17 Best Hotels near Charleston SC Cruise Port (Carnival) in 2024

Hotels near Port of Charleston SC

Best Hotels near Charleston Cruise Port

Best Hotels near Charleston Cruise Port

Posted by Stefan DP – Last Updated on December 28, 2023

Charleston pier and harborCharleston cruise port is one of the most popular destinations for cruisers looking to set out on the East Coast, and sits conveniently between ports north in New York, and the likes of Port Miami down south.

The city itself is well served by a variety of hotels for those needing to stay immediately before or after their cruise.

If you plan to arrive in Charleston without a car, there are plenty of hotels a walk away or cheap cab/Uber ride from the port, meaning getting yourself and your luggage to the cruise terminal simple.

If you plan to take in the sites of Charleston sc before your cruise, consider staying in the historic district. Prices will be higher for hotels here, but it may be worth it for the sights and sounds of the beautiful old city.

Head out sightseeing during the day, return to your room to freshen up, and head out again to any of the great downtown restaurants for dinner.

Most hotels will provide parking for the duration of your stay in the city, allowing you to walk out (or take a short Uber ride) into the town, to enjoy some of the city’s best places.

The best downtown sights include the bustling Historic Market, as well as the quieter Waterfront Park and White Point Garden, from where you can take a walk up the Battery lined with gorgeous gardens. As well as the historic market, you can also get your shopping fix along King Street, the city’s central shopping district.

Of course, as well as accommodation in the centre of Charleston, there are also cheaper options further out for a pre-cruise stay in areas like Mt. Pleasant and West Ashley. Actually some of Charleston’s best value hotels are located in the Mount Pleasant area.

Read also: Charleston hotel deals

What are the Closest Hotels to Charleston SC Cruise Ship Terminal? (within walking distance)

Charleston cruise port
Charleston Cruise Port – Union Pier

1. Market Pavilion Hotel ★★★★ (Walking Distance)

This luxurious four storey hotel is in a prime location with a short, five minute walk to the Waterfront cruise port. Its elegant facade has Juliet balconies and a roof top balustrade. Throughout, there is a distinctive theme of colonial splendor with elaborate drapes, four poster beds and traditional mahogany furniture.

The lounge has a grand piano, glass chandeliers and antique paintings, while the dining area has an unusual ceiling with deeply recessed panels. It’s one of the best places to stay if you want to enjoy the atmospheric charm of historic Charleston.

Why Stay Here

  • 5 min walk from cruise port
  • Rooftop bar/pool

2. Harbourview Inn ★★★★ (Top Hotel)

The exterior of this charming red brick hotel features arched windows and a long, second floor balcony. Inside, you’ll find wooden shutters at the windows, cozy fireplaces and elegant handmade furniture. Each room is individually decorated in tasteful colors of pale green, lemon or beige with luxurious drapes in toning shades.

Although there are four poster beds and traditional mahogany furniture, they blend perfectly with the contemporary artwork, mirrors and lamps that give the rooms a refreshing, modern appearance. You can enjoy wonderful views of the cruise terminal which is just five minutes away.

Why Stay Here

  • One of closest hotels to cruise ship terminal
  • Luxury boutique hotel, rooms with harbor view

3. Church Street Inn, Ascend Hotel Collection ★★★ (Great Value)

A short walk of seven minutes from Charleston cruise port leads to this luxurious townhouse with its stylish facade of pink brick. At the rear is a quaint courtyard garden with cobblestones and a fountain. The spacious lobby combines minimalist decor with original features such as ornate doorways and painted wooden panelling.

Bright, modern artwork on the walls complements the traditionally upholstered sofas in the lounge, creating a sophisticated, but relaxed atmosphere. Elegant rooms and split level suites provide comfortable accommodation with views of the port and picturesque Downtown mansions.

Why Stay Here

  • 7 min walk from port
  • Good value for money

4. The Vendue and The Enclave at The Vendue ★★★★ (Walking Distance to Port)

This boutique hotel was built in 1780 and boasts a facade of pale yellow with rows of latticed windows and wrought iron Juliet balconies. Its interior is a startling blend of antique and contemporary design. Many rooms feature exposed brickwork, modern art canvases and futuristic chairs with tubular metal frames.

The spacious lounge has chandeliers and a winding staircase with glass panels. Upstairs, the color scheme is typically white with lamps, cushions and rugs in bright crimson. When your cruise ship is due to leave, it takes seven minutes to walk to the terminal.

Why Stay Here

  • 7 min walking distance from cruise port
  • Located inside the French Quarter
Charleston downtown area
Downtown Historic District of Charleston

1. Indigo Inn ★★★ (Highly Rated Hotel)

Originally a warehouse, this beautiful boutique hotel is located in the historic Downtown district that’s popular for Carnival cruise vacations. The good value accommodation offers a glimpse of eighteenth century splendor. Mahogany wall panels and traditional, upholstered furniture are in the lounge which features antique paintings and displays of blue and white antique crockery.

Individual rooms are elegantly presented with a pale lemon decor, four poster beds and drapes of indigo blue. Guests can relax in the charming courtyard garden or admire views of St. Michael’s church. The port is half a mile away.

Why Stay Here

  • Good value for money
  • Within walking distance of shopping & dining

2. Homewood Suites By Hilton Charleston Historic District ★★★

The distinctive exterior of this five storey hotel combines glass, yellow stone and red brick. It’s one of the best places if you prefer to stay in minimalist, contemporary surroundings while exploring Downtown Charleston sc.

Lounges and dining areas are spacious with modern, upholstered sofas while the comfortable suites have a relaxing color scheme of cream, pale green or gray. Elegant drapes, table lamps and comfortable furniture add to the cozy atmosphere and large windows provide views of the French Quarter. You can reach the port of Charleston in approximately five minutes by car.

Why Stay Here

  • Easy access to King Street
  • Outdoor swimming pool and rooms with kitchen

3. Mills House Charleston, Curio Collection by Hilton ★★★★ (Luxury Hotel)

Less than minute walk or a short 4 minute drive from the cruise terminal leads to this elegant pink hotel. It has a long wrought iron balcony that rooms on the second floor can access through French doors.

The entrance hall is particularly impressive, featuring white pillars and a double staircase with a bright orange carpet. In the dining area and lounge you’ll find decorative archways, ceiling beams and a stone balustrade. A marble floor, rattan chairs and blue sofas help create an atmosphere of relaxed charm. Rooms of pale turquoise offer views of Downtown Charleston in South Carolina.

Why Stay Here

  • Located in less crowded & more quiet part of town
  • Outdoor pool and some rooms have balcony

Cheaper Options with Free Parking (Downtown shuttle)

1. Holiday Inn Charleston-Riverview, an IHG Hotel ★★★ (Free Shuttle)

One of the most distinctive buildings west of the Ashley River is the round, multi-storey Holiday Inn. Its white, curved exterior features windows with wrought iron balconies where you can enjoy wonderful views of the nearby marina and the surrounding countryside.

Inside, the rooms have a refreshing, nautical color scheme of pale turquoise walls, light gray drapes and furniture with a stylish finish of gray bleached wood. The spacious lounge and dining rooms are presented in a contemporary, cozy style with chairs and cushions in vivid colors of red, yellow and golden brown. The cruise ship port of Charleston sc can be reach in only 10 minutes.

Why Stay Here

  • Free shuttle service within a 2 mile radius
  • Free Parking and on-site restaurant

2. Hilton Garden Inn Charleston Waterfront/Downtown ★★★

Affordable accommodation can be found on the outskirts of Charleston. The Hilton Garden Inn is in a picturesque location overlooking the City Marina on the Ashley River. Many of the rooms have Juliet balconies and lovely views of the yachts moored in the small harbor.

Each of the spacious rooms is simply furnished and decorated in a similar style with cream walls and drapes of green, brown and white stripes. You can relax in the lounge where the green and brown color scheme continues to add a coordinated, stylish appearance. You can walk to the Historic District in about 15 to 20 minutes. Uber or Lyft are among other options to get around the penninsula.

Why Stay Here

  • Free car parking
  • Some rooms have balcony & marina view

3. SpringHill Suites by Marriott Charleston Riverview ★★★

Across the bridge, west of the Ashley River, you’ll find this palatial five storey hotel with its elegant white and gray exterior. It’s in a prime location beside the City Marina. Inside the hotel, there’s a sophisticated, minimalist decor with contemporary design features such as three-dimensional artwork on the walls and a staircase with glass panels.

A color scheme of beige and brown contrasted by chairs of bright blue, help to create a restful, welcoming atmosphere. Individual suites are simply furnished with turquoise drapes framing views of the marina. You can easily get to the Historic District by taxi, Uber, or Lyft.

Why Stay Here

  • Free parking and rooms with water & marina view

What are the Best Hotels in West Ashley, Mount Pleasant?

Charleston Ravenel Bridge
Charleston Ravenel Bridge

Staying at a Hotel in Mt. Pleasant

If you head over the grand and swooping Ravenal Bridge to the eastern end of Charleston you’ll find yourself in Mt. Pleasant, a close-by but separate town. The first thing you’ll notice are a great number of hotels perfect for a pre-cruise stay.

It’s too far to walk across the bridge to the centre of Charleston, but a short Uber ride will get you there for under $15 if the traffic is not too bad. Travelling from a hotel in Mt. Pleasant across to Charleston will mean grappling with rush hour traffic on the Ravenal Bridge at particular house.

If you don’t travel into downtown Charleston, Mt. Pleasant still has plenty of its own historical and natural attractions, from Patriot’s Point and the Boone Hall Plantation, to the beautiful Shem Creek, as well as a host of great restaurants to enjoy after a long excursion.

Staying at a Hotel in West Ashley

If instead of sightseeing in the centre of Charleston you plan to take some trips out to more wider spread sights (like Patriots Point), on the other side of Charleston to Mt. Pleasant is the West Ashley area across the Ashley River.

West Ashley is well served by a large number of hotels lining Highway 17, making getting about and seeing the sights of North Carolina (especially with your own vehicle) particularly easy.

Being much further out from Charleston than Mt. Pleasant, getting to the centre of the city will be more difficult, but hotel rates in West Ashley are generally much cheaper than elsewhere at the expense of some of the picturesque charm of the city’s central places.

Still, West Ashley remains a great choice for those looking to explore the area by car, or those who want a less expensive hotel option.

1. Cambria Hotel Mount Pleasant – Charleston ★★★ (Top)

Located to the east of Charleston, this four storey hotel has a contemporary exterior of gray and terracotta bricks and large glass panels. Throughout the hotel, there is a relaxing color scheme of gray and white with bright colors concentrated in the modern artwork on the walls.

The stylish bar has pendant teardrop lanterns and metallic stools with vivid blue seats. Individual rooms have a minimalist appearance with simply designed, contemporary furniture, but polished wooden floors, plush rugs and comfortable sofas add a cozy warmth. Nearby are several shopping malls. Distance to the port is 7.5 miles, approx. 15 minutes driving.

Why Stay Here

  • Newer modern hotel
  • One of best value for money hotels

2. Staybridge Suites Charleston – Mount Pleasant, an IHG Hotel ★★★

This modern hotel of yellow and golden brown brick incorporates an old fashioned charm with its decorative arched windows. The spacious lounge and dining areas have an overall gray color scheme and feature ornamental stone walls around the cozy fireplaces. Between pillars lined with wooden panelling, there are comfortable sofas and chairs in a contemporary style. Elegant lamps and rugs add to the welcoming atmosphere.

Tastefully furnished rooms have a relaxing color scheme of either beige or pale turquoise and many have balconies offering views of the Cooper River. Charleston cruise port is only 10 to 15 minutes away by car, taxi or Uber.

Why Stay Here

  • Great value for money and free parking
  • One of the best hotels in Mt Pleasant

3. DoubleTree by Hilton Charleston Mount Pleasant ★★★

Inside this palatial hotel there is an impressive, spacious lobby with an intricately patterned wooden floor and dark brown leather seating. Luxurious, dark red walls, three-dimensional artwork and contemporary glass chandeliers instantly provide a cozy, welcoming atmosphere. In the bar, there are leather topped stools and pendant lamps.

The spacious rooms are simply furnished and have a generally pale beige color scheme with elegant drapes in a checked pattern of blue and antique gold. Plush dark brown carpets and table lamps in modern designs add a finishing touch of stylish comfort. You can reach the cruise terminal in less than 20 minutes, depending on traffic.

Why Stay Here

  • Free Parking
  • Outdoor pool

4. Town & Country Inn and Suites ★★★ (Great Value)

This is one of the few two storey hotels in the district. Although modern, this great value hotel presents a facade of traditional colonial elegance complete with a small, roof top tower. Inside, there are comfortable lounges and dining areas with an elegant cream color scheme complemented by luxurious drapes in beige and antique gold.

Polished wooden tables, comfortable chairs and sofas in dark turquoise and stylish pendant lamps contribute to an image of cozy warmth. The spacious rooms have walls of peach or deep yellow, traditional furniture, elegant lamps and comfortable sofas. Distance from Charleston cruise port is 6.5 miles, or 17 to 20 minutes by car.

Why Stay Here

  • Comfortable rooms
  • Free car parking and outdoor pool

5. Home2 Suites Charleston West Ashley ★★★ (Top Hotel)

The imposing, four storey square hotel has an exterior of warm, pale brown brick. It leads into a lobby decorated in a minimalist design with a sleek bell desk illuminated by spotlights. The spacious lounge has comfortable, contemporary sofas while the cafeteria style dining area is cheerfully presented with square tables and green chairs.

Upstairs, the spacious rooms and suites are individually styled with a combination of beige and pale turquoise walls. A common theme throughout is the lively red color of the table lamps, cushions and panels behind the beds. It’s one of the best reviewed hotels in the area, which makes it an excellent pre- or post cruise hotel in Charleston sc. On the morning of embarkation you can reach the terminal in about 20 minutes, depending on traffic.

Why Stay Here

  • One of best hotels in West Ashley
  • Good value for money

Cheap hotels in Mt. Pleasant / West Ashley

6. Best Western Patriots Point
7. Creekside Creekside Inn

What are the Best Hotels in North Charleston near the Airport?

1. Hampton Inn & Suites Charleston Airport ★★★ (Highly Reviewed)

This is one of the finest hotels located near the airport, which is 12 miles to the north of the Carnival Cruises terminal. Inside the large, seven storey hotel, you’ll discover an elegant lounge with polished wooden flooring, pale green pillars and comfortable seating.

The spacious rooms have a tasteful color scheme of pale yellow walls and elegant drapes with stripes of beige and antique gold. There is a minimalist design for the furniture, but a comfortable, cozy atmosphere is created by the beautiful selection of mirrors, lamps and paintings. The port can be reached in about 15 minutes.

Why Stay Here

  • Free Parking & Airport Shuttle
  • Not far from Tanger Outlet Charleston

2. North Charleston Marriott ★★★

The palatial, white exterior of this multi-storey hotel looks particularly elegant when illuminated at night. By day, you can relax on the outdoor terrace where there is an ornamental fountain. Inside the Marriott, the lobby is surprisingly huge with a high ceiling and dozens of armchairs arranged in cozy groups.

A spacious dining area presents a refined, elegant image with pale gray chairs and multiple tiny lights on the dark brown walls. Individual guest rooms are spacious and tastefully decorated with wooden flooring, comfortable sofas and elegant drapes in a beautiful silver gray. The hotel is about 9 miles from the Port of Charleston.

Why Stay Here

  • Great value for money
  • Free airport transfer and complimentary parking

Hotel Map

If you head over the grand and swooping Ravenal Bridge to the eastern end of Charleston you’ll find yourself in Mt. Pleasant, a close-by but separate town. Among the best hotels in the area include the Cambria Hotel Mount Pleasant, Staybridge Suites and Wyndham Garden hotel. On the other side of Charleston to Mt. Pleasant is the West Ashley area across the Ashley River. West Ashley is well served by a large number of hotels lining Highway 17, making getting about and seeing the sights of North Carolina (especially with your own vehicle) particularly easy. Recommended hotels include the Town & Country Inn and Suites and Home2 Suites Charleston West Ashley.

Hampton Inn & Suites Charleston Airport is one of the best hotels in North Charleston. From the hotel, the port can be reached in about 15 minutes. Another recommended property is the North Charleston Marriott.

If you plan to take in the sites of Charleston sc before your cruise, consider staying in the historic district. Prices will be higher for hotels here, but it may be worth it for the sights and sounds of the beautiful old city. There are also cheaper options further out for a pre-cruise stay in areas like Mt. Pleasant and West Ashley.

Several excellent hotels are located within easy walking distance from Charleston cruise port in South Carolina. Nearest properties include the Market Pavilion Hotel, Harbourview Inn, Church Street Inn and The Vendue.

Port of Charleston SC – Carnival Cruises

  • Charleston Cruise Terminal – Union Pier (Historic District)

Who Sails from Charleston

The city is a home port to ships from Carnival Cruises and American Cruise Lines.

Hotel Options with Cruise Parking

If you stay in a hotel in Charleston’s central historic district, you won’t find yourself very far from the port. However, its unlikely that hotels in the centre of Charleston will provide parking for your car whilst you are cruising, as Charleston is a dense area where real estate space is maximised for other things.

For hotels able to supply a parking package, you’ll likely have to look west over the river to the West Ashley area, or to the east over the Cooper River in Mt. Pleasant.

As well as providing pre or post cruise parking, hotels in this area may also offer a shuttle service to get you to the port in Charleston, but you might also find that an Uber or Lyft journey is a cheaper option for your party’s travel.

Parking at the Port

Using the Official Charleston Port Parking

Catering to the demand of its large number of cruisers, Charleston port provides an official parking service. Not far from the terminal building is a large outside car lot, where you can then check in before taking a shuttle bus to the ship you are cruising aboard.

Only passengers are able to enter and park here, and Port Police work on securing and patrolling the car park, providing the peace of mind you need to enjoy your holiday.

The price for a regular vehicle is around $21 for each day, whilst the shuttle bus service to the ship and back is complementary for your journeys to and from your cruise.

Using Off-site Charleston Port Parking

Though independent parking options are sparse in Charleston, the port is well served by Park & Go, a parking service that serves the nearby airport but also caters to cruisers.

This parking lot is a greater distance from the port (around 10 miles away), but the cheaper parking rates (from $10 a day) make it a much cheaper option compared to the official port parking.

Whilst no free shuttle service is provided, you can always use a ride service like Uber or Lyft to get to the cruise terminal.

(Latest update December 28th 2023)

Please contact us if any information is incorrect or not up-to-date.

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Additional information: Charleston SC TravelWeatherTours & Transportation

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