Visitors flock to Charleston for its history, charming architecture — and old money. While it’s fun to see how Charleston’s elite live, hotel rooms can be costly. Luckily, we have a few tips that will help you find lodging that fits any budget.
Where to Find Budget Lodging in Charleston
Like anywhere else in the world, you’ll find the prices for hotels rise the closer you get to Downtown. If you’re a little more flexible to stay further away, you’ll get a better deal.
Yet just because you’re planning on staying in one of Charleston’s many neighborhoods outside of Downtown, doesn’t mean you’ll feel far away. Charleston is surrounded by water and bridges. There are plenty of ferries and other forms of transportation to get you to where you want to go.
If you’re planning on spending time out at Patriots Point, you might want to book a hotel in nearby Mt. Pleasant or Shem’s Creek — both these areas offer hotels for any budget. Many visitors plan on making a day trip to these areas anyway; why not stay nearby and save some cash?
For those visitors who plan on renting a car, these areas are ideal. You can drive to the ferry or simply drive into Downtown Charleston.
Tips for Getting the Best Hotel Rate
Steering clear of Downtown isn’t the only way to secure a great hotel rate. There are plenty of factors that could influence the price you see on the website. Some of these include:
Other than the hotel’s location, the time you’re heading to Charleston will most likely affect your hotel rate. Peak tourist season starts in spring and ends in late summer. By the time the kids go back to school, rates begin to drop again. Visit during the holidays for some of the best lights in the U.S.
One other peak time? Valentine’s Day. If you’re planning on heading here for romance, you might want to book early.
You should always check hotel prices online — but don’t book online. Many hotels pay third party sites big fees when guests book online. Call the hotel and ask if you can get the same rate directly from the hotel. Sometimes they’ll even throw in an upgrade to thank you for calling them before booking online.
Always check the hotel’s website to see if they’re offering any packages. Hotels often offer discounts for slower seasons and sometimes offer free meals for kids.
If a hotel’s rates seem abnormally high for a slow season, call to see if they’re hosting a conference for those dates. Conferences tend to take over hotels, and you don’t want to find yourself awake at 2 a.m., trying to drown out late-night party noises.
Charleston Hotels Under $100/Night
Charleston doesn’t have a huge assortment of hotels under $100 a night, but there are some great options. Some of them are even located right in Downtown Charleston.
If you’re feeling adventurous, stay at the Not So Hostel. Private rooms here start at $49 a night. If you’re planning on heading here in November, you might even want to stay in the dorms. There are very few guests here, and you might even get an entire dorm to yourself. Bonus: it’s right across the street from the Hominy Grill.
If you’re traveling with children, you might not want to stay at a hostel. The Days Inn in the Historic District is close enough to all the attractions — and rooms start at only $76 a night. The rooms are clean and simple. There’s a pool, and it’s within walking distance to all the Downtown attractions.
Another great choice Downtown is the Holiday Inn. Similar to the experience at the Days Inn, the rooms are simple and clean. There’s a beautiful pool on the property, so try to book here if you’re planning on visiting in the summer months.
Across the Ravenel Bridge is Shem Creek. This quiet enclave is great for those needing a little vacation from the city. There’s plenty of great restaurants out here, and it’s not far from the beach and Patriots Point. The Shem Creek Inn looks like a vintage motor lodge. The rooms are pretty basic, but the pool is fantastic.
Located at Patriots Point, this resort is only a few minutes’ ferry ride from Downtown Charleston. The rooms are decorated with classic lowcountry charm. You’ll enjoy great views here. The rooftop bar is considered one of the best in the city.
Charleston Hotels Under $150/Night
If you have a little bit more to spend, these hotels offer tons of charm and are all located right in Downtown Charleston.
Stay at the Meeting Street Inn if you want to sleep in a 19th century-style home. This hotel features four-poster beds, dripping with lace; a quaint courtyard and a small pool. The lobby is also charming, and the property offers free breakfast.
The Andrew Pickney Inn is another great option for those who want a little extra southern charm. While the hotel doesn’t boast a pool, it’s possibly one of the cutest on the list. Each room features charming décor, and there’s even a café with great views of the city.
The Fulton Lane Inn also offers plenty of charm, four-poster beds and intricately decorated rooms. They’re located right near the Historic Charleston Market. Not only does this property offer free breakfast, but they also host a cheese and wine reception each night.
Family owned and operated from the beginning, Walks of Charleston is passionate about the history, architecture and culture of Charleston and is dedicated to sharing it with you for a memorable experience on every tour.
“Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time”
– Steven Wright