This Gilded Age residence, built for a cotton merchant and his bride in the 1880s, was renovated and opened as a hotel in 1998 after stints as a masonic meeting place and an insurance office. It's a testament to some serious preservation and restoration that stepping onto the property feels akin to stepping back in time. Intricate dark wood paneling, Tiffany-style stained glass, and period furniture that might feel stuffy in another building feel perfectly proportioned and at home in the Wentworth Mansion's large, airy rooms. And all but two of the rooms have their own gas fireplaces.
Modern conveniences for guests include wireless access throughout the property, oversized whirlpool bathtubs, and free on-site parking. Visit Harleston Parlor for wine in the afternoon and sherry in the evening, or settle down in a cozy wicker chair in the sunroom. And feel free to bring the family dog along, as the hotel welcomes pets in most of its rooms.
Have you been here? Share a tip or a photo with fellow travelers.
The Wentworth Mansion is set in tranquil Harleston Village, a residential neighborhood home to both families and college students. Locals walk their dogs and fish for flounder around the perimeter of saltwater-fed Colonial Lake just blocks away. The neighborhood includes the College of Charleston, with its iconic antebellum Cistern and Randolph Hall at the heart of campus. There are some low-key local spots like newly opened Smith & Bull Cafe and longtime local favorite Queen Street Grocer, but otherwise the neighborhood is largely residential. If you're looking for more activity, though, it's not far to the bustle of the busy King Street corridor.
Need to Know
Rooms: 21 rooms; from $420. Check-in: 4 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options:Circa 1886, housed in the original carriage house behind the mansion, has an intimate dining room with wide curved booths designed to mimic the original stables. The cocktail program includes classics like the Last Word, and the seasonal menu brings in ingredients from local mainstays like heirloom Carolina Gold rice to exotic meats including antelope and elk. Spa and gym details:The hotel's spa, with its exposed beams and brick, has a rustic quality suited to its past as the mansion's carriage house. While there are no fitness facilities on-site, guests get free access to nearby EcoFitness.
Who's it for: Architecture lovers and active urbanists looking to explore the city's neighborhoods. Luxury travelers with a taste for old-fashioned opulence. Our favorite rooms: Ask for a room with an outside porch overlooking the rear of the property. Dining reservations:Be sure to make a reservation at Circa 1886, and ask the concierge about the restaurant's special culinary events (upcoming events include a wild game–themed dinner).