Historic Hotels and Cozy Inns: Where to Stay in Charleston

Charleston is one of America’s most beloved historic cities, and part of the appeal is that travelers don’t just visit the sites and spaces of centuries past—they sleep in them. Over the last half-century, the city has seen a number of historic buildings reinvent themselves as boutique hotels, offering guests all the luxuries of today and a peek into the 18th century, the 19th century, and even the mid-century modern heyday of the 1960s.

Key Takeaways

  • Planters Inn combines historic charm with modern comforts and is situated in the heart of Charleston.
  • The Indigo Inn offers affordable luxury and is within walking distance to Charleston’s main attractions.
  • The Dewberry stands out with its mid-century modern design, luxurious rooms, and rooftop views.
  • Governor’s House Inn provides a personalized guest experience in the historic home of Edward Rutledge.
  • Zero George Street offers intimate and stylish accommodations with gourmet dining and cooking classes.

Planters Inn: A Tradition of Elegance

Historic Charm and Modern Comfort

Planters Inn, located in a beautifully restored mid-19th-century building, offers a unique blend of historic charm and modern comfort. The guest rooms feature 10-foot-high ceilings, soft colors, and hand-crafted four-poster beds, creating an atmosphere of timeless elegance. The inn’s original 1844 building and additional rooms across a breezy garden courtyard provide an oasis of calm in the bustling city.

Prime Location in the Heart of Charleston

Situated at the corner of Market and Meeting Streets, Planters Inn boasts arguably the best address in Charleston. Guests can easily explore Charleston’s diverse shopping scene, from upscale boutiques on King Street to the local charm of the Charleston City Market. The inn’s central location makes it an ideal base for discovering the city’s unique offerings, artisanal goods, and culinary delights.

Exceptional Service and Amenities

At Planters Inn, exceptional service is a hallmark. The inn wraps guests in luxury with Baker Historic Charleston Collection reproduction furnishings, Italian bed linens, and bathrooms lined in travertine marble. A meal at the inn’s Peninsula Grill is as romantic as it is delicious, adding to the overall experience of refined hospitality.

The Indigo Inn: Value and Convenience

Affordable Luxury in a Historic Setting

The Indigo Inn, built in 1850, was originally a warehouse for indigo, a blue dye plant that was one of antebellum Charleston’s main cash crops. Today, it stands as a testament to Charleston’s rich history, offering great value among other historic hotels. The inn’s indigo blue exterior makes it easily recognizable and adds to its charm.

Walking Distance to Charleston’s Attractions

Conveniently located close to the Charleston city center, The Indigo Inn is within walking distance of all major restaurants, shops, and sites downtown. This prime location allows guests to explore the best of Charleston without the need for extensive travel.

Warm Hospitality and Cozy Atmosphere

Guests at The Indigo Inn can expect warm hospitality and a cozy atmosphere. The inn offers a variety of amenities, including breakfast each morning and hors d’oeuvres and beverages in the afternoons. The friendly staff and comfortable accommodations make it a favorite among visitors.

The Dewberry: Mid-Century Modern Marvel

The Dewberry hotel Charleston

Architectural Beauty and Design

The Dewberry stands as a rare mid-century modern gem in Charleston’s historic district. Originally the L. Mendel Rivers Federal Building, constructed in 1964, it was revitalized by founder John Dewberry. His vision was to create a hotel that preserves a piece of mid-century Charleston history while also looking to the city’s future. The result is a LEED-certified hotel that opened in 2016, featuring 155 rooms and two award-winning dining outlets, The Living Room and Citrus Club.

Luxurious Rooms and Suites

Guests at The Dewberry can expect luxurious accommodations that blend historic charm with modern amenities. The rooms are designed with a JFK-era cool factor, featuring giant slabs of buffed marble, warm cherrywood paneling, and unlacquered brass inlay. The ambiance is elevated and elegant, yet fun and not too fussy, making it a perfect retreat for visitors.

Rooftop Views and Elegant Dining

One of the largest draws of The Dewberry is its rooftop, where guests can enjoy sunset cocktails, nibbles, and maritime breezes among citrus and olive trees. The views of Charleston’s harbor are simply stunning. The hotel’s dining options, including The Living Room and Citrus Club, offer a range of culinary delights that cater to diverse tastes. Whether you’re in the mood for a relaxed brunch on the outdoor patio or an elegant dinner, The Dewberry has something to offer.

In one of America’s most historic cities, The Dewberry manages to pay homage to the past while feeling refreshingly au courant.

Governor’s House Inn: Step Back in Time

Located on the picturesque Broad Street, the Governor’s House Inn offers guests a unique opportunity to explore the rich past of Charleston. Built in 1760, this historic home was once the residence of Edward Rutledge, the youngest signer of the Declaration of Independence and a former governor of South Carolina. Each room is classically appointed with four-poster canopy beds and period decor, providing a cozy and comfortable stay.

Historic Home of Edward Rutledge

Staying at the Governor’s House Inn allows you to step back in time and experience the charm of a bygone era. The inn’s historic significance and architectural beauty make it a standout choice for history enthusiasts.

Charming Rooms with Period Decor

The rooms at the Governor’s House Inn are designed to reflect the elegance of the past while offering modern comforts. Guests can enjoy a gourmet breakfast each morning, adding to the overall experience of luxury and relaxation.

Personalized Guest Experience

The inn prides itself on offering a personalized guest experience. From the moment you arrive, you’ll be treated with warm hospitality and attentive service, ensuring a memorable stay in Charleston.

Zero George Street: Boutique Elegance

Intimate and Stylish Accommodations

Zero George Street, located at the unique address of 0 George Street in downtown Charleston, offers a blend of historic charm and modern luxury. The hotel comprises five authentic buildings, including two original structures from the early 19th century. Guests can choose from 16 beautifully appointed rooms and suites, each featuring a serene palette of cream, gray, and sage.

Gourmet Dining and Cooking Classes

The heart of Zero George Street is its kitchen, where Chef Vinson Petrillo crafts dishes that celebrate Southern flavors. Guests can enjoy gourmet dining experiences or participate in cooking classes to learn the secrets behind the chef’s creations. The emphasis is on fresh, local ingredients and simple, yet delicious, preparations.

Central Location with a Quiet Ambiance

Situated in the heart of Charleston, Zero George Street offers easy access to the city’s main attractions while maintaining a peaceful and quiet ambiance. The hotel’s lush gardens and inviting verandas provide a tranquil retreat from the bustling city streets. Whether you’re exploring historic sites or enjoying a leisurely stroll, Zero George Street is the perfect base for your Charleston adventure.

The Vendue: Art and History Combined

Art-Filled Spaces and Galleries

The Vendue is Charleston’s best hotel for art-lovers, featuring both national and local art pieces throughout. With a full-time docent and rotating exhibits, The Vendue is never static. Each evening, guests are invited to a complimentary wine reception hosted by the General Manager, and each room is graced with a complimentary decanter of sherry.

Historic Building with Modern Touches

Rooms showcase fireplaces and marble whirlpools, all housed within historic warehouse buildings dating back to the 1700s. Due to the historical integrity of the property structure, some interior rooms lack windows. The Vendue’s recent renovations make it the stylish choice for any art-lovers visiting Charleston.

Rooftop Bar with Stunning Views

Located on Vendue Range near Waterfront Park, The Vendue offers its guests a prime location for exploration, dining, and shopping. This boutique style hotel features The Press coffee shop, The Drawing Room, an upscale restaurant on the lower level, and its own Rooftop, a lively bar serving light fare alongside some of the best views of the city and Charleston harbor.

John Rutledge House Inn: Southern Hospitality

Historic Mansion with Elegant Decor

The John Rutledge House Inn, once home to one of the 55 signers of the United States Constitution, offers a unique blend of history and luxury. Each of the 19 guest rooms and suites is distinct, featuring striking architectural details that transport you back in time while providing modern comforts.

Courtyard and Garden Spaces

Guests can enjoy a complimentary breakfast in the charming courtyard or the elegant ballroom. The inn also offers free Wi-Fi, afternoon tea, and evening beverages, creating a hospitable atmosphere that makes you feel right at home.

Delicious Southern Breakfast

Start your day with a delicious Southern breakfast served in your room, the courtyard, or the ballroom. The inn’s thoughtful amenities, including a 24-hour concierge service, ensure that your stay is as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.

Experience unparalleled Southern hospitality at the John Rutledge House Inn, where you’ll be welcomed like family and feel as if you’re returning to your very own home.

The Mills House: Grandeur and Comfort

Iconic Pink Facade and Historic Significance

The Mills House, now a Wyndham Grand property, is instantly recognizable by its iconic pink exterior and elegant black iron balconies. This historic hotel is a standout on the Charleston peninsula, offering a blend of historic charm and modern amenities. Guests can enjoy the convenience of a central location while soaking in the rich history that the hotel embodies.

Spacious Rooms and Modern Amenities

The Mills House features 214 guestrooms, including single and double bed rooms, as well as 19 suites. Rooms on the higher floors provide guests with stunning water views and a peaceful retreat from the bustling Meeting Street below. The hotel also boasts a business center, an outdoor pool, and an in-house restaurant, The Barbados Room, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable stay for all guests.

Poolside Relaxation and Fine Dining

One of the highlights of The Mills House is its large outdoor pool, complete with a bar where guests can order food and drinks. This makes for a perfect spot to unwind and enjoy the Charleston weather. Additionally, the hotel’s experienced concierge and on-site dining options add to the overall exceptional experience, making it an ideal choice for both leisure and business travelers.

The Spectator Hotel: Glamour and Style

1920s-Inspired Decor and Ambiance

Step into a world of timeless elegance at The Spectator Hotel, where the 1920s-inspired decor transports you to a bygone era. The hotel’s design pays homage to the past while feeling refreshingly au courant. Every corner of this boutique hotel is a conversation starter, making it a perfect fit for Charleston’s vibrant art scene.

Personal Butler Service

Experience unparalleled luxury with The Spectator Hotel’s personal butler service. From the moment you arrive, your dedicated butler is there to cater to your every need, ensuring a stay that is both relaxing and memorable. This level of service sets The Spectator apart, offering a personalized touch that makes you feel truly special.

Prime Location Near Market Street

Located just steps away from the bustling Market Street, The Spectator Hotel offers easy access to some of Charleston’s most popular attractions. Whether you’re interested in exploring diverse art galleries, indulging in gourmet dining, or simply soaking in the rich cultural heritage of the city, you’ll find it all within walking distance. The hotel’s prime location makes it an ideal base for discovering the best of Charleston.

The Spectator Hotel combines the charm of the past with modern luxury, creating a unique and unforgettable experience for every guest.

Fulton Lane Inn: Cozy and Quaint

Fulton Lane Inn Charleston

Charming Rooms with Antique Furnishings

Fulton Lane Inn offers a serene, private, and romantic atmosphere that feels like a summer retreat. Each guest room is uniquely appointed with picturesque furnishings and thoughtful amenities, ensuring a cozy and comfortable stay. Whether you choose a romantic Deluxe King or a family-friendly Two Room Suite, you’re sure to find complete comfort at this charming inn.

Complimentary Breakfast and Wine Reception

Guests at Fulton Lane Inn can enjoy a delightful continental breakfast delivered right to their room each morning. In the evening, head over to the sister property next door for a fantastic wine and cheese reception. It’s the perfect opportunity to mingle with other guests and start your night off right.

Close to Shopping and Dining

Tucked away on charming King Street, Fulton Lane Inn is just steps from the antique and shopping districts, renowned restaurants, and historic waterfront homes. This unmatched location allows you to easily explore all that Charleston has to offer while enjoying a peaceful and tranquil retreat.

Discover Charleston’s best-kept secret at Fulton Lane Inn, where warm hospitality, charm, and cozy comfort await you just steps from the energy and excitement of King Street.


Charleston’s historic hotels and cozy inns offer more than just a place to rest your head—they provide a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the city’s rich history and timeless charm. Whether you’re staying in a grand, art-driven building or a quaint, porch-fronted row house, each accommodation tells its own story of Charleston’s past. From the luxurious amenities to the antique furnishings and serene courtyards, these establishments ensure a memorable stay that combines modern comforts with historic elegance. So, as you plan your visit to this beloved city, consider one of these historic gems for an experience that truly captures the essence of Charleston.

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes Charleston’s historic hotels unique?

Charleston’s historic hotels offer a blend of modern luxuries and historical charm, allowing guests to experience centuries-old architecture, antique furnishings, and unique features like private courtyards and shady porch verandas.

Are there family-friendly historic hotels in Charleston?

Yes, many historic hotels in Charleston offer family-friendly amenities such as babysitting or child care services, spacious rooms, and convenient locations near attractions.

What is the best area to stay in Charleston for sightseeing?

Staying in downtown Charleston’s Historic District is ideal for sightseeing as it puts you within walking distance of many attractions, shops, and dining options.

Do historic hotels in Charleston offer modern amenities?

Yes, despite their historic charm, many of Charleston’s historic hotels provide modern amenities such as internet access, concierge services, laundry facilities, and luxurious interior decor.

Are there budget-friendly historic hotels in Charleston?

Yes, options like The Indigo Inn offer affordable luxury and are known for their value, convenience, and central location within walking distance to many of Charleston’s main attractions.

Can I find boutique hotels in Charleston with unique dining experiences?

Absolutely, hotels like Zero George Street offer gourmet dining and even cooking classes, providing a unique and intimate culinary experience.

What kind of views can I expect from Charleston’s historic hotels?

Many historic hotels in Charleston offer stunning views, whether it’s from a rooftop bar like at The Vendue or serene waterfront views and sunsets from various vantage points.

Is it possible to stay in a historic mansion in Charleston?

Yes, hotels like the John Rutledge House Inn and Governor’s House Inn offer the experience of staying in historic mansions with elegant decor and period furnishings.

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