Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
A Historic District gem, with elegant decor and lots of free extras
Tell a local you're staying at the French Quarter Inn, and you'll likely get an "ooh" and "ah" in response. The historic property's charming decor and excellent location have made it one of Charleston's best-known luxury options.
This 50-room hotel makes a grand impression. A beautiful glass dome sits above several circular balconies and a grand marble staircase that spirals to the ground floor. On the second floor, the front desk staff greets newcomers with a basket of ladyfingers and a glass of champagne. Even the public restrooms are luxurious, with marble countertops and beautifully upholstered benches.
The rooms received a makeover in 2010 and 2011, and bathrooms followed suit in 2012. The rooms feature 18th-century French style, with richly patterned drapes and carpeting, Louis XV-style furnishings, and art depicting the streets of Paris. Bathrooms are sleek and stylish, with impressive marble showers and a nice black-and-white motif.
There are multiple freebies here, adding to the hotel's value. The free breakfast is adequate (it's a bit better than the typical continental breakfast, but has very few hot item options) and can be taken in-room, in the expansive lobby area, or in the sun-drenched courtyard. Additional bonuses include free wine, cheese, and fruit each evening; freshly baked cookies and milk every night; and coffee, tea, juices, and candy throughout the day and night.
In the heart of Historic Downtown, within walking distance of many popular tourist sights
French Quarter Inn has one of the best addresses in town; it's just steps away from the City Market (one of the major attractions in Charleston). The neighborhood's grand churches, historic sites, world-famous restaurants, and chic shops and galleries all within walking distance. The hotel also provides free bicycles for quicker transport.
Spacious rooms with charming French-inspired decor and big flat-screen TVs; some have balconies
French Quarter Inn's 50 spacious rooms all feature charming French-inspired style, with richly patterned drapes and carpeting, Louis XV-style furnishings, and art depicting the streets of Paris. Beds have incredibly comfortable mattresses sourced from a local manufacturer, and a selection of seven different pillow types are on offer. Waffle-weave robes come standard, as do 40-inch flat-screen TVs with digital cable, Blu-Ray DVD players, CD players (but no iPod docks), and free Wi-Fi.
Traditional Rooms with two queen beds, and suites with sofa beds
While the hotel does not provide any specific amenities or clubs for children, the property is kid-friendly. Little ones may enjoy the free M&Ms and Jelly Bellys that are available in the lobby throughout the day, as well as the freshly baked cookies and milk that are served at night.
A number of room types can accommodate families, including the Traditional Rooms with two queen beds, as well as many of the suites, which offer sofa beds.
Outstanding restaurant, and within walking distance to some of Charleston's best eateries
Tristan is an excellent fine dining restaurant serving Italian cuisine with French and Portuguese influences. Plates are artfully composed, and the ingredients are noticeably fresh. The decadent Sunday brunch is a must.
Other great restaurants are just a short walk away as well -- including the famed Peninsula Grill (the coconut cake is not to be missed) and Hyman's Seafood. The concierge can make recommendations as well as reservations.
Free daily wine receptions and a bar
Getting a drink at this boutique hotel is no problem -- and getting a free drink is pretty easy too. Guests are offered free champagne and ladyfingers at check-in; free wine and cheese are offered in the lobby in the early evening; and Tristan Bar, located within the restaurant, opens in time for dinner. It serves signature cocktails such as the " Diablo" (tequila with Crème de Cassis, lemon, grapefruit, and ginger beer) and the "Bootlegger" (bourbon flavored with apricot Brandy and mint), as well as beer and wine. The hotel is also within walking distance of many bars.
Free loaner bicycles and free Wi-Fi
One of Downtown Charleston's best options for small- to medium-sized business and conference groups
The hotel has two meeting spaces: a refined executive boardroom that caters to 12, and an equally stately conference room with capacity for 42. On-site meeting planners are available to help with scheduling, audio-visual equipment, and catering, which can be obtained from the hotel's restaurant or elsewhere. The entire hotel has free Wi-Fi access. Additionally, a small business center in the lobby provides free use of a computer, printer, and iPad.
Ideal for small, Southern-style weddings
The French Quarter Inn can accommodate intimate weddings; small receptions can take place in either of the two meeting spaces (one fits 12, one 42). The hotel's elegant look also makes it a good spot for pre-wedding events and photography sessions (the big patio is a particularly attractive spot). Tristan restaurant can host rehearsal dinners, bridal showers, and other dinners and luncheons.
A handful of initiatives to decrease waste and energy consumption
Set within a 19th-century building in the Historic District
The French Quarter Inn is housed within a historic 19th-century building. Gut renovations prior to the hotel's opening in 2002 made the property grander than it was during its former life as a warehouse.
Rooms were renovated in 2010 and 2011, and bathroom upgrades were completed at the end of 2012.
All rooms at the French Quarter Inn were renovated in 2010 and 2011. Bathrooms were completely redesigned at the end of 2012. The hotel itself opened in 2002.
Two ADA-compliant rooms and features for the hearing impaired
The French Quarter Inn has two guest rooms that are ADA-compliant, featuring wider entrances and hallways, as well as roll-in showers. The hotel also provides extras for hearing-impaired guests, including TTY telephones, closed caption telephones, and communication kits with visual alarms and notification devices.
Located in a safe neighborhood, with 24-hour doormen
Safety is hardly an issue in this area of Charleston, however, the property does have 24-hour doormen who great every guest, as well as 24-hour front desk staff. Security guards also roam the grounds after dark. Additionally, rooms are operated with card keys, and each unit features its own safe.
This stately historic boutique is one of Charleston's best-known hotels, and has plenty of charming southern details (such as a grand wrought-iron staircase) and a location near Historic Downtown's popular tourist sights. Rooms are spacious and have French-inspired decor, and free extras such as breakfast, daily wine and cheese receptions, and freshly baked cookies add value. But there is no pool or fitness center, unlike at the Market Pavilion Hotel.