Fresh off my first trip down South in quite a while and I’m still high off of the jasmine and magnolia perfume that fills the air–oh and the thriving foodie scene–that can make anyone a fan of Charleston. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out my post about my favorite food experiences in Charleston. Charleston is a real Southern Belle and definitely one of my favorite cities in America and maybe even the world. It retains its old-fashioned charm, gentility and history while at the same time keeping up with modern times. There are plenty of fabulous places to stay, so many that it might be hard for you to pick. So I thought I would round up the information I learned in planning my own trip to save you some time. After much review and planning, here are the hotels that I found to be the best luxury hotels in Charleston. Cue the Gone with the Wind theme song and prepare to be swept back in time…
Where to Stay
If you’re new here, remember that when I travel I only enjoy the finest accommodations. I’ve just never enjoyed a vacation where I was uncomfortable getting into bed. And in the words of one of my favorite expert travelers, Mrs. O Around the World, “If you are leaving home, it has to be for a better place.” Luckily, Charleston has a plethora of luxury hotels for you to lay your head.
For the ultimate in luxury in downtown Charleston I would recommend Charleston Place. This hotel is consistently praised among the best hotels in the world by readers of Conde Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure magazine. The hotel brings feelings of a grand 17th century residence–think Georgian Open Arm staircase, enormous crystal chandeliers, marble floors, water fountains and more. Charleston Place truly nails the concept of elegant southern hospitality. Charleston Place has a great location and is only a short stroll from the city’s best shopping, if you want to leave the hotel. The hotel itself is home to a premier shopping collection of its own right on the ground floor of the hotel. Shops like Gucci, Kate Spade and St. John are among a few. The staff here is fantastic, especially the concierges who have walking directions printed out on tiny notecards for nearly everywhere you can think of. Another bonus here is the swimming pool with retractable glass roof on the top floor of the hotel. Charleston can get pretty steam– you’ll be happy you have this!
Charleston Place Lobby
Charleston Place’s Fabulous Restaurant, The Palmetto
Charleston Place Guest Room
If you’re looking to stay, however in one of the many historical homes that have been converted to inns, I would recommend John Rutledge House Inn. This inn gives the bed and breakfast feel while still managing to spoil its guests. The house originally belonged to one of the first signers of The Constitution, John Rutledge. A stay here gives you the an authentic experience with Charleston’s history while at the same time presenting you with all the amenities of a luxury hotel. Be sure to check out my review of John Rutledge Inn.
View From John Rutledge Common Room Balcony
Obsessed with the Outer Ironwork at John Rutledge Inn
Our Guestroom at John Rutledge Inn
Ultimate Luxury Just Outside of Charleston on the Beach
If you’re a fan of luxury and looking to visit Charleston, I highly recommend taking a trip out to Kiawah Island to visit The Sanctuary. Just about a 45-minute drive from downtown Charleston is an elite island where you’ll find beautiful beaches, world-renowned golf, luxury spas and Five Star accommodations. The Sanctuary just might be the most luxurious resort I’ve ever stayed in. Its grand entrance hall, plenty of cozy nooks and sitting rooms around the property, sweeping staircases are reminiscent of a grand seaside mansion. This resort earned the AAA Five Diamond rating as well as Forbes Five Star rating. Everything about a visit here is grand.
Lobby View of Grand Lawn and Ocean
The Main Pool