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“Don't do it!”

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Francis Marion Hotel
Ranked #23 of 60 Hotels in Charleston
Certificate of Excellence
Omaha, Nebraska
Level Contributor
17 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Don't do it!”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 21, 2006

We stayed here for 8 long, miserable days. We would have gladly checked out after the first night, but upon check-in we had to initial a statement that read "After check-in, any individual departing prior to their scheduled departure date will be charged an early departure fee of 50% of the room rate plus tax." Which we were told was the ENTIRE length of the stay. Had we known what we were getting into, we'd have left right then, but we didn't so we were stuck. Our room had a view of a brick wall. Not a deal killer, but not enticing. The room was furnished in extremely shabby, beat-up, old--not antique, just old--furniture that was cheap when it was new. The wallpaper was peeling off the walls. The towel rack and one tiny shelf in the bathroom were pulled out of the wall on one side. The bathtub had evidently been refinished with some plastic-type material at one time--which also was peeling and flaking off. The carpeting was dirty enough to make going barefoot not a good idea. The room was so dingy, dark and depressing, that any time spent there was miserable. Occasionally we got replacement styrofoam cups for water and coffee, but real glasses or cups--forget about it. But the real kicker--we were there for 8 nights and they didn't change our bedding, even after I asked twice. I'm all for conservation, and I don't need the bedding changed daily--but come on--for these prices, you kind of expect some sort of service. (The staff was not friendly--except for the bellmen and the concierge.) The instructions on the phones are outdated, so retrieving messages was tricky. The elevators were slow--but not unexpected in an old hotel--however, the up and down indicator lights were burned out on 2 of the 3 elevators, so you just had to take your chances on which direction you'd be going when you stepped on. Parking is an additional $12/day--and they don't take credit cards or checks for that. You must pay in cash when you take your car out of the lot. (Valet parking costs $15/day.) And, for those of you who pay by debit card, they immediately take out one day's stay plus an additional $30--I don't know why, but there's a sign on the front desk stating this. I'm not particularly hard to please, and I've traveled quite a bit--including Europe where most rooms are very small and lack amenities. What really counts is good service, clean rooms, and someplace in the hotel where one can sit outside or in comfortable common areas. This hotel has to be the only one in historic Charleston that doesn't have a courtyard. Honestly, staying here really lessened our enjoyment of our trip. Do yourself a favor--there's many, much nicer places to stay within 1 block of here. Do that instead.

Stayed May 2006
Helpful?
10 Thank SandyOma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,751 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (734)
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English first
Atlanta
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 20, 2006

I stayed at the Francis Marion while on business... It is a Grand Old Hotel that has been modernized to keep pace with the times... Unfortunately, it falls a little short. The room was spacious and clean, but the furniture was a bit tired... except for the bed which was in excellent condition with plenty of comfortable pillows. The bathroom was in need of a facelift. The excercise room had only limited equipment and it was VERY tired and in need repairs/replacement. Staff was very courteous... but still forgot to program a wake-up call for me. If you stay, bring your cell phone, local calls are $1.00 for each 10 minutes!...

  • Stayed May 2006, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank TravelinDudeAtlanta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
georgia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 20, 2006

I made advanced reservation for a deluxe room with a city view. I got a tiny room with a view of the parking deck. The bath was covered with mold and mildew. There were roaches in the room. The staff was rude and unhelpful. The parking miserable. I would never stay at this dump again.

  • Stayed October 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank land traveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arizona
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 16, 2006

For a historic hotel, the Francis Marion is an excellent choice. Positive points include clean rooms, comfy beds, first rate maid service, attentive hotel staff, excellent quality & taste of food, wireless Internet in rooms, location is within walking distance of shopping & restaurants.

Negatives are the lack of mini-fridge or minibar, small TV - 19", teeny bathroom, no vanity (just a small glass shelf) and an archaic toilet that didn't flush properly. With a few cosmetic and fixture updates, this hotel could be a 5 out of 5!

  • Stayed May 2006, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank dezertprincess
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
McMinnville, Tennessee
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 17, 2006

After reading some pretty negative reviews of the Francis Marion, I had my doubts about staying there, but I was pleasantly surprised. The only complaint I have is the small bathroom, but that's what is to be expected in historic hotels. You can request a room with 2 bathrooms as they do have those as we found out. Our requests for service were handled promptly. The hotel food was very good. The location is great.
I would gladly stay there again.

A recent traveler to Charleston

  • Stayed April 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank lala0772
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 17, 2006

Our family of three had a terrific three day stay at the Francis Marion, an elegant older hotel with a beautiful lobby and very comfortable rooms. We had a lovely suite with a beautiful view of the city. The staff was very friendly and helpful. Great location. You can walk to everthing.

  • Stayed April 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 16, 2006

Despite the mixed reviews, my husband and I decided to give this hotel a visit. We were suprised at how nice it was. The lobby is beautiful. The hotel is in the heart of shopping, dining, etc. There is a club across the street, but it didn't interfere with us. We parked our car and never got it again until we left. We were able to walk just about everywhere we wanted to go. The room was very cozy. We did upgrade to a king deluxe, and had plenty of room.

The bathroom....very small, which we knew going in. The only complaint I have with the bathroom is the low water pressure in the toilet. It wasn't strong enough to take everything down.

Overall, we enjoyed our stay and would recommend this type of room to someone else.

  • Stayed April 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 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
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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