At first, we picked Middleton Place because we thought "hey, this will be different!" - and it did not disappoint on that front. I have to laugh now but at the time, I was pretty unsettled by the bugs and the slightly Southern Gothic goes camping vibe. Perhaps it was because we did not know that many a New Age-y retreat is hosted here, during peak season, and that it is primarily a conference center and not a romantic Plantation Inn. Oh well. Live and learn and then write on TripAdvisor to warn others!
Upon arrival, we were shocked to find the place quite literally deserted. We saw perhaps one other car on the property, once we waited thirty minutes for someone to arrive at the gate house/check-in counter. If it weren't for being in the middle of the woods with no overnight guard, 'secluded' would have been fine and romantic even. This was wayyyy too Robinson Crusoe for me. The giant palmetto bugs (which we were warned about, I admit) only added to the atmosphere and guaranteed a sleepless night from me. The grounds of the "inn" are in need of restoration. You literally are in the swamps when you leave your unit - which had some pretty massive poisonous spiders who made their home in the stairwells. I'm not a freak about bugs in general but this was really alarming. We don't have these suckers in New Jersey.
The room itself was spacious - very rustic and charming. I can see the fireplace being lovely in the winter. It must be romantic (kind of like the Poconos where we live) when you're not scared to death to use the bathroom as giant bugs are crawling out of the drain. The bathroom was quite lovely and huge! It had a Japanese zen feel. I wanted to like the whole property but I just couldn't get over the isolation and run down appearance.
However, it is totally worth the price of admission - and the overnight thrills - since you can walk to the neighboring Middleton Place (the plantation with passes included in overnight rate.) That was spectacular, even in the July rain and humidity. I want to go back in the spring when it's is in bloom to see it in all its glory. The restaurant there was wonderful - not super atmospheric but then the panoramic windows speak for themselves. We dined while looking over the small lake (did I mention the live gators everywhere? very cool!). Some amazing history to be learned and Middleton is amazingly intact.
All in all, this was quite the adventure. Not as luxurious as the books and website make it out to be but worth it for the admission to the plantation grounds and a great overnight stop en route to Charleston. Continental breakfast is in the conference room on the lake, about a five minute walk from the main lodge. It was basic - cereal, fruit - but the facilities were very nice.
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- Also Known As:
- Inn At Middleton Place Hotel Charleston