Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
A clean and well-maintained mid-range chain property, with an eco-friendly focus
This mid-range chain hotel, opened in 2009, is pleasant and well-maintained, but nothing stands out. The decor scheme includes warm colors, wood accents, and traditional furnishings. The small, simply landscaped pool is adjacent to a shady courtyard, and rooms that are outfitted in generic contemporary style (comfortable beds, warm colors, flat-screen TVs). In short, there are no surprises here.
The hotel provides more features than many downtown properties, including a pool, fitness center, breakfast-only restaurant, and lounge. However, the flipside is the hotel's location is removed from Charleston's main action, and guests will need to drive to reach any attractions. There are a good number of bars, restaurants, and outdoor activities in the immediate vicinity, though.
Despite its large size, the hotel is often quiet. During Oyster's stay, the pool had just one visitor, the business center was completely empty, and a few hours relaxing in the lounge were largely uninterrupted. The hotel provides a number of free services, such as parking, a buffet breakfast, afternoon snacks, Wi-Fi, and daily newspapers.
Of particular note is the hotel's great eco-conscious efforts, which have made it a green leader in the city. The property earned a "three Palmetto" rating with the state's Green Hospitality Alliance. It has recycle stations throughout; the roof is painted white to minimize heat absorption; every faucet and toilet is low-flow; and a number of other technologies are in place to reduce energy consumption.
Along a major highway with easy access to downtown Charleston, but there's little within walking distance
The Holiday Inn Express is located just off the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge in Mount Pleasant, a short drive away from most of Charleston's best historic sights. Those hoping to hit the pavement on foot will find little within walking distance, save for a jogging path and a shopping plaza. Hotel parking, at least, is free.
Clean rooms with modern technology and generic contemporary decor
The generic, contemporary rooms are decorated in shades of white, blue, and brown -- blue bed runners, brown bed skirts, brown accent walls. The beds are comfortable and the technology includes 32-inch flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi. There's nothing that stands out, but little that offends, either. Those who spring for suites will find spacious quarters and kitchenettes.
Small but clean and well-maintained
The kidney-shaped pool at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Mount Pleasant is small, but has an attractive water feature. It's often empty, and the lounge chairs are lined with fabric rather than plastic strips. An adjacent courtyard is surrounded by plants and tall trees, and filled with patio furniture and a few umbrellas for shade.
A few extra benefits for children
Though Holiday Inn Express' pool is rather small, it's still a plus for families, and is usually not very crowded. Little ones may also enjoy the freshly baked cookies and lemonade in the lobby every afternoon. The hotel also provides cribs and rollaway beds for families wishing to share a single guest room.
A large restaurant that serves breakfast only
The space just off the Holiday Inn Express' lobby is expansive, doubling as both restaurant and lobby lounge. It has wood paneling, high ceilings, tables for eating, and cushioned armchairs surrounding a large flat-screen TV. A free hot breakfast buffet is served daily. During the afternoon, fresh cookies and drinks are served in the lobby.
Lunch and dinner are not available on-site, and there are a couple of restaurants and coffee shops within walking distance -- namely, Graze at the nearby Patriots Plaza Shopping Center, and Point Grill, which serves American fare. All of Charleston's best restaurants, which are located in the Historic District, are a 10-minute drive away.
Free parking and free Wi-Fi
A large meeting room, planning staff, and small business center
The Holiday Inn Express features a 700-square-foot meeting room with a seating capacity of 55. On-site meeting planners are available to coordinate meetings as well as arrange the use of A/V equipment and other presentation supplies. Group and event packages are also available. Guests at the hotel also have free use of a small business center just off the lobby that includes one PC and a printer/copier. A fax machine at the front desk may be used by guests for no charge as well.
On-site planners available to assist in booking everything from guest rooms to venues
Though the hotel itself is not a wedding venue, Charleston is a popular wedding destination. The property has on-site wedding planners that can help with all bookings, from the bridal party and guests' rooms to venues and vendors for the event.
Green construction and day-to-day operations
The Holiday Inn Express-Mount Pleasant is a leader in green initiatives, scoring a "three Palmetto" score with the South Carolina Green Hospitality Alliance, which is the highest rating possible.
Opened in 2009
Opened in 2009, the property is one of the newer hotels in the city. Some travelers may prefer the charm of Charleston's historic properties, but the Holiday Inn is clean, well-maintained, and eco-friendly.
During our visit, there was no hint of mold, dust, or disarray. While the decor is chain-like, it is by no means dated; it's what one would expect from a mid-range Holiday Inn.
Several ADA-compliant rooms, as well as amenities for hearing-impaired guests
The Holiday Inn Express & Suites Mount Pleasant has ADA-compliant rooms with roll-in showers, bathtubs with grips, and wider entrances and hallways. All on-property amenities are accessible via wheelchair, and the parking lot features several van-accessible parking spots. The hotel also provides portable tub seats for those with mobility impairments, as well as communication kits with visual alarms and notification devices, closed caption TVs, and TTY telephones for the hearing impaired. There is also Braille signage.
24-hour staff and security
For some, this hotel's location just off of a major highway may be cause for concern. Signs in the parking lot read: "Management is not responsible for loss of vehicle or property. Please remove your valuables and lock your vehicle."
However, the Mount Pleasant neighborhood is, well, pleasant, and nothing nearby appears unsafe or sketchy. The property has a 24-hour front desk staff as well as night security. Rooms are accessed via key cards and safety deposit boxes are available at the front desk upon request.
The 116-room Holiday Inn Express & Suites Mount Pleasant-Charleston is in many ways a typical mid-range chain hotel, albeit one with extensive amenities, including an outdoor pool, a small fitness center, free breakfast, and snacks throughout the day. Though the rooms are generic, they feature contemporary decor, comfy beds, and flat-screen TVs. They're also extremely eco-friendly, with low-flow showerheads, faucets and toilets. On the downside, the hotel is a drive away from most of Charleston's tourist attractions.
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