Six of the Best Hotels in Charleston, South Carolina

Find a place to stay in the balmy southern city with our pick of the best boutique hotels in Charleston

America's city of the moment, Charleston is best known for its southern charm and historic streets, but the South Carolina belle has begun to gently shake off its kitsch character. Horse-drawn carriages and cobblestone streets are taking a backseat to a booming culinary scene and a forward-thinking cultural offering. Hotels, while never having been in short supply in the port city, are having a refresh, too, with a handful of eye-catching independent stays cropping up. Here are six recent openings to check out.

Six places to stay in Charleston

Post House Inn, Charleston, South Carolina


Post House Inn

This petite tavern-with-rooms in the city's waterside Old Village district feels a million miles away from the downtown bustle found a 10-minute drive away, across the Arthur Ravenel Jr Bridge. Former New Yorker Kate Towill and her British beau, Ben, wanted to imbue the old inn with southern charm and a distinctive village pub character when they opened in 2020. The old-world clapboard-covered exterior hints at what's inside: a William Morris-dressed home-from-home with a historic ambience lightly reminiscent of what we imagine Greta Gerwig's moodboard might have looked like for her 2019 Little Women adaption. Seven rooms - each of which is accessed with a twist of a hefty brass key - are trussed up in a modern southern style. Independent magazines sit beside rattan headboards, arts and crafts wallpaper juxtaposes duck-egg-coloured panelling, and powder-blue rotary phones provide access to a 24-hour concierge service. Downstairs, the lively tavern is helmed by chef Nick Wilber. Grab a cosy nook beside the fireplace to dine on comforting cornbread, full-fat cheeseburgers and shrimp fritters.


101 Pitt St, Mt Pleasant, SC 29464

Lobby, The Pinch, Charleston, USA
Photo credit: Matthew Williams


The Pinch

Opened in 2022, across two painstakingly restored, 179-year-old Victorian-style buildings, this relaxed aparthotel melds mid-century modernism with a touch of whimsical southern charm. Bedding down in one of the 25 country-chic rooms is a bit like borrowing an oh-so-chic friend's apartment; it's all ergonomic teak furnishings, parquet floors, kilim rugs and blush-pink window shades. Rooms are fitted with fully equipped, World of Interiors-worthy kitchens, plus in-room washer-dryers, and the elegant bathrooms are stocked with oh-so-aesthetic Aesop brown bottles. The hotel provides grocery packages and cocktail kits (along with free bike rental and access to a fitness centre and garden), but it would be a miss if you didn't head down to the 40-seat, white marble oyster bar, The Quinte, in the lobby for piled-high "towers" of east coast huîtres, lobster, clams and shrimp cocktail. A restaurant, Lowland, is on the cards, too.


36 George St, SC 29401

The Ryder, Charleston, USA


The Ryder Hotel

"A good time is a state of mind" reads the motto embedded in the floor of The Ryder's pool. This pastel-hued French Quarter pad, which opened in 2021, is named after Jack Kerouc's fictional Japhy Ryder, and channels the ideals of the Dharma Bums' character: namely, that taking life too seriously is an obstacle to good living. Housed in a 1958 building (built the year Kerouac's book hit the shelves), this 91-key contemporary stay is all about kicking back and letting loose. Rooms are stylish but functional, because you're not expected to spend much time in them - most hotel revels happen by the pool. Book a plump baby-pink chaise lounge under a terracotta-toned parasol to catch some rays, or take a pew at the Little Palm bar for fruit-laden cocktails, frozen brandy-spiked floats, and plates of fried chicken skewers.


237 Meeting St, SC 29401

86 Cannon Street Inn, Charleston
Photo credit: Katie Charlotte


86 Cannon Historic Inn

Discreetly sequestered between a geranium-hung, neoclassical townhouse and a low-slung bungalow on a largely residential road behind downtown, the eight-room 86 Cannon is an ode to easy living. We wouldn't call it "new" - Marion and Lori Hawkins began taking bookings back in 2017 - but arguably the boutique inn kick-started the city's independent stay scene. Guests can expect southern hospitality imbued with sophisticated service: there's champagne on arrival and a warm welcome from the hotel's Portuguese water dogs. In high-ceilinged, light-filled rooms, interiors feature classic French styles in heavenly hues (creamy clapboard, white linens and floral wallpapers) and generously sized ensuites. Some offer access to airy piazza terraces. Room rates include daily cheese and wine pairings, breakfast and the use of bikes for exploring the city.


86 Cannon St, SC 29403

Room at Emeline Hotel, Charleston, USA



Not unexpectedly for a city blessed with an annual 230 days of dazzling sunshine, outdoor dining spaces are some of Charleston's hottest commodities. Case in point? The fairy-light-strewn Frannie & The Fox, a courtyard restaurant set in the centre of the 50-room Emeline Hotel. Holy City locals and visitors alike congregate under the dusky southern sky for wood-fired plates accompanied by a slim but well-crafted aperitivo list. Elsewhere in the hotel, moodily hued suites (think moss-green loveseats with velvet headboards and plenty of teak touches) are equipped with record players, their brooding ambience in line with the design of the swish communal areas peppered with taxidermy birds, shoreside curios and lush jungle pot plants.


181 Church St, SC 29401

The Loutrel, Charleston, USA


The Loutrel

Opened at the tail end of 2021 in a prime location in the Historic District, The Loutrel is an ode to a green-fingered Charleston great. Loutrel Briggs was a landscaper who designed many of the city's private gardens during the roaring 20s. Guests can expect to encounter verdant inflections inspired by his designs all around the hotel, from a hanging swing and woven patio furnishings in the lobby, to the ample peppering of plant-life across the property - topiaries, orchids and blousy bloom arrangements included. The Veranda Lounge serves a menu of botanical cocktails, while a rooftop dining space looks out across a historic skyline framed by the crowns of Spanish moss-draped trees. Rooms, meanwhile, are awash with natural light, the crisp white palette supplemented with hydrangea-blue touches. In the bathrooms, you'll find herb-fragranced toiletries. Briggs' designs were elegantly restrained, with just a touch of southern flounce. The same description can be applied here.


61 State St, SC 29401

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Main photo: The Pinch, Christian Harder Photography

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