The Best Hotels to Book in Charleston's French Quarter

Harborview Inn offers classically styled rooms, many of which come with views of the French Quarter
Harborview Inn offers classically styled rooms, many of which come with views of the French Quarter | Courtesy of Harborview Inn / Booking.com
Photo of Mariette Williams
10 October 2021
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South Carolina’s sultry, sea-breezy city is a must for lovers of timeless style. Discover the best of Charleston’s French Quarter when you book – via Culture Trip – one of these fine hotels in the historic heart of Charleston.

Charleston is steeped in history and tradition, drawing visitors with rich food, scenic beaches and historic sites. Among the must-see landmarks is the French Quarter: the downtown-Charleston district that owes its name to the migration of religious Huguenots to South Carolina from Europe in the late 17th century. Today it’s full of markets, museums, and restaurants – not to mention some excellent hotels. If proximity to the most exciting attractions in Charleston is your priority, check out the best hotels near the city’s French Quarter below – all bookable with Culture Trip.

Elliott House

Front entrance to Elliott House Inn in orange pastel tones with palms in front
Courtesy of Elliott House Inn / Expedia

On Queen Street, near the best shopping and dining in Charleston, this coral-colored inn is full of atmosphere. Built in 1861, it has kept the original hardwood floors, and while the 26 rooms feel sleek and modern, there’s heritage in the white plantation shutters and soothing blue walls. Standard rooms are comfy cocoons, with king- or queen-size beds, crisp white bedding and blue-patterned throw pillows. Step out and you’re close to Rainbow Row, a photogenic strip of vivid historic homes, as well as Cooper Riverfront, a picturesque waterfront park. If you’ve got the energy, the hotel has free-to-use bikes to help you explore the rest of Charleston.

Fulton Lane Inn

Elegant room with double bed, writing desk, sofa, armchair, TV and decorative fireplace at Fulton Lane Inn
Courtesy of Fulton Lane Inn / Booking.com

Looking for an intimate getaway? Fulton Lane Inn might have been made for couples – particularly the rooms with canopy beds, fireplaces and whirlpool tubs built for two. Decor radiates classic appeal: cottage-style white furniture, nautical artwork and snug wall-to-wall carpeting in the sleeping areas. Hospitality reigns here: roll up for the complimentary wine and cheese reception and lie in for the continental breakfast delivered to your room. Then head out for the day. You’re close to several art galleries as well as the South Carolina Aquarium.

Hotel Emeline

Hotel Emeline fireplace outdoors with sofas and fairy lights
Courtesy of Hotel Emeline/ Booking.com
Here the devil is in the detail: plush emerald sofas, teal-saturated walls and chestnut leather armchairs. You’ll sleep well in the cozy rooms here, whether you go for a smaller twin or double or the enormous Nomad Suite, perfect for families with its pair of king-size beds. Sample delicious dishes at Frannie & the Fox, the indoor/outdoor Italian restaurant before heading out to sightsee. In the morning, visit the hotel’s Clerks Coffee Company, perfect for handmade lattes and cold brews. Top tip: pop next door for ceviche and grilled swordfish at Hank’s Seafood Restaurant, one of the finest spots in town.

The Spectator Hotel

Modern lounge with light grey sofas, black and white striped coffee tables, black walls and cobalt blue curtains at the Spectator Hotel
Courtesy of the Spectator Hotel / Booking.com
USP here? The Spectator is the only Charleston hotel to offer a personal butler service for guests, a hint that this is a place for lovers of attention to detail. Cast your eye over inviting interiors: cool gray walls, matching window shades and elegant cream-colored couches. Guest rooms continue the rarefied theme with bathrooms offering separate soaking tubs. Head down to The Bar for a jazzy and low-lit vibe as well as to sample the fruity, heady Planter’s Punch as you perch on a leather-tooled stool.

French Quarter Inn

Lobby and checkin desk in neutral cream and dark wood tones at French Quarter Inn
Courtesy of French Quarter Inn / Booking.com
In downtown Charleston, the French Quarter Inn is where European sophistication meets easygoing Southern hospitality. You’ll witness it in the rooms, which radiate stately appeal with ornate wooden headboards, gold-framed art and ottomans at the ends of the bed. Here with the family? Pick a standard junior suite: two queen-size beds, a large bathroom with a walk-in shower and a full-sized sofa bed. Wherever you stay, you’ll get a pillow menu, a sleep-inducing sound machine and triple-sheeted European bedding. The location’s a winner: close to the best beaches, the major colleges and the historic Charleston Market.

Harborview Inn

Lounge area with tables, wooden chairs and light turquoise umbrellas with panoramic views of the harbor at Harborview Inn
Courtesy of Harborview Inn / Booking.com

Renovation work took place at this 52-room inn only recently – and it shows. The contemporary guest-room decor feels nautical, warm and inviting, from the cream-colored armchairs to the coastal-chic blue headboards; carpeting mimics the tones of sea and surf. These are spaces to hole up in and switch off – evening milk and cookies are offered. Then again you might want to mingle at the nightly wine and cheese reception or ascend to the rooftop terrace for evening happy hour cocktails. Guests love Harborview for its proximity to Fort Sumter National Monument. Before heading out, ask the front desk for tickets to nearby historic attractions.

The Mills House

The Mills House lobby in light tones with marble floor and sofas, large plants and chic lamps
Courtesy of The Mills House / Booking.com

The pink exterior of The Mills House is hard to miss – and this is not a place you’d want to pass by. Dating from 1853, it’s a beautiful curiosity, with a refined guestroom palette that channels the ocean: teal-patterned bedding and drapes, tall, surf-white headboards. For good reason, the most popular bookings are the spacious corner rooms with large windows that overlook downtown Charleston. Spend your day lounging by the seasonal pool or explore nearby attractions like the Gibbes Museum of Art or Folly Beach. And be back in time for dinner at the hotel restaurant, Barbados Room, with its menu of regional favorites including shrimp and grits.

Planters Inn

A white sofa and long wooden table in front of a brick wall with a painted illustration of Charleston at Suite at Planters Inn
Courtesy of Planters Inn / Booking.com

Stepping through the doors of Planter’s Inn feels like stepping into a secret garden. The atmospheric courtyard is a thicket of palm trees and potted plants. It’s all very sultry Southern Belle in this upscale place, right down to the look in the bedrooms, suites and apartments: timeless hardwood floors, high ceilings, exposed brick and gentle lighting. Fully equipped kitchens make staying here a no-brainer for families. For couples, the four-poster beds, Italian linens and travertine-marble bathrooms clinch the deal. Other reasons to stay? You’re within walking distance from Dock Street Theater performing-arts venue and White Point Gardens public park.

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.

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