As a popular tourist destination known for its colorful antebellum homes, delicious food, and low-country charm, Charleston, South Carolina, sees its fair share of visitors each year. And those millions of travelers need somewhere to lay their heads. Luckily, we’ve discovered some of the best places to stay in the Holy City, from hotels and home rentals to bed and breakfasts and everything in between.
Here are some fantastic places to stay in Charleston.
We’ll start with the hotels. Charleston is famous for its Southern hospitality, and a number of its upscale hotel properties stand out.
This luxe boutique hotel, located on the peninsula in the heart of the city, is a sure winner on the Charleston hotel scene. Named for its street address, Zero George is ensconced within renovated historic homes and features 16 beautifully appointed guest rooms. The property is home to a renowned cocktail bar and restaurant, and it even has its own on-site cooking school that regularly hosts wine tastings. Guests looking for a good deal should be sure to check out the special offers section of the hotel’s website and plan to travel during the off-season.
Belmond Charleston Place
The Belmond hotel group, a luxury operator, runs a lovely outpost in Charleston. Belmond Charleston Place downtown is a great fit for those seeking both a relaxing and active stay. The property boasts a large pool and deck, a fitness center, multiple eateries and bars, and a full-service spa. It is within walking distance of many popular tourist attractions, including Rainbow Row and the famous pineapple fountain, and it’s also close to numerous watering holes and restaurants. Many rooms include Juliet balconies and spectacular city views.
The Spectator Hotel
For a fancy stay complete with 1920s glamour, visitors to the Holy City should check out the sleek Spectator Hotel. After all, it’s the only spot in Charleston with a personal butler option for each guest. Mixology enthusiasts and bibliophiles alike will enjoy the speakeasy-meets-library vibe of the on-site Spectator Pub. And tourists can expect a gourmet continental breakfast delivered to their room each morning. The Spectator Hotel offers complimentary bike rentals on a first-come, first-served basis. Plus, the staff can arrange a private car service for guests who’d rather not use ride-sharing apps like Lyft or Uber.
The Mills House
This bright pink hotel, a Wyndham Grand property, is conveniently located downtown near numerous popular attractions. In fact, The Mills House is right across the street from Husk, the acclaimed Southern comfort-food restaurant. Guests can enjoy complimentary champagne in the lobby as well as a hand-delivered paper brought to their room each day. Valet parking is available on-site as well for $39 per day. That way, visitors can explore the Holy City on foot, the way it was meant to be seen.
Travelers wanting a homier feel can rent an apartment, house, or cottage in Charleston. Home- and room-rental services like Airbnb and VRBO provide extra flexibility for everything from multigenerational vacations to romantic getaways for two. Plus, they offer some truly unique lodging experiences.
Here are a few of our favorite Charleston vacation rentals.
Airbnb: A Pirate’s Life For Me Houseboat
Perhaps the most fun lodging option on this list, this houseboat combines water views, charming decor, and a great mid-peninsula location. Guests can park for free at the marina, about 50 yards away. There are carts available for easy transport of luggage to the houseboat. Visitors can expect calm waters in the harbor to lull them to sleep, occasional dolphin sightings, and a full-size bathroom with a large water heater. There’s a queen bed in the bedroom as well as a twin bed in the main living space. A full galley kitchen is also onboard, which would be perfect for longer stays. Bikes are accessible on the dock for visitors to tour the city of Charleston on wheels.
Airbnb Plus: Serene Cottage
The Airbnb Plus distinction recognizes listings with “exceptional quality, comfort, and style,” and this charming cottage certainly delivers. Complete with a lovely garden and heated saltwater pool, the rental accommodates four guests. The cottage is fully updated, including the two bathrooms and the large kitchen. The large yard allows visitors to enjoy the fresh sea air, fragrant plants, and warm sunshine in the Cannonborough-Elliotborough neighborhood. Extra amenities include free parking on-site, a self-check-in process, a Roku TV, a washer and dryer, free Wi-Fi, and more.
Airbnb: Downtown Luxury Home
This entire house, located near Upper King Street in downtown Charleston, can be rented for a large group getaway. It features three bedrooms and three bathrooms plus a private driveway with room for two cars to park (for free!). The bedrooms also include a blow-up queen mattress and a twin rollaway bed. Ample outdoor entertaining space helps guests enjoy the city even more, and three porches are available for guests to use. That’s one for every level of this home! The spacious kitchen is equipped with a Keurig coffee machine to satisfy caffeine cravings, and the living room is designer appointed.
Airbnb Plus: The Cedar House
This cute rental would be the perfect fit for anyone looking to lessen their carbon footprint. With a fully functional kitchen including a gas range and French press, this tiny house packs a culinary punch. Plus, the hosts are very helpful and provide local tips to make sure your Charleston experience is the best it can be. They even provide bikes for visitors to use to explore the city and peninsula. Free parking is available on-site, and there is a private outdoor entertaining space with a hammock. Please note that the loft bedroom is accessed via a ladder, so this listing may not be a good fit for travelers with mobility issues.
VRBO: Isle Of Palms Getaway
For those seeking some beach time during their Charleston vacation, a private home on the picturesque Isle of Palms is a great option. This property boasts five bedrooms and four bathrooms and can sleep up to 14 travelers. With its newly renovated pool and easy access to the beach, this spot simply can’t be beat. Coastal chic decor makes the space extra inviting, while a large gathering space and farmhouse table provide home entertaining options. The Isle of Palms is just a 30-minute drive from Charleston itself, so visitors can still enjoy the city’s amenities.
VRBO: Historic House In The French Quarter
Another great downtown location for Charleston newbies, this home comfortably sleeps six guests in its three bedrooms. A spiral staircase, exposed reclaimed wooden beams, and exposed brick walls only add to its charm. Visitors have the house to themselves, complete with an off-street parking space. Plus, this rental currently has a stellar rating, 4.9 stars out of a possible 5. Check out this dreamy property for yourself to see if it’s worthy of the hype!
Inns And Bed And Breakfasts
In any historic city, you’ll find a number of extra-charming inns and bed and breakfasts. Charleston, the South’s favorite city, is no exception. Consider the following properties on your next visit to the area.
21 East Battery Bed & Breakfast
This bed and breakfast is located in one of the first homes to be built on the waterfront Battery in Charleston. Guests get a free tour of the home plus the museum, known as the Edmondston-Alston House. You will be warmly greeted by the on-site manager and can expect a stocked kitchen full of breakfast goodies to start your day off right. For an additional fee, a deluxe or made-to-order breakfast can be arranged. Off-street parking and a private courtyard round out these historic and luxurious digs.
John Rutledge House Inn
History buffs will especially enjoy the John Rutledge House Inn. This spot was built in 1673 by its namesake, John Rutledge, who was a signer of the Constitution. In fact, it’s the only home of a Constitution signatory that allows guests to stay overnight. With its location on the popular Broad Street, the inn provides a great home base for exploring the city, but it remains a serene urban oasis. Both afternoon tea and breakfast are provided.
Clearly there is no shortage of wonderful places to stay on a jaunt to Charleston. From historic inns to rental homes to houseboats, the Holy City has so much to offer visitors in terms of lodging.