I arrived at this hotel about 8 pm having flown in from Madrid, Spain for my son's wedding. My first trip to the US, let alone Charleston! I am English.
I had booked for 5 nights several months in advance on a pre-paid deal which seemed good value when compared with prices in general in Charleston. As one does, I went straight to the window to check out the view and was horrified to see the laundry and boiler rooms directly across a small internal courtyard.
I then went out with my son to meet some of his London friends who were eating at a nearby restaurant (very good!!) and asked in a jokey manner at the desk how long one had to book for in order to get a room with a view. The receptionist replied that the hotel was full, but if I didn't unpack, maybe they could move me the next day. The room was as expected, and in the bathroom there was a coffee machine, but no tea. No shower gel provided, but soaps, shampoo and body lotion yes. I hadn't packed a bath-robe, assuming one would be provided, but no - and on asking at reception was told they used to be, but too many people took them away, so they had stopped. Surely with modern technology guests who steal can be charged? No safe in the room, but facilities available at reception.
Anyway, I slept well, bed very comfortable, then went down for breakfast. What a disappointment! Self-service with polystyrene plates and cups, plastic cutlery - I can't imagine what mountains of waste is produced this way, Obviously it is a cost-cutting measure but doesn't sit well in the heart of the historic district of Charleston - maybe in a business type area, but for tourists a real turn-off. Plenty of very average food. No natural yoghourt, whole-meal bread which British tourists might miss, but other local touches which would more than compensate. My English daughter-in-law loves American breakfasts. But on the positive side, one could eat outside by the pool and avoid the fierce air-conditioning!
I then went out to meet my new American daughter-in-law 'to be' for a lovely mani-pedi at the luxurious Stella-Nova, and later had lunch with friends in the French Quarter. Amazingly the manicurist had formerly been a welder and had worked on the beautiful iron staircase in the French Quarter Inn!! I had spoken to the receptionist about the proposed room change as I left and they had seen no note from the overnight person, but promised to see what they could do. Returning to the hotel about 4pm, asked once again about the room change and lo and behold they had moved me to a pool-side room with French windows out on to the courtyard. Absolutely wonderful! What a difference that made to my stay.
The only down-side was that I had left a pair of linen trousers and jacket in the wardrobe which didn't get transferred and it took almost the rest of my stay to locate them as the house-keeper was apparently the only one with a key to the 'lost-property' room and she goes off duty at 4pm. I was eventually reunited with them, all scrumpled up in a poly bag. Lucky there is an iron and ironing board in the room! Laundry can be sent out, but you have to carry it to Reception and collect it yourself!
There is a communal computer room where I tried to check in for my return flight, but as I am a Mac User and my e-mail is a MobileMe Mac.com address, couldn't access it for my flight information as only Microsoft Explorer is available - Firefox as an alternative would have been useful. I eventually managed to do whet I needed through the Delta site, but didn't have access to any info e-mails I might have received.
So, to sum up, this is a lovely well-appointed building in a great location - the pool in central Charleston is a real bonus - but the services offered would suit a motel rather than a top class hotel. Such a pity.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- At Hampton Inn Charleston-Historic District, you’ll experience antebellum architecture and fabulous shops of the King Street historic district right outside our hotel. Our Charleston hotel is in downtown Charleston adjacent to the Charleston Museum, the nation's oldest museum. Wake up to Hampton’s free hot breakfast. Explore nearby 18th century plantations, churches, and the Charleston city market, walking distance from our hotel. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hampton Inn Charleston - Historic District Hotel Charleston
- Hampton Inn Historic District
- Charleston Hampton Inn