Some time back I stayed at the Renaissance downtown and it was nice. I remember that at about the same time SteppingStones had stayed at the downtown Marriott and was not particularly impressed or pleased. My wife is from NoChas and we enjoy extraordinarily delicious shrimp and grits and the Shem Creek bar and grill, just across the cooper river bridge from downtown.
Lots of things to do in Charleston! Sounds like a good time!
Over the last couple of years, I've stayed several times at the Renaissance downtown (it may have something to do with my daugher being at College of Charleston nearby!). I've been very pleased with that property. The downside is there is no CL. The upside is, at least through the week, if you're eligible for the CL they give you a complementary breafast buffet. The location of this hotel is very convienient to King and Meeting Streets. Its a little bit of a walk to the East Bay Street restruants, but nothing that is out of the question.
I've stayed a couple of times over the last couple of years at the Marriott. Very nice property, but away from the historic district.
Also stayed once last year at the Riverview Residennce Inn. Again, its a short ride away from the historic district, but it worked well.
There is a newly minted Marriot Courtyard on Meeting Street that I've not stayed at (I did stay there about 10 years ago when it was wearing the Holiday Inn brand). Its convienetly located, but I don't know anything about it firsthand. Its only 2 or 3 blocks north of the Rennaissance.
As for eating, what are you in the mood for? Charleston has just about anything and everything.
On our recent trip to Charleston, we found the Charleston Marriott to be quite disappointing even though the staff there was great. The building is a bit tired and our room really needed to be refurbished. The food in the hotel, including the CL was consistently disappointing Other Marriott properties were better located for sightseeing, shopping and dining.
Charleston is a great restaurant town and my two favorites were Slightly North of Broad (nicknamed SNOB) and Halls Chop House (very expensive, but worth it for a special treat).
One of the best tours I have taken anywhere was the Gullah Tour with Alphonso Brown. It's a different take on Charleston history since it is told from an African American perspective.
The Courtyard By Marriott downtown is perfectly situated, but the most important reason for staying there is the concierge!! He has maps, photo books and recommendations for anything you would ever want. He got us a sailboat sunset trip around the harbor, a walking tour, and so on.