An Insider’s Guide to Charleston’s Most Luxurious Hotels

From quaint boutique hideaways to grand pastel palaces, Charleston’s hotel scene is a blend of old-school charm and new-age glam.

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Craving a destination that's steeped in history yet buzzing with the new? Charleston is your ticket. This South Carolina charmer (the oldest and largest city in the state) has been strutting its stuff since the 1600s, with cobblestone streets that tease tales of yore. But lately, it's been on a major roll, attracting a wave of newcomers, eateries, boutiques, abodes and—lucky for us—luxury hotels.

The food scene here? It's a culinary carnival. Good luck finding a mediocre meal. And the lodging landscape? It's as competitive as it gets, leaving you spoiled for choice. From quaint boutique hideaways to grand pastel palaces, Charleston's hotel scene is a blend of old-school charm and new-age glam. So, if you're after luxury, you're in the right place. Charleston's high-end hotels are a masterclass in opulence, offering everything from butler service to rooftop hangouts with killer views. These plush pads, often set in revamped historic buildings, mix Southern hospitality with a dash of contemporary luxe. Here's our pick of Charleston's crème de la crème hotels, where the Lowcountry goes high on luxe in one of America’s most historic cities. 

The Dewberry Charleston

  • 334 Meeting St,  Charleston,  SC 29403, USA

Step into The Dewberry Charleston and you're immediately wrapped in a cloak of Southern charm, spiked with a dash of vintage sophistication. The brainchild of hotelier John Dewberry, this mid-century gem pays tribute to Southern grace while toasting to 20th-century design. Since its 2016 debut, The Dewberry has matured like a fine bourbon, skillfully blending a retro mix of cherrywood and brass with modern luxuries that have helped it become one of the best hotels in Charleston. The Living Room, decked out with an array of sumptuous seating, serves as the perfect antidote to a day of urban exploration. The spa, with its custom treatments featuring local ingredients like Atlantic seaweed, offers a slice of indulgence. As dusk approaches, make your way to the meticulously landscaped rooftop bar overlooking Marion Square, where top-notch cocktails are paired with breathtaking views of the Holy City. For those seeking a room with a view, snag one of the Charleston Flats, offering harbor panoramas that beautifully frame the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge. Don't miss a visit to Fieldshop, the on-site boutique curated by Garden & Gun magazine, stocked with Southern-inspired attire and everyday essentials.

The Dewberry Charleston. Kris Tamburello

Hotel Bennett

  • 404 King St,  Charleston,  SC 29403,  USA

In the race to be crowned Charleston's most lavish lodgings, Hotel Bennett is pulling out all the stops in the Lowcountry luxury stakes. The grandeur begins in the rotunda, where opulence reclines on plush benches, pirouettes in the glow of ornate sconces and gleams under a grand chandelier, all under the gaze of Jill Biskin's captivating murals of the marshlands. After a day on the town, plunge into the spa's lavish embrace or toast to the twilight at the rooftop bar. Bag a table at Gabrielle, where Southern hospitality collides with culinary genius (the scent of their steaming “Carolina Gold Rice” will make your mouth water before it lands on the table). For a night soaked in splendor, glide into Camellias, the hotel's famed rose-pink champagne parlor, for a dash of caviar chic. It's also the go-to for a swanky weekend brunch for those in the loop.

Hotel Bennett. Hotel Bennett

Zero George

  • 0 George St,  Charleston,  SC 29401,  USA

Zero George's 18 studios and suites, spread across three antique homes and two brick carriage houses, each reflect a chapter from Charleston's architectural saga. Original pine floors and millwork add a touch of authenticity, while perks like natural linens, marble bathrooms and bespoke furniture dial up the comfort. The Garden Suites unfold into a semi-private courtyard, but it's the Anson Suite's captivating upper-level piazza that truly shines. At the helm of the on-site culinary gem, The Restaurant at Zero George, is chef Vinson Petrillo, renowned for his prowess with locally sourced ingredients. The restored 1804 carriage house kitchen doubles as a culinary classroom, where chef Petrillo conducts weekly cooking classes.

Zero George Drawing Room. JBoncek

Wentworth Mansion

  • 149 Wentworth St,  Charleston,  SC 29401,  USA

Wentworth Mansion, a temple of architectural styles spanning epochs, transports you to an era of forgotten grandeur. Erected as a private residence in 1865, this mansion is a living museum adorned with original marble fireplaces, exquisite crown moldings and Tiffany stained glass windows. With 21 uniquely designed rooms, from the intimate 450-square-foot East Wing Rooms to the lavish 1,000-square-foot Grand Mansion Suite, luxury is a constant companion. The five-star hotel boasts an array of amenities, including a tranquil on-site spa and the acclaimed Circa 1886 fine dining restaurant, located in the carriage house.

Wentworth Mansion.

86 Cannon

  • 86 Cannon St,  Charleston,  SC 29403,  USA

For those in the know seeking to check in to a grown-ups-only getaway that blends residential coziness with a dash of independence, 86 Cannon is the answer. This luxury boutique inn sits in a meticulously restored circa-1860s Charleston single house, tucked away in the up-and-coming Elliotborough neighborhood. Owners Marion and lori hawkins keep things low-key, letting word-of-mouth do the talking since opening in 2017. Just look for the brass "86" above the door, flanked by blooming crepe myrtles and a wrought-iron gateway that leads you down a tropically-adorned driveway to a secluded gravel parking lot. With spacious common areas, private piazzas and gardens, finding a tranquil corner is easy as pie. The inn's interior design masterfully blends original architectural elements with contemporary furnishings, ensuring a stay that's both elegant and memorable. And with plans for a pool on the horizon, the indulgence only promises to deepen.

86 Cannon. 86 Cannon

Emeline

  • 181 Church St,  Charleston,  SC 29401,  USA

Occupying a historic Church Street building at the edge of the French Quarter, Emeline reveals itself as a masterstroke of aesthetic elegance and restrained whimsy. Each of the hotel’s 212 rooms is a tribute to eclectic design, incorporating jewel-toned velvet, botanical-printed wallpaper and a sizable vinyl collection into the guest experience that collectively nods to a bygone era. Wildsam Field Guides stocked in each suite blend nostalgia with a modern sensibility, while the bathrooms, appointed with locally-made ceramic soap dishes and signature toiletries, elevate personal care to an art form. Emeline's restaurant, Frannie & The Fox, commands its own spotlight: With its moody lighting, inviting leather chairs and a convivial courtyard, it delivers an ambiance as delectable as chef Tim Morton’s wood-fired cuisine.

Emeline Lobby. Emeline

The Charleston Place

  • 205 Meeting St,  Charleston,  SC 29401,  USA

For over three decades, the legendary Charleston Place has offered a quintessentially Charleston experience. In fact, this property, in the heart of Charleston’s historic district, has defined it. Anchored by a bronze horse fountain, the entrance courtyard sets the scene for a remarkable stay, while the sybaritic guest rooms, with their velvet couches, French doors and wooden bed frames, blend classic old-world accouterments with contemporary flair. It’s in walking distance (a barely two-minute jaunt) to the famous Charleston City Market. When you need to rest your feet after a long day of sightseeing, retreat to the commodious spa and rooftop pool lounge.

The Charleston Place. Andrew Cebulka

The Pinch

  • 40 George St,  Charleston,  SC 29401,  USA

Perched at Charleston Harbor's edge, The Pinch is a boutique hotel where tranquility meets urban chic. Situated in downtown Charleston at the intersection of George Street and King Street, this luxury retreat blends historic Victorian structures with modern design, courtesy of Method Co. and architect Morris Adjmi. With just 25 rooms, including three residences, each space boasts bespoke furniture, artistic lighting and hand-painted wallpaper. The hotel features two culinary gems by James Beard Award-winner Jason Stanhope: The Quinte, a playful coastal oyster bar, and Lowland, an upscale Southern tavern offering simple yet flavorful dishes. Upstairs in the Dining Room, a psychedelic mural and original moldings showcase the building’s history with modern touches.

The Pinch exterior. Daniel Olsovsky

The Restoration

  • 75 Wentworth St,  Charleston,  SC 29401,  USA

The Restoration is a blend of rustic charm and sleek design. Offering both traditional suites and apartment-style lodgings, each space is decked out with urban touches and modern amenities like in-room iPads and free bike rentals. The hotel boasts The Watch, a rooftop restaurant dishing out exquisite Southern-inspired New American cuisine, and the secluded Indigo Pool for a quiet escape. Adding to the experience is The Port Mercantile Retail Store, a fusion of convenience and luxury, stocking artisan-crafted goods and souvenirs.

The Restoration. The Restoration

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