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“Unique property” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Palmer Home Bed and Breakfast

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Palmer Home Bed and Breakfast
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5 East Battery, Charleston, SC 29401 (Charlestowne)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #20 of 43 Charleston B&B and Inns
usa
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
“Unique property”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2013

Staying in a bed and breakfast, you have to be prepared for things to be different, sometimes very different, from staying in a chain hotel. Different can mean good and it can mean not so good. Here are some of the good aspects of the Palmer Home. The breakfast room looks straight out on to Charleston Harbor and right dead center is Fort Sumpter, where the Civil War began. Residents of this house watched the initial bombardment from the home's piazza. How many other hotels can give you that experience? Many of the furnishings in the house are original and 150-200 years old. So some of them are what you might think of as `a bit shabby'. Sure, but you won't find things like that in a Marriott. King Street and Broad Street are five minutes walk away, with some of the country's best restaurants only a little farther walk. There's a very pleasant park just around the corner on the Battery. If you want to hang around the house all day, it's big enough that nobody will bother you, even if you are in the large public rooms. There's a swimming pool (which wasn't open because it was February and near freezing but presumably is open in warmer weather). Not so good was our room, which was a kind of add-on to the carriage house and too small for all the furniture in it. There was a mix-up about our reservation (my wife didn't read the advice to call them if you arrive after 4 p.m.) and so we ended up with that room rather than the one we had reserved. I'd avoid booking that room (the heater is very noisy) and go for something in the main house. Some people have complained about the breakfast. Seemed like a fine traditional Southern breakfast to us -- grits, bacon, scrambled eggs, biscuits (some a bit burned on the bottom but that sometimes happens when you bake them in house) juice, coffee, etc. The afternoon wine was o.k., Lindemans and perfectly drinkable. If you want a $50 wine, you're welcome to bring it. The service is a bit hit and miss, not always easy to find someone on the desk, but the kitchen staff were nice enough to dig out something to settle my wife's upset stomach (got from a food truck, not the B&B). If you want to experience a glimpse of authentic Charleston, this is as good a place as any.

Room Tip: Book a room in the main house
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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275 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (56)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Lexington, South Carolina
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2013

My husband and I have visited Charleston often and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay. The house was in walking distance of downtown Charleston which we enjoyed greatly. Francis Palmer was a gracious hostess who made sure that our stay was enjoyable. Yes, the house is old but it is 160 years old. The bed was comfortable and warm. We look forward to visiting again.

Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chattanooga
Top Contributor
84 reviews 84 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2013

This B&B lacks the charm one would expect of such an incredible property on Battery. The house is huge, pink, & still owned and occupied by the family. Our disappointment is a result of the mediocre breakfast, cramped room and seemingly haphazard management. The room accommodation was a newer addition and located on the far end of what is called the carriage house. The king size bed is too large for the room, there is no closet, & nowhere to put your luggage. When the owner asked if we had everything we needed, I suggested a luggage rack and she said, "Oh, there isn't one?" Attention to detail seems to be an issue. The place needs better housekeeping as there were watermarks on the glass top of the nightstand when we arrived and were still there when we left 2 days later & the tile floor needs more than a broom. The bathroom is tiny, has a 1930 size commode seat, & there's mildew on the grout in the shower stall. The heat unit is a wall one and is loud so you have to keep adjusting the tv volume. The breakfast consisted of scrambled eggs, bacon, grits, toast or biscuits, & fruit. That's ok for one day, but it is served everyday. In 20 yrs of staying at B&Bs, this is the 1st time we opted to eat breakfast elsewhere.
Wine & cheese are offered at 5 p.m. The bed was comfortable but lacked a blanket. The view of the water is spectacular. Although things weren't awful, we expected higher standards from a bed and breakfast than a hotel chain. No, we would not stay there again or recommend it to others.

Room Tip: We didn't see any of the other accommodations.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Asheville, North Carolina
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2013

Frances Palmer of The Palmer Home is the quintessential hostess for this lovely family home overlooking the harbor. My husband and I stayed in the suite on the third floor, which was huge! I wasn't expecting a refrigerator; it made it so easy to drop by Harris Teeter and get drinks to stay chilled during our stay. The bed linens were of the highest quality, and we got the best sleep we'd had in months there. On the second night of our stay, an impromptu concert by a string quartet made it seem as if we'd entered a time machine and landed in 1913. Such beautiful music! The daily hot breakfast and happy hour were bonuses! Ready to return right now!

Room Tip: Ask for the suite on the third floor in the back of the house. It's quiet, darker (but not too...
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  • Stayed January 2013, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cornelius, North Carolina
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2012

The Palmer House is a lovely home~ perfect location for walking, dining, and shopping. Its location/view are exceptional! Our stay was for my birthday weekend and while we are extremely seasoned travellers in all levels of accommodations, we enjoyed this stay immensely in spite of the need for some improvements.The Carriage house is old, but "helloooo!!" It was built in the 1800's! While I would have preferred it to have more in the way of antique-style furnishings (currently it looks like furniture from the 1970's except for a crocheted canopy on one of the beds) as well as a bathroom that I could move around in without bumping into the comode or sink, it was still really fun!! The mere historical aspect is just mind blowing and makes the stay worth all else. We did not use the kitchen in the carriage house (or anything but the bedrooms and bathroom, really) so the space wasn't needed, but it was nice to have the privacy.

The staff (Meredith) was extremely accommodating and assisted us greatly with dinner reservations, etc. While the main house is in need of some TLC, it is absolutely lovely and I could've sat for hours on the piazza sipping wine and imagining "Old Charleston".

This being said, yes, the afternoon wine/cheese offering could stand to go up a few notches~ a lot higher for both, actually. And the presentation itself could be improved simply by nicer crystal and perhaps a small plate to place some cheese and (maybe) some grapes/fruit on. As it is, it's quite mundane, although at least they offer wine! Most don't...a cup of tea elsewhere! And in addition you can sit for hours sipping and the wine is readily there for your enjoyment~ The breakfast was adequate; nice for those of us who don't care to sit down and consume a huge meal, yet enough to be ok... and I rather enjoyed the fact that the owner wasn't following us around regaling us with "stories" or encouraging us to interact with other houseguests! (annoying unless asked for!)

This home would benefit GREATLY from a professional visit from a home-stager (the rooms are large and poorly placed furniture lends to a visual that is unkempt) and a few VERY small tips from a caterer for some simple and inexpensive ideas on serving tricks of the trade...I would be more than happy to convey some advice!!

The term "shabby chic" was coined for a house like this~ if you look at the 'grander' mansions that are now b & b's you will be paying much more per night for this location!! So here is my advice~ If you got this with the GROUPON rate; RELAX. Enjoy. Life is GOOD!! Take in the whole of the City, use your imagination, and have some fun.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Elkin, North Carolina
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2012

We have stayed in every room at the inn. We try to go at least twice yearly, we love all the food and charms of Charleston. In the past year we stayed four times because my nephew was getting married and the reception was held at the inn and was a wonderful location. When we stay it is like going on vacation to visit friends, always warm greetings from all the staff. They fuss over us making sure everything is o.k. and always ready to help with anything we could possibly need. Now to the owner Francess, she is like our best Charleston friend. She visits with us a lot during our stay. When we come back from a evening out we will sit on the porch enjoying the views and she comes out and visits with us for hours. This is a historic home that has survived a lot of history.
It is a lot different from staying at chain hotels or brand new inns. This wonderful home is true history. Every effort has been made to make this a comfortable inn with modern amenities and not disturb the true character of this wonderful gem.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2012

I can't believe that the Palmer House is recommended by TripAdvisor. The recommendation should be: Stay Away!
The view is great and that is all the good that I can say.
My wife and I stayed here from 11/5/2012; checking out on11/9/2012. We used two Groupons to book four nights. The only availability they had was for the Carriage House---but, for this, I had to pay a $50.00/night extra fee, presumably because there are two bedrooms.
The place is not clean and very poorly maintained. The window pane putty job has to be seen to be believed! It's a lesson on how not putty a window.
The view was great; the rest was not.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Palmer Home Bed and Breakfast

Address: 5 East Battery, Charleston, SC 29401
Location: United States > South Carolina > Coastal South Carolina > Charleston > Charlestowne
Amenities:
Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #20 of 43 B&Bs / Inns in Charleston
Number of rooms: 5
Also Known As:
Palmer Home Hotel Charleston
Palmer Home b&b

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