The Best Hotels to Book in Charleston's Historic District

The Vendue is a masterpiece housed in several restored 18th-century buildings in the French Quarter
The Vendue is a masterpiece housed in several restored 18th-century buildings in the French Quarter | Courtesy of the Vendue / Expedia
Photo of Jessica Goldman
10 December 2021

A city steeped in history, Charleston is best known for its cobblestone streets, grand mansions and stunning harbor, but a big part of the allure is also the unrivaled Southern hospitality. We’ve rounded up the best places to stay in the Charleston Historic District that are sure to showcase the charm of the Holy City – bookable on Culture Trip.

20 South Battery, for Southern delights

Lounge at 20 South Battery
Courtesy of 20 South Battery / Expedia
Built in 1843 as a private mansion, 20 South Battery – a luxury boutique hotel in the Historic District – oozes Southern charm. The grand spiral staircase, original marble floors and rare antiques – some dating back to the 1500s – will transport guests back in time. Enjoy the nightly wine and cheese reception from a rocking chair on the front porch – a favorite Southern pastime.

Wentworth Mansion, for luxurious decor

Exterior of Wentworth Mansion
Courtesy of Wentworth Mansion / Expedia
Wentworth Mansion is a tribute to the gilded age of Charleston, decorated with Italian crystal chandeliers, hand-carved marble fireplaces and Tiffany stained glass. The spa – located in the original stables – is a marvel featuring vaulted ceilings, exposed brick and rustic wood beams. Don’t miss a complimentary full Southern breakfast each morning before heading out to explore the city.

Market Pavilion Hotel, for fine hospitality

Bathroom at Market Pavilion Hotel
Courtesy of Market Pavilion Hotel / Expedia
A grand dame near the waterfront, Market Pavilion Hotel offers Southern hospitality at its finest. The rooms have mahogany beds and Italian marble baths with Hermes toiletries. Book the terrace suite for unrivaled city views and a huge bathroom with a hot tub.

Hotel Bennett, for central convenience

Lobby at Hotel Bennett
Courtesy of Hotel Bennett / Expedia
Hotel Bennett is smack in the center of everything historic Charleston has to offer. The doors of this luxury property open directly onto famous King Street, with plenty of shopping, dining and nightlife options. Reserve a room or suite with King’s Club access for a dedicated concierge, customized itineraries, a private lounge with an open bar and a complimentary rose quartz facial massage with any spa booking.

Charleston Place, for the infinity pool

Pool at Charleston Place
Courtesy of Charleston Place / Expedia
The rooftop infinity pool with a retractable glass ceiling at Charleston Place is a real gem. After a swim, head over to the Clocktower Terrace for cocktails to witness one of the best sunset views in Charleston. As an added perk, the gym can arrange an in-room Peloton bike so you can get a private workout.

HarbourView Inn, for a night in by the fire

Armchairs and fireplace at HarbourView Inn
Courtesy of HarbourView Inn / Expedia
With a harbor view from the private balcony, a cozy fireplace and craft cocktails delivered right to the door, you might not want to leave your room at HarbourView Inn. However, the location and complimentary bikes make it a great base to explore King Street, the City Market and nearby historic mansions.

The Francis Marion Hotel, for memorable Southern cuisine

Exterior of Francis Marion Hotel
Courtesy of Francis Marion Hotel / Expedia
Named for Revolutionary War hero General Francis Marion – aka the Swamp Fox – the Francis Marion Hotel has been a Charleston landmark since it opened its doors in 1924. Be sure to book a table at the Swamp Fox restaurant for its award-winning shrimp and grits. A spin on the Southern classic, the dish features shrimp and lobster over pepper jack grits.

The Spectator Hotel, for delectable cocktails and a step back in time

Lounge at the Spectator Hotel
Courtesy of the Spectator Hotel /
The Jazz Age meets the Old South at the Spectator Hotel. The art deco speakeasy is a local hotspot and serves up Prohibition-inspired cocktails with Southern flair. Order a sloe gin fizz, find a 1920s-style scalloped-back velvet chair and sit back and enjoy the Charleston nightlife.

Planters Inn, for stunning suites

Suite at Planters Inn
Courtesy of Planters Inn /
Built in 1844, the iconic Planters Inn is the only Relais and Châteaux hotel in South Carolina. Book the St Philip suite – a private pied-à-terre with exposed brick walls and arched doorways. An iconic mural by local artist David Boatwright is the centerpiece of the open-plan living area.

The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel, for downtown views

Exterior of the Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel
Courtesy of the Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel / Expedia
The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel, located on Museum Mile, is quintessential Charleston with its pastel-pink facade and intricate wrought-iron front balcony. The rooms on the second-floor pool deck open to private terraces with views of downtown. The famous 200-year-old City Market is a short walk from the property, featuring food vendors and artisan stalls selling crafts and souvenirs.

Grand Bohemian Hotel Charleston, for art lovers

Bar at Grand Bohemian Hotel Charleston
Courtesy of Grand Bohemian Hotel Charleston / Expedia
The Grand Bohemian Hotel has an art collection that rivals some museums. With items sourced from all over the globe, the gallery features bold works of fine art available for purchase. When your art acquisitions are complete, it’s time to play winemaker. For a unique experience, sign up for a class and learn how to create original blends that come complete with personalized labels.

Fulton Lane Inn, for breakfast in bed

Exterior of Fulton Lane Inn
Courtesy of Fulton Lane Inn / Expedia
Originally built as a YMCA in 1889, the Fulton Lane Inn occupies two restored historic buildings accessed via a narrow brick passage just off King Street. Fancy a complimentary breakfast in a canopied bed? Fulton Lane Inn has you covered. For a perfect evening in, book a room with an antique fireplace and whirlpool bath for two.

Zero George, for chef-assisted cooking classes

Exterior of Zero George
Courtesy of Zero George / Expedia
Zero George – a cluster of restored historic buildings surrounding a hidden courtyard – is a foodie’s dream come true. This luxe boutique hotel doubles as a cooking school, hosting classes in the 19th-century carriage house kitchen. Led by a Zero George chef, guests are bound to pick up a Southern recipe or two. Not an aspiring gourmet? No problem – the in-room Nespresso machines and Malin + Goetz bath products should keep you happy.

Andrew Pinckney Inn, for a unique design esthetic

Exterior of Andrew Pinckney Inn
Courtesy of Andrew Pinckney Inn /
Steeped in 300 years of history and steps away from the best restaurants in the city, Andrew Pinckney Inn is an excellent choice for a historic hotel in Charleston. Book a two-story townhouse suite and enjoy exposed brick-accent walls, plantation shutters and arched windows – an esthetic that mixes traditional West Indies design with classic Southern architecture.

The Vendue, for historic fine art

Lobby at the Vendue
Courtesy of the Vendue / Expedia
Housed in several restored 18th-century buildings in the French Quarter, the Vendue is a masterpiece. More than 300 pieces of fine art are on display throughout the historic property, and docents conduct daily tours of the rotating collection. Join the afternoon art and wine reception before heading to the rooftop restaurant to take in the views over the harbor at sunset.

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