We just came back from a 3 night stay at the Wentworth Mansion over the New Years Holiday. I will be totally honest and say that we did not do the proper amount of research into Charleston that I normally do so some of my cons here I should have probably been able to figure out had I done more diligence on the hotel.
Overall, the Wentworth Mansion is definitely a very nice, grand looking historical Mansion in Charleston. I would term it a "large B&B" and not really a hotel. It didn't have the coziness of a small B&B, but also didn't have the professionalism or services of a large hotel as well. That being said, for those wanting to stay in a historical mansion in Charleston, Wentworth is likely to be your best bet.
The Room- 5 stars
We stayed in Room 7 which was on the second floor at the corner. I have to say the room was absolutely lovely. Very large and spacious and well appointed. We loved the two fireplaces (one in the bedroom and one in the bathroom - a real treat coming from NYC). We struggled with the price point - we paid $390/night, but ultimately decided that while it felt overpriced by about $100/night, the two fireplaces probably made up for the gap and we could somewhat justify it. The bathroom was very large with a double jacuzzi tub. Overall it felt clean, although the shower curtain could use a change (common stains on the interior).
The bed was supremely comfortable, although I found the blankets to be a tad strange - not the down type of duvet I am used to, but more of a quilt type blanket (not super soft).
We appreciated the in room mini fridge with complimentary water and soda, but agree with prior reviewers that it did not cool as efficiently as it could have. Turn down was nice with truffle chocolates, but I do think that it would have been nice if they took away old towels (did minor room sprucing) at turn down as well.
Breakfast/wine snacks - 3 stars
Breakfast was a full menu each morning in the restaurant until 10:30am. I would say it was good, not outstanding and did not entice us to eat dinner in the restaurant. It is actually worth going out to town to try different brunches at restaurants around the city give Charleston's great food culture - Husk, SNOB, Magnolias, etc. for brunch would be good options.
The wine hour was from 5-6pm with one choice of white and one red. The appetizers were again mediocre - I would not rush back from your day out to make this hourly event unless you happen to be at the hotel at the time. They are also very prompt at taking away the wine at 6pm which just feels a bit nickel and diming again...
Location - 3 stars
I want to just make a note of the location - and this is something I should have researched in advance. The Wentworth is not located in the center of action - it is SEVERAL blocks from King Street on a very uneven sidewalk route. While the walk is fine on a pleasant day, on a cold night it becomes more difficult to do and keep in mind that given it is a residential walk, it tends to be very quiet and dark at night. We were somewhat perturbed by the front desk repeatedly telling us we should just walk everywhere, when it was 30-40 degrees out in the evening and dead quiet in the neighborhood. To us, it just didn't feel particularly safe, when some destinations were upwards of a mile away. Finally we asked them if they would be comfortable telling their parents to walk late at night and they said No...
General Services/Amenities - 2 stars
This is where I think the hotel lacks in relation to its price point.
Maid service/staff cleaning
One thing to note is that while our wine glasses/food were removed by the maids upon room cleaning during the day, we came back to the room around 5pm and they were still placed right outside our door and were not removed until another woman came for turn down service (7pm). I would say it was unappealing to come back after a long day to see last night's wine glasses and dishes sitting outside your door.
Given the room price, I felt that they were really nickel and diming by charging for the daily newspaper. It is only 75 cents, but please - this should really be included at a hotel of this stature and price point.
No coffee/tea service
One thing I would definitely suggest to mgmt is having a 24 hour coffee/tea service like Planters Inn. It felt like we were really putting the staff out when we asked for tea at an off hour. When the hotel is $400/night, you really expect small things like that.
Concierge - 2 stars
This is probably where we were the most disappointed. We felt that while the staff was certainly pleasant and friendly, they were really not very helpful and most importantly seemed somewhat uninformed. We called a week in advance to ask for advice on New Years eve dining options - or even any of the 3 night dinign options and were not given any helpful advice except to go to O-Ku (an Asian restaurant) - specifically after we mentioned we wanted to have traditional southern cuisine. I am unsure if this recommendation was given because we were Asian?
We ended up arranging all the restaurants on our own, but were disappointed that the concierge was unable to help us at all with any reasonable suggestions. It also felt like they were a bit out of touch with some of the new restaurants around town. To sum it up, one thing we have typically expected from hotels of this nature is that the concierge should have some sway/pull with the best restaurants in town. The fact that they were not only unable to help us at all (did not even offer their own restaurant!), but then on new years eve we even received a note in our room making sure we knew their restaurant was fully committed so thus they could not do room service). I understand it's new years eve, but the note felt a bit harsh.
We were also told repeatedly that we would not need a car. This is something that confused me - given we were staying for 3 nights, it was likely we would spend at least one of the days doing something other than walking around downtown (you really only need one afternoon for that).
In which case, you DEFINITELY need a car. Renting a car is about $40/day and keep in mind that the taxi ride from the airport alone was $40 each way. If you want to go to any of the plantations you will need a car. Each taxi ride downtown cost $7 bucks + tip = $10. We ended up renting a car from Avis for one of the days we wanted to go to the plantations - and had to take a $10 cab just to get to the Avis. Which I will forewarn is a pretty unpleasant experience - we waited almost an hour at the Avis, which is not in the best area of town to get a car. It was just unfortunate, because we relied on the concierge for advice and felt like it was not sound advice.
Finally - taxi/car services. We also did all of this on our own as the concierge was always too busy "helping" other guests. This is fine as we are certainly capable of booking our own taxis, but then on New Years Eve it was kind of funny that we booked a car, which the concierge ended up then double booking for another guest at the Inn... Fully knowing she had just double booked the car we originally booked, she called us to ask us if we then had our transportation sorted. It was all just very strange and uncomfortable.
Spa - 5 stars
This is really where the Wentworth shined. The spa is in the old barn, and is simply stunning. It feels very romantic and like a trip back to the past. I did the 90 minute massage on NYE and it was divine. On this end I would give the spa alone 5 stars.
Overall, I am still giving the Wentworth 4 stars because I did think the room was really very nice and spacious, and the two fireplaces won me over. My main issues were really about the level of service we received and feeling that it was really not up to par with luxury hotels (of which I believe Wentworth esteems to be).
We did not stay at the Mansion Rooms on the first floor, but given they are right by the front desk...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
January 4, 2013
Thank you for the wonderful comments about your stay. We are very pleased that you enjoyed your room with two fireplaces. I have reviewed your detailed comments with the entire staff and management. We apologize for the couple of minor lapses in service that we usually deliver as witnessed by our many perfect TripAdvisor reviews. As a 21-room hotel, we offer very personalized service, but not all of the services of a 400-room, big city hotel that you may be more accustomed to. We have reread your multiple emails to our staff, requesting restaurant reservations, spa appointments and tours, to which we responded with many suggestions. There were only three restaurants with reservations available for New Years Eve, since your request was made only a week in advance. Our staff did their best in offering you options and providing the many services you requested of them during your stay. As for our location, typically our guests walk to most restaurants and attractions, as Charleston is a very safe, walkable city. As an option, we recommend pedicabs or regular cabs. Our answer to your emails told you specifically that if you wanted to go to the plantations, you needed to rent a car, otherwise a car is not typically needed. Thank you for the four-star rating. We will continue to strive for five stars from all of our guests.
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Sincerely, Richard Widman, Proprietor
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.