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Charming Inns

Happy Memorial Day everyone! I’ve teamed up with Charming Inns, a family-owned and operated collection of historic inns and restaurants in Charleston, SC, to give you an inside look at their properties and restaurants all week long plus an opportunity to win a stay at one of their Inns. Charming Inns owns the Fulton Lane Inn, the John Rutledge House Inn, the Wentworth Mansion, the Kings Courtyard Inn in addition to Kitchen 208 Restaurant & Circa 1886 Restaurant. Over the next week I’ll be sharing behind-the scenes looks of each of their properties and details on all of their summer specials. Plus you have a chance to win an overnight at one of their inns!

You might not know this about me but I married into a third-generation family owned and operated business. So you could say that I have a special place in my heart for family-owned businesses. I know the hard work and the time that goes into making your business successful. It’s a labor of love and not some long lost forgotten extension of a huge corporation. The owners are local, involved, and deeply invested in the success of the organization.

So it’s no surprise the excellence that oozes from each of Charming Inn’s 6 properties. There is no detail forgotten, no request ignored and in the event that your stay is 100% less than perfect (which it probably won’t be) they actually want to hear about it and care about your experience.

It was my privilege to spend some time with their Charleston based team a couple of weeks ago and learn all about their company. Maybe you’ve heard about one of their hotels the Wentworth Mansion? I mean it was only voted the #1 small city hotel in the US last year by Travel + Leisure in addition to being voted the #2 hotel in Charleston & the #13 hotel in the US by Conde Nast Readers Choice Awards. If you have ever stepped foot inside this luxe mansion in the heart of the Holy City then you know it is swank on swank on swank and I literally can’t even wait to tell you all about it later this week.

Wentworth Mansion (8 of 8)
Wentworth Mansion (1 of 8)
Wentworth Mansion Exterior (1 of 2)

Did you also know that on the grounds of the Wentworth Mansion there is a phenomenal restaurant called Circa 1886? Seriously, phenomenal. One of my girlfriends’ brother is on their staff and needless to say I’ve had my share of meals there and it is hands down probably the best place I’ve ever eaten. And I’m not the only one that has noticed. Circa 1886 was ranked as the #12 top restaurant in the US by the 2014 Trip Advisor Travelers’ Choice Awards. Think about that people. #12. In the US. There are 12 restaurants on East Bay Street alone that I could eat at for the rest of my life. So take my word for it this restaurant is something special and you need to check back later this week to hear all about their new summer menu.

Circa 1886
Circa 1886

While we are talking food (which just so happens to be one of my favorite topics) let’s talk casual dining right smack dab in the middle of King Street. You’ve been there…. “ok let’s park at in the lot near Urban Outfitters then hit Moon & Lola, J.Crew, Anthropologie before we grab a coffee at Starbucks and stroll through all the shops at Charleston Place”. Well did you know that only a hop, skip and a jump down King Street is a superb dining experience? Kitchen 208 Restaurant is the sort of restaurant where all of my dreams come true. It’s quick, casual, offers alfresco dinning, serves really fresh items and REALLY great fries plus it’s right?in the middle of the best shopping around.

Kitchen 208 Restaurant (3 of 6)
Kitchen 208 Restaurant (2 of 6)

If you stroll just a little further down King Street you will find the Fulton Lane Inn, a private little romantic inn that you just so happen to have the opportunity to win a stay to (details here). The Fulton Lane Inn might just be the most inviting Bed & Breakfast I’ve ever stepped foot inside. I’m a huge fan of their crisp and clean design coupled with their historic decor (lace canopies I mean say no more). It’s a beautify little retreat right off of bustling King Street and oh did I mention their guests have breakfast + wine and cheese receptions included? Where do I sign?

Fulton Lane Inn (7 of 8)
Fulton Lane Inn (3 of 8)

Right now are you thinking that Charming Inns has taken over the world? Well they might as well have because they have definitely taken over the Charleston luxury Inns scene. Literally right next door to the Fulton Lane Inn is the Kings Courtyard Inn. A hotel circa 1853 with sun-filled courtyards and rooms complete with original hardwood floors, oriental rugs, working fireplaces and coziness on deck.

Kings Courtyard Inn (6 of 8)
Kings Courtyard Inn (7 of 8)

And if you’ve driven into downtown Charleston from Lockwood onto Broad then I know that you have seen that beautiful historic house with the deep green 2-story wrought iron and the black and white checkered tile. Well it is also owned by Charming Inns and is no other than the John Rutledge House Inn. You know John right? He is not only one of the 55 signers of the US Constitution but also the guy that drafted the whole thing right here in this very house. Plus he was the President and first governor of SC and oh yeah he was also on the Supreme Court. So what I’m saying is he was a pretty big deal and his house is an even bigger deal. I mean step up that winding stairwell and into that oversized door and you might have well as drifted back into the 1800 hundreds or an episode of Downton Abbey.

John Rutledge House (5 of 5)
John Rutledge House Inn (4 of 12)

So for those of you still around thanks for reading the world’s longest post and I really hope you join me later this week for more beautiful photos of all of these properties. And don’t forget to check out this post on instagram for all of the details of how you can win a stay at the Fulton Lane Inn.

– Cristin

This post was in partnership with Charming Inns. Photos by Katheryn Blythe Photography.

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