurant and the rooftop pool is a very nice addition. See More
The Spectator Charleston 41 rooms from AU$834Local exploring - Right in the heart of the Historic District, with neo-classical architecture, cobblestone streets and antebellum mansions.City Style - A sleek choice- this boutique hotel boasts cool 1920's speakeasy bar, crisp modern rooms and phenomanal service.Local markets - The Historic Charleston City Market is just down the road.Restrictions on children
A boutique hotel in the centre of historic Charleston, evoking the style of the roaring twenties, complemented with Southern charm and hospitality. Stylish rooms and suites with an art deco vibe, some with balcony or terrace and gourmet breakfast delivered to your door. A chic city centre spot. See More