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“Feeling at home in Charleston” 5 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
New York City, New York
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Feeling at home in Charleston”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2011

I get to Charleston regularly on business and have made the Francis Marion my hotel of choice. Initially I did so because of the convenient parking they have (I usually have a car which is not an asset in Charleston) but now I stay there even when I don't have a car. Its location is perfect, the views I've had from the various rooms in which I've stayed have been glorious (Charleston is called the "Holy city" and when you see all the spires and steeples from your hotel room the point is made clear), and the amenities and staff are tops. This last trip I found myself changing for a formal reception only to discover I left home with no cuff links and a shirt needing them. The concierge directed me to a men's store near the hotel that was still open (and even had a 50% sale going on)--crisis solved. With the College of Charleston only two blocks away, Marion Square just across the street, and lower and upper King right there, if you decide to leave the comfort of your room (it is tempting not to)--everything is at your feet. The Francis Marion is a historic hotel with a successful mix of charm and modern conveniences. The rooms very in size--I've been in both small and in a large suite--and enjoyed them both. The Francis Marion feels like home but is much better because they are doing all the wok for you.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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1,494 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (381)
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English first
Ontario, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2011

Although a large hotel, all the comforts and treatment of a small boutique hotel! Staff were wonderful right from our arrival to our departure and the highlight of our visit were our two meals in The Swamp Fox Dining Room. Food was excellent and of good value for the prices. Of greater significance was the attitude and receptiveness of the dining room staff, from the wait staff right up to the manager who moved from table to table making certain that guests were totally satisfied.
Room was of average size but well appointed and modernized in its facilities.
Hotel is well located downtown close to all attractions and is to be highly recommended.
Dennis Roy, Ontario Canada

Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Virginia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2011

We were assigned the Francis Marion Hotel on Priceline. When we arrived outside in our car, the Bell staff was slow to react. I had to call them over to get our bags. It seems that at that point, they all came alive. Service was good and the guys were very friendly and helpful afterwards.

Our room was small and overfurnished. There was no room to maneuver. The furnishings were dated and the room needs an update. The bed was not comfortably made. The bedding was a scramble mess of sheets, blankets and coverlets that was annoying to the point of keeping us awake.
The bathroom was small and clean with plenty of towels.

The Foxswamp restaurant food was very good. Only criticism is that the Chef that night used too much salt in the food. Our server at breakfast the next morning seemed not committed to her job and very distant.. We had to continually call her for everything we needed....even for more coffee.

I would give the Hotel another chance and would stay there again on my next trip.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2011

The Francis Marion is a classic old hotel. The lobby is grand... it feels like you are entering another time. An added advantage of staying here is the ease of parking your car ($12/day) at the garage a few doors down the street. In and out, is very easy. My husband (a senior) and I (middle-aged) like to walk so we had no problem with the distances to the historic area or restaurants. The views from the hotel are a bit overstated. Our 'water view' was a minimal strip of the Cooper River barely seen above the rooftops but sunrise was beautiful.
We had TWO full bathrooms and two good size closets. It wasn't necessary but added some luxury to the room. I was a little disappointed in room service after our second night. The towels were rehung and the bed was made but used coasters, glasses and toiletries were not replaced.
All in all it was a very good value. We stayed two nights and got a third night free.
Nearby King St. is a shoppers paradise with lots of mid range and high end shops.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Winston Salem, North Carolina
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2011

All of the staff was wonderful. The ammenities and facilities were perfect. My wife and I won't consider staying anywhere else in Charleston. Extremely great value for the price. If you eat at the Swamp Fox Restaurant while staying here, ask for Daniel to be your waiter.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Florida
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2011

Located at the intersection of King and Calhoune, the location is convienient to all the Charleston sights. King Street is a nice walk anytime of day or night. Consider the water taxi near the aquarium is you are going to see the USS Yorktown. A Starbucks is located off the loby and there is a good bagel shop down on King street for a quick breakfast. We ate twice at the hotel restaurant for breakfast and the food was OK. Service is good and rooms are a good size but the bathrooms are very small. Parking is adjacent to the hotel and they give you a good rate per day if you are staying there. Once we parked there, we walked every where or you can take the free trolley.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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, General Manager at Francis Marion Hotel, responded to this review, January 20, 2011
Thank you for choosing the Francis Marion Hotel during your recent visit to Charleston. I am pleased to hear that you enjoyed your stay and took advantage of our wonderful location on King Street. We look forward to your return visit to Charleston and the Historic Francis Marion.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlotte, North Carolina
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2011

We have stayed in modern hotels and “historical hotels” and let me say that when the people at the Francis Marion say historic they mean it. Also, in reading some of the other posts either people have very low expectations of hotels or they simply do not understand how nice a hotel can really be. Trust me when I say this building has some serious flaws for a building 2011. I personally do not see the charm of old plumbing even if it is in an old “historic” building.
When we initially pulled up to the hotel we were met by a friendly bellhop and a seemingly helpful front desk team. Beware! They always said wanted to help but they lacked the execution of actually helping. Check-in is at 4 pm, but they were able to get us in at 3 pm. That was probably a mistake. When we got to the room is was literally a 15 foot x 8 foot room. While I didn’t have a tape measure, you get the picture. It was small. My closet at home is bigger than the bathroom. We are both slender and we had some difficulty in getting around each other as we got ready for dinner.
Now I must admit that when we called and asked for a larger room there were none available since it was New Year’s Eve. The only thing that bothered us is that the other couples in the group who paid the same amount got a room twice as large, and that is not an exaggeration.
I would also say to potential travelers, stay away from the 2nd and 3rd floor rooms facing King Street. You can hear the sirens and the weekend party goers like you were in the action yourself since the windows are from the 1920s.
As a note, the hotel did move us to a larger room the following day with a king size bed, which we had initially asked for. I don’t know where they buy the queen beds but it was way smaller than any other queen I have been in. Again, they always said they wanted to be helpful but they simply didn’t follow through on things.
In general if you like living in 1940 with electricity and running water then this is the hotel for you. The good part is that the staff is generally pleasant, they always simple, and the décor is stunning. The negative parts is that some of the rooms are on the very small side, they have plumbing issues in some rooms (water actually shot up from the toilet in the middle of the night so loud it woke us up), the furniture and televisions could be better, and bring your own toilet paper is you are sensitive.
For the money there are better choices in downtown Charleston, but if you really want to have a historic hotel experience then ask for a larger room.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
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:
#13 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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