Fresh from an exciting renovation that wrapped up in late 2021, HarbourView Inn looks better than ever. The waterfront hotel in Charleston, South Carolina has a lot going for it from a prime location to amenities galore. From the moment you walk in, the southern charm of the staff and bright public areas set the tone.
During the pandemic, the hotel used the downtime to update and renovate much of the hotel’s interior as well as behind-the-scenes systems. As travel to Charleston continues to bustle and grow, the property is well-positioned to please guests with its new design and reliably consistent amenities.
Whether you are in town for a romantic getaway or looking to explore, these are five of the best reasons to stay at HarbourView Inn.
It goes without saying that its location is a major asset. The beautiful fountain in front of the hotel entrance provides entertainment from morning to night, and visitors and locals love snapping photos or splashing around in it. Just beyond is a pier where many of the sightseeing water tours depart. The active riverfront is busy with joggers, people picnicking and cargo and passenger ships sailing into the area.
Within the historic district, the hotel is just a few blocks some of the best restaurants, shopping and historic sights are within a few minutes’ walk from the front door. The hotel also has bikes for guests to borrow should they wish to cycle through town and see as much as possible including the nearby historic City Market and Rainbow Row.
The hotel has rooms in the main wing as well as annex on the first floor just off the lobby with historic rooms. The latter feature exposed brick walls, tall windows with plantation shutters, 14-foot ceilings and small sitting areas. They are especially popular with repeat guests. Others may prefer one of the rooms in the main section, and many premium rooms on the fourth floor boast panoramic balconies of the riverfront. Another popular feature of many rooms are the electric fireplaces.
All boast the new look following the remodel with fresh paint (including the blue and sugarcane armoires) and a more contemporary design. Platform beds have white duvets and four plush pillows atop Tempur-Pedic mattresses with easy-access power and USB outlets within reach. The work desks are spacious, but there is also a separate side table with arm chair.
Bathrooms are bright with glass shower stalls, Gilchrist & Soames spa therapy or Antica Farmacista toiletries and large towels. Closets hold robes and small refrigerators.
This hotel offers quite a few complimentary perks for all guests staying here starting with breakfast each morning. It is normally available in the lobby buffet-style, but can also be delivered to your room for no extra fee. This is not just a light breakfast, but quite an expansive one including the option for ham or vegetarian quiche, fresh fruit and yogurt, cereal, juices, locally baked pastries, bagels or toast, and piping hot coffee or tea.
Throughout the day, fruit-flavored water, hot coffee and tea, and baskets of fresh fruit are always available. In the redesigned lobby lounge with fountain and river views, a candy station is set up in one corner. Each evening, the hotel hosts a happy hour with complimentary wine, fruit, cheese and charcuterie. Milk and cookies round out the offering later in the evening.
While the property does not have a fitness center of its own, it does give guests free passes to a nearby gym with the latest workout equipment.
On the fourth floor, this hidden space features beautiful views of the city’s steeple-dotted skyline. It’s a great place for small events, but is open for all guests to enjoy. Bring a cup of coffee or some wine to the top floor and relax with a book. This is a great place to watch fireworks over the river or get your bearings in the neighborhood. Even if you don’t have a balcony in your room, this al fresco terrace is available to everyone.
The special packages
This hotel gets quite creative when it comes to special rates and packages it offers. Around Valentine’s Day, the Allie & Noah’s Timeless Romance Package is popular, taking its inspiration from a local love story. It comes with organized visits to historical sites in the story and a dozen red roses. There’s also a horse and carriage ride passing by a local theater’s marquee complete with romantic, personalized message. Expect rose petals on the bed during turndown service and a bottle of Champagne, too. The option to add a private consultation with a romance writer is worth the extra charge. They can write a personalized love story, poem or wedding vows that will become a forever keepsake.
Other popular offers include a rooftop terrace micro-wedding or elopement package with wedding cake, photographer and flowers. Creative types can meet with local designer Jenny Keenan who was also responsible for the hotel’s makeover. Her consultation shares Southern design tips they can use at home. The package also includes a guided tour with her of the neighborhood as well as a round of drinks at the jazz-inspired, 1920s-style sibling property The Spectator. Its Speakeasy bar is known citywide for its artisan cocktails, long wine list, craft brews and light bites.
Guests that book their stay directly with the HarbourView Inn receive special benefits. This includes free tickets to historic mansions in the area and the Charleston Museum. They also receive a $10 credit to Tinto y Crema Gelato next door.
Ramsey Qubein is a freelance travel journalist covering hotels, cruises, airlines, and loyalty programs from around the globe.