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“Not at all what we expected!”

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Francis Marion Hotel
Ranked #23 of 61 Hotels in Charleston
Certificate of Excellence
A TripAdvisor Member
“Not at all what we expected!”
Reviewed July 10, 2005

We have just returned from the Francis Marion Hotel. It was definitely not what we had expected. The staff was excellent and very helpful, but the rooms were in dire need of help. The air- conditioners were not working well at all. They said that they were due to be replaced in 8 months. I agree with the other reviews when they say that the bathrooms were very small. You could not fit 2 people in them. The rooms were extremely small.
It was a nice hotel, but I would not stay again.

  • Stayed July 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Huntersville, North Carolina
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed July 5, 2005

The Swamp Fox Restaurant was very nice and the service was good but the fact that the Manager, Mr. Augistin Melo, came around each morning with his big smile and a high energy attitude really set our morning in the right direction. Most managers are too busy to visit with patrons but he pitched in to pour coffee, seat tables and shake hands with those that were leaving and we just appreciated his big welcoming way. He was a gas to be around even if it was for just a minute or two.

Thank you Augustin, for a nice atmosphere in your restaurant!

2 Thank mimi417
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed July 4, 2005

If cramped rooms are your thing, you will love the Francis Marion. This is a historic hotel, so some non modern conveniences (the bathroom) should be expected. The Francis Marion brochure (very misleading) states that the hotel was, "recently re-opened after a $12 million National Trust Fund award-winning restoration". This misleading brochure shows various views of the hotel, including the Deluxe Room and the Suite. There is no mention of the "standard" room, which seems to dominate the inventory. I checked the hotel web site before making arrangements, and there was no reference to any room other than the Deluxe and Suite room, so I was confident that what I booked was at least the Deluxe. The room I was assigned had two double beds (enough for 4 people ?) and was so small that one bed was tight up against the bathroom wall and the other bed was tight against the "thru-wall" heat-A/C unit. The space between the beds was under three feet wide. From the foot of the bed to the desk and TV stand was just larger than three feet. In this room, the desk chair is the only place to sit, other than on the bed. There were two of us in this room and we had to alternate moving around. With two beds, the room will sleep four people, but they will have to take turns moving around the room. I was MOST disappointed in the non-disclosure that the majority of the rooms are NOT what is shown in the Francis Marion brochure. I complained to the front desk about the room and they were courteous but firm in that I got what I booked, and refused to do anything further. I would NOT recommend this hotel to anyone who would want do anything in these rooms except arrive, sleep and leave. There just isn't enough space to do anything else.

  • Stayed February 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed July 1, 2005

Several years ago, I stayed at the Francis Marion with my parents.
This is the second time that I have had a chance to visit the Francis Marion Hotel since then. I was in Charleston for a teachers' conference. Three of us went out to eat in Charleston. The person driving had a poor sense of direction. We enjoyed scenic Charleston as we rode around lost. It was the Francis Marion that guided us back to where we needed to be just like the North Star. The meals such as deviled crab and eggs for breakfast were delicious. The pecan pancakes were, too. The lady in the gift shop was pleasant. The clerk at the front desk and the readable map were helpful and user friendly. I have always enjoyed my visits to the Francis Marion and highly recommend this landmark hotel.

Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cincinnati, OH
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed June 19, 2005

Don't ask me how this hotel got a three star rating, because it definitly fell short of my expectations. I should have known from the start that this was not going to be a pleasant experience when we asked for information about parking, and the bellhop completely ignored us.

Then, when we checked in, the man at the front desk told us that we could not get a king bed, despite the fact that we had made our reservations a month in advance.

Our room, in my opinion, only had one positive....the view of the city. We had an 11th floor room, and I will admit that the view was lovely. However, our room was small, not all of the buttons on the phone worked, closet space was small, and the bathroom was TINY! I'm not expecting the Hilton or anything, but for $150 a night, I was expecting better. I was also expecting a room that didn't have wallpaper peeling off the wall or ratty carpet.

Then, the cherry on the cake, was our lousy TV service. For our entire stay, we could not get a reception on the lower numbered channels....which is upsetting for a traveler because this means you can't even get the weather channel. For two days straight we had repairmen in and out of the room. Bottom line, if my wife and I wanted to come back to the room for some privacy or to rest a little during the day....forget about it (when there's a heat index of 105, you needed to rest in the day). In fact. one day, we were told that we were going to get a new TV put in our room. We spent several hours out and about town just to make sure that the maintenance man had plenty of time to take care of this. Surely enough, when we came back, nothing was done. The only bright spot of the maintenance crew was Lee. He was helpeful, knowledgeable, and explained what was happening. He also gave us some great info about the town, about restuarants, and about the beaches of the islands of Charleston. Basically, he was not only a repairman, but a walking concierge. Everyone else in his department, as far as I'm concerned, should seek other employment.

For our trouble with the TV, we were told that we would be comp'd by being given a free breakfast coupon that the bellhop would run up to our room. Sure enough, no coupon.

The Marion's location isn't the cream of the crop either. It's more like on the outskirts of the historic district than in the heart of it.

Charleston is a beautiful city. Plenty of attractions, historic buildings, and beach life nearby. But the Francis Marion is not one of those bright spots. I definitly will not be spending my money on this royal dog house again.

  • Stayed June 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5 Thank williams_s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
17 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed June 16, 2005

I am writing this as I am sitting in my room on the last day of our stay here at the Francis Marion. This is an old hotel that was abandoned recently by the Westin and for good reason. It is showing its age. I am looking around the small cramped room that we are in and the wallpaper is literally peeling off of the walls. The bathroom is small and the toliet has made non stop very loud gurgling sounds during our entire stay. The TV is stuck in the side of the room with no good viewing angle. The wireless internet is hard to connect through. For the first two days as soon as we stepped off of the elevator, there were chairs and tables stacked in the hallway that no one cared or bothered to move out of the way. The room is claustrophobic with little storage space. You can make do if you have to for a couple nights, but why stay here when there are so many other great choices in this town? We booked late and had little choice of places to lay our heads, but will never stay here again. I travel regularly for business and this is not an A class hotel by any means. On a positive note, the hotel is only two blocks from a great new Charleston restaurant, 39 Rue du Jean on John Street. Go there, hang out, have a cool glass of wine and get out of your depressing room at the Francis Marion!

  • Stayed June 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
11 Thank MJP-ATL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed May 27, 2005

My wife and I stayed at the Francis Marion from Monday, May 16 through Thursday, May 19. We had an amazing time and plan to go back again. Here are the highlights:

* As soon as we excited our cab in front of the hotel, we were greeted by a Francis Marion Bellman. He stayed with us through the check-in process and brought our bags up to our 11th floor room.

* Our room was amazing, large King bed, 360 view of Charleston Harbor & Charleston. And for the emotional crowd, no the bathroom was not small. It was the perfect size for two people in it at the same time.

* Any request we had while we stayed at the Francis Marion was always met with a- YES. They even held on to our luggage on our day of checkout, this allowed us to enjoy our last day Charleston, without worrying about our flight later that afternoon.

* The location is perfect, across the street from Marion Square park and at the mouth of King Street with it's trendy shopping & restaurants.


You will not be disappointed by investing your time or money at the Francis Marion Hotel.

  • Stayed May 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
9 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
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
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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