4. Best for traditionalists
Mills House Hotel
An iconic pink landmark sitting pretty at the busy intersection of Meeting and Queen streets, the Mills House Hotel has been in operation since 1853, but recently underwent a major renovation to become the city’s first Hilton Curio property. The result is an updated aesthetic throughout its 218 rooms, as well as a new rooftop pool. The hotel’s beloved restaurant, Iron Rose, remains the largest dining room in Charleston, specializing in elevated Lowcountry cuisine such as fresh blue crab fritters and moreish oyster gratin, served with lashings of Southern hospitality and delicious, rose-themed cocktails.
Rooms: From £180. themillshousehotel.com
5. Best for peace-seekers
The newest addition to Charleston’s boutique hotel scene, The Pinch sits on a secluded courtyard, insulated from the liveliness of the bars and boutiques on nearby King Street. Once you’re inside and the door is closed, it feels like you’re visiting a rich relative on Manhattan’s Upper West Side who has a keen eye for design. The rooms are generous and stylish, and there’s an onsite spa. The real star of the show, however, is the adjoining Quinte Oyster Bar, a turn of the century-themed oyster house and cocktail lounge.
Rooms: From £310. thepinch.com
6. Best for drama queens
20 South Battery
Built in 1843, this former private mansion is now a B&B, but has retained all of its Victorian charm. A quartet of lavish suites with four-poster beds, chandeliers and huge 19th-century paintings corkscrew off a spiral staircase, while there are an additional 10 cozy rooms out in the old carriage house. The latter sits on a palm-shaded courtyard filled with statues — the perfect spot for an early evening glass of wine. The complimentary breakfast is a particular treat, while wine and cheese are served in the drawing room every day from 5-6pm. Even the location — facing the ocean on Charleston’s windswept Battery — is dramatic.
Rooms: From £388 B&B. 20southbattery.com
7. Best for people watchers
The Charleston Place
Previously a Belmond flagship hotel, The Charleston Place was bought by a local billionaire in late 2021 and has since undergone a significant facelift. The undisputed grande dame of the French Quarter, it now has an upgraded spa (including an incredible saltwater infinity pool under a retractable roof), and revamped eating options: the fine-dining Charleston Grill, and the breakfast and lunch haunt, The Palmetto Cafe , which feels like a five-star greenhouse. The lobby, which includes the Thoroughbred Club, with its piano player and potent cocktails, doubles as downtown Charleston’s unofficial living room.
Rooms: From £495. charlestonplace.com