I travel often, and I have stayed in some absolutely amazing hotels with the price tag to match. I have also been a guest in very basic hostel-like accommodations, but when I go into a situation not expecting much, the let down isn't as great. Given the price we paid for this room, it was by far the most disappointing hotel experience I have ever had.
First, let's examine the obvious. This place hasn't been updated in decades. The rooms are tiny, and the bathrooms are tinier. The decor was dark and it had a musty smell.
What led me to write this review, though, was the nearly laughable service we received at the hotel. I was in town for a wedding, and the bride and groom stayed at the Francis Marion for their wedding night. On her wedding day, the bride asked me to bring her bag to the hotel and drop it off at the front desk so she wouldn't have to worry about transporting it from the reception site. I left it at the front desk and even asked for them to leave it in the care of their events manager (who the bride told me was in charge of the honeymoon suite) who would ensure that the bag would be in the room upon their arrival. After the wedding, I came back to my room to answer a phone call from a teary bride. She told me that the hotel claimed they did not have her bag and had no idea where it might be. Mind you, this is her wedding night. I told her that this wasn't the case, and went downstairs. After dealing with an unresponsive receptionist, I approach a bellman and ask him to take me into any space where her bag might be. After searching a couple of rooms, I find it on a chair in an office with a sticky note that had her name clearly written on it. The bellman took the bag up to their room, and when we were sharing an elevator up I told him that they needed to do something very nice for the newlyweds whose wedding night they likely ruined. His response, "yeah, I took some strawberries up earlier".
To make things worse, the next morning when the bride and groom composed themselves and complained, the manager grilled them about every aspect of the situation for an extended period of time. The hotel eventually (after much arguing) ended up comping the room, but that was barely compensation for what was a very stressful and disappointing wedding night for my friends!
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Francis Marion Charleston
- Hotel Francis Marion