Great beach hotel near Charleston, SC?
May 1, 2013 5:16 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a nice, but moderately priced beach hotel near Charleston SC. Has anybody had a really good experience at a Charleston-area beach resort or hotel?
posted by 0110 to Travel & Transportation around Charleston, SC (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I live in Charleston, never stayed in a beach hotel but do frequent the beaches. There are two sets of beaches with hotels, Folly Beach and Isle of Palms, on opposite sides of Charleston. Folly Beach is a party beach (just recently banned alcohol on the beach) and Isle of Palms is much calmer. So you'll have to decide on which 'style'.

There aren't very many hotels 'on the beach', and looking on websites and kayak, don't get the sense that the good ones are cheap. The ones I know of (and can recommend):

(prices are for a random weekend in June)
Folly Beach
- The Tides ($400 a night), right on the water
-Water's Edge Inn - Looks nice, but no prices easily readable

Isle of Palm
-The Palms Hotel ($257)
-Wild Dunes ($379)

None of these seem "moderate". Best bet would be looking at chain hotels 5-10 miles away from the beach.
posted by sandmanwv at 6:38 AM on May 1, 2013

When you say Charleston, do you mean within 10 miles of Charleston (Folly Beach, Sullivan's Island, Isle of Palms) or do you also include Kiawah to the south and Pawley's Island to the north? That can make a difference in recommendations.

I used to live in Charleston and when people would visit me or my friends, they usually would rent a beach house rather than stay in a hotel. Folly is more laid back and has a slight surfer vibe, whereas Isle of Palms is more condo, condo, condo, with less unique character. Sullivan's is beautiful, historic, and has bigger places to rent than on Folly, typically.

My preference leans to staying either on Folly or Sullivan's, but I am not really a beach condo person. For Folly, I recommend checking out Avocet's rentals. There is a hotel there (The Tides) that has a nice beach-front bar, but I don't know of anyone who has stayed in the hotel. You could check out reviews here.
posted by jilloftrades at 6:46 AM on May 1, 2013

On preview of sandmanwv's comment, I throw this out as well:

Shem Creek Inn. It isn't on the beach, but it is very close to Sullivan's and Isle of Palms (10 minute drive) and 10 miles to downtown also. It is right on a tidal creek where you can watch shrimp boats come in. There are a number of seafood restaurants within walking distance of the hotel. I have stayed here and found it reasonably priced (less than $150). I would definitely stay here again.
posted by jilloftrades at 7:00 AM on May 1, 2013

When I was there a few years ago we rented a nice house in Folly Beach. It was a few blocks from the beach but it was a nice walk.
posted by trbrts at 9:37 AM on May 1, 2013

I've spent at least a week almost every summer of my life at Wild Dunes (full disclosure: my family has a place there). It's pretty lovely as far as resorts go and sometimes there are deals to be had both on and around the resort. I've never stayed at the hotel there (though I've spent plenty of time at its beachfront cabana bar), but I've heard good reports. I've also rented houses with friends on Sullivans and Folly, the latter as recently as last year. Obviously rates vary by season, proximity to beach and size of the house.

Kiawah Island, which is a bit further south of town, has a lovely hotel, The Sanctuary, but it's definitely on the pricey side.

Short version: you'll generally get more bang for your buck renting a house/condo on the beach in that neck of the woods (Charleston and environs aren't big on beachfront hotels). However, there are lots of accommodations options in the greater Charleston area from luxe history inns to motels, so if you're willing to do a little driving (or biking--there are several motels just over the bike-laned IOP connector bridge in Mount Pleasant, for example). In fact, the Hampton Inn just west of the connector bridge has housed my sister and I on several consecutive Cooper River Bridge Race weekends and proven both reasonably priced and well-located.

Have fun.
posted by thivaia at 10:27 AM on May 1, 2013 [1 favorite]

I'll second The Sanctuary. Love their spa, great baths.
posted by ibakecake at 5:30 PM on May 1, 2013

If you're staying for more than a couple days, for sure go with a rental.
posted by ijoyner at 6:58 AM on May 2, 2013

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