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“A terrific experience, top to bottom.” 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
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15 Church St, Charleston, SC 29401 (Charlestowne)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 43 Charleston B&B and Inns
Omaha, Nebraska
2 reviews
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
“A terrific experience, top to bottom.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2013

My wife and I are 30 and 28 years old, respectively, and we recently stayed at 15 Church Street for three days.

We thoroughly enjoyed our accommodations (we stayed in the Blue Room) and the company. Probably the most important thing to recognize before you book is what you're getting. This isn't a new-construction Ritz Carlton; it's a 170 year-old home in the heart of Charleston that survived four cannon shots during the Civil War. Yes, there is evident settling; yes, you can find a chip here or a crack there if you're searching for blemishes; and yes, the house is probably decorated exactly as it was when the owners' three children grew up in it: family photos, childrens' paintings (along with other local art), and similar quirky odds and ends.

You must be ready for this if you book 15 Church Street for your Charleston trip. That said, we wouldn't change anything about the house or our hosts, which we felt became our friends by the end of our trip. Every room we saw was spacious, clean, and comfortable. We looked forward to every personally prepared breakfast and the tasty treats and copious drinks we enjoyed each evening from 6-7 p.m. The home is charming, beautiful, and well-maintained. Overall, this was a terrific experience, and we hope to return someday.

Finally, I should mention that my wife was slow to accept BNBs. She typically goes for modern accommodations and contemporary decor. But through great experiences like our trip to 15 Church Street, she's turned a corner on this issue. She thoroughly enjoyed this stay - rustic, traditional, and all!

Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
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JackandAnnelise, Owner at 15 Church Street Bed & Breakfast - Phillips-Yates-Snowden House, responded to this review, April 13, 2013
And, thank you for such an honest and realistic review. You have described the nature of our bed and breakfast better than we could have. Thoroughly enjoying both of you, we look forward to seeing you again. Jack & Annelise
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237 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    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 (49)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Chicago, Illinois
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2013

Read the review by "Never too old to Travel". It is very accurate, although it never bothered us to reuse our cloth napkins from the previous, delicious breakfast. I wish I could give this place four and a half circles, rather than just four, though, as I would rate our experience very, very good. The one thing that bothered us was the inability to lock our suite door. Everyone there seemed friendly and honest, but it still made us a little uncomfortable as city dwellers. We really felt like we were guests in Jack and Annelise's home, and Martha was also extremely welcoming and friendly. Our bathroom also needed updating, but there was great water pressure. Unless you are the type who insists on upscale chain hotels with room service, you will be glad you stayed here.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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 9, 2013
Thank you for your thoughtful comments. Please see our reply to "Not too Old to Travel" . As we are always tyring to improve please let us know which bathroom you used and what needs updating. We have chosen not to drill the old doors for modern security locks. We have found a locksmith who can fabricate some old fashioned skeleton keys for those who desire to use them. Our best to both of you. Jack, Annelise, Martha, Leanne
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Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Top Contributor
143 reviews 143 reviews
47 hotel reviews
Reviews in 70 cities Reviews in 70 cities
91 helpful votes 91 helpful votes
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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Fresno, CA
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 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
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
31 helpful votes 31 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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Washington DC
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
35 helpful votes 35 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
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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
76 helpful votes 76 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.
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Additional Information about 15 Church Street Bed & 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 43 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 
Also Known As:
15 Church Street Bed And Breakfast - Phillips-Yates-Snowden House
15 Church Street Bed & Breakfast - Phillips-Yates-Snowden House Hotel Charleston

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