Charleston Hotels

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Francis Marion Hotel

At a Glance

    Pros

  • architecturally and historically significant building
  • in the midst of the peninsula's best shopping, yet still near the College of Charleston
  • some of the best city views

    Cons

  • rooms are small, as is closet space
  • on a busy intersection

Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating:  

Francis Marion Hotel Review

Wrought-iron railings, crown moldings, and decorative plasterwork speak of the elegance of 1924, when the Francis Marion was the largest hotel in the Carolinas, and in the guest rooms—many of which have views of Marion Square—bountiful throw pillows and billowy curtains add flair. The Francis Marion Hotel is the tallest downtown hotel, was once Charleston's showplace, and is still a National Historic Trust property. Featured in The Notebook, the hotel faces Marion Square and marks the start of Upper King Street. Flavorful Lowcountry cuisine is served at the Swamp Fox, and a Starbucks is on the ground floor. For the best view and quiet factor, go for the rooms that face King Street and are as close to the top floor as you can get.

    Hotel Details

  • 217 rooms, 16 suites.
  • Rate includes no meals.
  • Credit cards accepted.
Updated: 12-03-2012

Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating:  
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    Absolutely perfect hotel - until you leave the lobby

    Beautiful views from this location and a great location for shopping and dining.

    Lobby is absolutely wonderful. It is everything you expect from a grand old hotel in such a wonderful city.

    But from that point on the hotel is really aged. Rooms are very, very small. Windows offer precious little in insulation (both temperature and sound). For example, I was in a fifth floor room and was awoken every morning by sounds on the street. The room was clean and the bed was comfortable, however.

    The bathroom is so small as to make the rest of the room feel positively massive. The room is so narrow that the handle on the toilet actually points forward, rather than to the side to prevent the handle from being in the shower. While seated, if you are of sufficient size, this places the handle right by or in your ribs. While using the sink, the back of your legs will almost be up against the end of the toilet.

    All in all, if you are going to be in the room only to sleep, perhaps this is a good option for you. The location is truly great (the park across the street is nice and all of the nearby dining and shopping options are many and good) but, if you want a little more luxury (e.g. a bathroom that doesn't feel like it should come with a flight attendant reminding you not to disable the in-flight smoke detetctors), look elsewhere.

    by flyrodinhand, 9/24/12
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    Francis Marion Hotel, Charleston, SC

    We stayed at the Francis Marion (Charleston, SC) in February while attending a conference at the hotel.
    The hotel itself is quite lovely and the location very desirable. The room we were given was large enough and really charming with stylish antique furniture, but with a very small bathroom. If one had booked this room for several days—say, for an extended vacation stay in Charleston—the tiny bathroom could, in my opinion, be a deterrent.

    by kathleen, 9/17/12
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    Perfect place for Charleston Wine & Food Festival!

    My chef husband and I stayed at the Francis Marion while attending the Charleston Wine & Food Festival- and Because of the festival, as the Francis Marion offered a special package that included tickets to sold-out events that we very much wanted to attend. While not inexpensive by any means, the package was a great value, the location absolutely perfect, and the service we received was excellent. The first guest room we were taken to was tiny but nicely furnished, but it literally had a "view" of a brick wall and no light! When I called the desk and asked (pleaded...) if they could possibly change our room, they did so- and gave us a much nicer room with a lovely view of the city. The decor was elegant and lovely, and the central location perfect, not only for the festival tents across from the hotel and tranport to other events right from the hotel, but also for walking around downtown, hailing a pedicab, etc. We highly recommend the Francis Marion, and if we're lucky enough to get back to Charleston (for some more fabulous food, I hope!) we'll definitely return!

    by elisse, 9/10/12

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