Tuesday, July 2, 2013

A Home in Charleston

Out of all of the cities in the United States that I have visited, Charleston, South Carolina, continues to be my absolute favorite.  There was something magical about the city that I cannot quite put my finger on.  I loved being by the water and watching the sailboats; I loved the food; I loved the historic character of the city; I loved touring all of the preserved homes and learning their history; I even loved the heat.  It was hot as balls in Charleston.  We visited in August, which was not the brightest idea I've ever had.  I distinctly remember the last day of our trip as being the hottest of them all.  We were going to walk quite a distance to get to an old house that you could tour and I figured that we'd just leave earlier in the morning before the heat really set in.  We left around 8:15 A.M. and the second you stepped outside, the sweat started trickling down your forehead.  That's real heat. 

When I was researching hotels for our stay in Charleston, I had one requirement.  That requirement was that the hotel MUST have a pool.  I could not imagine being in Charleston without a pool.  Surprisingly, there are not many hotels with pools in Charleston due to the historic nature of the city.  I did find one, The Mills House Hotel, which we booked immediately and then never once went to the pool.  We spent our afternoons napping in the air-conditioned room instead of being outside.  This is what happens when northerners visit the south in the summer.

The Mills House Hotel was a fabulous choice even though we did not use their pool.  Here's a look at the outside of the hotel:

The hotel itself has a rich historical background and it's pink.  I loved staying in a cute, pink hotel.  The rooms were a bit small, but comfortable.  While they were nothing super fancy, I thought they were clean and the A/C worked like a charm.  That's all you really need in Charleston.  Here's a view of the room     
Mike always jumps on the hotel bed before I can snap a picture.  There he is lounging right after check-in.  I think he does this because he knows that my travel itineraries rarely leave room for rest and relaxation. 
We never ate at the hotel, but we did enjoy a few cocktails in the hotel bar.  The bartenders there made a stiff drink!  Here I am on our first night enjoying a Campari soda.  The bar had kind of a cool Havana vibe with large chairs and these huge palm leaf fans. 
The most appealing part of the hotel was the great location.  We did not rent a car in Charleston, so ended up walking everywhere.  The Mills House Hotel was close to the water and close to Broad and close to King Streets.  It was easy to walk everywhere we wanted to go as the hotel is right in the heart of the city.  Normally, when we travel to a large city we do not rent a car.  I think that when we go back to Charleston in the future, I would rent a car because there are a lot of things to do outside of the city that we couldn't get to without taking a cab.  The hotel was great about setting up cabs for its guests, but cab rides add up.
I would give the Mills House Hotel 4 out of 5 stars.  I think the rooms could use a little updating and the pillows weren't the fluffiest, but I was able to sleep just fine.

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