The Best Hotels in Downtown Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston's charm shines through in its best downtown hotels
Charleston's charm shines through in its best downtown hotels | © Sean Pavone / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Richard Tulis
2 December 2020

Lodging in this charming Southeastern city is as easy as pie once you’ve combed through this select list, hand-picked to ensure you have a dreamy selection of the best hotels downtown Charleston has to offer.

King Charles Inn

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King Charles Inn
Courtesy of King Charles Inn / Expedia
With an excellent location (walking distance from downtown attractions) and a prized staff, the King Charles Inn provides its guests with an exceptional stay. The building itself is a relic from the 1800s, and it even hosted celebrated author Edgar Allen Poe while he served as a US soldier. The hotel has a lobby bar filled with plenty of friendly patrons and a mid-sized outdoor pool. Free parking is a major bonus for the King Charles as well as a rarity for this sort of downtown hotel.
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Francis Marion Hotel

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Francis Marion Hotel
Courtesy of Francis Marion Hotel / Expedia
Virtually a stone’s throw from the beautiful College of Charleston campus on King Street, the Francis Marion Hotel could not be situated in a more picture-perfect area. The hotel’s bold veneer features its name, in honor of the Revolutionary War hero and guerrilla champion from South Carolina, Francis Marion. Classy furniture and a sleek lobby welcome guests upon check-in, and markedly comfortable bedding accompanies you for your pleasant overnight stay. A nice mix of local restaurants and shops surrounds the hotel, and it is even fitted with an in-house Starbucks for any guests in a hurry.
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Belmond Charleston Place

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Belmond Charleston Place
Courtesy of Belmond Charleston Place / Expedia
Situated alongside the luxurious and upscale Shops at Charleston Place, the Belmond Hotel houses 320 deluxe rooms, 80 club level rooms and 40 suites. Its interior is dazzling and dressed with intricate glass-work chandeliers, and the building possesses stunning balcony views of the city. Horse-drawn carriage rides and mansion tours depart nearby, and the hotel’s Charleston Grill features nightly jazz music. The hotel is also just a half block from the ever-popular Historic Charleston City Market, a dynamic local cornerstone for handicrafts, artwork and more.
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  • The Vendue

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    The Vendue
    Courtesy of the Vendue / Expedia
    A large, inviting fireplace and vivid pieces of artwork blanket the inside of this boutique, art-inspired hotel. Classic Charleston palms are anchored in front of the hotel awnings, nearly flush with the street. The pristine Waterfront Park is just a block away. The staff is notably friendly and accommodating. The building was originally constructed in 1785; with laborious renovations over the years, the Vendue has been more than able to please its guests while maintaining “the charm and structure of the original properties.” The latest renovations were completed very recently, ensuring a fresh new feel to the building.
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    Andrew Pinckney Inn

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    Andrew Pinckney Inn
    Courtesy of Andrew Pinckney Inn / Expedia
    This hotel’s homegrown, low-country feel is brought to life with a brick and mortar-style lobby and pleasant, wood-crafted rafters. Located in the heart of the historic district, the pastel yellow building is awash with charm and exudes a welcoming ambience. The amazing rooftop terrace equips guests with a perch from which to take in the city and its surrounding rooftops (and even Charleston Harbor). With hospitality that is unmatched, the physical work of the building goes hand in hand with its mission: to complement your stay in the beautiful, historic city of Charleston.
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    French Quarter Inn

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    French Quarter Inn
    Courtesy of French Quarter Inn / Expedia
    One of the best hotels in Charleston, the exceptional French Quarter Inn provides guests with complimentary wine and cheese during the afternoon and is within walking distance from just about every downtown attraction there is, yet not too far from the ocean shore to the east. This hotel is where you’ll find peace and quiet. Its interior is ornate with paintings and plush furniture, and the rooms are properly fitted with extremely comfortable bedding. Try to find a room with a balcony view here – it will most certainly be the cherry on top of an already delightful experience.
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    These recommendations were updated on December 2, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.