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“What a nightmare” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Francis Marion Hotel

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Francis Marion Hotel
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   387 King Street, Charleston, SC 29403   |  
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10% off room rate
Ranked #26 of 57 Hotels in Charleston
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“What a nightmare”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2009

My wife and I booked a room at the Francis Marion and told them in advance that my wife was very sensitive to paint smells, molkd, mildew and otyher odors. What did they do? They painted the bathroom before our stay and the smell in the tiny room was overwhelming. The windows were painted shut so you couldn't get fresh air and they pump a sweet sickly perfume throughout the entire hotel central air system.

We both had headaches within a half hour.

We changed rooms and the smell was just as bad. We ended up leaving and going down the street to the Holiday Inn on Calhoun Street, which, by the way, was absolutely wonderful. They have a fabulous concierge there and the rooms were large, clean and the price was even better for a last minute booking.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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1,507 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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English first
Dallas, Texas
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2009

The hotel was nice inside, and our room was comfortable. The concierge was helpful. What I didn't like was the fact that we were misled concerning the parking. The man at the desk told my husband that parking was $15 and we could go in and out as many times as we wanted. The key words he forgot to mention were per day. So, needless to say we were shocked to find a charge for $52 for parking when we checked out. Not to mention all the money we spent tipping the valet. I spoke to the woman who checked us out, and she would not budge on it, and was even a little cold about it. So, be aware!

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Jacksonville, Florida, USA
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2009

My mom and I recently spent a short weekend in Charleston and spent one night at the Francis Marion. I was torn on what to expect due to the postings on TripAdvisor; I booked thru Priceline and got a good weekend fare. The hotel overall is well appointed and the staff was very friendly. The bell boys opened the doors for us each and every time we went thru the entrance and the front desk was helpful in recommending places to eat. The room itself was nice, we had 2 queen beds; the beds were a little soft, since i have a bad back i noticed this, but still slept well. It sits on the street so we did hear some traffic noise when sirens when past, but otherwise pretty quiet hotel. Yes, the bathroom was smaller than your traditional hotel room bath but it wasn't unbearable. Ours had a combo shower/tub where you could put your toiletries in the corners. The sink had a shelf above it to put your toothpaste, brush, etc. The toilet was unusual, i assume because the hotel is so old, but it was funtional for our needs. We didn't feel cramped in the room at all, but then again we were in Charleston to be out and about and didn't spend much time there. The hotel was close enough to town to walk, but definitely was about 8-10 blocks to get to Market St. We walked down King past all of the shops on the way to occupy our time. It would have been nice to stay closer in, but for the price, i would rather walk a little further. Parking was $12 in a nearby garage for self-park; seems typical that hotels in Charleston don't include parking. We would return here for another weekend in charming Charleston if the price was right!

Stayed June 2009, traveled with family
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US
1 review
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2009

We recently stayed at the Francis Marion Hotel for a business meeting. The lobby is lovely, and the front desk staff very helpful. We had reserved a room with a king bed. When we got to our room, it was very small with a queen size bed. There was no view from either of the two windows. The air conditioner was very loud.
The bathroom was the smallest I have ever been in. The toilet is flush against the wall and you actually touch the sink while using the toilet. There was no tub in the room, just a VERY SMALL shower. Water pressure is inconsistent. There is no room to place any toiletries, so any attempt to apply make-up or use curling iron has to be done in the bedroom.
Housekeeping is spotty at best. The sheets were not changed at any point during our stay.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Pittsburgh, PA
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 18, 2009

An older, grand hotel in Charleston -- on the very edge of the shopping district. My room was lovely (if the air conditioning was a bit loud!) and clean; the staff was very helpful.

Visiting again, I would most likely stay more in the heart of the historic district. But for shopping, restaurants, etc -- this was a great location. The hotel is only a block away from the shuttle service which runs one through the historic and shopping districts.

DO try the Swamp Fox restaurant. It is deliciious!

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mid-Atlantic
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2009

My spouse and I stayed here for a business meeting in April, '09. When we made the reservation, I asked what the difference was between the room rates offered (still way over what most people pay, it seems!). I was told that the traditional room was just "slightly smaller". Perhaps my perception is different than others, but the room was TINY. The bathroom was old and so small that the industrial plumbing was to the side of the toilet (making for an uncomfortable right leg upon nature's calling), and your head practically touched the sink. The bathroom couldn't have been bigger than 6 X 6. Awful! We complained about the room, but were told that they were "sold out" and come back tomorrow. We did, and they offered us the 'only" other room available...it was THE EXACT SAME room, just five floors higher! Instead of looking across at the rooftops, we then looked down on them and little else. What good was that???? Also, the higher floor brought absolutely, positively non-existent shower pressure. After 15 minutes of trying to get the shampoo out of my hair, I swore that I'd tell EVERYONE I could about how horrible this hotel is. We didn't bother complaining to the front desk again. They obviously didn't "get it" the first time! The breakfasts at the Swamp Fox restaurant were fine; once, we did have to ask for the missing omelette chef to re-appear. The wifi didn't work over the weekend at all, although I had to work over the weekend! The lobby is very nice. The concierge was efficient and friendly. The location is on the fringe; definitely not the center of the action. Parking is a nightmare; self-parking is cash only. The garage is not linked to the hotel, therefore one of us waited with the bags while the other went to get the car upon the welcomed check-out. I'd avoid this place and stick with more highly rated Charleston hotels.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
west palm beach
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2009

We stayed at the Francis Marion in downtown Charleston on 4-20-4-23 we upgraded to a suite. Which since the hotel is older the rooms could be small. We had two rooms and lots of space,the beds were wonderful like being home. Bathroom small but, wasn't a problem at all. Great shower,and great service. The hotel staff was the best! Located in great area on corner of King and Calhoun. Wonderful shops along King St. and Great resturants in the area. I highly recommend this hotel .

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Francis Marion Hotel

Address: 387 King Street, Charleston, SC 29403
Phone Number:
Location: United States > South Carolina > Coastal South Carolina > Charleston
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#14 Business Hotel in Charleston
#22 Romantic Hotel in Charleston
#24 Family Hotel in Charleston
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Francis Marion Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 234
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Experience unsurpassed views of the historic harbor at the Francis Marion Hotel, the only high-rise hotel in Charleston’s historic district. All 234 guest rooms including 10 Suites and 7 Penthouse Suites are tastefully furnished for today’s sophisticated traveler, and provide modern conveniences from wireless Internet access, voicemail and data ports to on-demand movies. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Francis Marion Charleston
Hotel Francis Marion

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