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“Stunning environment but...” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Inn at Middleton Place

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Inn at Middleton Place
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   4290 Ashley River Road, Charleston, SC 29414   |  
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Special Price
10% off Sunday-Thursday
Ranked #25 of 59 Hotels in Charleston
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Lakewood, Colorado
Level Contributor
42 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Stunning environment but...”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2012

From their website, the Inn at Middleton Place looks like paradise. The reality is mixed, however.

The setting on a beautiful plantation means that the lodgings are in the woods, a secluded location with dirt paths lit by small decorative lights at night. The Ashley River flows by a few feet away. From the website, you would assume that the rooms are located in a lodge, but actually a number of rooms are located in cabins, four rooms to a cabin (two up and two down). From the poured concrete frame, I would judge that the buildings were from the 1960s. The setting is idyllic, but, as another review mentions, room numbers are difficult to locate, so plan on finding yours before nightfall.

Besides being in a lovely location, the staff was wonderful. Due to a misunderstanding, I arrived without a reservation, but the supervisor was able to find a room at a decent ($220/night) price. Unfortunately, my friend and I were in different buildings. In addition, Mark, who was in charge of the cocktail hour, didn't just serve drinks. He gave us a list of places to see in Charleston, and one rainy night when I opted not to venture out in a thunderstorm, he brought appetizers to my room. And Leslie Manigault, our 81-year-old tour guide at the plantation, gave a lively and informative tour, which he ended by singing some gospel songs.

So, what's not to love? Well, the maid service was spotty. The tap water smelled of sulfur, which was not a problem since a large bottle of water was provided most--but not all--days. And the dead bug in the corner of the bathroom remained for my three-day stay, right beside the black stained grout near the tub/shower.

That's a minor annoyance compared to some other problems. The poured concrete walls gave a cold, unwelcoming feel to the room and also meant that outlets were in short supply. I had to plug my computer into the bathroom outlet for recharging. The lighting was dim, and there was no comfortable chair for reading or watching TV (but the TV was vintage 1960 and had only a few hazy channels). There are fireplaces in the rooms, which means a smell of wood smoke in these non-smoking rooms. While the cocktail hour had marvelous hors d'oeuvres, the walk back to my cabin alone, through the woods in the dark was spooky.

Food was mixed also. The breakfast had minimal choices. There were cold cereals, toast, danish and breads, yogurt, and apples and bananas. I know they could do better because one lunch at the restaurant was memorable: pulled pork with mustard barbeque sauce, along with macaroni and cheese, was delicious.

Make your reservation for one night, go to the cocktail hour, tour the plantation the next day, and have lunch in the restaurant. For the price, the Inn at Middleton Place isn't worth more than one night.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (216)
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English first
St. Marys, Georgia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2012

I had booked a room at the Middleton Inn for my husband’s birthday, we had reservations at the Comfort Suites but a co-worker of my husband had said that we really needed to stay at the Middleton Inn. It was really beautiful, the rooms were wonderful and it was peaceful and quite. So, I changed reservations and made reservations with the Middleton Inn instead. I made the reservation back in September and according to the site since I was making them so early I got the “early bird rate” of $159.20 a night. It said we would get a wooded/courtyard view king room. The photo's were lovely.
We arrived on November 9, 2012, we pulled off the main road and into a beautiful dirt road that passed the stables on the right and within a few minutes had arrived at the reservation desk. We went inside and was greeted by two desk attendants and we checked in. The lady gave me the keys to the room, we were in room 311 and a map. She briefly went over where we were on the map, circled the Lake House Conference center, the Lodge, and of course the building that we were in. She gave us information on the Middleton Plantation and explained that they had a “healthy” breakfast. She then told us about the lodge serving wine, beer and cheese between 5:00 PM and 7:00 PM and that a restaurant was on the plantation but reservations were needed to eat there.
My husband and I got back in our car and proceeded to our building that our lovely room was in. We parked and got out to look for the room, our first impression of the building was not good. The dark black boards and the brown walls made the place resemble a structure from a scary movie, but we were here and we knew the room we had reserved would be great. After all, the photo’s on the web were spectacular. We started at the end of the building, around room 324 I believe and started the search for our room, we had only been told it was in this building. We went all the way to the end which was room 313. Oh, my! Where is room 311? We were after all at the end of the building and from there the numbers went up. My husband walked down a flight of stairs at the end of room 313 and it appeared that the only thing there was a wooded path for a nature walk, he told me he would go back to the reservation desk and ask where the room was, because we had searched for about fifteen minutes looking for 311. Just as he began to walk off I decided I would take a look below as well. When I got the nature path entrance I turned and looked at the building and on the bottom was a black door, on a solid black wall tucked under room 313. I indeed had found the basement to the building and there was our glorious room 311. I called to my husband and told him that I had found the room and laughing I told him it was in the basement.
We pulled our car to the tiny parking lot that was next to the nature path and unlocked the room and proceeded to go inside. Right upon entering I noticed that this room was not like what I had seen on the web pages that I had been shown when I made the reservation. This room was very similar but it was a lot smaller. As soon as we walked in the king size bed was on the left it was next to the shuttered windows that spanned the entire length of the room, which looked out at the woods. At the end of the room sat the fireplace and in the right corner on a very small shelf was an old black TV, from the appearance of it that TV was manufactured in the 80’s. At the end of the bed on the left next to the windows was a couple of the chairs that is shown on the website but they sat very close to the edge of the bed. On the right was a small table and chair, and past that was the tiled bathroom, the small fridge and of course the closet and a couple of drawers.
I looked around and I thought, you have got to be kidding me. This is what I paid for? This is not what was shown on the web site at all. The bedspread had some sort of stain on it, from the looks of it someone had just a little too much fun on the bed and the stain did not come out! The braided rug that was in the floor was dirty and stained as well. The walls next to the door had some sort of brown smear on it and the paint job was well, shall we say, looked like a four year old had did it. You could tell where they had painted the wall all the way to the ceiling and the roller hit the ceiling and they didn’t bother to fix the mess. The bathroom walls were not any better, the walls were concrete and of course concrete is gray. They had attempted to paint the walls, but one coat will not cover concrete and the gray showed through and once again the paint looked like a child had did it. The tub and shower was unique to say the least, the black grout which really looked like mold really made me want to sit in it and take a long hot bath. NOT! There was also dirt on the wall next to the tub.
We left the room and went back to the registration desk and to talk to the ladies that had checked us in. We told them we were not happy with the room, that it was dirty and stained and it felt as if we were in a basement. Actually my first comment was that they had put us in the basement, and Katherine (the front desk supervisor) said “it’s not a basement, it’s a wooded view room”. I told her no, it’s a basement. My husband asked if they could move us to another room. She said that we had a couple of choices, 1: we could move to a room that had twin beds in it, or 2: she could put us in a Grand Room for a cost of $260.00 a night. Well, number one, when I made the reservation I thought I was getting a grand room or one similar to what was shown on the web and since I booked so far in advance and got the “good rate” why should I pay an extra $100.00 for something I thought I was getting to start with? We decided not to “upgrade”. We went to dinner, out in town, which is only like five miles away so it’s not that secluded and when we came back we noticed that someone had been in our room. You might ask “How do you know that?” Well, we knew that because a bottle of sparkling wine was on the table next to the door and a note that said “welcome to the inn, we hope you enjoy your stay, Thanks, Katherine”. Like a bottle of sparkling wine is going to make the stains and brown smear go away! It might if I drank the whole bottle myself!
That night we went to bed and as soon as I laid down I could feel cold air, it was 43 degrees out side and I told my husband that I could feel cold air coming from somewhere. He got up and walked over to the door which is right beside the bed because the room is very small and put his hand up at the door frame. There is cold air coming in from around the door, all around the door. He opened it up and there is not one single piece of weather stripping around the door. Not one. Then as we were first checking the room out next to the closet is this door that has a lock on it, no knob just a lock. It’s made out of wood and there was about a half inch to an inch in some places a space around the whole door. When we first went into the room and was checking it out I told my husband I didn’t like that door being there and wondered where it went. We turned out the lights as we went to bed there was light coming around that door, all the way around the door. I woke up at 11:00 PM and the light was turned off, did I mention I didn’t like that door? The next morning we get up and take our showers in this cold tile bathroom because there is only one heater vent in the bath and it’s up above the sink. We go to the conference room for this “healthy start” breakfast we had been told about. We walk in and it’s not a healthy start breakfast, it’s anything but. It has bagels, muffins, cereal, milk, juice, some fruit. It’s a standard breakfast you would get staying at the Holiday Inn. We decide not to eat there, so we go back to our room and walk around the outside of our room to see what is on the other side, you know, where that door leads to. We find another room just like ours. It’s room 312 and it’s in worse shape than ours. The door leading to the room was all rotted out, they had curtains in that room instead of the shutters and from what I could see inside it, it would appear they were using it as a storage room, a basement! Imagine that, they did put us in the basement.
We stop by the reservation desk on our way out to breakfast to ask if we were in the right place for the “healthy start” breakfast and the gal told us yes, and that we could order off the menu. What menu? They was not wait staff in there that we saw. So we went to town, 5 miles down the road to Perkins and had a healthy breakfast!
We came back to the room around 4:00 PM and decided to watch a bit of TV, they had mentioned that the stations were limited due to the seclusion of the place. The only reason that it’s limited TV is because they only subscribe to basic cable, and that would be it. So I figured with nothing on TV due to the seclusion I would power up my laptop and stream some of my movies via Netflix. They did have Internet there, once we unplugged the router they had in the room that was broken and was able to connect to the actual Middleton Inn Internet, so I opened up the Internet but the bandwidth is so slow that even Netflix would not stream. Strike TWO!
The next morning we get up and decide to check out early, were not happy with the room, the Internet is slow, no TV to watch at night so we go to check out. The young lady that checked us in was there and when we told her we were checking out she asked us why. We told her it was because we didn’t like the room, so she said she would give us a free night since the room was not satisfactory. She did her magic, or so I thought and handed me the bill. We had reserved three nights, we stayed two and she said she would give us a free night. What the bill showed was the two nights we stayed and the bill was for $240.00 a night which included the taxes. I told her, that was incorrect, that my confirmation stated that the room was $159.20 a night, not $240.00 a night. She tried to fix it and still got it wrong, she was also giving us the last night free but as I informed her we wouldn't pay for that night anyway since we were checking out a day early. DUH! Then said she could not figure out how to fix it that she had only been there for a month. So we told her to make a copy of the confirmation that I had and when the manager, Katherine, got there to have her fix it and give me a call.
Around 10:30 AM, Katherine called my cell and said that we would be getting a credit for $111.00 and it would show up in three or four days. I asked her if that was for the two nights we stayed and the rate of $159.20 a night. She told me yes that was correct, so we didn’t get the free night for our trouble after all! I just want to warn everyone on Tripadvisor, that what you see on the website at the Middleton Inn is only half correct. From what I understand they do have nice rooms there but we did not get one of them and when we asked for another room we were expected to pay and extra $100.00 per night when you can book it online for a Grand Room at $179.00 a night. My husband and I will NEVER stay at this place again. We plan many trips to Charleston and have many people ask us about the places we stay, this will be one place that I tell everyone to stay far away from.

  • 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
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Carolina
Level Contributor
11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2012

Middleton Place Plantation is truly spectacular. The grounds are magnificent, the restaurant was excellent and the house tour was memorable. The front desk staff and the rooms left a bit to be desired. Firstly, the front desk gal told me that we did not need reservations for kayaking or the house tour. This was, apparently, not true. We managed to get these activities done but could not do them in the time slots originally requested. Secondly, after reading the online reviews, I specifically contacted the front desk to ensure that our room was on the second floor. I was assured of such. Naturally, it was on the first floor. We didn't make a fuss. The room (King Grand) was quite large with a sitting area and fireplace. You are not provided any wood for the fireplace unless it's Dec, Jan or Feb...we went in October and it was chilly...really would have liked a fire. The decor is essentially non-existent with bare cement walls...very uninviting. The furniture and bathroom quite outdated. There were hairs on the sheets and pillows. Despite the room limitations we thoroughly enjoyed the plantation. I would recommend the plantation to everyone, but perhaps not the inn.

Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Innkeeper/MI, General Manager at Inn at Middleton Place, responded to this review, November 16, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to review your stay, and I’m glad you were able to take part in the included Middleton Place admission. To help clarify some of your concerns, the room you booked, a Riverview Grand King is only located on the first floor, we do not offer these specific types upstairs. The fireplaces are opened and closed seasonally and were open in October of this year, however the specific date varies. We do choose to keep a minimalistic style and décor in the rooms, as not to take away from the natural beauty of your surroundings. It is a shame you found it bare but we recognize the location isn’t for everyone. Thank you again for sharing your thoughts and I wish the best to you and yours! Yours truly, Abigail M. Martin, General Manager
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Raleigh, North Carolina
Level Contributor
47 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2012

Staying at the Inn at Middleton Place was a unique experience. The rooms were meant for romantic getaways. The inn itself was unique that the design and architecture isn't your typical hotel/motel/inn.

My husband and I enjoyed how the inn was set among trees; it seemed like we were with nature. Our room had a rustic feeling to it -- wooden floors, and an old fashion kind of tub. The overall experience was excellent.

The location was far enough from Charleston to escape life from the city; but, near enough to be able to drive in as little as 15-20 minutes. The inn is situated between Summerville and Charleston.

The only negative comment I can say is that the tap water had a funny smell to it -- I would not drink it. I think it could be because the place is near a swampy area. However, we got complimentary bottled water, so, this was not an issue at all.

With our stay at the inn, we had complimentary access to the Middleton Place.

If I were to go back to Charleston, I would not hesitate to stay at the Inn again. I would definitely recommend this place.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cincinnati
Level Contributor
49 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2012

This was our first trip to Charleston, and we gambled on not staying downtown, but instead chose the Inn at Middleton. I could not have been happier with our choice. I LOVED THIS PLACE! We are generally campers, so the set up of an inn, in a natural, historic setting was just for us. The grounds were awesome! So much to do and see without leaving the place. We saw amazing wildlife, fabulous views and interesting sights. Our room, for us, was perfect! I took many pictures so I remember every detail. Some of the issues from others-- lack of electrical plugs, small TV's, distance from the peninsula-- just didn't bother us. The bonus for us was that by booking early, this room was so reasonably priced that we felt almost undeserving of such a great experience. The staff was great. Breakfast was just right for us. We felt pampered and well-cared for in a special setting. If your idea of a hotel is a Sleep Number bed, lots of staff interaction and lots and lots of luxury, this is likely not your place. If you like more of a lodge, with a more natural experience, definitely consider the Inn at Middleton. If I travel again to Charleston, I'd absolutely stay here again.

Room Tip: Wood view or river view-- either one is nice!
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  • Stayed November 2012, 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
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Innkeeper/MI, General Manager at Inn at Middleton Place, responded to this review, November 16, 2012
Thank you guest for your review! You certainly help show potential guests the awesomeness of The Inn at Middleton Place! Please visit us again when you are able! Yours truly, Abigail M. Martin, General Manager
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Columbia, South Carolina
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2012

My husband and I spent four nights at Middleton Inn and loved the place. The rooms are very peaceful and encourage relaxation and checking out of our hectic lives. We did not use our electronics and used the tv for election night only. The tv is small which we enjoyed because we wanted to enjoy the surroundings. There is a wood burning fireplace in the room so we spent the evenings mastering the art of fire building. They provide you with fire starter, newspaper, matches, and instructions on how to build a fire. Outside there are huge piles of wood that are covered so the wood stays dry. Monday night there was a buffet dinner and a movie which we went to and was our favorite meal all week. They even had popcorn and cookies in buckets for everyone! The staff was wonderful and everything was done very nicely. We spent a day exploring the grounds, going on tours at the plantation and having dinner at the restaurant. I really enjoyed the layout of the room and the bathroom. The tile tub/shower was very unique and I liked the contract of white tile with black grout. Not something you see everyday. We can't wait to come back!

Room Tip: We booked 45 days in advance for a discount. Lake view rooms were filled with sunlight!
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  • Stayed November 2012, 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
50 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2012

The Inn at Middleton Place is a wonderful find! My husband booked this for a long weekend getaway and we were pleasantly surprised with the quality of the rooms, the beautiful grounds, and the delicious dinners at the plantation restaurant. Your stay includes access to the Middleton Place gardens and grounds, the house museum tour, beverages and nibletts in the lodge each evening, and continental breakfast (cooked breakfast is also available for an extra charge). There is a pool (not heated) and there are kayaks and bikes for rent. You can also enjoy trail rides at the stables

The rooms are modern yet simple, each has a fireplace and a generous bathroom. You can see the picturesque Ashley River even from the rooms without advertised 'water views.' Each room also has a small fridge and large picture windows.

The Inn is a few miles from Magnolia Gardens and is a convenient drive to Charleston. If you are looking for something off the beaten trail, you won't be disappointed at Middleton Place.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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 Inn at Middleton Place

Address: 4290 Ashley River Road, Charleston, SC 29414
Phone Number:
Location: United States > South Carolina > Coastal South Carolina > Charleston
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Green Hotel in Charleston
#21 Romantic Hotel in Charleston
#29 Family Hotel in Charleston
#34 Business Hotel in Charleston
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Inn at Middleton Place 3*
Number of rooms: 55
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Lodge, The Inn at Middleton Place, Charleston SC ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Inn At Middleton Place Hotel Charleston

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