Many travelers have never stayed in a bed and breakfast, or “B&B”, and have never realized they could stay in a historic mansion as a pampered guest. They may feel B&Bs are just for honeymooners or romantic weekends. In fact, B&Bs offer extraordinary service, modern amenities, gourmet cuisine, and décor unmatched by the big chain hotels.
Hotel Concierge Versus Innkeeper
While a hotel concierge might simply direct guests to a rack filled with outdated tourist pamphlets, many B&B owners are seasoned locals with a wealth of knowledge about the area. Staying in an exquisite historical home owned by someone who knows the area is an experience not to be missed.
Charm Abounds in Charleston
Charleston, South Carolina is known for its rich history, stellar hospitality, and an abundance of charming B&B’s to choose from. Guests to Charleston can walk through cobblestone streets or take a horse drawn carriage as they admire the colonial architecture and step back in time.
Governor’s House Inn
When planning a visit to Charleston, travelers should check out TripAdvisor’s top-rated bed & breakfast in the city –– the stunning Governor’s House Inn. This historic national landmark and award-winning B&B is located within blocks of some of the area’s best restaurants, famous shops, and impressive art galleries. It is truly a treasure –– a three-story eighteenth-century mansion located in the heart of Charleston’s historic district.
How the Governor’s House Became a Historic B&B in Charleston
The home was initially declared a historic landmark because it was once owned by Edward Rutledge, the youngest (at age twenty-six) to sign the Declaration of Independence.
First Impressions are Everything
Upon arriving at the Governor’s House Inn, guests are greeted by not only the gorgeous house itself, but perfectly manicured grounds, complete with fountains, paved walkways and of course, magnolia trees. White columns and a wraparound porch –– featuring wicker and wrought iron furniture and colorful cushions, inviting guests to unplug and unwind –– frame the classic yellow façade.
A Spiral Staircase for a Grand Entrance
The foyer is decorated in true period style, with a massive fireplace, wallpaper adorned with oversized birds in full plumage, and a grand spiral staircase. Lovers of antique furniture will find themselves surrounded by period pieces in every room.
Formidable Fireplaces, Sparkling Chandeliers
Yet another fireplace can be found in the Piano Room, with comfortable furniture for lounging. A huge sparkling chandelier graces the bright yellow formal dining room, highlighted by a gilt mirror and floor-to-ceiling windows.
Don’t Worry; There’s WIFI
Guests won’t have to wait for their morning coffee – each room has a coffeemaker, TV, and many include refrigerators and even a wet bar. And yes, there is Wi-Fi access for those who need it!
Say “I Do!” to a Picture-Perfect Wedding Venue
Couples seeking a charming, quaint, and historic wedding venue in a Charleston mansion will find the Governor’s House Inn at the top of their list. This location is stunning both inside and out, and provides the perfect backdrop for photographs to help newlyweds remember their big day. The gorgeous stairway looks like it was designed especially for bridal entrances!
The courtyard and first floor are ideal for a beautiful ceremony, and the B&B is available for the entire bridal party to stay in comfort. Wedding packages include a wine and cheese reception, exceptional concierge service, complimentary onsite parking, and more.
A Fascinating History
Few houses in the United States can boast a history as remarkable as the Governor’s House Inn. With its history spanning nearly 250 years, this home has been visited and lived in by U.S. presidents, governors, statesmen, royalty, diplomats, mayors, military heroes, religious leaders, prominent attorneys, physicians, successful merchants and entrepreneurs. And while each new owner has left their mark, the house has continued to retain its original character and magnificent architectural details. The property was originally an 18th century orange garden believed to have been a venue for concerts in colonial times.
The house was built in 1770 for James Laurens, a prominent Charleston merchant. Designed in the classic Georgian double house style, the interior of the home was graced with tall ceilings, a center stairway and two rooms symmetrically located on either side. The original five-bay center section, heart of pine floors, fireplaces and triple-hung windows still remain.
The Governor’s House Inn is named in honor of one of its most renowned residents, Edward Rutledge. Rutledge would later become a soldier of the Revolution, a South Carolina legislator and ultimately the twenty-ninth Governor of South Carolina. Upon entering the house, visitors will see a portrait of Edward Rutledge and a special copy of the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration is an 1819 edition that was specially printed to highlight and commemorate important historical features related to the Declaration of Independence.
Presidential Guests of the Governor’s House Inn
President George Washington had many friends living in Charleston and dined at the home often. In 1902 President Theodore Roosevelt was a guest, and a few years later, President William Howard Taft and his wife stayed in the home. The last President of the United States to stay in the home was Gerald Ford, who stayed in the parent’s master bedroom that is now known as the Rutledge Suite.
The Rutledge Suite
In total there are eleven rooms and suites, all with unique, colorful and luxurious décor. The largest is named after Edward Rutledge. This grand suite features twelve-foot ceilings, pine floors, a king-sized bed with arched canopy, antique Italian chandeliers, a fireplace, two sitting areas, oriental rugs, an enormous marble bathroom with whirlpool, separate shower, bar refrigerator and personal coffee maker. One of the highlights is the private piazza, which is accessed through the original 1760 windows.
The Ideal B&B and Wedding Venue in Charleston
The Governor’s House Inn boasts both authentic historical touches and modern conveniences. With an exceptional location (within walking distance of the best of Charleston) and the ambiance of a boutique hotel, guests are in for a truly memorable experience. Brides looking for mansion wedding venues will fall in love with its architecture and period décor. It is also ideal for girls’ trips, corporate retreats, and yes, even romantic getaways. Interested individuals should phone the innkeeper at 800-720-9812 or check out www.governorshouse.com for more information and to check on available dates.