Six of the Best Hotels in Charleston, South Carolina

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

hotel

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.

Address

101 Pitt St, Mt Pleasant, SC 29464

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

hotel

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.

Address

36 George St, SC 29401

The Ryder, Charleston, USA

hotel

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.

Address

237 Meeting St, SC 29401

86 Cannon Street Inn, Charleston
Photo credit: Katie Charlotte

hotel

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.

Address

86 Cannon St, SC 29403

Room at Emeline Hotel, Charleston, USA

hotel

Emeline

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.

Address

181 Church St, SC 29401

The Loutrel, Charleston, USA

hotel

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.

Address

61 State St, SC 29401

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Main photo: The Pinch, Christian Harder Photography

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