The best hotels in Charleston, SC, are numerous and amazing. It’ll be a no-brainer to begin listing them. This city is known for many things, the most notable of which is its charm: friendly locals, a cuisine scene of Lowcountry classics and fresh seafood, and a history of welcoming visitors, whether short-term or long-term.
For nine years in a row, our readers voted it the best small city in America. It’s no surprise, then, that when it comes to places to stay in Charleston, hospitality stands out.
Our ranking of the top Charleston hotels spans the city’s appealing range.
From colorful boutique stays to stately, art-driven buildings, elegant rooms draped in crown molding and regal curtains, and porch-fronted row house hotels in the city’s downtown—and, like the city itself, isn’t short on charm.
The 20 Best Hotels in Charleston, SC: 2023 Top List
In our annual “World’s Best Awards” survey, the charming best hotels in Charleston SC, topped the list of voter-ranked lodgings for 2023.
1. The Ryder Hotel
This Charleston hotel, inspired by Jack Kerouac’s semi-fictional character Japhy Ryder, is all about changing things up and enjoying the voyage.
(If you miss the undercurrent upon arrival, there’s a portrait of a topless woman strumming a guitar in the corridor to remind you to relax a little.)
At check-in, you’ll be greeted with a welcome custom drink, blended to your request. The sounds of cocktail shakers and Motown beats keep toes tapping at Little Palm, an indoor/outdoor poolside venue, whether you’re wearing flip-flops, acrylic heels, or no shoes at all.
When it’s time to unwind, the La Bottega robes, walk-in showers, and light-filled suites have you covered.
2. 86 Cannon Historic Inn
It’s difficult to find a balance between design-forward and truly historic, but 86 Cannon does it well.
Before relocating to Charleston with her chef husband, Betsy Berry worked at the D.C. St. Regis and The Connaught in London.
From indigo-dyed grasscloth walls in the parlor to pomegranate-silk pitched walls in the attic library, her work is bold and gorgeous, with Venetian plasterwork and hand-stenciling by local painter Suzanne Allen.
The inn’s placement in the heart of a gourmet hotspot excuses it from having an onsite restaurant.
The inn serves a wine and cheese board in the late afternoon, sourced locally from Church Street’s Goat.Sheep.Cow. There are seven rooms in all, so the service is exceptional.
3. The Dewberry Charleston
The fig ivy at The Dewberry’s base has persistently climbed upward, clinging securely to the ground-floor columns, since it opened in the fall of 2016.
The hotel now appears to float above a garden. That’s exactly what founders John and Jaimie Brown Dewberry planned, imparting a surprising brightness to the limewashed eight-story mid-century monolith.
You’ll like its JFK-era cool factor. The popular Living Room is located across the large slabs of buffed marble, beyond the warm cherrywood paneling with unlacquered brass inlay, where guests can relax in a comfy leather high-back chair.
Locals go to the hushed spa for Natura Bissé facials, and the outdoor patio is packed on weekends for breakfast.
The rooftop for sunset cocktails, canapés, and marine breezes among the citrus and olive trees, with views of Charleston’s harbor, will always be the main draw.
The atmosphere is elevated and stylish, yet nevertheless playful and unpretentious. The Dewberry manages to pay respect to the past while remaining surprisingly modern in one of America’s most historic cities.
4. The Vendue
Don’t be fooled by the old facade: this hotel will blow your mind. The Vendue was designed as an ever-evolving, progressive “art hotel” with a full-time docent and rotating displays.
Previously, the motif was “red and white,” which translated to a massive red gorilla at the end of a shining white hallway filled with provocative paintings, stunning sculptures, and wall hangings.
We can’t tell you what to expect when you come, because the point is change and progress. The entire hotel is a talking point.
Consider attending a tea party with Andy Warhol, Alice in Wonderland, and Louis XIV.
5. Planters Inn
The Planters Inn sits on what is known as “Main & Main” (probably the greatest address in town), in this case, Market & Meeting. Despite the high-foot activity outside, the inn’s interior is serene and genteel, as if you’ve entered a well-heeled private home and been invited to stay a while.
The newer rooms feel more contemporary than their more historic counterparts in the main structure, yet they are nonetheless authentically Charleston.
Most Charlestonians think that the Peninsula Grill embodies great dining, and many well-known Charleston families have special events and huge family feasts here.
Carved four-poster mahogany beds, accent vases, enormous Audubon prints, polished mirrors, and sweetgrass baskets all contribute to the sense of location.
Since its establishment in 1994, this has been an immediate classic, beautifully maintained, and the only Relais & Châteaux property in Charleston, a really elegant hotel.
6. The Restoration
The first hint that this hotel thinks beyond the box is a large-scale portrait of an Icelandic horse at check-in; the second is the floor-to-ceiling Angel Oak photos that make the elevator feel like a treehouse.
The Restoration is a popular hotel among New Yorkers because of its urban style, big suites, and cutting-edge photography exhibitions.
Check out The Watch, a rooftop restaurant with a small eats menu that includes crab cakes and raw oysters.
The butter-soft gray bathrobes, designer bicycles with built-in baskets, and interesting coffee table books that line the library bookcase next to a mounted alligator skull are all part of the experience.
Join the Insiders Club to receive freebies such as a continental breakfast delivered with a soft knock on the door and nestled inside a leather-clad wicker picnic basket.
They’re so appealing that the staff has had to tell visitors not to steal them!
7. Harbor View Inn
The Harbor View Inn is located in Charleston’s historic district. You won’t be far from the excitement, with beautiful beaches nearby and a distinct selection of boutiques, restaurants, and museums. The hotel itself has some of Charleston’s best vistas.
To visit the historic city, rent a bike from this lovely hotel. Soak in the sun and enjoy the view of the harbor from the lovely roof-top terrace!
From your sumptuous suite, enjoy panoramic views of the city skyline before retiring to a historic four-poster bed.
Don’t forget to eat your complimentary breakfast when you get up! This Charleston hotel is a terrific pick, with historic architecture inside and out and beautiful views. Because of COVID, some amenities have changed.
8. Market Pavillion Hotel
While in Charleston, the Market Pavillion Hotel would like to “welcome [you] to luxury”! Enjoy your stay in this ancient structure and the “art of Southern Hospitality.”
You’ll have access to the best of “America’s favorite city” right in the center of downtown Charleston.
Explore the waterfront or one of the many historic buildings, boutiques, and museums.
Return to the hotel to be properly cared for. For a true taste of the South, dine at Grill 225 or sip drinks at the rooftop sanctuary Pavillion Bar.
Retire to your well-appointed accommodations to relax in your luxuriously decorated chamber fit for royalty.
Enjoy magnificent views from arched windows and marble-tiled ensuite bathrooms! Market Pavillion Hotel is the place to be if you wish to stay in elegance!
9. Grand Bohemian Hotel
The Grand Bohemian Hotel Charleston will add some creative flavor to your stay. You’ll be able to watch the city unfold in front of you from this downtown Charleston hotel.
This hotel prides itself on being the most distinctive of the downtown hotels. Check it out for yourself by experiencing everything the Grand Bohemian has to offer.
After checking in, have Champagne before touring the avant-garde art exhibition.
Recharge your batteries by basking under the stars around the outdoor fire pit. Visit the rooftop bar for handcrafted cocktails and to socialize with other artists.
Make the most of your visit by visiting the Wine-tasting room, which features the finest Southern wines.
After checking in, have a glass of Champagne before seeing the avant-garde art show. Relax under the stars around the outdoor fire pit to recharge your batteries.
Visit the rooftop bar to enjoy handcrafted cocktails and mingle with other artists. Visit the Wine-tasting room, which features the greatest Southern wines, to make the most of your visit.
10. Wentworth Mansion
This ancient mansion is the number one hotel in Charleston, according to Travel+Leisure. Return to the Gilded Age in stunning settings.
Crystal chandeliers from Italy dangle above, and Tiffany stained-glass windows screen the warm Southern sun. You are only a few feet away from the city’s greatest restaurants and shopping on King Street.
According to Travel + Leisure, this historic estate is the best hotel in Charleston. Return to the opulent age in breathtaking settings.
Crystal chandeliers from Italy dangle from the ceiling, while Tiffany stained-glass windows block the bright Southern light. You are only a few steps away from King Street’s best restaurants and shopping.
11. Belmond Charleston Place
Belmond The Charleston Place is a stunning Georgian mansion with marble floors and a bronze fountain.
Before you go through the doors in the center of the historic area, you’ll be transported to a more exquisite past! Explore Charleston’s historic area to experience the best of the city’s past.
Enjoy the best of jazz and Southern delicacies at the Charleston Grill! Don’t forget to pamper yourself with a luxurious spa treatment.
Take a dip in the rooftop pool or work out at the health club. All before retiring to your gorgeously decorated Georgian room.
If you want to live like 17th-century royalty, the Belmond Charleston Place Hotel is the place to stay in Charleston.
12. Dewberry Charleston
The Dewberry, located on the outskirts of Marion Square, provides convenient access to America’s favorite city! Stroll through the old neighborhoods in search of hidden Southern jewels, or take a harbor tour.
To genuinely escape to another century, hop in a horse-drawn carriage. The Dewberry’s location makes everything so simple. To visit the city, rent a bike from the hotel.
There’s plenty to do at this lovely Charleston hotel. Take in the best of Southern hospitality at The Living Room, the in-house restaurant, or have a cocktail at the Citrus Club.
Relax at the Spa and fully unwind. Check out Fieldshop by Garden & Gunn for the best items to remember your vacation.
All of this before retiring to your beautifully decorated room and cuddling up in Irish linens. Dewberry is a downtown gem for a combination of contemporary and antique.
13. Renaissance Charleston Historic District Hotel
The city, located downtown, is ready for you to explore! Explore the best shopping and historical sites, take a carriage ride, or take a port cruise. Enjoy Charleston’s historic district’s distinct blend of Southern charm and modernity.
Lenoire serves southern food beautifully produced by celebrity chef Vivian Howard. If you’re in a hurry, try Handy and Hot Cafe’s creative grab-and-go dishes with specialty coffee.
Take a plunge in the outdoor saltwater pool for some sun without going to the beach! Use their fitness center to get your workout in. Spend the night in a room that masterfully blends old-world charm with modern flair.
This luxurious hotel makes no concessions to comfort. Stay at this Charleston hotel for the best in Southern hospitality.
14. The Ryder Hotel
This hotel in Charleston is an oasis in the center of the city. Rent a bike and ride the greenway around the city! While downtown, get a taste of the tropics.
After taking in the sights, sounds, and tastes of the city, embark on an elegant retreat. Swim in the palm-fringed outdoor pool, then relax on the patio with a drink from Little Palm.
Do you want a cup of coffee? No worries; drink opulent artisan lattes and coffees at the Cafe.
Those who do not wish to flee can accompany you because the Ryder is pet-friendly. Enjoy a free membership to Pivotal Fitness, which is just a short walk from the hotel.
The Ryder Hotel in Charleston is an excellent choice for your holiday, offering everything from a ten-minute drive to the beach to a tropical-themed getaway.
15. Governor’s House Inn
This historic inn, rated the number one Bed&Breakfast by Tripadvisor, is one of the best in Charleston. Since before the American Revolution, it has stood guard above the city.
Politicians, religious figures, and monarchs have all called the Governor’s House home during the last 250 years.
Relax in magnificent rooms while staying at this ancient inn. The pine flooring, ancient furnishings, stunning windows, and four-poster beds are just the start.
In the evening, wine and sherry are served in your room, while suite guests can enjoy the piazza. Check out the Governor’s House Inn for a memorable visit.
16. French Quarter Inn
A hotel should feel like a second home. The French Quarter Inn takes this a step further. Relax in one of the magnificent rooms or suites.
Enjoy ensuite marble baths and furnishings that harken back to a more refined era in South Carolina!
Enjoy the boutique lobby, which features a fireplace and comfortable seating. In the lobby and at turn-down service, delicious Southern delights are presented with champagne.
Relax on the terrace with a hot cup of coffee or a glass of wine. While in Charleston, make the French Quarter Inn your home away from home.
17. Hotel Bennet
Hotel Bennett advertises “authentic Charleston hospitality” and delivers on that promise. The three in-house restaurants at Hotel Bennet offer the best of Charleston dining. Gabrielle offers superb eating both indoors and on the sunny patio.
Fiat Lux is a rooftop bar and restaurant that serves the best spirits and cocktails while offering panoramic views of the city. Camellias also serves champagne. La Patisserie, their cafe, serves pastries and hot beverages.
Relax in the hotel’s spa and indulge in a choice of royal treatments. All before retiring to your lovely room with big furniture that combines elegant contemporary with old-world charm.
Relax in your luxurious bed or take in the panoramic views of downtown Charleston. If you want to experience the best of both worlds, this is the hotel in Charleston for you.
18. The Cottages on Charleston Harbor
During the pandemic, this location was highly popular since you get a complete cottage to yourself, situated on the marsh overlooking the harbor, socially isolated from your neighbors yet close to nature.
The wonderfully designed villas function more like vacation rentals than full-service hotels, with big kitchens and neighboring restaurants, wine shops, and gourmet stores.
From sunrise to sunset, sit on your screened porch and watch the harbor activity emerge.
19. The Loutrel
The Loutrel makes a big impression on the Charleston hotel landscape, with its brand-new construction and ideal position just south of City Market.
The boutique 50-room property is fashionably contemporary in appearance and feel, and it continuously strives to bring the outside in.
The entryway is flanked by calamondin-orange topiaries, delicate cherry blossom branches spike the floral arrangements annually, and real orchids enhance every room.
With floor-to-ceiling windows and double-paneled privacy sheers, the rooms are crisp, basic, and large.
The rooftop patio of the Loutrel, which crests the mature tree line of Charleston’s historic French Quarter, provides the “wow” factor.
Early risers come here for coffee and to watch the sun illuminate a piece of the harbor before returning hours later for an evening beverage.
20. Battery Carriage House Inn
Enjoy a stay in a private mansion with a blend of old and new. Make a reservation for a suite with a sitting area or a room with garden access. The Battery Carriage House Inn provides a dignified stay.
After taking in the breathtaking views of the city, retire to your four-poster bed. You can see the city in elegance with neighboring carriage excursions or simply walk the old streets while staying in the center of the old District.
Nightly wine and cheese in the magnificent Ballroom, or a good cup of coffee in the cafe and lounge.
Enjoy a delicious European-style breakfast in the morning! The Battery Carriage House Inn transports you back in time.
Be cautious, as this is said to be Charleston’s most haunted inn, and the history may literally haunt the hallways.
You will not be bored if you travel to the beautiful city of Charleston with your family or group of friends because there are so many magnificent vistas and things to do in Charleston.
Don’t forget to reserve a stay at one of the 20 Best Hotels in Charleston while arranging your itinerary of experiences in this beautiful city.
Frequently Asked Questions
What area is the best to stay in Charleston?
For first-time tourists who want to be steps from Rainbow Row, the most gorgeous streets, and the top landmarks, the French Quarter is the ideal spot to stay in Charleston, SC.
How many rooms does the Charleston Place Hotel have?
How many rooms does the Spectator Hotel have?
When was the Charleston Place Hotel built?
In order to boost tourism and rejuvenate the city, Charleston Place was erected in 1986 as an Omni Hotel.