Come for the sea life, stay for the Southern comfort at these characteristically charming hotels in the Holy City of Charleston – bookable on Culture Trip.
Sitting right on the Cooper River on the north end of town, the South Carolina Aquarium is teeming with marine life. From spotlighting species that are native to South Carolina’s waters, to tanks boasting some of the bigger beasts that cruise the ocean deep, submerge yourself in hours of fun when you make it a stop on your Charleston itinerary. But whatever you do while you’re here, make booking into one of these hotels the first thing on your list.
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Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
It’s maximum points in every department for this supremely chic boutique hotel, just a 10-minute walk from the Aquarium. Like the set of a romantic period drama, there’s a subtle – and deliberate – patina of age everywhere you look here, from the faded brickwork on the two 1800s carriage house buildings, to the antique furniture and even the cheese at the evening cheese and wine pairing. You can even borrow one of their vintage-style bicycles for a self-guided tour of the neighborhood.
On the surface, it’s easy to see how the Dewberry exemplifies Charleston’s Southern charm – with its polished-brass cocktail bar, rooftop terrace overlooking church spires and rich textures of wood, velvet and cut-crystal in its super-glam rooms. But to really feel how this downtown sanctuary digs into its Southern roots, you need to visit their Lowcountry spa. The Dewberry Signature Massage employs a secret blend of botanical extracts to float you back up to your room on cloud nine.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the standard experience at Hotel Bennett. On the contrary, this Marion Square hotel comes boasting a sparkling rooftop pool, exceptional Southern dining and a gorgeous, grown-up spa. But if you’re looking to make this trip a truly special occasion, upgrade to King’s Club access for a customized itinerary, private concierge, open bar, steady stream of culinary delights and a private, member’s only lounge with city-beating terrace views.
If you’re looking for a bit of luxury on your Charleston vacation, the Market Pavilion Hotel does more than just deliver. Its “basic” guest rooms are lavish lounges with king-sized poster beds and Italian marble baths. So it should come as no surprise that its premier presidential suite is out-of-this-world posh. A jacuzzi bathtub, a baby grand piano, a personal butler, and a full-size living area with stunning harbor views can be yours for the night. Just don’t look too closely at the bill.
As you might expect given the name, there’s a strong nautical theme at this boutique hotel – and it goes far beyond the seascape oil paintings adorning the walls. You can watch the Fort Sumter Ferry glide across the Cooper River from your Grand Harbourview Suite and, from its rooftop terrace, feel the sea breeze deposit salt crystals on the tip of your tongue. Rooms dressed in calming tones of blue and teal top it all off.
No doubt you’ve come to Charleston for its old-world charms, and the Spectator plays this role to perfection. Yes, there’s its Great Gatsby-esque, speakeasy-style bar, which serves up prohibition-era cocktails, and vintage-style bicycles you can borrow – but the real feather in its cap is its personal butler service for every guest. From shoe shining and being on call for tea and coffee delivery, to an encyclopedic knowledge of what’s going on in the area, you’ll be spoiled silly.
If you’re lucky enough to be able to bag a Rowhouse Residence at the Restoration, you’ll never want to leave. Exposed brick walls, wood beams and a private balcony with rocking chairs will steep you with Southern comfort. That’s not to knock the hotel’s suites, though – the Premier Balcony Suite is 1,000sqft of sophisticated bliss, with navy-blue walls, up-cycled, church-window mirrors and teak-bladed ceiling fans. A stay here will certainly leave you feeling restored.
Gilded-Age decadence drapes the Wentworth Mansion from floor to ceiling. Sleep in the mansion’s original master bedroom, and cozy up beside a gas fireplace or in the oversized whirlpool tub. If you prefer libations to keep you warm, complimentary port, sherry and brandy are yours to sip every evening in the study. Feel free to indulge in as many exclusive experiences as pique your interest, including yoga on the lawn and a seasonal-themed mixology class.
For more excellently located Charleston stays, see the best near Charleston City Market, bookable through Culture Trip. Stay busy by visiting the most haunted places in town and explore further afield with the best day trips from Charleston.
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Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.