Explore Charleston Historic District Hotels: Find the Perfect Stay for You

Charleston airport lobby

Thanks to travel bloggers of various calibers, the world has discovered the Charleston historic district. And so it feels as if a new landmark joins the list of Charleston historic district hotels on a regular basis.

There’s no question that the historic district is magical. And many of these hotels add to the vibe, with top-notch Southern hospitality housed in historic architecture.

And while a more economic option is becoming rarer in what I consider the Venice of North America, you can still find them near the district. You’ll just need to be willing to walk a bit further to historic district attractions.

From chain hotels to unique boutique style hotels in downtown Charleston, get ready to start perusing.

Charming Accommodations in Charleston Historic District

The Charleston historic district used to have a wide range of accommodations. As times progresses, you’ll find more options on the luxury end of the scale than the simple and inexpensive.

But, to be fair, with limited space to build and renovate, a developer might as well spend more to make more.

Just like the real estate market in general.

Take a leisurely stroll down the old cobblestone streets, and enjoy the incredible scenery around the historic inns. And then choose one that fits both your taste and your budget.

Budget-Friendly Options

Woman enjoying an outdoor pool at one of the top Charleston historic district hotels

The Hampton Inn Charleston Historic District offers excellent value for money. Especially considering its great location. Standard amenities include:

  • Free wifi
  • A daily breakfast buffet
  • An outdoor pool
  • And a gym

The Ansonborough Inn offers the above, plus:

  • A rooftop terrace with stunning views
  • 24-hour exercise equipment
  • And a bar lounge for relaxing after a long day of sightseeing

Another option in downtown Charleston, near the College of Charleston, is the Lindy Renaissance Charleston Hotel.

Luxury Retreats

The hotel industry overuses the term “luxury”. The term is now used to identify the majority of 4 and 5-star hotels.

Some people define luxury hotels based on the design, the staff, the amenities provided, and other factors. Although admittedly ambiguous, the best definition I’ve found is:

“Luxury is when I get exactly what I want, when I want it, and how I want it, before I’ve actually asked for it.”

All that is to say, there are a lot more options for luxury hotels in the Charleston historic district than there used to be.

These opulent lodgings have nightly rates ranging from $255 to $427, and they also offer:

  • Luxurious spa services
  • Upscale restaurants
  • And cutting-edge gyms

Unique offerings at Luxury hotels in the Charleston historic district

Hotel Bennett

That said, they also have unique luxury offerings of their own:

Unique Boutique Hotels in Charleston

A boutique hotel is “a small, sophisticated, and fashionable business or establishment”. You’ll often find them in fashionable locations of a city’s urban district.

So, of course the Charleston historic district is full of boutique hotels. That said, the line between boutique hotel and bed and breakfast inn is blurry.

Both Charleston boutique hotels and Charleston bed and breakfasts feature historic details and buildings. And their service style often matches each other.

The Vendue Hotel

The Vendue Hotel is conveniently located at the intersection of East Bay and Vendue Range, leading directly to Waterfront Park.

This hotel has two unique features:

  • The rooftop bar in downtown Charleston with the best sunset views, as well as a changing art exhibition on the first floor
  • The structure is made up of several old warehouses dating back to the 1780s. But thanks to the historic nature of the building, temper your expectations for the accommodations. The rooms can be quite small. Having said that, the food at the restaurant is excellent, as is the service.

The Grand Bohemian Hotel Charleston Historic District

Pets are welcome at The Grand Bohemian. There’s a pricey farm-to-table restaurant, as well as an expensive wine bar, an art gallery, a small fitness center there, and a rooftop bar and restaurant. The view of Meeting Street isn’t spectacular, and the drinks are a little pricey. It’s still a funky, enjoyable place to see and be seen.

The Restoration Hotel

The Restoration Hotel‘s suites have high ceilings, exposed brick walls, and spectacular city views. It offers traditional elegance with a natural and laid-back Southern touch. You’ll enjoy amenities like:

  • Breakfast
  • Wine and cheese receptions
  • Complimentary bike rentals
  • And access to a nearby fitness center

The rooftop terrace is stunning.

John Rutledge House Inn

Made-up bed at one of the Charleston historic district hotels

The charming historic inn known as the John Rutledge House Inn is on Broad Street, next to the Roman Catholic Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. Following a recent renovation, it now provides guests with modern amenities such as massages, outdoor dining, and a glass of port, sherry, or brandy. The bed and breakfast is one of the larger ones in the area, with 19 individually decorated rooms. Visitors can receive massages in their spacious rooms in addition to dining outside and sipping a glass of port, sherry, or brandy. Fireplaces made of Italian marble and high ceilings are among the opulent features of the ethereal guest rooms. Create your next social media post on the well-known teal wrought-iron balconies during the pre-sunset golden hour.

Whether you’re into social media or no, this is a National Historical Landmark. How many American hotels can claim to both being shot at by a cannon, and hosting George Washington?

What Amenities and Services to expect in the Charleston Historic District

When visiting Charleston’s Historic District, you’ll find an abundance of hotels offering stunning architecture and a variety of amenities.

The array of services that visitors will have access to include dining options, refreshment outlets as well as other facilities such as leisure centers to rejuvenate in style during your stay in the historic district!

Wellness Facilities

In Charleston’s Historic District, hotels offer the perfect opportunity to kick back and relax. These venues provide top-notch wellness facilities so you can feel rejuvenated after a day of exploration. Exercise at one of their state-of-the-art gym or fitness center, or treat yourself to an indulgent spa session — it’s your vacation, after all!

Gyms and fitness centers

Top hotels in Charleston historic district with a fitness center include:


Rooftop of the Wentworth Mansion

Historic district hotels with spas on-site include:

Dining and Drinking

Charleston is famous for its cuisine and dining.

So of course Charleston historic district hotels try to cash-in on that reputation.

While there are plenty of hotels with restaurants on-site, don’t limit yourself to them. There are so many fantastic places within walking distance of all the best hotels on this list.

I appreciate the Spectator Hotel for the fact that they didn’t bother incorporating a restaurant into their offerings. It’s hard to compete when you have so many fantastic Charleston restaurants within easy walking distance near the Charleston City Market.

Hotels with full-service restaurants

That said, some of the top hotel restaurants in downtown Charleston include:

  • Hotel Bella Grace
  • The Ryder Hotel
  • Planters Inn
  • The Restoration
  • Francis Marion Hotel
  • The Vendue
  • Emeline

Hotels with Continental Breakfast

Homewood Suites is another option of Charleston historic district hotels

This is not an exhaustive list. Considering how much you’re paying for a nightly rate, no wonder these places offer a decent free breakfast.

Hotels with a continental breakfast include all the Charleston bed and breakfasts, as the name would be misleading otherwise. And a few more top picks include complimentary breakfast at:

Hotels with bars

At risk of sounding like a lush, hotel bars are how I get acquainted with the hotel hosting them.

To be fair, it’s not like I need a place to stay in the Charleston historic district.

But a bar is a great place to wind-down after a busy day, or get ready to head out to explore Charleston nightlife, centered around King Street.

Some personal favorites among the hotel bars include:

Family-Friendly Features

While every hotel in the historic district is going to claim that they’re child-friendly, I would rather put my kids up in a cheap hotel.

Lord knows the very friendly employees may change their tone after a kid breaks a priceless antique at the hotel.

Some options with standard family-friendly amenities like free wifi and breakfasts include:

  • The Ryder Hotel
  • Hampton Inn Charleston Historic District
  • Ansonborough Inn
  • Homewood Suites by Hilton Charleston Historic District

Exploring Charleston’s Historic District

Charleston historic district home

After you’ve found the perfect place to stay, you can start exploring Charleston’s Historic District and its fascinating culture. There are numerous options for entertainment, such as breathtaking sights, informative tours, one-of-a-kind events, and festivals.

Must-See Attractions

Yes, everyone writes about how wonderful Charleston’s Historic District is. But once you’re here, you’ll understand that they’re not making it up!

Some of the top hits on the list of attractions, activities, and things to do in Charleston, SC, include:

Visit the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge, Drayton Hall, Middleton Place, Joe Riley Waterfront Park, and Nathaniel Russell House to learn more about the city’s historic sites and stunning architecture. If you want a more in-depth history lesson, don’t miss Fort Sumter National Monument.

You can also spend some time strolling down King Street, taking in the charm and beauty that this incredible neighborhood has to offer.

Guided Tours

Take one of the many guided tours available in Charleston’s Historic District, such as:

The Old South Carriage Company is a well-known tour company that offers excursions on historic horses and coaches. There are also Ghost City Tours and Charleston Historical Guided Sightseeing Walks.

For a more independent adventure, why not take one of Free Tours by Foot’s free walkabouts? Learn about the various tales and hidden gems from this significant neighborhood in beautiful Charleston, no matter what kind of journey you choose!

Local Events and Festivals

The Historic District of Charleston is a fun destination with exciting events and festivals. A few popular annual Charleston events include:

  • The North Charleston Arts Fest
  • Greek Festival
  • High Tide Festival
  • Lowcountry Strawberry Festival
  • And a Houses & Gardens extravaganza

All contribute to the incredible atmosphere celebrating the area’s delectable cuisine, wonderful music, and artistic culture.

Find more hotel options beyond the historic district

Man on a beach on Isle of Palms

The historic district is lovely, but it doesn’t come cheap.

There are plenty of other places to stay in and around Charleston, though.

The best places to stay in Charleston may be based on price, or size of the room, or location to what you want to experience here, like Charleston beaches.

Read on for some of our other guides, focused more on a beach vibe, beyond downtown:

Charleston is also a beach town. Just a wonderfully historic and therefore unique, one.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best part of Charleston to stay in?

If convenience is a top priority when looking for a place to stay in Charleston, South Carolina, the French Quarter has you covered. There are many attractions nearby Rainbow Row, as well as charming streets.

Marion Square attracts visitors who want a variety of dining and shopping options nearby.

How far is downtown Charleston from the historic district?

They’re the same. Kind of. Read the next FAQ.

Is downtown Charleston the same as the historic district?

The Historic District and Downtown Charleston are not interchangeable. The business district in downtown Charleston corresponds to the peninsula, jutting out into Charleston Harbor between the Ashely River and Cooper River.

The Historic District protects Charleston’s original planned city. So all of the Charleston historic district is in downtown Charleston, but all of downtown Charleston is not in the historic district.

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