Based upon the older reviews, it is clear this hotel has taken great effort in improving their quality and have indeed come a long way, but they still have a little bit further to go on the accomodations. They are there with the service, it was excellent. In fact, we chose this hotel largely because it was full service hotel. This was our first vacation with our 13 month old and thought we might need room service if she didn't "cooperate." For the same reason we booked a two room suite, I beleive this hotel called it the King Luxury Suite, so that our daughter could be closed off in her own room while we stayed up at night.
We love tripadvisor so much, we decided from the beginning of our stay to give a thorough review and even took pictures for that purpose (see attached), so we'll do a break down on each of the 5 Tripadvisor categories.
Cleanliness: We have mixed feelings about this. Within the first 2 hours of arriving we found a dead cockroach on the floor in the bedroom, my wife is from the mountains and not used to how big they can be in the deep south - she freaked. It was just under the chair in the bedroom -probably should have been vacumed up before we arived by normal room cleaning. But it was dead and we didn't see a single other insect the entire 3-days. I called the frontdesk and they were appropriately horrified and sent housekeeping to take care of it right away. They were at near capacity but I got the sense the frontdesk manager would have changed rooms for me if I wanted (or if they could), but we had the BIG upstairs luxury suite and I'm pretty sure there wouldn't be a nicer room. We read the reviews earlier about the tub not being cleaned so we came armed with bathroom cleaner since our 13month old would be taking a bath each night. Its true the tub, even this nice whirlpool tub in the luxury suite, looked a little dingy inside so we cleaned and scubbed it pretty good. Guess what, it looked ths same, so I'm pretty sure the tub was perfectly clean, just a little worn. There were some water spots on the entry way carpet - needs a good steam clean. Other than that, it was clean and we didn't have any problems with our daughter crawling on the floor.
Service: AWESOME. Everyone was great, from the very beginning. The first bellhop, Colby, eagerly made at least 3-4 trips carrying up our luggage to the 2nd floor (walk up) suite. (FYI: Babies = a lot of stuff). Valet parking was prompt and polite. The first day I must have made a 1/2 dozen calls to the front desk and they were always patient and helpul. I think Nick was the guy that caught most of my calls and was always pleasant. We had a question about a reservation we had made at Magnolia restaurant and wether young children were "appropriate" there, the concierge waited until they opened in the morning, called, confirmed everything, and called us back to let us know. They also have a menu book downstairs for local restaurants and will make reservations wherever you like. The breakfast staff was great, they remembered us each morning and the server remembered my drink order. The staff always doted on our daughter (which she loved). BTW, the FREE full breakfast here is WONDERFUL and easily worth at least a $30/day difference from any competitor hotel. TIP: Always order the special breakfast of the day - we were never dissapointed.
Location: Besides Service, this is the best feature of this hotel - it is so perfectly located its hard to imagine a better location. Its located on Vendu Range which runs between Bay Street and the Waterfront. Its South of Market and North of Broad - right in the heart of things. Less than 100 yards down Vendue is the Waterfront park with fountains, benches, views, and quiet. ALL of the best restaurants are within 2 blocks of here including (just to name a few) Slightly North of Broad, Magnolias, Roberts, McCrady's, and More. Its a short walk North to the Market and stroll south to the Battery. The only downside to its location is that it is so central, the nightlife is literally accross the street and we heard one of the tourguides giving at least a 30 min ghost story right outside our window. Saturday night ws definitely the loudest. Our room actually fronted Bay Street and did not have interior access to the rest of the hotel (it has a private entrance on Bay St.). Based on earlier, reviews, they have done some improvements to sound proofing and the bedroom was quiet enoght for me every night - the living room was louder but it was on the side fronting Bay steet. It was all very quiet Sunday night. Its hard to tell form the pictures but this hotel is basically its own block, it is made up of at least 3-4 historic buildings on Vendue and the end faces Bay Street. They may also have some rooms across the street. The only nearby hotel that I thought had "one up" on Vendue for location was Harborview Inn because it is farther from the noise of Bay street and has waterfront views.
Value: We were looking for two room suites (bedroom with separate stting/living area that can be closed off) so its tough to evalutate overall value. This was not the most expensive nor the cheapest suite we priced. it was probably 3/4 of the way up the scale. Harborview was way out of our price range. French Quarter Inn was a good bit above and Anchorage Inn was a good bit below the price of this hotel. BUT I thought it was a very good value for location and service. The FULL breakfast included makes it a better value.
Rooms: The layout was perfect for what we wanted. You enter into a private hallway facing a beautiful glass closet, to your left is the the bedroom (with separate door), to your right the bar, bathroom, and another separate living / sitting room (with separate door). The rooms have an odd historic shape (not square) that lines up with the streets. The ceilings had to be 12-14 feet high, maybe more, with beautiful nearly full length windows. The rooms were really beautiful but this is where they need to do a little upgrading. The curtains/drapes were tatered and one had a 3" rip through it. Our living room coffee table had a broken cross member that hung down and just looked sad and cheap. The TV's are dated, I know I'm a techno snob and I should be happy to have any TV and wireless internet in an historic Inn, but a flat screen TV would have perfect. The bed was a beautiful four post canopy bed with down pillow top, down pillows, and down cover but it was 4 ft off the ground! It was fun at first, but when you have to climb or jump into bed in the middle of the night - not so much fun. Also, it was too soft - the last morning we woke up and realized that there was a down pillow top on the mattress that could be removed - next time we'll ask to remove it. The BATHROOM looks good but is largely impractical with wasted space. There is a needless bidet (really who uses those?) which takes up space that is needed for the very small awkwardly placed corner shower. The tub is a whirlpool tub but a standard tub size. There is pretty much no point to have a whirlpool tub unless it is a garden size tub, an average size person cannot really use it otherwise.
Other Information: There is a restaurant located in the hotel called the "Libarary" with a related rooftop bar and restaurant. We never ate at the library but the rooftop bar/grill was great. We had lunch up top (you have to try the cuban wrap) - wear your sunglasses. The view on the main rooftop level has been largely blocked by new condos but if you go up to the new upper deck you can still see the harbor (sort of), even so there are great views of the town and the church steeples every direction.
I would call this hotel "kid friendly"
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Recently named #4 Best Small City Hotel in the U.S. by Travel + Leisure 2015. Charleston's Art Hotel, The Vendue, is located in the city's historic French Quarter just steps from world-renowned galleries and boutiques. The hotel features 2-3 rotating exhibits per year, allowing guests to explore and discover art from around the globe. Innovative cuisine, enticing art displays and panoramic rooftop views collectively inspire guests at every turn ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Vendue Hotel Charleston
- Vendue Inn Charleston Sc