The Francis Marion Hotel in Charleston, SC

My cousin, who lives in Charleston, South Carolina, got married at the beginning of the year. I always love a visit to Charleston, and since my sister moved from there in mid-2019, I’ve been having some major Holy City withdrawals!

I’ve never stayed at the Francis Marion Hotel, so when I saw that the couple had a block of rooms reserved for a discounted price, I knew it was finally my opportunity!

The Francis Marion lobby

The Francis Marion is named after the “Swamp Fox” himself, Francis Marion, a Revolutionary War hero (read more about him here). The hotel opened in 1924 and, according to their website, was considered the “largest and grandest hotel in the Carolinas.” I love history, so I was really excited to stay in such an historic hotel.

The Francis Marion is in the perfect location if you’re visiting Charleston. It’s on the corner of King and Calhoun, which means you’re right in the middle of the action. Restaurants and shops can be found all along King, and the Charleston Farmers Market usually takes place on Saturday mornings (April through November) in Marion Square (be sure to grab some delicious cookies from Annie-O!).

But back to the hotel. Our room was labeled a queen with a view. Unfortunately, our view didn’t look out over Marion Square, but rather over some buildings on King and Calhoun. There are so many great places for views in Charleston that I would probably just opt for a regular room and look elsewhere for those great views (sunset at The Rooftop of The Vendue is a good option).

I also had some good laughs with my mom about the size of the bathroom (they also stayed here for the wedding) because there’s definitely not enough room for two people to get ready or even brush their teeth at the same time.

However, it was all the space that we needed (and we’re probably all a little spoiled with the sizes of our bathrooms compared to people in 1924, right 🙂 The shower was a regular-sized bathtub/shower combination, so no issues with size there.

My husband wasn’t super impressed with the size of the room and felt like it was all a little overrated. I’m sure I built his expectations unrealistically high. But it’s fun to stay in such an historic building, and I did feel like the room was decorated in a way that was calming and the bed was comfortable, so I was happy.

It was pretty warm in January, even for Charleston, so we had the air going the whole time, but the room did smell a bit musty for the duration of our stay – nothing problematic, but it was noticeable.

There’s a Starbucks on the ground floor if you need your coffee fix, and there’s also a restaurant, bar, a spa, and a parking garage (there is a daily parking fee, but it’s nice to not have to search for parking, and if you’re keeping your trip downtown-focused, there’s no need to ever move your car). I’ve never eaten at the restaurant or been to the bar, but a friend of mine had nothing but wonderful things to say about the drinks at the bar.

And this has nothing to do with the Francis Marion Hotel, but it’s one of my favorite donut places to visit when I’m in Charleston, so before we headed out on Sunday, we made a stop at BKeDSHoP. In addition to loving their donuts, it’s such an adorable little shop, and I love the wall art they have. Check out this post for more information!

Latte, ham and cheese pretzel, and a pistachio kunefe

So overall, if you’re looking for the historic Charleston experience, want to be right in the middle of the action, and you’re ok splurging a bit on lodging, the Francis Marion is a great place to stay. Even my husband said he’d stay there again.

If you’ve been to Charleston, where is your favorite place to stay? Let me know in the comments!

And stay tuned for information on another historic hotel in Charleston that we both would love to visit again!

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