CHARLESTON, S.C. - People might be surprised to find out that one of the favorite Charleston hotels for visiting golfers is the Best Western King Charles Inn.
The King Charles Inn isn't a big fancy golf resort, nor is it particularly suited to the area's golf courses in geographic terms.
What the inn does have going for it, as far as golfers are concerned, are its location and its interest in golfers themselves.
The inn is smack dab in the historic district of Charleston, on Meeting Street, and caters to golfers.
"We do a lot of golf groups; we're the No. 1 hotel for the past two years with (golf packager) Charleston Golf," King Charles General Manager Dave Nimmo said. "It's location, definitely. And value. We're not the cheapest game in town, but we offer a quality product, especially for golfers."
For example, the inn has an excellent buffet breakfast in its Coral Terrace Dining Room that starts at 6:30 a.m. But, if golfers staying at the inn have early tee times and need to eat earlier, the inn will gladly accommodate them."And we're happy to pack them a box lunch," Nimmo said.
The lure for golfers is that they can stay in the interesting historic district, see the sights and still reach most of Charleston's golf courses in a reasonably short drive time.
And, of course, the area's superb restaurants are a major draw. The inn is within easy walking distance of many of the downtown area's well-known eateries.
Jestine's, for example, is right across the street.
"I think the big attraction is staying downtown," Nimmo said. "There's the historic district, but more than that are the restaurants. There's a lot of them obviously, so you're never going to run out of options. And you can walk anywhere downtown at night."
The building itself is part of Charleston's history. Built around 1830, the building was the meeting place for area artists and poets, including Edgar Allen Poe, who used it as a weekend retreat when he was a soldier at Fort Moultrie.
The boutique hotel, only a block from Charleston's famous market, has 91 rooms and two suites and free covered parking, which is hard to come by downtown.
The rooms are furnished in period decor, including armoires and poster beds, and the suites come with fireplaces and kitchens. Guests have concierge and business services at their disposal and can arrange for taxi, carriage or rickshaw pickup at the front door.
There is also free wireless Internet, a daily managers reception and access to a fitness facility.
The inn remodeled its upstairs lobby recently, and the owners plan another $5.5 million in renovations to the parking garage, rooms and exterior.
"At that point, we'll be eligible for four-diamond status," Nimmo said. "It's an exciting time for everyone here."
June 1, 2007