I have a business trip to Charleston, SC, in October and need a centrally-located hotel. Last time, I stayed at the Embassy Suites in the old Citadel building, and it was excellent. But this time around I'm looking for a full-service property in the Marriott family. I'm trying to decide between the Grand Bohemian and the Renaissance. Any tips on what to expect at either of these properties? The GB is more expensive and requires a deposit, but I am intrigued by the GB properties and their uniqueness and art, etc.
The Renaissance hotel is somewhat farther from downtown area in Charleston, so if you're open to slightly less amenities you might consider the Marriott Courtyard. You can walk to most all downtown attractions and restaurants:
For a dining experience -particularly for Sunday brunch - call for reservations at Halls Chop House:
While there, you might venture over to Sullivans Island and the Isle of Palms, or down to Edisto Beach (30-45 minutes) for beach experiences.
I would agree with the comments about the Courtyard downtown. I lived in Charleston for many years and they have a great reputation. I would prefer to stay in a limited service hotel in Charleston because the dining options are fantatic. Halls Chop House is great. Just know that it can get really crowded and noisy. Husk is another restaurant that features local, low country cooking.
Having posted an earlier reply to your inquiry, I'm also attaching more recent blog regarding Charleston, which you might find helpful also in your plans for October - sometimes, blog posts don't gain very much Insider attention:
fschumpert, your blog mentions Charleston Place. That is actually where my conference will be held. Should I stay there instead, if it's that much nicer? Obviously it will be more convenient. And with the conference rate the cost will probably be comparable to the GB or Ren. I won't renew platinum this year on stays, so probably no downside to not using a Marriott this time other than not earning points or getting CL access. You also mention that the rooms at the Ren are a bit dated which I also thought when I looked at the online pics. My rate is $299 for the first two nights, then it jumps to $389 for the Ren. So it's not like I'm getting a great deal on it, although now the rates are up to about $500.
cleberg - The Charleston Place Hotel is strategically located in heart of Charleston, within walking distance to popular market, retail shops, battery park, heritage homes, etc.
There is ample parking at the check-in side of the hotel. The hotel restaurant is quite nice, but a bit expensive; however, there are a number of popular restaurants nearby, such as Hall's Chop House, Fleet Landing (below), Blossoms, etc......
If you prefer Marriott properties, I'd recommend the Courtyard, or the Renaissance Hotel (below) - both close to Charleston Place.
I know this may be a little late but we just returned from the GB in Charleston about two weeks ago. We would return in a heart beat! The art and rooms are different from any other Marriott properties we have stayed at and really did enjoy it. The rooms are decorated different but nice. Rooms are really clean, bed was super comfortable and the bathroom was rather large. There is a bar on the roof top that seems to draw a crowd on weekends but we did not notice any noise in our room. Bar staff excellent as well. The staff is really friendly and go out of their way to assist you if needed. Also has a little coffee shop attached that is excellent for a quick "something" in the morning. Location is great as well and would recommend.
Just make sure you STAY AWAY FROM THE CHARLESTON MARRIOTT on Lockwood Blvd. I have allergies and asthma related to mold, air fresheners and perfume. Two months before our stay, I wrote to the general manager and alerted him to this fact, as there were numerous complaints of mold and mildew on the internet in regards to this hotel. He replied that he would block a room for me that was clean and mildew free and assured me that my room would be prepared chemical free. The GM and I also directed this same information to the Front Desk Manager. I reminded them the week before our scheduled stay and again two days before we got there.
Upon arrival, I was told that the room set aside for me was being cleaned and was not ready for occupancy. I asked the front desk associate to please remind housekeeping NOT to use perfume or scents while cleaning.
Entering our room for the first time late that night, I was struck by a powerful fragrance and had an immediate and strong allergic reaction. All the preparation with the GM, Front Office Manager, and Front Desk staff had been ignored and useless. Upon calling the front desk, I was told they could spray the room with deodorizer!
The engineer on staff came to our room. He informed us that each room had air fresheners imbedded in the air vents! They were also in the hallway air vents! Although he removed it from the unit in our room and the hallway, I could not use the heat/AC in the room, as the filters were saturated with the scent. Fortunately, we had a sliding glass door and could leave it open for air circulation when we were in the room.
The front desk manager did nothing to assuage the situation. I sent an e-mail immediately upon entering the room informing him of the problem, for he was off-duty by the time our room was ready for occupancy late in the evening. He responded by e-mail the next morning: “We had some challenges yesterday with 162 arrivals coming in before check-in time.“ Really? That was his excuse? He needs a refresher course on customer service. I went down to the lobby and asked for him. I reiterated our terrible experience. He looked at me blankly. No apology, no courtesy on the room rate, no small gesture like a basket of fruit. I was extremely disappointed with his complete lack of attention and follow-through. He absolutely and utterly did not care.
My criticism of the hotel involves the lack of attention to my allergy information and in particular, to the poor customer service I received from upper management. Their customer care when a problem does occur is non-existent.