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“Great Location, Excellent Restaurant”

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Francis Marion Hotel
Ranked #23 of 61 Hotels in Charleston
Certificate of Excellence
West Palm Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
42 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Great Location, Excellent Restaurant”
Reviewed June 3, 2008

My husband had a convention being held at the Francis Marion so I just had to force myself to join him for the week. What luck that it was during the huge arts festival Spoleto. The park across the street had art every day and there were concerts everyday and night in multiple locations. The hotel is centrally located and an easy walk to everywhere we wanted to go. Our room was on the 11th floor with a gorgeous view of the park, the city and the water. The bed linens and beds were excellent but as mentioned in other reviews the bathrooms were european. Full sized tub and a sink and toilet crammed in. You can wash your feet, do your business, and brush your teeth in one position! That being said, the size of the bathroom didn't disturb us. The hotel staff was courtteous and the concierges knowledgable and helpful. I loved the convenience of the computer access in the lobby which included use of a printer. We ate lunch on the last day at the Swamp Fox Restaurant and were very happy with the food. I had shrimp and grits which were excellent and DH had fried green tomatoes which were also excellent. We enjoyed our stay and would recommend this hotel.

  • Liked — Location, Location, Location
  • Disliked — bathroom size
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank keyscops
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (740)
Date | Rating
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English first
Hamburg, Germany
Level Contributor
18 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed May 30, 2008

The very first impression of the hotel was not a favourable one: The entrance of the Hotel is kind of strange since you have to walk stairs until you reach the lobby - not a very elegant and convenient entry. The lobby is huge, but sparcely and cluttery furnished, it is neither sophisticated, nor welcoming or even comfortable.
The receptionist who first dealt with us was nice enough, although not overly friendly. Having asked for a walk-in rate, he offered us a room in the 5th floor for 149 $ which was the best rate we ever got during our two-week vacation in georgia/south and north carolina.
At first, the room didn´t thrill me either, but the rate as well as the fact that it was a saturday night and we were afraid not to find any other room in charleston convinced me to stay.
Room impression: Tiny bathroom, rooms in need of a new layer of paint, slightly dirty carpet (stains), dated (but nice) furniture, two beds.
Our first night was disturbed by our partying neighbours next door, when we complained about the noise the next morning, the very friendly new receptionist offered us another room and when I asked about a room in one of the higher floors, she hesitated (because the rates would have been higher) but then gave in and we got a room on the 11th floor with gorgious views over Charleston.
The views made up for everything we didn´t like about the hotel/our room and this and the beauty of Charleston made us stay another night.

Summary: Dated furniture/interiour, but gorgious views and unbeatable walk-in rate. Good location, free internet access in the lobby, Starbucks coffee shop in the building.

  • Liked — great view
  • Disliked — soulless lobby, rooms in need of fresh paint
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank sannah5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wilmington, North Carolina
Level Contributor
92 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed May 29, 2008

Bad news first: the rooms are very small, it is older, the bathroom is TEENY TINY. Old fixtures in bathroom.
Now the good news:
Great location: The Francis Marion is located downtown, very conveniently located on two of the trolley lines so you can buy a pass an hop on and off for easy access around downtown. It is a beautiful hotel that has historic southern charm. Great lobby w/ big chandeleirs, and it smelled really good!
If you stay here during Spoleto the park where they show all the art work is right across the street. Fabulous location.
TIP: Ask at check in and get a mini refridge in your room. Then you can cool off water and take it with you as the Battery has almost no place to get a drink of water. TAKE WATER W. you before you leave the hotel.
WONDERFUL SERVICE from every staff member. They were just fabulous about everything and so kind and warm. (except the Spa was closed!) The Swamp Fox restaurant downstairs had a great brunch, yummy dinner and great burger there too. The fried chix was delicious, and the grits were YUMMY. The best I've had. Great service at the restaurant. And there is a STARBUCKS in the hotel.
There was a parking structure w/ easy access next door at only $12 per day. park your car and use the trolley when it is busy, parking is SO hard to find in town and expensive.

TIP: get the pass for the bus/trolley! You must have CASH and exact change if you purchase it on the bus itself, but you can buy an all day on and off all the different lines pass for only $4 per person, what a great deal! You'll get so much use out of it. and they are air conditioned!

Enjoy this beautiful city!

  • Liked — Location adn great service
  • Disliked — Expensive for how small the rooms were
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank NCMichelle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
los angeles
Level Contributor
408 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 127 helpful votes
Reviewed May 25, 2008

Desperate to find a palce to stay the opening week-end at Spoleto for a good price, Priceline connected me to Francis marion Hotel. Not a bad price for a busy week-end. Good location to all spoleto venues. Good shopping this end of King Street and across from Marion Square. Although the room was very small, it was ncie, quiet and the liennes were spectacular. Very nice staff, lvoely lobby and 24/hr computers available in lobby. Internet not free in rooms which is a disappointment and expensive parking but the valets were wonderful. All in all a nice Priceline one night stay

  • Liked — The bed and linens.
  • Disliked — No free internet in roomm and difficulty getting from street entrance to lobby for persons with physical challenges.
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank Judith A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edmond, OK
Level Contributor
23 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed April 10, 2008

After nearly not being able to find a room in Charleston due to a big annual race on April 5, we were thrilled to secure a Deluxe King room at the Francis Marion for 3 nights, April 5-7, to celebrate our anniversary. The hotel was perfect. It looks historic, but it has all the amenities of a new hotel including a spa and fitness center. Our room at the end of the hall on the 8th floor was quiet, secluded, and had plenty of space. Some reviewers complained about the smallish bathroom, but that was not a problem at all. A plush bed and a quiet room were more important to us (other hotels/inns had mentioned thin walls or noise outside or from the lobby that disturbed sleep).

The hotel has an excellent restaurant, Swamp Fox. We can recommend the Sunday buffet brunch and the oyster po-boys. Of course part of the fun of Charleston is trying all the great restaurants, and we can also recommend Magnolia's (ate there twice for lunch), Hanks, Coast, and High Cotton. The hotel is a little on the north end of things, but the trolley system (for only $1.25 a trip or $4 a day) gets you any place you want to go that is farther than you want to walk. Cabs are available as well, or you can park on the street or in a nearby garage if you are driving.

Another hotel bonus is the two computers in the lobby next to the concierge's desk where you can check e-mail or look up activities or restaurants. Both concierges Wendy and Constance were very helpful with restaurant and activities info. The entire hotel staff from the front desk to the housekeepers to the doormen were as friendly and helpful as could be.

If you have a car with you, you can self park in the adjacent garage for $12 a day (park on the 3rd floor and take the hallway behind the stairs to the mezzanine floor of the hotel), or it's $17 a day to valet. Either way you have unlimited in and out privileges if you show your hotel key. But if you plan to stay in town, you won't need a car with the trolley system. We rented a car from Budget for only $33 for 24 hours at the end of our trip to visit the Magnolia plantation and drive ourselves to the airport (saving the cab or shuttle fare). You can pick up the car in town on Meeting Street just a few blocks north of the hotel and return it to the airport with no drop fee (unlike Enterprise, with a $50 drop fee!).

All in all, we highly recommend this hotel and would definitely go back. Check the hotel web site for the various packages such as Carolina in the Morning, which includes breakfast, then ask which ones they are offering when you call the hotel to make your reservation.

  • Liked — It was elegant, plush and quiet.
  • Disliked — It was a little far from the restaurants on the south end of town.
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank EdmondOKgal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
18 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed April 10, 2008

We booked the Francis Marion on the hotel website for $259 per night. We received a confirmation from the hotel, but did not notice that they did not confirm the rate on the room. When we checked in, the room rate was changed to $329 per night. We challenged the desk manager/supervisor and were told that it was policy to NOT provide the rate for internet bookings on the confirmation sheet. They would not honor the rate that we booked, nor did they honor the rack rate posted in the closet of $299 per night. One word to describe this practice: SLEEZY.

That being said, the room was lovely, large and quite spacious. It was a paradise after a long day of sight seeing. The shower was powerful and the room was clean. The bellhop and concierge staffs were top-notch. The location was perfect. We were in a safe area with lots of quality restaurants and bars within a short walking distance.

If the Francis Marion was honest in its reservation system, I would recommend staying there; but they were not. Therefore, unless you have a confirmation reservation with a guaranteed rate, I would avoid this hotel as if it had rats in the room, as compared to the rats working behind the desk.

  • Liked — location, room
  • Disliked — sleezy business practices
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Champagne77007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hoboken, New Jersey
Level Contributor
9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
Reviewed March 30, 2008

I recently stayed at the Francis Marion with three other girls for a bachelorette party weekend. I reserved the King Suite which was on the Penthouse floor and unbelievably huge. The suite consisted of a large bedroom with a King Size bed, two large bathrooms, a massive dining room, a good-sized kitchenette, a large foyer and a huge living room. There were two flat screen TV's in our suite, one in the bedroom and one in the living room. The penthouse floor was incredibly quiet and there were only 3 other rooms on the floor that we could see. Huge windows lined an entire side of our room and we had gorgeous views all the way to the water. We paid $329 per night for this room and I believe it was an incredible deal.

Furnishings were simple, a bit dated, but completely acceptable. The bedding was luxurious and extremely comfortable. Bathroom linens and toiletries were simple; I thought the bathroom was a bit on the dingy side.

One morning we got room service and it took over two hours for the simple meal of eggs, cereal and coffee to arrive. Breakfast for four cost $60.

We all had spa treatments at the Spa Adagio and although we agreed that the amenities of the Spa were not that impressive (it is located in the dark basement of the building and the rooms are very small; there isn't even a sauna and steam room) we thought our massages and facials were quite good.

A nice bonus - the service staff continuously arrived in our room with free bottles of water.

Service was fine. The only problem I had was when I spoke with a rude associate named Phil who refused my request to not ask the bachelorette (who was showing up first) for her credit card. I demanded to speak with the Manager who promptly returned my call and fulfilled my request.

The Francis Marion is within walking distance from everything wonderful in downtown Charleston. Between the nightclubs, bars, rooftop bars, boutiques and flea markets we couldn't have been happier with the location.

I would recommend the Francis Marion but would personally want to try the Market Pavilion next time.

  • Stayed March 2008, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank helyn32
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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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