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“Almost Perfect in Every Way” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Belmond Charleston Place

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Belmond Charleston Place
Ranked #14 of 60 Hotels in Charleston
Certificate of Excellence
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Almost Perfect in Every Way”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 18, 2010

My husband and I have just returned from a 3-night stay at this near-perfect hotel. The city is one of the most charming in the world and this hotel just fits in perfectly. We stayed in an enormous "junior suite" booked at a very reasonable rate online prepaid. The bed was "to die for" and the room had more closet and drawer space than most homes. Housekeeping was superb, room service delicious and quick. If I have to pick on one thing, the bell/valet staff seems to be very confused and their service was slow and stupid. The restaurant is a very special occasion place but you will not find more delicious food nor more elegant service. Even if you don't stay here, please stop by for a visit - it is a definite tourist site.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank TravelTillIDie121
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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florida
Level Contributor
253 reviews
58 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 335 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 15, 2010

Another 5 star hotel with a 6 star staff. From the valet who parks your car, check in at the front desk, bellman, concierge, house keeping,and service on the concierge floor one cant ask for better service.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank redmanfloridapvb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stevensville, Maryland
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 12, 2010

If you are coming into the Charleston area of South Carolina you really should make plans to stay at the Charleston Place. You are going to love this beautiful, quaint hotel, in the heart of Charleston. My husband and I could not have been happier. We have stayed at many high end hotels across the U.S. and we give this hotel, 5 stars. Everyone so friendly and helpful no matter what your needs may be. Take a walk or even a carriage ride through the streets of Charleston and enjoy all it has to offer.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank kay41388
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 8, 2010

I am a travel photojournalist. I spend half my life in 5 star hotels, like the Sofitel Winter Palace in Cairo, The Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston Jamaica, The Juremiah Essex House on Central Park South in NYC, etc. As I was boarding for Charleston from NY, they took away my carry-on bag, at the last minute at the foot of the plane, bc the flight to Charleston was on a tiny 50 seat plane, and they said it wouldn't fit in the overhead bin. (The plane was so tiny I smacked my head standing up to go to the restroom.) My bag was accidentally sent to Atlanta instead of Charleston. When I got to the hotel, I tried to check-in, they asked me for the credit card I used to make the reservation and I realized, I didn't have the credit card on me, because it was in my confiscated, misplaced carry-on. I explained what happened. The concierge called the airline to ask the airline have my bag delivered to the hotel, which would take several hours. The airline clearly corroborated my story. In the meantime, they wouldn't allow me to check-in to the hotel, even though I had my ID on me. The name on my ID, matched the name on the credit card that I booked the reservation with exactly; however, they insisted they needed the actual card I booked the reservation with, before they would allow me to check-in.

So, at 8:30am, I called a friend who subsequently called the hotel to put the room on her card, as a favor to me, and I figured I would pay with my card, when I checked out. By that time my bag would have certainly been delivered by the airline. Normally you pay when you check out anyway, at almost every major hotel in the world.

The Charleston Place front desk staff took my friend's card # and made another reservation for me, but still wouldn't let me check in, without a faxed authorization from her. They faxed her a form, she filled it out, with photocopy of her card, signature, etc and faxed it back to the hotel.

They STILL wouldn't let me check in, because she was supposed to fax back the authorization form, with her driver's license. A few phone calls back and forth, she faxed her license, which they then complained it was "too dark to read" based on the print out from their cheap, low-end fax machine, which was dark and blotchy.

I asked if they had wireless so I could use the internet to email my office and have my assistant fax over whatever they needed. They said the hotel has no wireless. What kind of 4 or 5 star hotel doesn't have wifi in the lobby?! They have wifi in 2 star hotel lobbies in Jamaica and Cairo, but not at a 5 star hotel in Charleston???

Latasha at the front desk, explained to me that "asking for the physical presence of the card upon check-in was a new policy, because the hotel had guests in the past who rang up huge bills by charging spa treatments and meals to the room and left without paying them." (Thanks Latasha for giving me a blue print on how to rip off the Charleston Place. I’ll be sure to post that on the internet.) So I'm wondered, and I asked her, "If guests rip off the hotel all the time, even when they present their credit cards upon check-in, why couldn't I check-in without it, since you have the card # on file, and my ID, for JUST A FEW HOURS, with a BLOCK ON INCIDENTALS?" Latasha looked confused, went back to ask Paul the GM my question. (Paul, the General Manager, stayed hidden in the office and wouldn't come speak to me like a human being).

One of them advised I go on their "90 minute historic bus tour" ($30) to kill time, while they straighten everything out, i.e., my bag with credit card that matched the credit card used to make the reservation arrived, or my friend re-faxed whatever they needed for the 3rd time. I asked if I could take photos on the tour. They said sure. The entire tour was on a mini-bus, which spent 45 minutes out of the 90 picking up other passengers from other hotels. At no point did we disembark at any historical sites. We just drove past them. It's kind of hard to take decent photos through the widow of a moving bus. (Waste of $30. Made a mental note to take a walking tour later on.)

Once the tour was over, back at the hotel, they still found fault with my friend's fax, and showed it to me in a snotty manner, as if to prove how dumb my friend was for not filling out a form correctly. I looked at the form, read the credit card numbers back to the front desk girl and asked, "If I can read the #s, why can't you? They are legible." She said, "The license isn't legible." That's because it wasn't my friend's license. They had accidentally handed me a total stranger's authorization information that was faxed on behalf of a different guest. They basically handed me a fax with a total stranger's license and credit card info, that I could have kept, and gone to town with, if I were a dishonest person. Allowing me to freshen up while waiting for my bag to arrive was a security risk. Handing me another guest's confidential credit card #, and license apparently wasn't.

By this point, it was 1:30pm, 5 hours later! My phone had died (charger was in missing bag). Paul, refused to come speak to me about the situation and kept communicating though his clueless front desk people, who just kept looking at me and shrugging their shoulders and making illogical excuses. I was highly annoyed and tired of being humiliated and not allowed to check-in. I went to a coffee shop, went on hotels.com, booked another room (I have all my card #s memorized) at The Francis Marion, 5 blocks away. The Charleston Place staff wouldn't hail me a cab, they said, "Cabs are hard to find in Charleston," so I walked.

Meanwhile, one of the front desk clerks advised me that if I checked into another hotel and didn't stay at the Charleston Place, they might not be able to refund the cost of the reservation back to my card, since they have a 24-hour advance cancellation policy. I held back the overwhelming urge to smack her, and left, knowing I will refute the charges with my credit card company.

When I got to the Francis Marion, I told them the exact same thing I told the front desk at the Charleston Place, i.e., my bag was delayed by the airline and was on it's way to me, so in the meantime, I didn't have the credit card I used to make the reservation on me, but I had ID, and before I could even finish my sentence, they said, "NO PROBLEM. HERE IS YOUR ROOM KEY. ENJOY YOUR STAY."

For all the reviews about the Charleston Place's Southern charm, and friendly staff, etc., IT'S NOT TRUE. By the way, I'm writing this review of how lame and disrespectful the staff at the Charleston Place were, with the free wi-fi in my hotel room at the Francis Marion.

Find a hotel slightly less lavish, with a lot more human decency, common sense, and respect for weary travelers, in unfortunate situations due to extenuating circumstances. Anyone who travels frequently has probably had a lost/missing bag experience, but it's how the hotel or airline's customer service staff deals with resolving the issue, that makes all the difference.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
18 Thank BritGeographic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CharlestonPlace, General Manager at Belmond Charleston Place, responded to this review, September 9, 2010
Thanks for sharing feedback on your recent experience. I’ve reviewed this issue with our front desk staff and feel as though we did our best to work with you given your extenuating circumstances. Our hotel policy is to have guests present a valid credit card upon check in. In this instance, our staff was following policy and still trying to work with you to allow you to check in prior to our standard check in time. As you know, the airport let you know your bag would be arriving at 1 p.m. and we would have been happy to check you in at least 2 hours before our normal check in.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aurora, Canada
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 8, 2010

We loved our stay at Charleston Place! The rooms were gorgeous and the service was fantastic, especially the concierge. The location is right across the street from the market and in the heart of the city. You never had to walk very far to get anywhere. The only downside was the food in the hotel was very expensive and there was no complimentary coffee in the rooms or the lobby. There were a lot of great restaurants in the area, so finding someplace to eat was never a problem. They had free internet but it wasn't wifi, which would have been more convenient. Also, the pool had a retractable roof and was one of the most beautiful pools I have ever seen!

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank SanPac276
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kissimmee, Florida
Level Contributor
161 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 7, 2010

Our second stay at Charleston Place. We have been to Charleston over 20 times and have stayed at numerous inns and hotels. Charleston Place is where we will always stay now. The rooms are exquisite but the service and friendliness of staff are the best we have encountered all over the world. The location in downtown Charleston is great. The shops in the hotel are terrific.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank solivita512
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
london,england
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 29, 2010

Charleston Place is able to combine the facilities and service of a big hotel but still provide individualised attention to each guest. The hotel is able to cope with weddings and conferences as well as those of us there for vacation. It was unique to be able to spend the day in Charleston (p.s. an marvelous historical place) and then return quickly to the hotel to spend the afternoon cooling off in the pool and relaxing on the terrace.) The double room we had was elegantly decorated and spotlessly clean. One of the suites seemed ever so sligthly dated, but any issues were dealt with quickly and a gift basket of food was sent to apologise for any inconvenience. Would not hesitate to stay here again.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank jansitravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Belmond Charleston Place

Property: Belmond Charleston Place
Address: 205 Meeting Street, Charleston, SC 29401-3110
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 ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Business Hotel in Charleston
#3 Spa Hotel in Charleston
#10 Romantic Hotel in Charleston
#11 Luxury Hotel in Charleston
#17 Family Hotel in Charleston
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Belmond Charleston Place 4.5*
Number of rooms: 434
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Historic Charleston’s premier hotel just minutes from famous homes, museums and churches. World-class luxurious accommodations including a full-service European spa; rooftop pool; “The Club,” a private concierge level located on the top two floors; award-winning dining; 28 exclusive boutiques and the legendary Orient-Express service, all in the heart of downtown. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Charleston Place By Orient-Express Hotel Charleston
Place Hotel Charleston
Charleston Place Hotel

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