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“History, personality, friendliness”

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Francis Marion Hotel
Ranked #23 of 61 Hotels in Charleston
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 26, 2014

Spent 3 days here for a conference and was quite comfortable here. Amenities are basic. For example, since there's a Starbucks downstairs the in room coffee is minimal. Friges are available for $10 a night if you need; there's a Harris Teeter within walking distance, and it's about a 10 minute walk to Riverfront park and the water. Charleston is flat, so it's a great walking city (only for the experienced in high heels, however; lots of uneven surfaces and cobblestones.
Staff was personable, friendly, very nice. Room was clean, lobby has lots of very nice nooks and crannies and places to cozy up.
The bed was quite comfortable and I liked that there was a range of pillow firmnesses to chose from. For an older hotel there were enough outlets for charging things in places where you could get to them. My room had a small loveseat which was quite handy. Bathroom was small but functional; strange toilet, though; flush handle sticking out parallel to where you sit.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled on business
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Thank ChefFactotum
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 reviewResponded February 27, 2014

It's great to hear you felt right at home during your stay! I appreciate you explaining a little about our amenities in your feedback. Other reviewers undoubtedly will appreciate your attention to detail as much as I do!

Until next time,
Gayle Karolczyk, General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,804 - 1,810 of 2,954 reviews

Reviewed February 25, 2014

I had stayed at this Charleston classic, where a classmate held her wedding reception many years ago. At that time it was a little tarnished, like much of downtown, but still had lovely and gracious bones. Some things about my recent visit were delightful improvements, some a little disappointing and some just missed the mark of my expectations in reviving what was once quite a show piece.

What is good about this hotel....
This is a grand dame of Charleston hotels. It has recently been updated, but retains a lot of historic charm. By Charleston standards it is pretty huge: a skyscraper. Great views from the top floors. The location is good. It is on the park outside the old Citadel and on the trolley line. Right in the middle of the college of Charleston. Very convenient for King Street shopping, as well as touring the Market area and French Quarter. The staff is professional, pleasant and helpful. We had breakfast at the restaurant and the food was quite good and it was reasonably priced.

What is less desirable about this hotel...
It is old. Yes, it has been maintained and updated, but the bathrooms are smaller than any I have ever been in NY, maybe even Europe. They are more than adequately appointed and the early 20th century fixtures are in pristine condition and quite charming. The bathrooms are original in their footprint and therefore t-tiny. In another aspect I miss the original configuration of the hotel. Since my last stay at the hotel, 25+ years ago, air conditioning is present throughout the hotel. This is great, except for there used to be a great bar on the top floor of the hotel and they would open the window for an incredible breeze and view. The lobby area doesn't seem quite as grand, either. It has been updated and renovated, but the Starbucks in the lobby just doesn't scream glamour. Perhaps an upscale bar or meeting location would feel more opulent. Then again this is a business...what do I know.

Overall, it is a lovely historic hotel. The rooms, if not the baths, are spacious and decently appointed. The staff is helpful and pleasant but not overbearing. The concierge, when called upon, are very responsive and thorough. The downtown location is great! The price is not cheap, but it isn't exorbitant. This is not the Four Seasons, but you aren't paying for it, either.

Room Tip: The top floors are great, but if the electricity goes out, like it did during our stay, it can be a...
  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with family
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Thank JennATl
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 reviewResponded February 26, 2014

I'm so glad you paid us another visit after all these years! Our building has changed quite a bit since you were here last, and I'm sorry some of the things you enjoyed most about our hotel are now gone. However, it's great to hear you appreciate our efforts to preserve the historic charm of the Francis Marion. I hope you'll come back and see us again sometime!

Safe travels,
Gayle Karolczyk, General Manager

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Reviewed February 24, 2014

We stayed at the Francis Marion for 5 days to attend a destination wedding. The entire staff was very friendly and welcoming. The concierge service helped us find an educational tour that fit our time frame. We ate breakfast at the hotel restaurant using both the buffet and ordering from the menu. We enjoyed quality food at an affordable price. Restaurant staff were professional. The hotel location is convenient for walking to numerous restaurants and doing some shopping. There might be fancier hotels in Charleston but they are not nearly as well located to historical downtown.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with family
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Thank Dean 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 reviewResponded February 26, 2014

Thanks for pointing to our convenient location in your review, Dean! I'm glad you had a chance to explore the Francis Marion and downtown Charleston when you were in town for the wedding. Our staff undoubtedly will appreciate your compliments as much as I do!

Thanks again,
Gayle Karolczyk, General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 23, 2014

Rooms could use a up lift. I know that the hotel has charm and is in great shape for its age. A new color scheme & fresh paint would be nice and much more comfortable furnishings in the grand lobby. It would nice if the hotel would have a concierge service that could recommend good restaurants, pubs, wine bars & set up dinner reservations also reservations for tours for different attractions in the area.

Plus is a Starbucks located on the main entrance level.

Room Tip: I was lucky to have had 2 double beds with 2 bathrooms that was specious compared to other rooms tha...
  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled on business
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1  Thank JStara
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 reviewResponded February 25, 2014

Thanks for following up with us after your stay! We actually have an experienced concierge on duty from 9 AM to 6 PM daily for just the reasons you listed. As for the building itself, I appreciate your suggestions; we'll certainly keep them in mind going forward. We're continually working to improve our historic hotel, and your candid feedback will help us preserve the past!

Safe travels,
Gayle Karolczyk, General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 17, 2014

Simply the best ... we stayed at the francis Marion for six days and loved every moment of it ... The reception desk staff were great in making sure that we are really comfortable during our stay. I look forward to going back and staying at Francis Marion for another family reunion hopefully soon.

Room Tip: If you are in for a sweet deal choose a suite on the 12th floor ...
  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with family
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Thank Samy B
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 reviewResponded February 19, 2014

And an unforgettable recommendation to match! Thanks for staying with us, and thanks for following up with such kind words. We look forward to seeing you again soon!

Safe travels,
Gayle Karolczyk, General Manager

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Reviewed February 14, 2014

My wife and I recently stayed at the Francis Marion. The staff were very attentive and friendly. When we checked in the woman at the front desk noticed that we were staying for serveral days and she was kind enough to upgrade our room. We ate at the restaurant twice and enjoyed our meal each time. We had a great experience and will stay at the Francis Marion when we return to Charleston.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled on business
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Thank Roger D
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 reviewResponded February 16, 2014

We're already looking forward to your next visit, Roger! Thanks for reaching out after your first stay at the Francis Marion. I'll make sure our staff sees your compliments!

Until next time,
Gayle Karolczyk, General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 12, 2014

The location for the Francis Marion hotel is great for touring downtown Charleston. It is within easy walking distance of shops and restaurants. The adjacent parking lot allows in and out daily access for hotel guests. The rooms could use some updating. The thermostat in my room didn't seem to work well as it always seemed too warm or too cool.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled solo
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Thank robare2
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 reviewResponded February 14, 2014

I'm sorry your thermostat wasn't working correctly when you were here! Do you happen to remember what room you stayed in? I'd like to take a look at it as soon as possible!

Thanks,
Gayle Karolczyk, General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about 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: $170 - $417 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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