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“High expectations, no disappointments....” 5 of 5 stars
Review of 15 Church Street Bed & Breakfast - Phillips-Yates-Snowden House

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15 Church Street Bed & Breakfast - Phillips-Yates-Snowden House
15 Church St, Charleston, SC 29401 (Charlestowne)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 44 Charleston B&B and Inns
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Top Contributor
130 reviews 130 reviews
42 hotel reviews
Reviews in 63 cities Reviews in 63 cities
76 helpful votes 76 helpful votes
“High expectations, no disappointments....”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2013

(I could not be an innkeeper! Bless their hearts! I would not accept credit cards either.) This B&B is an active graceful family home which was one of six B&Bs my wife & I reserved for 2 nights on a 14 day/ 2,745 mile/ 10 state road trip. We look for a clean, secure, comfortable room, friendly folks, and good food. A well-lit bathroom and hot water help me shave bloodlessly and comfortably. Lumbar surgery makes me avoid stairs with heavy bags. For this reason, I purposely chose The Cypress Room on the street level four months in advance. I had several chats with Jack, Annelise and Martha before we arrived on Mar. 26. I regret that Annelise was absent, but Jack, Martha and Leann were perfect hosts. Martha helped me shoehorn and park our huge SUV in the gated drive-without laughing-and helped carry what we needed to our room. SHE EXPLAINED THAT WE COULD HAVE FRESH LINENS/TOWELS AND ROOM SERVICE DAILY OR PRIVACY. We chose privacy. The Cypress room has a gas fireplace and we used it. We carry our wine and scotch with us, but the afternoon snacks were accompanied by the house wine for my wife and everyone.... it was my pleasure to share my single malt with Jack. There were some nice folks staying while we were there.... good conversations both in the afternoons and at breakfast. The food was delicious. The table was set with cloth napkins in silver napkin rings (like my grandmothers used to do) and we used the same napkin unless it was dirty and returned for washing. Jack suggested two upscale restaurants and a specific table to request. (Thanks, Jack for arranging a private city tour and the pedicab - that is the way to go to supper.) Y'all are the kind of folks we'd like to spend time with again. Oh.... and when Drifter, the 25 lb cat, jumps up in your lap, Leann has a lint roller that works!!! Our stay at 15 Church Street was a highlight and a pleasure. We have polished our napkins rings and are now using them on our table at home!

  • Stayed March 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
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221 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (46)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Fresno, CA
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2013

First, let me say that Jack and Annelise are delightful people. Martha and Leann are part of their staff and they, too, were so friendly and helpful. The first floor and porch are just lovely and filled with history. We stayed in the Blue Room on the 3rd floor and carrying 2 small bags up the stairs (there is no lift which the website mentions) was a challenge. The breakfasts were very nice, and the conversation around the table was always interesting and friendly. What bothered us was the use of the same napkin at breakfast for 3 days -- the French way of doing things, I guess. Also, there was no room service at all, but there were plenty of towels, and we could have requested service if needed. No sheet change until the 4th day, which was ok with us, too. The home is in a great location -- near the Battery and within walking distance of all the restaurants and sights, but the Blue Room is a bit blah. What we found strange was their son's large birth announcement still pinned to the wall (he was born in 1987). I am sure it means a lot to Jack & Annelise, but it was a bit unusual for us. The bathroom towel bar had peeling paint,as did the woodwork around the shower. The bed was 2 twin beds pushed together -- perhaps the beds of their son when he lived there. Additionally, there were no locks on the doors from the outside hall. While we enjoyed all our fellow guests, we were uncomfortable with leaving our room open. We never left any valuables in the room. We realize this is a private home, but we expected a more hotel-like room. Maybe not a real expectation.

All the great reviews we have read talk about staying in the Cypress Room. Maybe we should have stayed in that room. That would not have changed our opinion about the breakfast napkins or lack of security in the room, however.

The owners have a black lab and a tabby cat. I think most people like animals as do we, but I am not sure about having their dog bones and cat food dishes all around. The animals are mentioned on the website, so be prepared to have them be part of the stay.

The 6pm social hour was nice, but kind of thrown together with cheeses, nuts and crackers and drinks. Jack was trying to "do it all" in addition to working full days, so I think having either Leann or Martha there to help would have made the social hour seem more organized. He appeared a bit harried.

We have traveled a great deal and stayed in many B & B's. Our experience here was good, but not exceptional. Charleston, on the other hand, was exceptional!

Room Tip: Don't stay in the rooms on the 3rd floor if you can't navigate stairs carrying your own bags...
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  • Stayed March 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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JackandAnnelise, Owner at 15 Church Street Bed & Breakfast - Phillips-Yates-Snowden House, responded to this review, April 7, 2013
While we are always dismayed to receive a less than stellar review, we realize it is impossible to please 100% of the public 100% of the time. With regard to what information these guests admit to having received via the web, our correspondence, and personal as well as written instructions in the room, their comments are perplexing, and enigmatic. We will try to address their concerns point by point.

As they admit, we state very clearly that this is an old house (1842) with no elevator. Packing in two small bags as suggested, it is our understanding that Leanne greeted them and helped carry their bags upstairs. We always inform our guests verbally as well as on the information sheet in each room that we do not come into their room unless requested (which the majority of our guests prefer) but will service the room at anytime if so desired, thus providing room service tailored to guests’ individual differences. We will, therefore, gladly change sheets at any time and routinely do so halfway through a four night stay, but these guests only stayed three nights and made no such request. We also encourage our patrons to consider hanging towels to dry for re-use the next day as a means of “going green”. However, they are all informed that fresh ones are always available in a nearby linen closet. The king bed is indeed two vintage mahogany four poster beds joined in such a manner that there is no valley or hump in the middle. Stating how comfortable it is, many of our guests ask for our method for doing so.

The presence of a cat and a dog are clearly indicated on the website so it is particularly perplexing as to why one would complain about pet feeding dishes being “all around” when such items are relegated to the kitchen and to the porch. The 6 PM social hour is just that. As I recall, these guests liked to eat early and I may have rushed to accommodate them for an earlier gathering, and do not recall when Martha was not here to help by 6 PM during their three night stay.

We do not promote ourselves as a hotel or an inn but rather as an old fashioned bed and breakfast with a more European atmosphere. At breakfast we utilize unique, individual antique napkin rings as we did as children, saving our linen cloths for the next day. We offer to provide a fresh one for any guest at any time. We consider this another instance of “going green”. In Charleston, by law, a true bed and breakfast has to be owner-occupied. Consequently, this IS our home and we have elected to share it that way with our guests. That is why there are still some personal art items in each room, many painted by family members. As this is an authentic antebellum abode, we have elected not to violate the vintage doors by drilling them for modern dead bolt locks. This would detract from the authenticity and devalue the house. We do have the old box locks on the doors and will look into having old skeleton-type keys fabricated to fit for those who so desire. The bathroom paint is an easy fix. There is one 1930’s wooden towel bar flaking paint. There is no woodwork around the shower but we have identified a 4 ½ inch missing strip of paint at the bottom of the door frame next to the shower. Evidently, moisture from the bathroom floor has caused the finish to pop off.

In summary, by their own admission we “were so friendly and helpful”, yet during their entire residence here they voiced no concerns as stated in their review. From other reviews it should be evident that we are very approachable and always want our patrons to enjoy their stay. We appreciate constructive suggestions but would prefer to address them contemporaneously. Perhaps it is not that these guests were “too picky”, but that they chose the wrong type of accommodations and “expected a more hotel-like room” instead of an authentic bed and breakfast as practiced in Charleston. It seems that a full-service inn or boutique hotel would better meet their needs. We do not want to be a commercial entity such as a motel, inn, or hotel. We do offer a family-type environment where folks can meet and friends can be made. Ours is not the place if one wants a sterile cookie-cutter environment. It is if one has a sense of humor and of history.

Jack, Annelise, Martha, Leanne
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Healdsburg, California
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2013

Jack & Annelise Simmons ; the owners, treated us just like we were family. Heck I felt like we were staying with relatives; just a lot more comfy. The social hour each evening (6pm to 7pm) complete with fine wines and tasty cheeses was such a wonderful way to kick off the time just before dinner. We walked everywhere we wanted to go or there was a pedi-cab a call away. The history of the place is magical. Worth every dollar we spent. Stay here you will not go wrong.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Washington DC
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013

We stayed two nights at this lovely, friendly bed and breakfast. It is in a great location, less than a block to the Battery and also within walking distance of downtown shops and the open air Market. Jack and Annelise, the owners, are lovely, friendly people who make everyone feel at home in their home! We stayed in the Cypress Room and really enjoyed the gas fireplace and private bath. This room has its own entrance on the ground floor. They have a nice breakfast; we had berries, grits and sausage and egg frittata. We also really enjoyed the Charleston social hour at 6PM with drinks and snacks in the parlor. Very cute orange marmalade cat and black Labrador retriever as well.

Room Tip: We did not get a chance to look at the other rooms, but the Cypress Room was nice and big with a pri...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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.
Adelaide, Australia
Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
37 hotel reviews
Reviews in 49 cities Reviews in 49 cities
75 helpful votes 75 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2013

An imposing building just bulging with history, this B&B has oodles of charm and history. The hosts were delightful folks who were always up for a chat and the full bottle in providing adivce sights to see in this gorgeous city.
We loved the afternoon drinks and snacks on the back verandah and the chance to meet other guests. The B&B is in a terrific location, on a cobbled street just a short distance from a lovely park and the seawall.
As well, it's just a short walk to the shopping and dining district - although we indulged on a trishaw ride one night and it was a lovely way to check the city centre.
Our only quibble about our acccommodation was lugging our suitcases up three flights to our Blue Room but, of course, that was our choice so we had to grin and bear it. The positive was the lovely view our room afforded.
As a postscript, try as we might, we simply couldn't get a taste for the hominy at breakfast! Like our Vegemite, it's an acquired taste.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Langbank, Scotland
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2013

We loved the situation of this historic 'bed and breakfast' in Charleston, South Carolina. It was very central for the riverside and also for the sights and shops of the city. It was a lovely area in which to walk with amazing architecture and history. A great location.
The house itself felt very historic and the owners and hosts, Jack and Annaleise, went out of their way to make you feel welcome and advise you on where to visit. Unfortunately, our room, the Blue Room, was situated on the top floor (4 storey house, no lift) and our luggage presented a small problem for us. Given that we were at the start of a three week transatlantic holiday we were not travelling lightly! The house was quirky due to its age and our bedroom floor ran off at a noticeable angle. My bed appeared to do so too! However not enough to cause a real problem and is one of the memories of our holiday. We found the bedroom basic though and while clean there was no luxury or comfort there.
Would recommend the house for it's location, history and attentive hosts but two nights was long enough.

Room Tip: Seek a room on a lower floor especially if you are unfit, older or have an infirmity. We were also...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
JackandAnnelise, Owner at 15 Church Street Bed & Breakfast - Phillips-Yates-Snowden House, responded to this review, January 17, 2013
Being of Scottish heritage and wearing the Fraser tartan we always love our eccentric Scottish guests! A quirky room for a quirky guest! We are only sorry that she did not read all of our descriptions regarding the rooms on the top floor outlining that there is no elevator and that it is wise to pack in two small bags. Many of our international guests who choose these rooms leave their luggage at ground level and just unpack what they would use for a two day stay. When this guest booked the room in February 2012 the ground floor Cypress room was available and could have been chosen instead. Our home is vintage 1840 and has weathered well through a major earthquake as well as multiple hurricanes. There are porch or roof exits from all rooms in case of an emergency. This is our home and we offer our guests the same luxury that we offer ourselves: warmth, comfort, genuine hospitality. Jack & Annelise Simmons
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Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2013

We arrived very late and very tired on our first night because our train was delayed. Jack took care of us, gave us something to eat and drink and sent us to bed after a few instructions about the place and breakfast. So quiet, beds soooo comfy, we slept like logs every night. Annelise, Jack and Martha were fab hosts. We met their son and his family who were very warm and social, too. Felt like part of the family. We had only booked for two nights but after the first night asked if we could stay two more. So glad we did. My girls loved the place, the family, Martha, Bella the dog and Drifter the cat, who they took for walks. Jack found out my younger daughter was interested in medicine and organised a visit for her at the College of Charleston. Other things: restaurant and tourist attraction recommendations were spot-on and did I mention we slept like logs every night? Want to go back very soon.

  • Stayed July 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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Additional Information about 15 Church Street Bed & Breakfast - Phillips-Yates-Snowden House

Also Known As:
15 Church Street Bed & Breakfast - Phillips-Yates-Snowden House Hotel Charleston
15 Church Street Bed & Breakfast - Phillips-Yates-Snowden House Hotel
15 Church Street Bed And Breakfast - Phillips-Yates-Snowden House
Address: 15 Church St, Charleston, SC 29401
Location: United States > South Carolina > Coastal South Carolina > Charleston > Charlestowne
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 44 B&Bs / Inns in Charleston
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Now the home of Dr. & Mrs. Jack W. Simmons, Jr., the property was originally owned by Captain Timothy Phillips during the Revolution. The Snowden family constructed the present Greek Revival house in the early 1840's and it served as a hospital during the Civil War during which time it was struck by four cannonballs, two of which are now mounted on the gate posts. It is notable for ironwork by Charleston ironwright, Philip Simmons. ... more   less 

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