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.
- 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