Fodor's Expert Review Market Pavilion Hotel
225 E. Bay St., Charleston, South Carolina, 29401, United States, Charleston, South Carolina, USA See on Map Fodor's Choice
You’ll feel luxurious indeed sleeping at the Market Pavilion Hotel, which oozes 18th-century charm despite having been built in 2002. Top-notch onsite food-and-bev options make treating yourself easy, while staff goes above and beyond to make your stay memorable (housekeeping stops by twice a day to ensure your pillows are fluffed and towels are clean, and leaves a plate of sweets for you at turndown). If that wasn’t enough, you’re perched at the corner of Market and East Bay Streets, putting you at the hub of the historic district.
In all suites, 18th-century period reproductions and stunning antiques reign. Two- and four-poster beds are dressed in crisp sheets, while windows are framed with heavy drapes. The Presidential Suite is particularly lavish, boasting a baby grand piano, huge parlor, and oil paintings of past presidents.
Rooms on the fourth-floor concierge level are pricier, but most consider it worth the expense, as you’ll get a full self-serve hot breakfast spread, afternoon tea and pastries, and evening wine, champagne, and hors d’oeuvres.
Filled with ornate gold mirrors, brass hardware, loads of Italian marble, and Hermes toiletries, bathrooms delight. They offer roomy walk-in showers—some suites include a stand-alone soaking or Jacuzzi tub, as well.
You’ll feel like royalty in the Terrace Suite’s 800-square-foot Italian marble-clad bathroom, which features French doors to a private balcony and a trio of shower heads.
Uniformed bellhops usher you through Grill 225 to the reception desk. The concierge level has a homey living room where guests on that level can sit back and relax.
A petite pool and chaise lounges are located within the rooftop Pavilion Bar.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Modest sunbathers, beware: The Pavilion Bar is a hotspot among locals and travelers not staying at the hotel, too. The rooftop stays busy, meaning you may have a crowd surrounding you in your suit—especially during weekends.
There’s a fitness room on site, but it’s not so inspiring. A small, carpeted space with only three cardio machines and a couple of free weights, you’d likely prefer an outdoor jog.
In the lobby is Grill 225, one of Charleston’s most lauded steak houses, which serves up Maine lobsters and 42- to 50-day-aged cuts of beef in a romantic, intimate setting for both lunch and dinner. All guests receive complimentary continental breakfast—those on concierge floors enjoy hot items, too—and elevated bar fare is served throughout the afternoon and evening at the Pavilion Bar.
YOU SHOULD KNOW The entrance to the hotel and the public rooftop bar runs through Grill 225, so there will be a bit of foot traffic during your meal.
If you’re dining at Grill 225, grab a seat at the swanky bar for a pre-supper cocktail. Otherwise, head to the rooftop’s Pavilion Bar, which offers sweeping views of the Cooper River and historic district. Outfitted with a picturesque pool, checkerboard floors, handsome wrought-iron bistro sets, and café light-lined umbrellas, you’ll want to sit and stay awhile. Those on concierge floor will also enjoy complimentary evening wine and bubbles.
Impress your fellow drinkers by ordering a Nitrotini. Infused with liquid nitrogen, the hotel’s trademarked martini is chilled to negative 320 degrees Fahrenheit and comes out amid a cloud of smoke.
Parking near the City Market is the pits, so valet is your best bet ($25 per day). From there, you’re within walking distance or a quick pedicab ride to art galleries, museums, historic sights, restaurants, and bars galore. Drive or ride-share off the peninsula.
East Bay Street is home to some of Charleston’s most classic purveyors of Lowcountry-inspired fine dining: Slightly North of Broad (2-minute walk), High Cotton (2-minute walk), and Magnolias (3-minute walk). For a more adventurous menu, try McCrady’s Tavern (5-minute walk).
When you’re not at the Pavilion Bar, head across the street to The Gin Joint (2-minute walk) for creative craft cocktails or to Bin 152 (11-minute walk) for an impressive selection of wines from around the globe.
WHY WE LIKE IT
With wood-paneled walls, oil paintings, and chandeliers, the Market Pavilion Hotel offers a slice of decadence in the heart of the historic district. Celebrities and politicians have been known to stay here—especially in the extravagant concierge-floor suites—a fact that won’t surprise you once you experience it for yourself.