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“Unimpressive rooms, lovely lobby, good restaurant, nice location, long elevator waits”

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Francis Marion Hotel
Ranked #23 of 62 Hotels in Charleston
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 19 May 2013

Two nights in May at the Frances Marion. The room, while clean and acceptable, lacked any sort of luster- the furnishings were old, it was small, and the bathroom was claustrophobically tiny.

The lobby is lovely, the food at the swamp fox restaurant was excellent, and the location is fairly central. Saturday morning has a farmer's market across the street, which is a neat touch.

The hotel staff were friendly and responsive, though it was hard to figure out when a pre-arranged shuttle to a wedding would pick me up. They did arrange a taxi to the airport on Sunday, though they offered conflicting information about the arrangements.

The worst part of the experience was waiting for the elevators, which took 5-10 minutes and didn't seem to follow any clear pattern. They are updating them, which is a much needed change.

This hotel has seen better days and is in need of an extensive renovation. For $200 or more a night, you can find better in a major metropolis.

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Captain_Starwood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FMH_Manager, Manager at Francis Marion Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 22 May 2013

We appreciate the time you took to review our hotel on Trip Advisor. I would like for you to know that we are continuously looking at upgrades and additions to keep our historic hotel beautiful. I know this does not change your experience, but I hope you can feel confident that we heard your concerns and are definitely responding to your suggestions. I hope you will give us a second chance.

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2,124 - 2,130 of 3,055 reviews

Reviewed 17 May 2013

This place was a complete dump. The room smelled bad, as if the filthy old carpeting had been burning and/or was mildewy. The paint on the walls was chipped. The bathroom was cramped, small, and lacked elemental amenities. The visible plumbing was actually rusty. The room was tiny, and there was a foldout bed in a corner instead of a chair or couch. The carpeting in the hotel was threadbare. The lobby was lovely, complete with a concierge dressed like an undertaker who appeared to want to go home and gave answers to questions by showing me a brochure and pointing out that it already gave me the information I sought. The restaurant food was good, but the dishes, coffee pot, and cups were actually slightly dirty. The worst part of it was that this place was very expensive. My impression is that they are ready to liquidate it unless some new owner puts in millions of dollars to renovate it. Don't stay here.

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank larry183
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FMH_Manager, Manager at Francis Marion Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 22 May 2013

We are grateful that you have expressed your concerns on Trip Advisor. After reviewing your comments, I would like to apologize for the insufficient upkeep of your room. We understand this is no small matter and want you to know your concerns are valid and important to us. I have shared your feedback with our maintenance department, and they are fixing those things you mentioned in your room. Also, I have passed on your comments about the restaurant to the Restaurant Manager. Thank you, again, for your feedback.

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Reviewed 15 May 2013

I had a wonderful experience at the Francis Marion Hotel. I thought that great service was fond memories of the past until I had an event at this Hotel in Charleston, South Carolina. The Hotel is beautiful, with historical charms. But it is the service I received that prompted me to write this review. Besides typical courtesies that most hotel staff extend to hotel guest, Jesse Ordan, the Front Office Manager at the Francis Marion Hotel, really extended himself to provide excellent service. I had several gifts delivered to the Hotel for an event I was hosting there, and upon my arrival, Jesse offered to deliver them to my room, personally delivered several boxes, and also provided me with supplies so that I could alter the gifts to my liking. He was very accommodating, and offered services without request-on his own accord! How often does that happen nowadays! This type of service just does not happen often anymore. I really really appreciated Jesse's and the Hotel's accommodations and service! Also, in additional to the wonderful service I received, which I cannot give enough accolades, Swamp Fox the restaurant in the Francis Marion Hotel, in my opinion, serve the Best Shrimp and Grits in the City! I will definitely return to this Hotel when visiting Charleston. Great location, great food, and the best service anyone could expect! Five Stars!!!

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled on business
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1  Thank Sherry A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 May 2013

Perfect location hotel. A little disappointed in the room. For the price was looking for better quality. The bed was comfortable but small for my husband and I. The bathroom was extremely small And there was mildew in the shower. It took a while For the room to cool down. The elevators were very slow and old. No refrigerator in the room.

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Sandee Gaines G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 May 2013

It has happened to me once or twice before: you pay for a hotel in advance and then you are charged again when you get there or leave. It was particularly egregious at the Francis Marion since having paid in advance, I checked out at the desk with the assurance that I owed nothing. But credit card statements showed that later the same day my card was charged the second time for staying at the hotel.

Room Tip: Walls are very thin, window rattled until I jammed it. WiFi was free and staff were generally pleasa...
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Stayed: May 2013, travelled on business
Thank 61william
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 May 2013

This hotel is touted as a "historic landmark," and well, it is. However, does it have to smell old? The place is in dire need of some love and a major overhaul. Tenth floor is supposedly haunted by a man that jumped to his death from one of the rooms on this floor many years ago. The hallways are like walking in a freezer. Bathrooms are weirdly configured In the rooms (like an "after thought"), the closets smell of mold and the hardware on the toilets are those of a public park not that of a historical landmark. Would never stay here again and do not recommend.

Room Tip: Stay at the Vendue Inn instead.
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  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled with friends
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2  Thank SilverLake2TheWorld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 May 2013

The rooms at the Francis Marion are nice, though the fixtures are dated. Bathrooms tend to be small, and the elevators are abysmally slow. In addition the lobby has 1920's charm, though in general it seems like the hotel has not updated the furniture, fixtures, etc. since then, giving a kind of worn out feel. The location cannot be beat, it sits on Marion Square, and is on the College of Charleston campus. It is a short walk to the market, and a longer but easily doable walk to MUSC. The hotel is in the center of the downtown shopping district, with great dining just a short walk away. Parking is in a public garage about 100 feet up King Street, or Valet. That said, I think it is a nice place to stay, and would recommend it for your next visit to Charleston.

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled on business
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2  Thank nyteowl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
FMH_Manager, Manager at Francis Marion Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 10 May 2013

Thank you for recommending our hotel on Trip Advisor. We appreciate the feedback in response to the condition of the hotel. We are in the process of replacing all of the bathroom fixtures, and we are going through an elevator modernization project that should be completed by the end of summer. I am delighted to hear that you enjoyed our location, and I hope you will stay with us again next time you are in Charleston.

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Additional Information about Francis Marion Hotel

Address: 387 King Street, Charleston, SC 29403-6468
Phone Number:
Region: United States > South Carolina > Coastal South Carolina > Charleston
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Spa Hotel in Charleston
#13 Family Hotel in Charleston
#13 Business Hotel in Charleston
#15 Luxury Hotel in Charleston
#24 Romantic Hotel in Charleston
Price Range: £114 - £287 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Francis Marion Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 234
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Experience unsurpassed views of the historic harbor at the Francis Marion Hotel, the only high-rise hotel in Charleston’s historic district. All 234 guest rooms including 10 Suites and 7 Penthouse Suites are tastefully furnished for today’s sophisticated traveler, and provide modern conveniences from wireless Internet access, voicemail and data ports to on-demand movies. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Francis Marion Charleston
Hotel Francis Marion

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