If you’re planning a trip to South Carolina and like to blend history and fun attractions with a touch of Southern hospitality and a lot of Lowcountry cuisine, Charleston is waving the welcome flag. The shopping, dining, seeing, and doing parts of the trip are all easy to plan, but where should you stay in Charleston?
The best hotels in Charleston offer convenient access to historic churches, relaxing parks, stunning waterfront scenery, and some of the best shopping and dining on the coast. You’ll find boutique hotels, family-friendly resorts, or a Charleston luxury hotel with marble bathrooms, antique furnishing, fine art, and a rooftop bar.
You can even find ones with complimentary bike rentals, afternoon tea, and a nightly wine reception. The South is all about the social scene, after all, so drink it in (pun intended).
Whether you’re looking for luxury hotels in the middle of the French Quarter, near the retail mecca of King Street, or overlooking the Ashley River, Cooper River, or Charleston Harbor, you’ve surfed to the right section of the web to find the perfect hotel in Charleston for your family vacation, honeymoon, destination wedding, or solo retreat.
15 Best Hotels in Charleston, South Carolina
1. French Quarter Inn
Address: 19 Vendue Range, Charleston, SC 29401
One of the top hotels in Charleston, the French Quarter Inn offers a luxurious setting of swirling stairways, gilded accents, and elegant dark wood furnishings. Relax at the outdoor courtyard or on balconies overlooking the streets of the French Quarter. Enjoy a port wine and cheese reception (count us in) or cookies and milk (yes, please) in the evenings.
Spacious guest rooms at the French Quarter Inn feature carved ebony headboards against cream-colored walls, European linens, and marble bathrooms. Rooms offer free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, a mini fridge, in-room sound machines, and turndown service.
One of the best Charleston luxury hotels, views include Market Street or St. Philip’s Church. Choose from traditional guest rooms and junior, deluxe, and full suites. Suites have balconies, full-sized sofa beds, fireplaces, and walk-in showers.
Hotel amenities at the French Quarter Inn include free daily continental breakfast and complimentary bike rental, perfect for pedaling around nearby King Street and Liberty Streets or getting in that daily workout.
Attractions near the French Quarter Inn
- St. Philip’s Church
- Waterfront Park Pier
- Powder Magazine Museum
See Related: Best Breweries in Charleston, South Carolina
2. Hilton Garden Inn Charleston Waterfront/Downtown
Address: 45 Lockwood Drive, Charleston, SC 29401
If you’re wondering where to stay in Charleston for easy access to the Citadel, Charleston City Marina, or the South Carolina Aquarium, the Hilton Garden Inn Charleston Waterfront/Downtown is your answer. Located at the Ashley Marina, this pet-friendly hotel has a fitness center, an outdoor pool, a business center, the Garden Grille and Bar, and the 45 Waterside rooftop lounge.
Guest amenities include free parking and Wi-Fi. This is one of the best hotels in Charleston if you prefer to be away from the hustle and bustle of the city center. Plus, there’s the benefit of those stunning river views and the marina filled with power and sailboats.
If you’re a history buff, museums in Charleston are terrific ways to learn about the region’s past.
Attractions near the Hilton Garden Inn Charleston Waterfront/Downtown
- Rice Mill Building
- Charleston Yacht Club
- South Carolina Aquarium
- Governor Thomas Bennett House
3. Market Pavilion Hotel
Address: 225 E. Bay Street, Charleston, SC 29401
Located just steps away from the City Market, the Waterfront Park, and the French Quarter historic district, the Market Pavilion Hotel is one of the best hotels for convenient access to all of Charleston’s unique sites and attractions.
The Market Pavilion Hotel has a rooftop pool, a fitness center, daily breakfast, meeting rooms for corporate events, and two on-site restaurants. Head to Grill 225 for fresh seafood and steak. Pavilion Bar on the rooftop terrace is a wonderful way to catch the sunset.
Guest rooms offer free Wi-Fi, seating areas, and flat-screen TVs. Luxury king rooms offer Italian marble bathrooms, king-size mahogany four-poster beds, and luxurious linens.
Fleet Landing Restaurant & Bar, located nearby on the waterfront, is an excellent lunch or dinner option. If you’ve never had shrimp and grits (or don’t even know what a grit is), this is the place to order it.
I suggest a screening of 1992’s My Cousin Vinny to be schooled in the culinary anomaly known as the grit. Stop by Carmella’s Café and Dessert Bar on your way back to the hotel.
Attractions near Market Pavilion Hotel
- Charleston City Market
- Port of Charleston
- Joe Riley Waterfront Park
See Related: Best Family Road Trips in the US
4. Spectator Hotel
Address: 67 State Street, Charleston, SC 29401
Join the Jazz Age at the Spectator Hotel. Another great choice for luxury hotels in downtown Charleston, it’s about a block away from the Market Pavilion hotel. It has a speakeasy-inspired bar (to go along with the 1920s vibe) that serves appetizers, creative cocktails, regional craft beer, and an incredible selection of wine.
Classy and elegant guest rooms feature crisp linens, bold accents, four-poster beds, and sweeping city views. Enjoy complimentary in-room continental breakfast as well as iPod docking stations, free Wi-Fi, and flat-screen televisions. The hotel offers a private fitness center and complimentary bicycle use.
For an elevated luxury experience, butler service is available for every guest and includes services such as turndown services, shoe shining, and packing/unpacking.
Attractions near the Spectator Hotel
- Charleston City Market
- St. Philip’s Church
- Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon
5. Charleston Marriott
Address: 170 Lockwood Boulevard, Charleston, SC 29403
Overlooking the Ashley River, the Charleston Marriott is within convenient access to the College of Charleston, the Citadel, the Port of Charleston Cruise Terminal, and the Medical University of South Carolina. Part of Marriott Hotels, it offers modern amenities and Southern hospitality in the middle of downtown Charleston.
Sleep soundly with pillowtop mattresses, hypoallergenic bedding, cable TV channels, and Netflix. The Marriott has a pool, a fitness center, a coffee shop, meeting rooms, two bars, and an on-site restaurant. Saffire Restaurant & Bar serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Attractions near the Charleston Marriott
- The Citadel
- Brittlebank Park
- Jack Adams Tennis Center
See Related: Best Family Vacations on a Budget
6. Hotel Bennett Charleston
Address: 404 King St., Charleston, SC 29403
One of the top hotels in Charleston, the Hotel Bennett Charleston is near the Charleston Museum and Marion Square. It sits just off King St. for easy access to as much shopping and dining as you can handle. On the other hand, you could also enjoy afternoon tea, high-end dining, and relaxing spa treatments.
Hotel Bennett has been named among the top hotels in the world by Condé Nast and Travel + Leisure. This very opulent and sophisticated hotel has a fitness center, a spa, a rooftop pool, a rooftop bar, a lounge, a terrace, and several on-site restaurants.
Elegant and chic rooms offer seating areas, satellite television, and coffee machines. Some rooms have a balcony. Both king and double queen rooms are available as well as suites with one or two bedrooms, living areas, and dining space. Dogs are welcome at this luxury hotel.
Attractions near Hotel Bennett
7. Wentworth Mansion
Address: 149 Wentworth Street, Charleston, SC 29401
An ultra-luxurious experience, Wentworth Mansion is a top contender among Charleston luxury hotels. The boutique 21-room hotel dates to 1886 and features an exterior of Second Empire architecture and an interior filled with Tiffany-stained glass, Italian crystal chandeliers, and hand-carved marble.
Very modern amenities include free Wi-Fi, full breakfast, evening homemade chocolates, and evening port, sherry, and brandy as well as afternoon wine and hors d’oeuvres. Other amenities include iPod docking stations, flat-screen TVs, hypoallergenic bedding, fireplaces, jetted tubs, a mini fridge, and free bottled water.
Wentworth Mansion offers a bar, a terrace, a garden, off-site health club access, and an on-site spa for deep-tissue massage and aromatherapy. The Circa 1886 restaurant serves breakfast and dinner.
Attractions near Wentworth Mansion
- Isaac Jenkins Mickell House
- Colonial Lake park
- Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charelston
See Related: Fun & Best Things to Do in Rock Hill, South Carolina
8. Hampton Inn Charleston-Historic District
Address: 345 Meeting Street, Charleston, SC 29403
The Hampton Inn Charleston-Historic District offers convenience and modern amenities with the historic charm of a circa 1860 structure. Formerly a railroad warehouse, it’s decorated in mahogany furniture, pine floors, and Oriental carpets.
Stylish rooms have sofas, desks, and elegant furnishings. Choose from traditional guest rooms or suites with more space for extended stays and larger families.
This pet-friendly Hampton Inn offers an outdoor pool, a garden courtyard, a fitness room, a business center, and meeting rooms. Enjoy free Wi-Fi and daily breakfast. This is one of the best hotels for a laid-back and budget-friendly vacation.
Attractions near the Hampton Inn Charleston Historic District
9. Charleston Place
Address: 205 Meeting St., Charleston, SC 29401
While not as vintage as some of the Holy City’s hotels (it was built in 1986), Charleston Place offers a combination of elegance and laid-back Southern charm for families, couples, groups, or solo travelers.
Formerly known as Belmond Charleston Place, the property offers three restaurants and four bars. Enjoy the use of a full-service spa and salon, a rooftop pool, and a fitness room.
For a romantic getaway, you may want to treat yourself to personalized butler service. The hotel also has event space if you’re planning a destination wedding, reception, or corporate event. Check out the Charleston Grill for live jazz and Southern American cuisine.
There are 433 rooms and suites dressed in soothing colors, calming art prints, and luxurious linens. Choose from traditional guest rooms, suites, and club-level accommodations.
Pets are welcome. You can even arrange for pet-sitting services.
Located in historic downtown, you’ll have easy access to Charleston restaurants, art galleries, museums, historic sites, and antique stores from Charleston Place. It’s easy to hop across the street to the famous City Market, take a bike ride (rentals are free) down to the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, or catch a horse-drawn carriage ride and tour.
Attractions near Charleston Place
- Fort Sumter Visitor Education Center
- South Carolina Aquarium
- Aiken-Rhett House Museum
See Related: Best State and National Parks in South Carolina
10. Hilton Garden Inn Charleston/Mount Pleasant
Address: 300 Wingo Way, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
To be near the USS Yorktown, Patriots Point, the Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park, and Shem’s Creek Boardwalk head across the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge and check into the Hilton Garden Inn Charleston/Mount Pleasant. It’s a prime location to visit Isle of Palms or Sullivan’s Island while in the area.
Guest rooms at this pet-friendly hotel have a dining area with a mini fridge, a coffee maker, and a microwave. There’s an outdoor pool, a fitness room, a business center, a meeting space, outdoor seating with a firepit, and a restaurant. The Garden Grille & Bar serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Book a ferry tour to Fort Sumter for a fun afternoon of history and water views.
Attractions near the Hilton Garden Inn Charleston/Mount Pleasant
- Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park
- Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum
- USS Yorktown
11. Dewberry Charleston
Address: 334 Meeting Street, Charleston, SC 29403
The Dewberry Charleston is located in the circa 1964 L Mendel Rivers Federal Building in the Wraggborough neighborhood. It offers fine dining at an American Southern brasserie-style restaurant, a rooftop cocktail bar, a fitness room, the Spa at the Dewberry, and a library. Enjoy shopping for apparel, jewelry, and accessories at the Fieldshop by Garden and Gun.
Guest rooms have a mini-bar, floor-to-ceiling windows, flat-screen TVs, marble bathrooms, Irish linens, and mid-century modern furnishings. Complimentary bicycle use is available.
You can pedal around town to visit sites like the Charleston Farmers’ Market, and the SC Aquarium. The Dewberry is within walking distance of the sites and attractions in the historic district, so if you’re not feeling the bicycle vibe, set out on foot.
Looking for a wedding or special event venue? The Dewberry Charleston has indoor and outdoor event space with a stunning glass-enclosed rooftop.
Attractions near the Dewberry Charleston
- The American Theater
- Marion Square Park
- The Charleston Museum
12. Zero George Street
Address: Right Side, 0 George Street, Charleston, SC 29401
History meets sophistication and charm at Zero George. This quaint complex of five buildings (made up of townhouses and carriage houses) at 0 George Street is found in the Ansonborough district.
Between the five, this boutique hotel has 16 rooms within a setting of cobblestone streets, historic walkways, and a private courtyard garden. Dining choices include the Restaurant + Bar at Zero George and The Caviar Bar.
You’ve probably guessed the 0 comes from the hotel’s physical address at Zero George Street. The George in the name comes from legendary British Captain George Anson (later First Lord of the Admiralty) who was in command of the Royal Navy frigate HMS Scarborough (he was sent to protect Charleston from pirates).
He bought a tract of land and Ansonborough became the city’s first suburb. In 1804, the first buildings of the hotel were built by a French tailor. These, along with others, became known as Maison du Pré and then Zero George.
Select from queen, king, or carriage house and garden suites. For extended stays, choose the very sophisticated Residences at Zero George, which offer one-bedroom and three-bedroom rooms with kitchenettes or full kitchens, seating areas, antique furnishings, and private balconies.
Attractions near Zero George
- The International African American Museum
- Cruise port
- Charleston Maritime Center
- Charleston Gaillard Center
13. The Restoration Charleston
Address: 75 Wentworth Street, Charleston, SC 29401
The Restoration Charleston has 434 rooms decorated with antique furniture, soaking tubs, and fine art prints. It’s located just a block away from the boutique shops, bars, cafes, and restaurants of King St., making it the perfect luxury hotel in Charleston, South Carolina for the shopaholics and foodies in your crew. It’s a terrific anchorage for fun things to do and food tours of the city.
The Restoration Hotel offers traditional hotel suites and residence suites with more room for large families, groups, or wedding parties. Grand one, two, and three-bedroom suites are decked out in exposed brick, hardwood floors, colorful rugs, custom photography, and elegant furnishings.
Hotel amenities at the Restoration Hotel include event space, a gift shop, in-room spa services, free Wi-Fi, and a rooftop saltwater pool with a retractable glass roof. The Watch Rooftop Kitchen & Spirits showcases regional seafood and farm fresh ingredients. Take in city views and sunset scenes on the rooftop deck.
Attractions near the Restoration Charleston
See Related: Best Romantic Getaways in the USA
14. Planters Inn
Address: 112 North Market St., Charleston, SC 29401
With Italian marble baths, carved four-poster mahogany beds, Audubon prints, hardwood floors, and authentic Lowcountry sweetgrass baskets, Planters Inn is a stunning example of what AAA Four-Diamond status stands for. The luxurious Relais & Châteaux Property is situated in the historic district near the City Market.
The hotel’s restaurant, the Peninsula Grill, offers both indoor and outdoor dining among tea lights, lanterns, and palmetto trees. Do yourself a favor and try the 12-layer coconut cake topped with strawberries. Enjoy complimentary coffee and orange and mango tea in the mornings.
Originally opened in 1803 a couple of blocks away, the Planters Inn boutique hotel moved to its current location in 1983. The building dates to 1844 when it was a luxury goods store. The best luxury hotel in Charleston, Planters Inn features 10-foot ceilings, fireplaces, silk window coverings, antiques, and a soothing palette of cream, powder blue, and pale sage.
Looking for things to do from one of the best hotels in Charleston? It’s in a great location take a horse-drawn carriage tour of the city or visit the nearby Gibbes Museum of Art.
Attractions near Planters Inn
- Dock Street Theatre
- College of Charleston
- Washington Square Park
15. The Vendue
Address: 19 Vendue Range, Charleston, SC 29401
With an art-centric focus, the Vendue is the best luxury hotel in Charleston for art and culture aficionados. Colorful modern art pops against whitewashed brick, bright white walls, and original exposed wood beams. This is the best hotel if you’ve ever wanted to spend the night in an art gallery.
The Vendue actually consists of two hotels: 19 Vendue and 26 Vendue. While both offer exquisite art collections, the main building of 19 Vendue has a rotating art exhibition with 200 pieces.
Home to the studio of the hotel’s artist-in-residence, 26 Vendue is timelessly elegant with antique sleigh beds, fireplaces, and hardwood floors. Rooms at 19 Vendue are sleek and stylish with bright pops of color, gilded accents, and antiques.
This boutique hotel hosts daily art receptions with wine and canapes. Hotel guests can also enjoy complimentary coffee and pastries in the morning and milk and cookies in the evening. On the culinary side, there’s a rooftop cocktail bar and Revival, an on-site restaurant offering modern cuisine with a Southern touch.
The building – located near Market Street and the Charleston City Market – dates to 1780. The word Vendue comes from “auctioneers” or “public auction.”
The area around the Vendue, originally known as Prioleau’s Wharf, was a public auction where goods were sold. After the Civil War, the buildings became warehouses for the fishing industry. Visiting sailors and fishermen encouraged the addition of accommodations, and there you have it.
Attractions near the Vendue Hotel
- Gibbes Museum of Art
- St. John’s Lutheran Church
- Edmonston-Alston House