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Finding a place to stay in Charleston

My son’s knob year I looked at hotels.com to find an affordable hotel in the Charleston area for Matriculation Day and Parents Weekend. I had never been to Charleston and didn’t know the area. We were budget conscious, but at the same time we didn’t want to stay in a bad area of town. The first few visits we stayed at properties that were a little higher in price, but were also well-known chains.

The Cadre of Bravo Company lead push ups during the promotions ceremony Parents Weekend, 2009.

After talking with other parents on our visits I picked up a few tips. If I had this information earlier we could have saved a good bit of money.   Learning this one tip took me from the decent AAA discounts to the DEEP discounts I enjoyed for the final 3 years.

Sunset over the Ashley River as seen from the Best Western Downtown Charleston balcony.

So here is The Tip: when making hotel reservations, call the hotel directly and ask if they offer a special rate for Citadel families. The following hotels are all near campus and may offer discounted rates for Citadel families, but they fill up quickly and you need to call them directly and ask if they have rooms available at the discounted rate for Citadel families. Charleston Marriott, Best Western Charleston Downtown, Courtyard Charleston MarriottSpringHill Suites Charleston, LaQuinta Inn & Suites Charleston Riverview, Comfort Inn

A very industrious hotel general manager found our Facebook group for Georgia Parents several years ago and offered us a special rate at the Hawthorn Suites, a great property about 7 miles from campus that offers a 2 room suite with kitchen facilities, an indoor pool, and a full breakfast in the lobby each morning. They still offer discounts to all Citadel families if you call the hotel directly in advance and rooms are available.

Every hotel I’ve stayed in: the Embassy Suites in North Charleston, Best Western Charleston Downtown, SpringHill Suites Charleston, LaQuinta Inn & Suites Charleston Riverview, and the Courtyard Charleston Marriott, and the Hampton Inn & Suites Charleston/West Ashley,  have laundry facilities for your cadet to use while off campus visiting with you. Be sure to have plenty of quarters and your own detergent.

Charleston is known for its wonderful restaurants, historic inns and beautiful luxury hotels. For an overview of all that Charleston has to offer, you can visit the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (CACVB) website.  The CACVB website is also a great place to visit if you are looking for help in booking function space for a graduation party, Ring Weekend celebration or other big event.

Recognition Day, April 2008. Embassy Suites-Historic Charleston in the background.

A few families with RV’s have found camp grounds in the area they like to frequent. A number of families like to rent homes or condos by the beach when they visit. VRBO.com is a good place to start to find a rental property.

If you have tips, or a favorite hotel or rental company you like to through, please leave a note in the comments section of this entry.

(unless of course you want to keep your special place a secret)

4 Responses

  1. My cadet loves staying out at the Convention Center and Tanger Outlet area. There are a lot of places to eat out that are not as crowded, places to shop and most importantly a WALMART (which is our new favorite store). We stay at a Homewoods Suite hotel because there are two rooms (Victoria sleeps a lot and I want to watch TV), it is cheaper than the Embassy, I can cook on a stove, they have a hot breakfast included and laundry facilities. The downside of this area is that it is roughly 15 mins from the barracks (but that is also one of the reasons Victoria likes it). No matter where you end up, I would suggest you find a place that is comfortable for you, so that you always know where you will be staying. That helps a lot when you are making all of those first year knob visits. Consistency is key. Good Luck.


  2. I almost always use Priceline and get great deals. It takes a little practice, but you can usually get a hotel in the area you want for a very good discount. The way I do it, I select the area I want and enter a price at about 40% of the published rate. If that offer is not accepted, I add an area that does NOT offer hotels at the same star level, and up the price by a small amount (usually $2-3). I continue this until I have exhausted all combinations, or until my offer is accepted. If not successful, I just try again the next day (you have to wait 24 hours). We have stayed at the Sheraton North Charleston (less than 10 min. from campus and across interstate from Tanger Outlets) many time and never paid over $60 per night. NOTE: Once you have a confirmed room, call the hotel directly to find out what type room they have you booked in. It will likely be a King. Ask for 2 doubles/queens. Never had a problem getting this.

    As far a location goes……North of Charleston is pretty close, and travel time to and from campus is not bad. Mt. Pleasant is a very nice area with great hotels, restaurants, etc. But traffic can be bad, especially at busy times. Downtown has the nicest hotels, but be sure to check parking fees. Also, traffic is very bad at times. West Ashley traffic is bad almost always.


  3. Best hotel in Charleston hands down!! This hotel is on the beautiful college campus of Charleston Southern University! Easy access to I-26 and only 15 minutes to downtown Charleston. Call us 843-553-4444!!
    Charleston Wingate
    Like us on our business page! Wingate by Wyndham at Charleston Southern University..


  4. […] for hotels in Mt. Pleasant or North Charleston for better rates in general. I’ve written in a previous post about the hotels who traditionally have offered a Citadel Family rate, but most of them are nearing […]


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