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Francis Marion Hotel 4.0

Historic Downtown, Charleston, South Carolina

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Excellent location on Kings Street in historic Downtown Charleston
  • Elegant, grand property dating back to 1924
  • Tastefully decorated rooms with historic Charleston style and modern amenities
  • Locally grown produce plus seasonal menus at Swamp Fox Restaurant
  • Bar with live music on select nights; room service available
  • Full-service spa and modern 24-hour fitness center
  • Business center and numerous meeting rooms, including two grand ballrooms
  • Free Wi-Fi in guest rooms and public spaces
  • Self and valet parking (for a fee)

Cons

  • Rooms on lower floors may pick up street noise
  • Fee for Wi-Fi in meeting spaces
  • Bathrooms are small 
  • No pool

Bottom Line

Dating back to 1924 and considered one of Charleston's grand dames, the 235-room Francis Marion Hotel is an upscale property with an excellent location on Kings Street in historic downtown Charleston. The handsome rooms have classic Charleston style and modern amenities like large flat-screen TVs, but bathrooms are small. The well-liked restaurant serves seasonal Southern cuisine for all meals, and the bar is a lively spot for drinks. A small spa offers a variety of treatments, and the modern fitness center is open 24/7. With two grand ballrooms and several smaller spaces, the hotel is popular for weddings, meetings, and other events. A nearby alternative is the Embassy Suites Charleston, which offers all suites, a pool, and free breakfast, but it is not as classic and elegant. 

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Scene

Classic, historic property that embraces Charleston's Old South charms, popular with weddings and events

Swamp Fox Restaurant & Bar serves Southern cuisine that focuses on fresh, regional ingredients in a cozy space

Dating back to 1924, this iconic 12-story hotel is housed in the tallest building in town. It was designed by New York architect W.L. Stoddard and was named for the Revolutionary War hero Francis Marion, also known as the “Swamp Fox." The exterior is a classic exercise in brick and stone, with ornate carvings and arched windows. United States and South Carolina flags fly above the entrance. The lobby is spacious and grand, with huge columns, ornate period molding, regal rugs atop polished tile flooring, rich drapery, and huge crystal chandeliers. Numerous seating areas with plush sofas and chairs provide places for guests to gather, which is a good thing, as the hotel is often busy with conferences and social gatherings such as weddings. With an ideal location and elegant interiors, this hotel draws all sorts of travelers, including couples and those attending events here, plus families, groups, businesspeople, and individuals. 

Location

Excellent location across from Marion Square on King Street in downtown Charleston

Map of Francis Marion Hotel

This hotel is located across from Marion Square park on iconic King Street at the northern end of the historic district. This is a great choice for tourists who want to be within walking distance of all of the great shops and galleries of King Street and historic downtown Charleston. Attractions within a 10-minute walk of the hotel include the College of Charleston, the Charleston Museum, the Charleston City Market, and the Aiken-Rhett House, the former governor's home that was built in 1818. The South Carolina Aquarium, Gibbs Museum of Art, and the harbor and maritime park can all be reached in about 15 minutes on foot. A Starbucks outlet is right next door, and there are fast food outlets and a drug store on the block. Charleston International Airport is about a 30-minute drive from the hotel. 

Rooms

Handsome and classic decor with modern amenities, but small bathrooms

The Deluxe King Room incorporates classic decor elements, such as a two-poster bed, that reflect an historic Charleston style

The hotel's rooms and suites are tastefully decorated in historic Charleston style, with granite-topped traditional wood furniture, two-poster beds, soft blue and beige color schemes, patterned carpeting, and custom drapery. Traditional artwork and ornate gold mirrors hang on the blue walls. It's a sharp look that continues the handsome style found in the hotel's common areas, and helps make a stay here feel seamlessly upscale. Flat-screen TVs add a modern touch, and rooms also have air-conditioning, coffeemakers, free Wi-Fi, and safes. Some have mini-fridges. Deluxe rooms have sitting areas with two armchairs, and suites have separate living rooms with a sofa bed and chairs. Bathrooms are small, but offer granite countertops, tiled shower/tub combos in most, hairdryers, and higher-end toiletries. Rooms on higher floors have views of the city or harbor, but those on lower floors may pick up a bit of noise from traffic outside. 

Features

On-site restaurant and bar, meeting space with two grand ballrooms, spa, fitness center, gift shop

This popular wedding venue has two ballrooms, including the historic Gold Ballroom, which is beautifully restored with ornate period detailing

The hotel has been offering classic Southern cuisine on-site since 1924. The Swamp Fox Restaurant & Bar serves all meals with a focus on fresh, regional ingredients and has seasonal menus. The cozy, traditional space overlooks Marion Square Park, and while breakfast is offered, it's not included in room rates. Live jazz piano music entertains on select nights throughout the week, and a separate dining room, the Parkview, is available for private events of up to 30 people. 

Offering 18,000 square feet of meeting space (1,672 square meters), the hotel is popular for weddings and other events. Its two historic ballrooms are grand and beautifully restored, with ornate period detailing, crystal and gold chandeliers hanging from high ceilings, and large windows. The hotel can accommodate groups of up to 450 people, and planners are available to assist with details. It also has smaller rooms for more intimate gatherings. 

Treatment rooms in the Spa Adagio are snug, but services include the usual massages, facials, and body treatments. The compact fitness center offers a few cardio and weight training machines, as well as free weights. It's open around-the-clock, and a wall-mounted flat-screen TV helps entertain. The on-site General's Store sells gifts, souvenirs, snacks, and drinks. Wi-Fi is free in the hotel, but that doesn't include the meeting rooms, where there is an extra charge. There's also a fee for parking.

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Things You Should Know About Francis Marion Hotel

Address

387 King Street, Charleston 29403, United States

Phone

(843) 722-0600

Room Types

  • Deluxe Room
  • Francis Marion Suite
  • Traditional Room
  • Traditional Room w/ View

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