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“Grand old hotel, good location”

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Francis Marion Hotel
Ranked #23 of 61 Hotels in Charleston
Certificate of Excellence
Bobcaygeon, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
“Grand old hotel, good location”
Reviewed March 19, 2013

We stayed here a couple of nights through Priceline - cost was 100 per night plus fees and taxes. We got a nice room on the 9th floor overlooking the park and harbor. As some other reviewers have noted, it seems that if you come in through a discounter you get the smaller older rooms but still, ours was reasonably sized, had a queen bed, large dresser, LCD TV, desk, full closet etc. It did have a tiny bathroom - it was interesting to see how you can fit a toilet, sink and bath/shower into a 5x5 space. The room hadn't been renovated, so at first glance it looked good - gold colour fixtures, ornate woodwork, etc, but on closer examination, you could see some corrosion and wear. Still, everything was clean and comfortable, nice amenities (Gilchrist & Soames toiletries, plush towels, private label water bottles) and the staff was great. The hotel is right on the edge of the historic district and you can walk to all the sights and restaurants. The parking garage is right next door and costs $14 per night if you park yourself. The garage was clean and well lit, so not a concern for nighttime parking.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Peter_and_Susanne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FMH_Manager, Manager at Francis Marion Hotel, responded to this review, March 29, 2013
We appreciate your review on Trip Advisor. I am happy to hear that you found our hotel clean and comfortable. I hope you will stay with us again sometime.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (752)
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English first
Level 6 Contributor
248 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 146 helpful votes
Reviewed March 18, 2013

The Francis Marion is located conveniently on King Street near many shops, restaurants, and the College of Charleston. There is a park across the street. It has a restaurant with a bar called the Swamp Fox, a nice gift shop with a very helpful shopkeeper, and a Starbucks coffee shop. The bellman are courteous and eager to please and so is the cleaning staff. Be sure to tip everyone.

The hotel is well-maintained and updated and it maintains a 1920's period decor. The lobby was large with nice palms and other plants throughout as well as an automated piano playing in an upstairs area overlooking the lobby. Our room was small , as was the closet. We had a view of the harbor and King Street which was very nice. The bed was very comfortable, the towels were nice, and the bathroom, though small also, had nice finishes and everything that we needed. I particularly appreciated the Gilchrist & Soames toiletries. While we were there, the 3 elevators were being updated which resulted in some waiting, but it was not a bad experience. Stairs are available if you wish to take them. By the end of our stay, two of the elevators had been updated and the 3rd was in the process.

We had breakfast and lunch at the Swamp Fox Restaurant once and enjoyed both meals. Eggs were prepared to order and there was a buffet of locally produced Adluh yellow grits, biscuits and gravy, bacon and sausage, and fruit as well as some oatmeal and yogurt. Lunch was delicious. Service was a little slow at both meals, but the restaurant was crowded at the time. I frequented Starbucks and found everything to be as expected. There was sometimes a long line but it moved quickly. As in other Starbucks, staff seemed challenged to be able to keep the tables clean with so many people coming and going. I requested a cleaning cloth and wiped my table off myself. Starbucks and the Swamp Fox have nice views of the park across the street.

You have two options for parking at this hotel: park your car yourself in the City Garage next door or have the valets park it there for you. We chose the valet option and very pleased with the service we received.

There were a few negatives so I will list them in case they would be an issue for readers. The gilded mirror was covered in dust. It was very ornate and had lots of small crevices, so I can see how it could be overlooked by the cleaning staff, but ours looked as though it had not been cleaned in years. The duvet cover had a couple of stains on it, as did the sheets, however the sheets were fresh and clean--just showing some wear.

Room Tip: We got the best price for this hotel through Orbitz.com. However, when my husband noticed when walk...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled on business
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Helpful?
1 Thank 60742Traveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FMH_Manager, Manager at Francis Marion Hotel, responded to this review, March 29, 2013
We appreciate the time you took to review our hotel on Trip Advisor! After receiving your review, we made deep cleaning the mirrors a special project for our housekeeping staff, and I am happy to say they look fantastic. Thank you for that feedback. I have shared your really nice comments with Joy in the gift shop, our bellman, and the housekeepers. We hope to see you again at the Francis Marion Hotel soon.
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South San Francisco, California
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed March 16, 2013

We just returned home after a delightful time in Charleston, South Carolina. Our family was all gathered for a small wedding here and we chose the Francis Marion as our hotel. Our experience was a good one. The lobby was lovely. This nearly 100 year old hotel has stood the test of time. We chose a room with 2 queens. I think "queen" was generous. The beds were a bit small, but because there were 2, we had room to expand. They were comfortable and the bedding was very nice. Decor was lovely, it had all the amenities that we needed. Unfortunately, we had no view to speak of but because we were on the go, it wasn't a big deal. Our furniture had granite surfaces that were a bit blemished and our desk chair was stained, but outside of that, the room was quite nice. The bathroom was extremely tight. Let's just say you can sit on the toilet and brush your teeth at the same time. Loved the shower. I don't know if it was the water in S.C. but the water felt heavenly. The best thing about the Francis Marion was the staff. They were delightful. We met Bronwyn at the front desk and she gave us great advise regarding restaurants in the area. Wow, wow, wow. The restaurants on King Street north of the hotel rock. I live in the San Francisco suburbs and I know good restaurants. Charleston can match San Francisco for inventive and flavorful cuisine. And, if you are young (we aren't) the party scene and clubs was impressive. I would love to return someday and see more of this town.

Room Tip: If two kings are the same price as queens...go for the kings.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Margaret C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FMH_Manager, Manager at Francis Marion Hotel, responded to this review, March 18, 2013
We appreciate the time you have taken to review our hotel on Trip Advisor! I will share your nice comments with Bronwen and the rest of our staff. I am delighted to hear that you enjoyed our hotel, and I will make note of those couple of improvements we should do in the room you stayed in. Thank you for the feedback and for choosing the Francis Marion Hotel for the wedding accommodations.
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Mount Airy, North Carolina
Level 6 Contributor
122 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed March 15, 2013

The Francis Marion Hotel is a nice hotel with perfect location. Staff are VERY FRIENDLY AND HELPFUL. Rooms are nice with daily service. We have stayed here for the Food + Wine Festival for two years and really love it!

Room Tip: Ask for room overlooking Marion Square.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank MillsMama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FMH_Manager, Manager at Francis Marion Hotel, responded to this review, March 18, 2013
We are in a great location for the Wine and Food Festival being right across the street from the main Culinary and Grand Tasting Tents. 2014's Festival is February 27 - March 2, and our Wine and Food Festival Package will go on sale starting in August. Thank you for staying with us the last two years! See you next year!
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colorado
Level 4 Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed March 14, 2013

I booked this hotel thru Priceline for a little over $100, and was happy to find a charming hotel with an antebellum flair. It overlooks Marion Square and is an easy, pleasant walk to Market St and the Historic District. The rooms and beds are very comfortable, the Wifi is free, and the staff is very accommodating. Plus there's a Starbuck's and spa off the large but cozy parlor-like lobby.

Room Tip: Ask for a room that has 2 bathrooms. It should be the same price.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank ColoradoAldo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FMH_Manager, Manager at Francis Marion Hotel, responded to this review, March 18, 2013
We appreciate your nice review on Trip Advisor! I am happy to hear that you enjoyed your stay and we look forward to seeing you again in the future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed March 13, 2013

My boyfriend and I stayed five nights in the Francis Marion Hotel in August. We stayed in a deluxe room and had a great (although slightly distant) view of the harbor. The bed was incredibly comfortable and the room was very clean. We ended up having two bathrooms (each with a toilet and a shower, still not sure how that happened) which was nice but the showers are a little on the small side. We ordered room service one morning and also had breakfast downstairs in the Swamp Fox restaurant and enjoyed both very much. The hotel is a bit of a walk from the main streets of downtown - we averaged about a 10-15 minute walk to most of the places we went. We also were there right before school started so we managed to avoid a lot of the student traffic and noise which might be annoying as College of Charleston is close to the hotel. Overall, an enjoyable experience!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Alexandra S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FMH_Manager, Manager at Francis Marion Hotel, responded to this review, March 14, 2013
Thank you for sharing on Trip Advisor! That room has two bathrooms, because it used to be two rooms. When the hotel was restored, we knocked down some walls to make larger rooms. I am happy to hear that you enjoyed the bed. I hope you will stay with us again soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mattapoisett, Massachusetts
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed March 11, 2013

I booked our room through Expedia for what seemed to be a reasonable rate for this classic hotel which is conveniently located in downtown Charleston. It was obvious that the rooms booked through Expedia were the smallest in the hotel. The bathroom was tiny. Bending over the sink usually meant banging your head on the way up. We had to call in the engineer just to get our TV working and even then the volume was always too loud when we turned it on. The heating/AC system never worked well. It had been unusually chilly for Charleston and we were never able to either lower the AC nor increase the heating level. The thermostat is apparently only there for decoration. Also, there were only two elevators working and it took about ten minutes before we were able to take one down. With luggage, unfortunately, the stairs were not an option. I guess on the good side was that the beds were comfortable. I think even with the Expedia deal we overpaid for what we got.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank grabotex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FMH_Manager, Manager at Francis Marion Hotel, responded to this review, March 14, 2013
We appreciate the time you have taken to review our hotel on Trip Advisor. I am sorry that we did not meet your expectations, and I understand you were inconvenienced during your stay.

We are currently undergoing an elevator modernization project, which takes several weeks. I am sorry that this was going on during your stay. This winter project should be complete in March 2013. After the project is complete, our elevators will be more efficient. As a restored historic hotel, we are continuously looking at upgrades and additions.

I have shared your comments about the heating/ac and tv with our Director of Engineering, so he can address those issues in that room. Please feel confident that we are listening to your feedback and are responding to fix those issues. I hope you will give us a second chance during your next stay in Charleston.
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Additional Information about Francis Marion Hotel

Property: Francis Marion Hotel
Address: 387 King Street, Charleston, SC 29403-6468
Phone Number:
Location: United States > South Carolina > Coastal South Carolina > Charleston
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Spa Hotel in Charleston
#13 Business Hotel in Charleston
#15 Luxury Hotel in Charleston
#21 Family Hotel in Charleston
#24 Romantic Hotel in Charleston
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Francis Marion Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 234
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Experience unsurpassed views of the historic harbor at the Francis Marion Hotel, the only high-rise hotel in Charleston’s historic district. All 234 guest rooms including 10 Suites and 7 Penthouse Suites are tastefully furnished for today’s sophisticated traveler, and provide modern conveniences from wireless Internet access, voicemail and data ports to on-demand movies. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Francis Marion Charleston
Hotel Francis Marion

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