This beautiful, elegant and charming Southern gem is one of the most loved destinations in the US. The South Carolina port city has a quaint and unique stuck-in-time feel with immaculately preserved – and colorful – historic buildings, cobblestone streets and antebellum mansions.
Other highlights include its fine collection of restaurants, lively bars, an interesting art scene and a pretty promenade. This city is special so you’ll need an equally special place to stay. So from chic boutique inns to modern and trendy, here are some of the best cool and unusual hotels in Charleston, South Carolina (in no particular order)...
1. The Saint Hotel Charleston – a very Instagrammable, trendy and fun hotel that is one of the newest places stay
The Saint Hotel makes it very easy to discover the inspirational gems that permeate the city of Charleston. Nestled in the heart of the historic district, the hotel itself is a melting pot of cultures, eclectic cuisine, and charming, southern hospitality.
The beautifully picturesque ‘Rainbow Row’, an architecturally sound row of pastel-coloured Georgian-style homes, is mere steps from the hotel, as are many other unique and quaint streets.
The hotel’s 45 brand-new guest rooms and suites are the perfect place to return to after exploring the history-trodden grounds of the city.
All of them offer the chance to rest like royalty, with breath-taking downtown views, Art Deco and Avant-Garde furnishings, ultra-soft Egyptian cotton bedding, and more sophisticated hues.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Saint Hotel Charleston
2. Grand Bohemian Hotel Charleston, Autograph Collection – a unique, art inspired and funky hotel featuring a rooftop restaurant
Here we have a pet-friendly, boutique hotel which awaits guests with a luxurious, modern style. The hotel is located in the historic district of Charleston, offering easy access to all the downtown destinations.
After spending the day exploring downtown Charleston, guests can retreat to the well-designed rooms which boast an artistic flair, and high-end amenities.
The rooftop restaurant, Élevé, offers stunning views for dinner, and the art gallery offers a very unique, captivating experience.
The hotel further boasts a wine tasting room, crafted cocktails in the rooftop bar, and fantastic venues to cater to all kinds of events. The Southern Charm is at the forefront of everything at this hotel, from the staff presence, to the chic lobby décor.
- To book, check prices or availability for Grand Bohemian Hotel Charleston, Autograph Collection
3. The Pinch Charleston – an upscale, Insta-worthy, boutique accommodation offering complimentary bikes to explore the city
This gorgeous hotel hits all the marks of a relaxing vacation spot. Its staff are as innately pleasant as the Charleston climate, the beaches are easily accessible, and it boasts top-of-the-range dining delights. All in the comfort of a very spacious, fully-equipped hotel.
Its décor is a talking point amongst guests, with windows plucked from a bygone era, cream-grey cloaked plaster walls, and dashes of Victorian heritage mixed with a sense of enchantment.
The Pinch is a touch of high culture in the low county, with luxury amenities and a great atmosphere to compliment a city voted ‘Best City to Visit’ for four years in a row.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Pinch Charleston
4. The Ryder Hotel – a fun and cool design hotel with the wow-factor hotel perfect for Millennials and Gen Zs to enjoy a relaxing retreat
The Ryder Hotel is the perfect place to embrace your fun-loving, free-spirited side, in a place where you can nurture genuine connections. At this boutique hotel, escape meets experience, and neighbours and explorers gather to celebrate what brings them together.
The hotel evokes a fun feel, as the aesthetic is inspired by Charleston’s coastal beauty, and features a sophisticated yet relaxed style. The organic hues, earthly reds, laid-back bohemian atmosphere, and beautifully hand-crafted furniture, exude a very unique charm from every angle.
The cool hotel boasts an earthy, sleek café, an excellent restaurant bar which reimagines the fine art of craft cocktails, a lush pool area, and a great location to explore all the great spots in Charleston.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Ryder Hotel
5. The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel – a quirky-chic, vibrant, design hotel is in a perfect location to enjoy popular landmarks
A storied past and a tremendously rich heritage combine at The Mills House, situated in a prime downtown location on Museum Mile.
The hotel boasts its very own concierge, who is always on hand to help guests craft the perfect itinerary, and to share profound knowledge about the very best of the city.
Guests can return from a day exploring this gracious city, to a revitalizing dip in the pool, by the gorgeous sun deck, with unrivalled downtown views. Barbadoes, the hotel restaurant, offers sophisticated dining experiences.
The hotel also features a business centre, a 24/7 fitness centre, and beautifully lavish guestrooms.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel
6. The Loutrel – a modern, chic and new hotel located in the heart of Charleston
The refined Loutrel Hotel is the perfect choice for those seeking meaningful interactions and sophisticated comfort.
Blending into the charming Georgian facades of Charleston’s historic district, inspired by the city’s public and private gardens, Charleston’s past mystique and progressive future are ushered into the present moment.
The 50 rooms and suites are furnished with luxurious amenities – all inspired by the city – with local touches such as a curation of local snacks.
The event venues, whether the intimate private dining room or the spacious rooftop terrace, each present their own distinct experience, yet within the same signature Southern Hospitality that the hotel prides itself on.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Loutrel
7. Hotel Emeline – a stylish, chic and hip upscale hotel is one of the best places to stay in the city
This gracious hotel is the perfect home for the soulful sojourner, who seeks the new over the known, but still enjoys wandering through the past.
Perched in historic downtown Charleston, the Emeline is a true eye-opener! Guests will wake to the sound of hooves on cobblestones, drenched in custom linens, and ready to embrace the local flair.
The hotel staff also embody a very welcoming service, which is the epitome of Southern hospitality. Guests may begin the day with a coffee at Clerks, or enjoy a wood fired pizza from the comfort of their room.
Topped with a glass of wine and the fresh air in the open courtyard, the Emiline certainly possesses the qualities to become a favoured, annual destination.
- To book, check prices or availability for Hotel Emeline
8. Harborview Inn – a newly renovated, stylish and picturesque accommodation that overlooks the Charleston harbor
For an intimate retreat in the heart of historic downtown Charleston, guests need to look no further than the Harborview Inn, a hotel which sets the state for unforgettable adventures.
From enhanced beverage offerings in the comfort of your room, to night-time milk and cookies, a heartening selection of surprises awaits guests at this unique hideaway.
Guests can enjoy panoramic views of the city from the cloistered respite of a rooftop terrace, indulge in fresh bath products from Antica Farmacista, or simply sip on a craft cocktail delivered to their room.
All the essential amenities are offered at this downtown Charleston retreat, from comfy Tempur-Pedic beds, to complimentary wifi, to personal Waffle Weave Robes that are soft to the touch.
- To book, check prices or availability for Harborview Inn
9. The Restoration Hotel – an upscale, historic and modern hotel that features spa and wellness facilities
Some hotels try to preserve tradition. The Restoration invites guests to reinvent it. It is a place to come together, and discover bold, open spaces designed to inspire community and connection.
Located in downtown Charleston, the hotel is truly in the heart of the activity. Guests can choose a luxurious boutique hotel experience in one of the commodious suites, or recreate cherished home traditions in the comfort of the residences. ‘A journey into the New South is led only by a sense of adventure and the thrill of the unknown.’
Here at the Charleston, this sentiment is echoed throughout the lodge, with endless possibilities awaiting guests, inspiring a sense of freedom.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Restoration Hotel
10. The Spectator Hotel – a unique 1920’s inspired, fancy hotel offering guests a personalised butler experience
This hotel evokes the genteel glamour of the Old South and the exuberance of the Jazz Age. Recognized year after year as one of Charleston’s top hotels, you will realize why as soon as you step inside this sophisticated boutique jewel.
Refinement, five-star luxury, and made-for-you service are factors which guests realize the moment they arrive. The hotel is also acknowledged for its above-and-beyond attentiveness, with a personalized butler service providing every guest with impeccable Southern hospitality.
1920s glamour is a clear feature of all guest rooms and suites, which fuses with a refreshingly modern take.
After spending a night amongst the luxurious linens and Harris pillows, an enhanced continental breakfast is delivered to your door each morning.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Spectator Hotel
11. The Vendue – a creative, sleek and classy hotel providing a panoramic view on their rooftop bar
The Vendue is a wonderful combination of industrial and contemporary. The two buildings occupy several reclaimed red brick warehouses on both sides of a cobblestoned road.
The glittering chandeliers, dark wood floors, well-appointed furniture and over 300 pieces of dedicated art, create a scene bursting with modern energy and unrivalled flair.
The Vendue is like no other place in Charleston. The sleek 84-room ‘arts hotel’ provides different characteristics in each of its rooms, however, some common design elements in all of them are original artwork, feather beds, and large TVs.
Here, you are surrounded by major downtown architectural sights such as Rainbow Row, close to the boutiques of King Street, and the city’s many celebrated restaurants.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Vendue
12. Zero George Street – a European style, elegant and lavish hotel that blends history and sophisticated chic
Zero George Street is the perfect sanctuary for exploring the endless delights of Charleston, where a sense of wander and wonder go hand in hand.
The immaculately restored circa 1804 buildings and private courtyard provide guests with an idyllic home-from-home, nestled within Charleston’s allure.
The cool hotel aims to delight, spoil, and surprise, whilst serving up Old World authenticity with contemporary, upscale hospitality.
The hotel restaurant elevates dining to a sublime art, serving up delicious flavours and dazzling dishes, courtesy of Chef Vinson Petrillo, master of seasonal local ingredients.
The hotel’s unique offering in the heart of Charleston’s historic Ansonborough neighbourhood, resembles your very own 19th-century pied à terre.
- To book, check prices or availability for Zero George Street
13. 86 Cannon Historic Inn – Adults Only – a charming, contemporary and elegant accommodation where guests can enjoy a continental breakfast
86 Cannon is a luxury boutique inn Located in a fully restored, three-story circa 1860’s single house, nestled in a vibrant neighbourhood in historic Charleston. A curated concierge service, luxury amenities, and an ambiance of updated Southern luxury, provide additional touches to the hotel’s elegance.
For those looking to be in the heart of the action, this residential retreat provides a refreshing twist on the downtown city vibe.
Its room combines mid-century finishes with classic French elements, and pure tranquillity is offered in the hotel’s spacious common areas, private piazzas, and beautiful gardens.
Every detail at this hotel was carefully selected to deliver a uniquely memorable guest experience.
- To book, check prices or availability for 86 Cannon Historic Inn – Adults Only
14. Hotel Indigo Charleston – Mount Pleasant, an IHG Hotel – a spacious, bright and chic hotel where pets are welcome
This hotel guides guests to the most authentic low-country experience. Its modern, boutique-style accommodations feature ample work space and plush bedding, and are as individual as the hotels surroundings.
You can enjoy meals created with locally-sourced ingredients, grab snacks at the sundry shop, or enjoy craft cocktails by the indoor/outdoor bar and pool loungers.
The resort’s atmosphere is permeated by a vibrant community and topped with intimate service. The local flavours which constitute the menus, are also photographed on the walls, and serve as talking points for locals, guests, and neighbours.
Guests often comment on feeling refreshed after a stay at this hotel, due to the relaxing, inviting feel exuded by the staff.
- To book, check prices or availability for Hotel Indigo Charleston – Mount Pleasant, an IHG Hotel
15. The Beach Club at Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina – a unique, design and deluxe hotel where guests can enjoy peaceful views of the waterfront
From a Palmetto tree-lined entrance to a lush tropical landscape, this resort sets the stage for a truly unique and grand experience.
The architecture and design highlights a low-country style aesthetic, complete with wraparound porches perfect for winding down with a handcrafted cocktail.
An authentic Charleston experience is delivered here, through a gracious, personalized service and 92 luxuriously-appointed guestrooms.
These rooms feature upscale furnishings with hand-painted elements, and a coastal palette which provides a gorgeous, tranquil environment.
Guests can enjoy games of bocce on the private seaside court, or life-size chess. They can also venture into the resort’s cinema, theatre, or private pool-side cabanas to indulge in some experiences not offered at most hotels.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Beach Club at Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina
16. Harborside at Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina – an ocean inspired, themed and quirky hotel that is classed as Charleston’s hidden oasis
This resort and marina is a world-class destination, offering elegant accommodations, an extensive amenity list, and many water-sport activities courtesy of its prime waterfront location.
True Southern hospitality is a key facet of this Charleston resort, where the focus is on creating a unique and memorable guest experience, enveloped by charm and gracious service. 125 guestrooms are provided, with a variety of room and suite options.
Delicious dining can be enjoyed at the Fish House, whilst the Estuary Spa offers rejuvenating spa services. Guests can then choose to indulge in restorative wellness sessions, or just soak up the sun in a lounge chair.
- To book, check prices or availability for Harborside at Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina
17. Inn at I’On, Ascend Hotel Collection – a beautiful, charming, boutique accommodation within walking distance of popular attractions
The Inn at I’On is a charming hotel offering boutique accommodations, a convenient location, and outstanding service. A deluxe continental breakfast is offered complimentary each morning, and the guest rooms are well-appointed with the latest technologies and amenities.
The I’On club, a community destination which features tennis courts, swimming pools, and a fitness centre, is also offered to all guests.
Within walking distance, several shops and restaurants, as well as popular tourist attractions, provide much entertainment opportunities to guests. If visiting Sullivan’s Island and other local beaches is on your agenda, you cannot go wrong with the location of this gorgeous, chic hotel.
- To book, check prices or availability for Inn at I’On, Ascend Hotel Collection
18. Market Pavilion Hotel – a lavish, rustic and historic hotel surrounded by Charleston’s most well-known landmarks
Market Pavilion Hotel is Charleston’s most luxurious hotel. Located in the epicentre of Downtown, it is just minutes from the waterfront, tour guides, shopping, and grand old homes.
Set among some of Charleston’s most historical landmarks, the hotel provides the perfect respite spot after an interesting day wandering around downtown.
This experience is bolstered by its decadent guestrooms, which offer residential furnishings such as a mahogany king-size poster bed, an extravagant Italian marble bath with standing shower, and high-end amenities.
Memorable food, impeccable service and a very optimal atmosphere combine at Grill 225, which operates under the direction of Executive Chef Demestre Castanas. The Pavilion bar is a rooftop oasis, with a cascading pool and views of historic Charleston.
- To book, check prices or availability for Market Pavilion Hotel
19. Meeting Street Inn – a classic, intimate and Victorian style accommodation perfect for a romantic getaway
Modern day comfort meets historic Charleston charm at the Meeting Street Inn, which offers peaceful and affordable accommodations in the heart of downtown Charleston.
The breezy, semi-private balconies and tranquil garden courtyard at the Inn, make for an idyllic romantic getaway, especially for those seeking intimacy in a timeless setting.
A complimentary continental breakfast is offered to all guests, as well as an inviting, elegant, and historically rich Charleston experience.
The hotel was initially constructed in 1837, and despite many iterations over the years, a traditional feel still prevails beautifully. The 56 guestrooms include a mix of traditional and deluxe rooms, and all provide a charming and intimate atmosphere.
- To book, check prices or availability for Meeting Street Inn
20. The Iris – a hip, vibrant and contemporary accommodation steps away from the main street
This apartment hotel, located in one of Charleston’s most vibrant and desired tourist areas, welcomes guests to a curated mix of dining and shopping experiences, where they can soak up the southern charm.
Within the contemporary design, high-end packing carousels, premium amenities, and the gorgeous surrounding area, you will find an untouched atmosphere, that’s for sure.
Proudly managed by CHC Vacation Rentals, the hotel prides itself on an exemplary staff presence, pristine amenities, and options to suit all types of guests.
The signature, superior, and premier suites, all feature state-of-the-art furnishings and chic décor, complimented by a bright and spacious interior and comfortable seating areas.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Iris Charleston
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Born and raised in Brazil, Gaby has always had a taste for the intriguing, the off-beat and the far flung. After travelling around most of South America, living in Spain and Italy and then moving to England, her feet have stayed continually twitchy. Studying for a degree in Spanish translation and then learning five more languages only poured more fuel onto her travelling ardor.
Gaby likes nothing better than discovering new destinations and meeting the locals, tasting the cuisine and hearing about the local stories. Her other indulgences include French cinema, boxing, photography, colourful manicures and soaking up the rays on a sun-infused beach. She counts Rio de Janeiro, Rome, Barcelona, Lisbon and Cornwall as her most favourite places in the world.