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South Carolinians don’t have to go far for a luxury vacation. Some of the nicest options around are just a hop-skip from our very own backyards.
From complimentary sleep tests to historic pre-Revolutionary War houses, here are five of the best hotels in the state.
The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort
Location: Kiawah Island
This resort has all the hallmarks of luxury: golf courses, on-site shopping and spa services, ocean views, a grand staircase and so many chandeliers. The self-described “elegant, but not too formal” vacation spot was only built in 2004, but it was designed to feel as if it’s always stood on Kiawah’s coast. As a part of that effort, the hotel had 160 50-foot live oak trees transplanted onto the property and installed intentionally creaky wooden floors. The Sanctuary ranked third on U.S. News & World Report’s list of best hotels in South Carolina.
John Rutledge House Inn
Named after the American founding father who had it built, this place is as old as America itself. John Rutledge is the only signer of the U.S. Constitution whose former home is open to overnight hotel guests today, according to the inn’s website. Aside from being really old, the hotel is notable for its proximity to all of downtown Charleston’s hot spots. It was also honored among Tripadvisor’s “Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best 2021,” which acknowledges the “top 1% of hotels worldwide.”
Speaking of old, this place was built just three years after the John Rutledge House — at least according to the U.S. Department of Interior, which guesstimated the construction year as 1770. Aside from being named America’s best seaside inn by Coastal Living Magazine, the hotel’s claim to fame is that it’s the oldest and largest Tabby structure still in use today. Tabby was a popular “bullet-proof” building material used by early settlers, made of cobbled-together sea materials such as oyster shells and sand. Anchorage 1770 houses fine dining restaurant The Ribaut Social Club, offers complimentary breakfast and bike use, and features Beaufort River-facing front porches accessible to all guests.
French Quarter Inn
Another of Tripadvisor’s “Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best 2021,” French Quarter Inn can be summarized accordingly: free stuff, good sleep and prime location. Guests are greeted with complimentary champagne at check-in and offered a variety of snacks in the lobby throughout the day, then wake up first thing in the morning to a complimentary European continental breakfast featuring fruits, baked goods and quiches. Guests also have a selection of seven pillows and a sleep assessment, if they so choose, and are right across the street from the historic Charleston City Market.
The Inn & Club at Harbour Town — The Sea Pines Resort
Location: Hilton Head Island
If you trust what U.S. News & World Report has to say, then we’ve saved the best for last. The Inn & Club at Harbour Town ranked first on its list of best hotels in South Carolina. “Elegant décor coupled with legendary service and a host of premium complimentary amenities create an indulgent and unforgettable guest experience,” the resort’s website says. Located in the heart of Sea Pines, a gated area of Hilton Head Island, the resort is a short bike ride away from popular tourist destinations like the Harbour Town Lighthouse and The Salty Dog Cafe.