Hotels and Reviews The terms utilized for lodgings are commonly known as inns, bed and breakfasts and hotels. For us, these all carry the same meaning: a place to stay and sleep in comfort while away from home on vacation or a business trip, however once upon a time, these terms meant something a bit different than the widely accepted terms we use today. To read the hotel reviews, click on the left navigation selecting the hotel or inn of your choice.
The inn, primarily found out on country roads where no other accommodations were available, could be anything from a tavern or pub to a private residence for which travelers might pay for the privilege to sleep indoors as opposed to a night on the cold ground among trees and animals. There may or may not have been separate room accommodations, the sleeping arrangements may have been a piece of the floor by the hearth with several other travelers in winter months or for more scurrilous characters not trusted to be within the walls of the main house, a hayloft in a barn may have been the offering. One might procure a meal here but likely for an additional price or in exchange for some type of work.
A bed and breakfast was originally an establishment or private residence that resembled a boarding house arrangement. A family or lone homeowner, often a widow with extra room in her residence, put about a word that she had rooms to let and that breakfast would be included in the arranged price for the room. Other services such as weekly laundry may have also been included for an arranged price.
The hotel, originally the word used for a French mansion, describes a large structure with many rooms and accompanying the services and trappings found in the homes of upper-class gentry. The term was borrowed to create the perception that if one stayed in the "hotel" they would be well-served and taken care of in a way that is commensurate with the upper class. The hotel, typically found in the more populated towns and cities most likely also had a pub or dining area in addition to many other services offered to people of means.
In Charleston one can currently find accommodations under all three of these descriptions however the line has been blurred between what defines a modern bed and breakfast as compared to an inn and in contrast to a hotel. Since many of the inns and bed & breakfasts offer luxury accommodations and include breakfast as well, the only difference, it seems is the existence of a front desk in the inn and the lack of one in the B&B although even this divide is not consistent. As for the delineation between an inn and a hotel, the services provided are so similar in many ways that the only disparity is in the size of the establishment. Typically, the hotel is still recognized as a larger operation but not strictly speaking. Many hotels are smaller and more intimate in size just the same as there are a growing number of outfits described as inns with an increasing number of available rooms.
While I'm sure there are still private citizens who offer a room for rent with a breakfast included, the professional hospitality industry in Charleston is such that a bit of floor by the hearth or a bed in the hay of the barn might be included in a tale of the history of where one sleeps but rest assured, the present-day accommodations will provide private rooms, sumptuous comfort, solicitous service and likely gourmet meals all made available by highly trained staff whose prevailing concern is to provide impeccable service and to anticipate and meet the modern-day wayfarer's every need.
Read the reviews and learn what each establishment has to offer. Determine which inn, B&B or hotel suits your needs in location, proximity to sites, number of guests, amenities and pricing, and then book your selection for the most comfortable and ideal accommodations for you.