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The 10 Best Boutique Hotels in Charleston SC (Updated for 2024)

The 10 Best Boutique Hotels in Charleston SC (Updated for 2024)

Visiting the Holy City soon? Stay at one of the best boutique hotels in Charleston SC if you want the most immersive Lowcountry experience. We highlight the top 10 boutique hotels and what makes them special in this guide!

The 10 Best Boutique Hotels in Charleston SC

Charleston Waterfront Park seen at sunset with the fountain flanked by palm trees to show why you should visit Charleston

Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

If you’re thinking about visiting soon, you’ll want to spend your vacation staying at one of the best boutique hotels in Charleston, SC.

Guests rate these small, charming establishments as the most incredible way to experience Charleston with a unique blend of the Holy City’s tangible history combined with modern luxuries. 

While there are lots of popular boutique hotels in Charleston, we set out to uncover the locations that stand apart as the best of the best. 

That brings us to a list of the 10 best boutique hotels in Charleston:

  1. 86 Cannon Historic Inn
  2. John Rutledge House Inn
  3. French Quarter Inn
  4. The Spectator Hotel
  5. The Pinch Charleston
  6. Harbourview Inn
  7. The Dewberry Charleston
  8. Market Pavilion Hotel
  9. The Restoration Inn
  10. Andrew Pinckney Inn

These renovated historic spaces are located in the best areas of Charleston, easily within walking distance of the most popular attractions and restaurants. 

If you’re seeking a hotel that’s just as luxurious and comfortable as it is beautiful and historic – and filled with local touches that remind you you’re in Charleston – any of the boutique hotels on this list will be perfect. 

1. 86 Cannon Historic Inn

Exterior of one of the best boutique hotels in Charleston, the 86 Cannon Historic Inn


The adults-only 86 Cannon Historic Inn is a refuge of solace and southern charm in the heart of Charleston’s downtown Historic District.

With exceptional ratings from guests, this 4-star boutique hotel is known for offering top-tier service and amenities in an exclusive, historic setting that’s been restored with the city’s past in mind. 

Enjoy daily breakfast – an incredible spread with croissants, quiche, fruit, granola, and yogurt – outdoors or in your room. An afternoon wine and cheese hour is something to look forward to with locally sourced goodies. 

Stroll through the garden, soak up the sun on 2 piazzas, browse the onsite library on the 3rd floor, and sink into the inn’s famously comfortable Grand King beds when it’s time to hit the sack.

Bike rentals through the hotel are free, so set out to ride through Charleston and take in the sights of the city’s bustling Historic District.


2. John Rutledge House Inn

Exterior of the John Rutledge House Inn, one of the best boutique hotels in Charleston, SC


John Rutledge House Inn was built in 1763 and retains the historic beauty of old-timey Charleston with modern-day updates and touches that make your stay oh-so luxurious. 

Daily breakfast can be taken in the courtyard (guests recommend it), the ballroom, or in your room. In the afternoon and evening, you’ll be treated to complimentary cocktails and tea. 

This boutique hotel is nestled in the popular Historic District of the city and convenient to everything in the area. You can stroll or bike along King Street with ease. 

Guests mentioned the convenient location made it easy to shop, drop off bags at the hotel, and continue exploring the city in search of the next great restaurant, shop, or bar. 

You’ll enjoy retiring to your room, where you’ll find a sitting area, extra amenities like robes and slippers, and a supremely soft bed to melt away the hustle and bustle of your day in Charleston.


3. French Quarter Inn

Exterior of the French Quarter Inn, a top pick for the best boutique hotels in Charleston


The French Quarter Inn gets exceptional ratings from guests and prides itself on its location in the heart of the French Quarter of the Historic District.

The atmosphere and design are decidedly upscale with a focus on providing the best service and hotel experience for Charleston visitors. 

You’ll be welcomed to the hotel with a glass of champagne. Breakfast is divine with a full, gourmet spread available with grab and go options you can enjoy in the lobby, terrace, or in your room. 

Just steps from Waterfront Park, you’ll find that the French Quarter Inn is close to nearly everything you’ll want to see and do in downtown Charleston. 

The hotel overlooks the Charleston City Market (book a room with a terrace or balcony for the best views) and shops, steakhouses, pubs, and pizzerias are just steps away. 

You can rent a bike to tour the city with ease. Your room continues the historic vibes and upscale feel of the city with vintage-inspired décor 

When you get back to the hotel, flavored iced tea and snacks are available in the lobby. Unwind in the afternoon and evening with a deluxe wine and cheese reception and milk and cookie hour.


4. The Spectator Hotel

For a roundup of the best boutique hotels in Charleston SC, the exterior of the Spectator Hotel is shown


The Spectator Hotel, like most of the best boutique hotels in Charleston SC, is located in the desirable Historic District and decorated in posh 1920s-era style to transport you through time. 

Minutes away from the Charleston City Market and Port of Charleston, this boutique hotel boasts bespoke lobby furniture designed by Jenny Keenan. 

Personalized butler service makes a stay at The Spectator Hotel uniquely luxurious – they’ll handle your ironing, evening turndown service, book a table at a popular restaurant, pack or unpack your items, or grab toiletries you forgot to bring. 

Premium rooms feature views of nearby landmarks, a dry bar, a minibar loaded with snacks and drinks, and sitting area. Bathrooms are luxurious with white marble and glass showers. 

A speakeasy bar onsite is an awesome addition to the hotel with Prohibition-inspired drinks that make you feel like you’re in 1920s Charleston. 

Seafood restaurants, pubs, and gourmet restaurants are just steps from the hotel. Breakfast is served in your room with continental options each morning. 

Bike rentals are free for guests to get out and explore the city, which is extremely convenient with the hotel’s central location that’s within walking distance of many attractions.


5. The Pinch Charleston

Interior of The Pinch Charleston with its rustic but modern feel, pictured for a piece on the best boutique hotels in Charleston


The Pinch Charleston is a new 4-star boutique hotel located in the Historic District and it’s already making waves with excellent guest reviews and top-notch amenities. 

Just 4 minutes away from Marion Square, The Pinch Charleston pampers you from the moment you arrive. Breakfast each morning includes coffee, tea, pastries from local bakeries, and yogurt with fresh fruit and granola. 

Bike rentals make exploring the heart of Charleston that much easier, though most everything you’ll want to see is within walking distance of the hotel. 

The Charleston Museum, Charleston Waterfront Park, and tons of shops and restaurants are just feet away from the hotel. An airport shuttle service is available to use. 

A fitness center, garden, and terrace with incredible views of the city are special perks of The Pinch. An onsite restaurant and bar makes mealtimes easy and delicious. 

The beautiful courtyard is perfect for enjoying breakfast or an evening fire with a cocktail. You’ll appreciate the modern, trendy decor with historic touches that remind you of Charleston’s extensive history.


6. Harbourview Inn

Exterior view of the Harbourview Inn, a top pick for boutique hotels in Charleston


Harbourview Inn is in the famous Historic District of Charleston and overlooks the Charleston Harbor and Waterfront Park. With a posh atmosphere and elegant touches everywhere, this is an upscale way to enjoy the city. 

The rooftop is a favorite spot for guests, where you can enjoy a rooftop skyline tour, have breakfast, or just take in the amazing views of the city. 

A daily wine and cheese reception takes place every afternoon. The Atrium Lobby’s cozy atmosphere is made even better with handcrafted furniture by Art Welling.

Free snacks, coffee, and iced tea all day long with a fireplace roaring in the lobby is a nice, welcoming touch. A business center is available 24 hours a day.

Luxury bedrooms feature antiques and vintage decor to envelope you in the sense of old Charleston. Original art, huge TVs, wooden desks, and a friendly staff ready to serve you day and night await you. 

Guests rate the beds as luxuriously comfortable. Premium rooms have a balcony overlooking the city. There’s a valet laundry service – a serious perk! – available for a fee.

When you’re ready to get out and enjoy the city, you’ll find that the Charleston City Market and Gibbes Museum of Art are each within a 10-minute walk. The South Carolina Aquarium is a great experience only a mile away.


7. The Dewberry Charleston

Bar area and lobby of The Dewberry Charleston, one of the city's best boutique hotels


The Dewberry Charleston is one of the best boutique hotels in Charleston SC with an onsite restaurant and craft cocktail bar located in the 20th-century Mendell Rivers Federal building.

It’s an unexpected location with incredible amenities and a welcoming vibe for visitors. You’ll find a fitness center, library, glass-enclosed rooftop bar, and Fieldshop store on the grounds. 

Eat at The Citrus Club with American and Caribbean-inspired dishes or grab a bite and cocktail at The Living Room rooftop bar, complete with live music and entertainment. 

Take advantage of the free shuttle service and bike rentals that make exploring Charleston so simple and fun! The American Theater, Charleston Farmers Market, and Charleston Museum are minutes away.

You’ll have great views with floor-to-ceiling windows in your room. Sleep in a handcrafted bed with a custom armoire to store your clothes, and enjoy the sitting area with leather chairs. 

It’s worth mentioning that The Dewberry Charleston is highly rated for comfortable beds – one reviewer said it’s the “Best hotel mattress we have ever slept on.”


8. Market Pavilion Hotel

Exterior of the Market Pavilion Hotel, a list-topper of the best boutique hotels in Charleston


The 4-star Market Pavilion Hotel in downtown Charleston sits just minutes from Waterfront Park and across the street from the Charleston City Market.

The rooftop pool and 2 restaurants onsite make it an excellent place to stay. Just a 5-minute walk from the water, this is a great location and convenient to everything.

When you arrive, you’ll see and smell fresh flowers in the lobby, take in the warmth and rustic vibes with mahogany wood paneling, and admire the sparkling marble floors. 

Pools are a rarity in downtown Charleston with limited space, but the rooftop pool at Market Pavilion is a welcome exception. Swim and lounge with great views of the city surrounding you!

Enjoy breakfast daily with pastries whipped up by a local chef, fresh fruit, coffee, and tea. Dinnertime at Grill 225 Fine Dining Chophouse is delicious with gourmet steaks, seafood, and desserts.

Pavilion Bar is on the rooftop terrace next to the pool and offers a full lunch and dinner menu for a more relaxed setting. 

You’ll enjoy special touches, like Italian marble bathrooms and access to the parlor with appetizers available in premium rooms. 


9. The Restoration Inn

Main lobby of the Restoration Inn for a roundup of Charleston's best boutique hotels


The Restoration Inn is a unique boutique hotel in Charleston in an apartment-style setting. A library, restaurant, spa, and shop on the grounds make it an all-in-one stay! 

When you arrive, staff will escort you to your room and take your bags. Every morning, a picnic basket from The Rise Coffee Bar will be delivered to your room brimming with fresh fruit, pastries, bagels, and eggs. 

Social hour happens each evening and provides the perfect chance to meet other guests, enjoy wine and cheese with an impressive charcuterie board, and play board games, or chat by the fireplace. 

Enjoy the outdoor swimming pool on a hot Charleston day, a rarity in boutique hotels in the Historic District. Take the Jeep shuttle service to explore the city in style. 

Your room’s fridge comes loaded with Charleston pimento cheese, crackers, beverages, and more. A kitchenette or kitchen is part of every suite. 

Head to the rooftop terrace to enjoy the bar and grill for lunch or dinner with great views of Charleston’s downtown area. It’s the perfect place to spend a few days in the city.


10. Andrew Pinckney Inn

For a guide to the best boutique hotels in Charleston, the exterior of the Andrew Pinckney Inn in shown


Andrew Pinckney Inn, fully restored to its 1840s glory, sits close to Waterfront Park and is absolutely stunning in its unique design and style. The bright yellow exterior shows the upbeat, eclectic vibes of this boutique hotel. 

You’ll be close to the Charleston City Market and King Street when you stay at Andrew Pinckney Inn. Breakfast on the rooftop terrace is an experience guests rave about. 

Every detail has been obsessed over here – the glass-enclosed rooftop terrace, Italian Travertine tiling, Gilchrist & Soames toiletries, afternoon wine and cheese receptions, and valet parking are just some of the bonuses. 

Enjoy a hearty continental breakfast spread with options to head out for any meal at nearby restaurants and cafes just steps from the hotel.

But you won’t be able to get enough of the amazing views from the rooftop, where breakfast overlooking the city may become your favorite part of your stay. 

The concierge will be delighted to schedule a walking tour, restaurant reservation, horse-drawn carriage ride, or museum visit for you so you can spend more time just enjoying the city.


Things to Consider

Midleton Plantation grounds with Spanish moss dripping from trees and a wooden bridge leading across a creek with flowers in bloom for a piece on the best boutique hotels in Charleston SC

Aleksandr Dyskin/Shutterstock

What else should you note about visiting the best boutique hotels in Charleston SC? You’ll make the most of your stay when you keep the following things in mind. 

  • Check out the cobblestone streets. Cobblestone streets are a lingering part of Charleston’s historic charm and beauty. Head to Chalmer’s Street, Gillon Street, Adger’s Wharf, Philadelphia Alley, and Longitude Lane to walk along these intact cobblestone streets dating back to the late 1600s and 1700s. 
  • Shop local while you’re here. Charleston has a thriving small business scene, especially in the downtown and Historic District areas. Stop by the Charleston City Market and visit small shops, locally-owned restaurants, and boutiques that line the streets to support Charleston businesses and discover great new products and goods you can show off at home! 
  • Book a walking tour. The best boutique hotels in Charleston SC will happily book adventures and tours for you – just ask the concierge or front desk staff! Walking tours are the best way to experience the city. You’ll learn a lot about Charleston’s rich past and the significance of different landmarks, homes, and museums in the city that enhance and deepen the meaning of your visit.
  • Go at the right time of year. The best time to visit Charleston is typically during spring or fall, when the weather is mild and pleasantly warm with little rain and smaller crowds. Even if you book during the peak summer season or the less-busy winter, you’ll find that Charleston is always bustling and exciting to visit. 
  • Stay busy. While staying at an incredible hotel makes it easy to melt into your comfy bed and enjoy the activities on the property, don’t forget that there are many things to do in Charleston. From visiting the Magnolia Plantations & Gardens to Sullivan’s Island and the Charleston Museum, you’ll enjoy the city most when you stay busy and keep exploring. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Charleston skyline during the afternoon where you can see the best boutique hotels in Charleston SC offering incredible experiences for guests

Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Discover more about the best boutique hotels in Charleston SC when you take a look at the most frequently asked questions from travelers. 

What is the best part of Charleston to stay in?

The Historic District in downtown Charleston is the best part of the city to stay in due to the proximity to shops, attractions, and restaurants. From museums and markets to waterfront dining, you can’t go wrong when you stay in this part of Charleston.

The area is bustling and lively, but quiet at night. The best boutique hotels in Charleston offer a secluded feel while being just steps away from the most popular attractions.

Is it best to stay in the Historic District in Charleston SC?

Yes. Staying in the Historic District means you’ll be within walking distance to most attractions, museums, landmarks, shops, and restaurants.

The nightlife is great here, but low-key enough to ensure a quiet, peaceful nights’ sleep at hotels in the District. You’ll be able to experience the true heart of old Charleston in the Historic District.

Why are boutique hotels better?

Boutique hotels offer an elegantly eclectic, local-focused vibe with decor and amenities that reflect the city they’re in.

They also prioritize guest comfort and the hotel experience as a whole, offering luxurious beds and bathrooms, eclectic or historic art, and great amenities like rooftop bars and pools overlooking the city.

What is a boutique class hotel?

Boutique class hotels are small hotels that are usually not part of a large hotel chain. They may be locally owned and operated, feature locally-sourced decor, food, and goods, and offer a more personalized experience for guests.

Are boutique hotels more expensive?

Boutique hotels can be pricey, but they aren’t more expensive than similar hotels in the area. In fact, boutique hotels usually cost less than chain hotels and when compared, may offer more amenities and guest services.

So, What Are the Best Boutique Hotels in Charleston SC?

The best boutique hotels in Charleston SC are located in the heart of the downtown Historic District. We’ve shown you the top 10, from the adults-only 86 Cannon Historic Inn to the Andrew Pinckney Inn with a rooftop terrace overlooking the city. 

These luxurious spaces are uniquely decorated (some in historic fashion), focused on top-tier guest service, and packed with amenities that will make your Lowcountry stay extra-special. 

With delectable meals served daily, pristine interiors, and local touches around every corner, you’ll experience the real heart of Charleston when you stay at one of the best boutique hotels. 

Don’t forget to pack comfy walking shoes – Charleston is an excellent city to get out and explore on foot, and you’ll be doing a lot of walking while you take it all in!