My spouse and I stayed at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel & Guest Suites Charleston-Historic District for three nights in mid-November 2016. Before we booked our stay using the Hilton HHonors website, we researched additional Hilton properties in Charleston, including the Hampton Inn and Embassy Suites. We decided to stay at the Doubletree because it was closer to the historic sites; however, next time we might choose one of the alternates, because
they are close to interesting dining on Upper King Street. We contacted the Doubletree via email a few days prior to our stay to ask some questions, and Night Manager John Kontinos responded quickly and completely; in fact, it is the most helpful reply that we have ever received from hotel staff.
As its name implies, the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel & Guest Suites Charleston-Historic District is located in the historic area near the City Market, Shops at Belmond Charleston Place, and bars and restaurants, including Hank’s Seafood, Henry’s, Anson, Peninsula Grill, and Hyman’s Seafood. (In fact, the TV Lodge Net program advertises both the Peninsula Grill and Hank’s Seafood, and Hank’s even provides room service for the DoubleTree.) The large hotel faces three streets: Market, Church, and Hayne. The primary entrance to the hotel is from Church Street; however, you can enter the hotel from Hayne Street (near the larger conference rooms) if you swipe your room key at the side entrance. Note that the first/ground-floor rooms that face Hayne Street have windows at street-level, so passersby might be able to see into you room if your curtains remain open. Similarly, the first/ground floor rooms with entry doors on the Palmetto Courtyard might find that guests using the courtyard (which contain tables, chairs, and a fountain) can glimpse into those rooms. Two additional interior courtyards (north and south) provide private places to relax. Our suite (number 462), located at the end of the hallway, overlooked Church Street and the North and South Courtyards, but also provided a view toward Market Street and the City Market.
The hotel offers complimentary Wi-Fi to all guests. A 24-hour business center that is located adjacent to the front desk contains computers and a printer. The hotel offers a fitness center (open from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm) and guest laundry (open 24 hours, with washers and dryers costing $1 each) on the third floor of the main building. Ice and vending machines are located on all floors except the top (fifth) floor. Snack machines, drink machines, and microwaves are located on the second and fourth floors of the main building. This hotel does not offer a pantry or small store where you can buy food or forgotten items; however, a large grocery store (Harris Teeter) is located a few blocks away. Bell services are available, as is a tour desk.
The Lighthouse Café serves breakfast daily on weekdays from 7:00 am to 10:00 am and on weekends from 7:30 am to 11:00 am. If breakfast is not included with your room rate, the continental breakfast buffet costs about $11, with an additional $4 charged for a plated entrée. The café also offers an evening lounge (cash bar) on every night but Sunday beginning at 5:00 pm. The café offers tables of varying sizes/configurations and a buffet bar. The buffet offers cold items (including whole fruit, cut fresh-fruit, yogurt, juices, breads and pastries, and cereal) and hot items (such as bacon, sausage, scrambled eggs, potatoes, and a rotating special dish such as corned beef hash or biscuits and gravy). Additional hot and cold beverages are included with the cost of the buffet. Service was spotty at breakfast time; on some days, the hostess gave us a slip/receipt when we sat down, and other days she did not; on some days, we were asked to sign the slip when we finished our meal (when you could add a tip), and other days we did not have to sign. It was difficult to order food and drinks from the servers; although four+ staff members worked the breakfast service, they socialized amongst themselves rather than waiting on customers and replacing food. None of our servers ever offered us a hot entrée in addition to the buffet, and we always waited to receive silverware, beverages, and to have our plates cleared. The service was acceptable only because breakfast was included with our room rate; had we been paying customers, the poor service would have been harder to overlook. In addition, the hotel provides a complimentary hot beverage station near the café and the lobby (although the temperature of the liquids was less than ideal).
The hotel offers rooms on five floors in two buildings. Perhaps the choices rooms in this hotel are the four units that offer balconies. Two of these balcony rooms face Hayne Street, and the other two rooms face Meeting Street but overlook the parking lot behind Planters Inn. All four of these balcony rooms are located farthest from the lobby in the annex area near the main conference rooms.
Our larger two-room suite provided us a good base for our three-night stay. The living room area contained a sofa and side chair, along with two end tables and a coffee/cocktail table. The flat-screen TV was located atop a dresser that contained extra pillows and a blanket in case you wanted to use the sleeper sofa. The living area also contained a desk and rolling chair, and a wet bar with a mini-refrigerator underneath. (The refrigerator was larger than a cube size, and we were able to adjust the temperature to our liking.) A bathroom vanity area was located in one area of the main living space, with a separate toilet-bathtub/shower room nearby. As other reviewers have stated, our water closet room was very small, so it was necessary to locate the sink and vanity area outside. The bedroom contained a king-size bed with a nightstand on either side (one which held a bedside clock), as well as another dresser to hold the second flat-screen TV. Our room contained two closets, where you could find the electronic safe, iron and ironing board, and two folding luggage stands, but it did not offer robes, slippers, or an umbrella. Regrettably, the three windows in our room did not open. Most of the lamps contained electrical outlets for charging phones and other devices. Staff offered nightly turndown service, when they provided two mini-bottles of water, two chocolate squares, and a card forecasting the next day’s weather.
The hotel does not offer a shuttle bus, but the city provides a free trolley system that runs throughout the day and has pick up/drop off locations near the hotel. A large (city) parking lot is located across from the hotel, although on-street parking also exists with certain restrictions. We used Uber to travel to and from the airport, with our trips costing between $15 and $20, respectively. (Taxis cost between $30 and $35, so Uber offers a substantial savings.)
We were pleased with our decision to stay at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel & Guest Suites Charleston-Historic District.