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“Shabby, small rooms, but in good location”

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Francis Marion Hotel
Ranked #23 of 61 Hotels in Charleston
Certificate of Excellence
Southern US
Level Contributor
53 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“Shabby, small rooms, but in good location”
Reviewed 5 August 2008

I stayed at the Francis Marion with my husband and 4 year old while attending a conference there. This is not a hotel for families with young children. The standard room we stayed in was too small. There was about 6 inches between the bed and the dresser at the foot of the bed. We had to turn sideways to squeeze through. There was a 2 seater sofa in the room that had a pull out bed. When pulled out, the bed touched the desk so there was no room to pass between the two. Our 4 year old had to stay on the bed the entire time my husband and I were in the room together because there was no space for 3 people to maneuver around the room. The bathroom was the smallest hotel bathroom I had ever seen. Not more than one person can fit in it. The sink was a pedestal sink with no vanity- just a small glass shelf that barely fit a few toiletries. The fixtures in the bathroom were old and not well maintained. Overall, the bathroom was dingy. On the plus side, the room did have updated furniture and a comfortable bed. The room was the biggest drawback to this hotel, especially since we had our child with us. It was difficult for us to manage with a young child in such a small room. Also, there was no pool or anything else to keep young children occupied. Fortunately, we didn't spend much time in our room as there was so much to do and see in Charleston.

The big advantage to this hotel was the location. It’s in the historical district and within walking distance of many good restaurants, boutiques, shops, galleries, etc.. We didn’t use our car once in the 3 days we were there. Also on Saturdays, there is a farmer’s market across from the hotel. The hotel staff was pleasant and helpful, especially the concierge who gave us directions to every place we asked.

I like historic hotels such as this one. I would've enjoyed it more had I been traveling alone. I wouldn’t stay here again with young children.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Small room and dingy bathroom
  • Stayed August 2008, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank krmik
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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Jackson, MS
1 review
Reviewed 1 August 2008

I wm writing this review from room 918. Upon checking in, you will notice the hotel is in need of painting and cleaning. While the brass ornamentation is pretty, much of it is filthy. The inside doors of the elevators have graffiti engraved in them. Our room has a smaller bath, which isn't a problem however we would have preferred it clean. The marble base trim has a thick coating of hair and dirt. There are smears of "something" up the walls, door frames and door (the highest being 36" from the floor. There is mold around the tub base and wall paper is peeling behind the door. The door frame has the presence of a substance smeared over an area about 18 sq. in. The bathroom hardware is rusted and a major portion of the plating has worn off. During our stay, the floor has not been cleaned a single time, nor has the bath tub/shower. The chair at the desk in the room has several large stains, one 6", one 4", ond the other 4". These are resembling marks left from spraying paint or the like. We did witness the house keeper use a towel to clean our toilet then use the same towel toclean our sink, then the glasses and coffee pot. We made a complaint w/ house keeping and a new coffee pot and glasses were delivered. We had to have the hair dryer replaced as the original one caused a small flame and smoke in the bathroom 20 amp outlet. The bed was comfortable however the sheets were worn and the blankets were beyond their usefulness as the sateen borders were separated and there were holes in the blanket. We did observe dead and dried insects in one bed and the second was without insects. We requested a call or visit from the general manager twice and no response to our request has been made. I cannot recommended this hotel as other attendees to our meeting report similar disappointments.

  • Liked — location
  • Disliked — lack of cleaning
  • Stayed July 2008, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank omarandjoey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Alabama
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 July 2008

The good: My wife and I booked through Hotwire, which meant we didn't know we were getting the Francis Marion until after we'd paid. I was a little hesitant, as I'd never heard the name but we'd already paid so there was no backing out. Turns out we had a great time. This is an older building, and the rooms are small but we found no problems with the size. Our room had a very comfortable queen bed, desk with chair, makeup station with chair, sofa and chest. The TVs are flat screen and there are plenty of channels. There was also a closet with iron and ironing board already there. It was the definition of "cozy." The location is on King Street across from the park, which offered good views and easy access to the things we wanted to see. The city trolley buses stop less than a half-block away. Concierge service was the best I've ever had. There's a Starbucks in the lobby so you don't have to deal with the on-site restaurant if you just want a quick snack (more on that later).

The bad: The bathroom is tiny. The toilet is almost industrial in appearance and didn't work well. There is no room to put anything and the shelf over the sink was lopsided, meaning things fell off it too easily. The parking situation borders on untenable. There is a parking deck adjacent, but it costs $12/day to self-park, which is silly for such an expensive hotel. There is no "official" access from the deck to the hotel; you're expected to take an elevator down, get out on the street and walk to the hotel's front doors. There is a pass-through on the third floor but it is a service entrance, as I was scolded by a bellhop. But it's not marked as such. There is only one bank of elevators (three cars) and they're slow. One car was down the length of our stay and it made getting in and out of our room difficult. The Swamp Fox Restaurant, which is on site, is horribly overpriced and the food isn't that good. The service is impeccable but you can eat at some of Charleston's finest restaurants for less than we paid at the hotel.

Summary: Overall, we would definitely stay there again. The staff really made the difference (aside from the aforementioned bellhop; the other bellhops were very helpful) and the rooms gave us a feel of the city. Charleston is a special place.

  • Liked — Staff professionalism and bed comfort.
  • Disliked — Paying extra for parking and Internet service.
  • Stayed July 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank ConStar8788
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Akron, Ohio
Level Contributor
17 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 July 2008

The Francis Marion Hotel is very well situated within Charleston. Most major sites are within a 20-minute walk. Service was very congenial, but the hotel reminded me of my grandparent's condo complex.

If you are searching for a luxury Chareston hotel, this is not your place. Rather, consider this property to be a solid 3-star hotel. All hotel staff we encountered were courteous and helpful. And, the hotel does not nickel and dime guests -- for example, free bottled water in our suite (which was very large with a great view) and free inbound and outbound faxes.

Some may call the hotel's decor "classic", but I found it be overall tired. Not to say the hotel was not clean, but there were few modern details (except for the flat panel TVs). Despite the generous sized suite, the bathroom was as small as you can imagine. The furniture throughout is dated, and the hotel, in general, needs a face lift. I imagine the property owner wants to maintain the old world feel, but this can be achieved while still providing up-to-date touches.

Stayed July 2008
Helpful?
Thank Critical_But_Fair
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta
Level Contributor
100 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 July 2008

Stayed here with 3 teenagers for a look at College of Charleston. Room was very spacious, bathroom VERY small. Great location, close to shopping and restaurants

  • Liked — location
  • Disliked — small bathroom
  • Stayed April 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank marthae
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ireland
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 July 2008

stayed at the Francis Marion for 5 nights - wonderful central hotel and courteous and efficient staff - from check in to check out. We had a problem with our toilet and it was attended to immediately - Nothing in this hotel was a problem and free internet was a bonus.
A staff member called Jere went out of his way to help me make an airline booking when i was having difficulty with airline, because i was not a u.s citizen and had no u.s address.
Would stay there again.

Stayed May 2008
Helpful?
Thank voyagerireland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ada, MI
Level Contributor
40 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 July 2008

Stayed here for a conference which was held in the hotel. Charleston is very very charming. This hotel is in the perfect area for walking and seeing all the sights. It is old, that is for sure. The rooms are small and the bathrooms even smaller. The room was adequate for me but it wasn't the grandest property I have ever been in. The shower pressure was very low, the shower curtain was moldy even though I specifically asked the maid to change it. Great views from the hotel windows. Like I said, within walking distance to all the sights. Over priced at $139 but, I don't think there are many less expensive hotels around. The food in the hotel is fabulous..catered and in the restaurant. I would not stay here again if I were in Charleston in June, I would stay at one of the other hotels that have a pool.

  • Liked — The View and Location
  • Disliked — Smalll rooms and not well kept
  • Stayed June 2008, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank thebee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Francis Marion Hotel

Property: 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 Business Hotel in Charleston
#15 Luxury Hotel in Charleston
#21 Family Hotel in Charleston
#24 Romantic Hotel in Charleston
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
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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