Last week my husband and I were able to get away and have a truly relaxing vacation. We booked our travel through Travelocity.com and found a great old hotel across from the City Market in Charleston, South Carolina. We typically like to stay at nice hotels when we travel. It’s been 20 years since we’ve stayed at a place with a number in the name. We typically like the Hilton brand of hotels or Starwood Hotels. So we chose the French Quarter Inn http://www.fqicharleston.com/. Most vacations we take are planned down to the last detail. This time we decided that we would make no plans and just fly by the seat of our pants. As you can remember from a post a couple of weeks ago I’d been disappointed by not getting a promotion at work. I am one of those Type A personalities that cannot leave work at the office, but I was going to try my best to forget about everything. Well, I can only say that being greeted at the front desk at check-in with a glass of champagne sure starts a vacation off right. The French Quarter Inn is a small boutique hotel with three floors of guest rooms. Our King room was charming with ample space including an armoire, desk with chair, armchair and small table with two chairs. The furnishings appear to show wear, but I believe they are reproduction pieces meant to appear like old French antiques. There was an in-room fridge and safe. The bathroom had black and white tile with modern furnishings. The only negative of our visit was in the bathroom where the bottom of the tub was scratched and there was dirty grout or mold in the corner by the tub.
We took a rest in our room and late in the afternoon went down to enjoy wine (four varieties) and cheese (Swiss, cheddar and pepper jack cubes, boursin spreadable) and crackers as well as grapes. This is served every evening and a great snack before a late dinner. Also available at that time were the drinks that are available all day long in the common area in the lobby. These beverages include coffee, hot tea, two flavors of iced tea, water and lemonade. For a sweet treat there were pitchers of M&Ms and Jelly Bellys.
The location of the hotel allowed for us to move throughout the historic district on foot and when our legs became fatigued and we needed refreshment from the heat and humidity we could make it back to the hotel, pour a drink, and return to our room to put our feet up for a few minutes or relax in the lobby. This allowed us time to catch up on the Olympics in the middle of the day, cool off and go back out for lunch and afternoon activities, and then return again prior to dinner as well. The front desk staff was superb. They were very friendly and very informative. We gained information from them and several times while relaxing in the lobby saw them deal with guests requests including dinner recommendations and reservations. The clientele during our stay ranged from young families to older travelers and foreign travelers from Ireland, Germany and France. All guests were treated with great care and consideration. In the evenings we had no problem getting to any type of restaurant within a couple of blocks. We enjoyed a lovely Italian meal that was a short block away from the hotel. Most meals we had were within less than three blocks from this hotel. And when we returned to the hotel each night we were delighted to find fresh baked cookies and milk for a snack before bed in the lobby. Each morning we were able to enjoy a lovely continental breakfast with pastries, croissants (ham/cheese, chocolate, and almond), bagels, toast, cereal, yogurt, fresh fruit and hard boiled eggs. Three different juices, two types of milk, coffee and tea were available to drink. Other amenities that we did not take advantage of were free bicycle rentals, a pillow menu, and umbrellas if you face a day with rain. When I started our vacation on Thursday, I had been experiencing pain in my shoulders, neck and head. Within the first two days, this experience had relaxed me enough to have relieved the stress and pain. Some of this may have been from the comfortable bed at the hotel. At first we were worried as the mattress felt very soft, almost too soft, as we climbed in the first night, but each night I was able to sleep through until morning and wake with no back ache. This is not always achieved when traveling and staying in a strange bed. Now we just need to find out what mattress the bed had as we were missing that comfort when we returned home. We would definitely recommend this hotel if you are planning a stay in Charleston. And if you don’t stay here, we would still recommend the location as it was easy to get to all the shopping, dining and historic areas of the Charleston peninsula.