Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
A historic glimpse into the 1800s with an extremely personal feel
Built in 1825 as one of the first residences along the Charleston Harbor, the Edmonston-Alston House initially reflected a Federal architectural style. Greek Rivival updates (third-floor terrace with Corinthian colums, cast-iron balconies and Alston-family coat of arms) were added after the estate's 1838 sale into the hands of the Alston family, who still retain ownership.
The 21 E Battery B&B is directly on-site, occupying the old stables and "servants" quarters of the house. Green hedges, ferns, and oak trees give the grounds a luxurious feel, while a wide, red-bricked drive way welcomes guests from the main street. Light pink with green shutters, white accents, and multiple columns, the main house's three-story height rivals that of the palm trees lining the streets. Inside, much of the original furniture, personal belongings, and books can be found, adding to the B&B's historical factor. The two-story detached Carriage House (the former horse stables) sits farther back, through an iron gate and behind a leafy oak tree. The entire property is directly across the street from the harbor and views of the water from the main house are uninterrupted.
Because of the hotel's extremely small size, the guest experience is intimate, private, and personal.
Very walkable location across the street from the High Battery promenade
21 East Battery Bed and Breakfast is located near Charleston's historic, downtown High Battery area, is around 25 minutes by car from the main airport, and just across the street from the waters of Charleston Harbor. This highly walkable location allows guests to explore on foot; within 15 minutes walk guests will find White Point Gardens (with views of Fort Sumter), the Old Slave Mart Museum, and downtown Charleston, full of shops and award-winning restaurants. The Charleston Aquarium is less than 1.5 miles from the hotel.
Rooms that feel like private living quarters, dressed in old-world charm
The Carriage House is a spacious, stand-alone two-story unit featuring original wood-beamed ceilings and exposed brick. A queen-sized bed rests in the old hayloft and a sleeper sofa upstairs can accommodate two additional guests. The Carriage House also has tons of windows, a large upstairs balcony, and outdoor seating areas in the grassy courtyard. The Quarters is its own two-story apartment-style accommodation attached to the main house (the main house is not accessible by the public). Two bedrooms and bathrooms are upstairs, while a gas fireplace, kitchenette, and living room are on the lower level. The decor of both units perfectly exemplifies the history and charm of the grounds; expect hardwood and tiled floors, antique furniture, wooden four-post beds, plush bedding, and comfortable couches.
Lack of common space and features, but rich in personal details
The hotel's best feature is by far its location -- both on the Charleston map and within the historic Edmonston-Alston grounds. The transformed Carriage House and Quarters are truly the opposite of chain hotel accommodations and naturally have the historic charm, decor, and privacy that many other hotels try to emulate. Rooms come with a kitchen stocked with fresh-baked goodies, pastries, yogurt, juice, fruit and other continental items; free breakfast (when you want it), and in the Quarters, working gas fireplaces. However, some may find the property's lack of a pool, full-service restaurant, on-site bar or common space a downside.
This historic boutique hotel only has two units (which sleep up to 10 people total). It is within easy walking distance of the High Battery waterfront, shops, and award-winning restaurants, yet secluded within the oak trees of private grounds, giving guests the best of both worlds. Rooms have a sophisticated country decor, stocked kitchens, and feel more like private residences (but with the personal service of a B&B). Not ideal for guests seeking a social atmosphere, the B&B is a perfectly private option for couples and (some) families (kids above age one and below age 13 are not allowed). Nearby hotels either don't match 21 East Battery's style or personal service, or lack its intimate and historical vibe, making this property unique for the area.