Hotel Emeline in Downtown Charleston
July 14, 2020
The building at 181 Church Street has been home to a variety of different enterprises, but it now welcomes the new Emeline, which has just opened after a three-year renovation. I took a Charleston staycation with Erik and Harper to check out this new hotel in the heart of historic downtown Charleston.
Charleston is full of options for accommodations, and I’ve listed some of my favorites before in my Ultimate Charleston Travel Guide, but after staying at Emeline, I’ll definitely have to add it to the list!
The development of the independent hotel has resulted in a stunning monument to Charleston, with every detail highlighting the Lowcountry’s unique talents and charms. The name of the hotel itself speaks to the developer’s imagined “muse,” Emeline, who takes the form of the consummate Southern hostess. Everything about Emeline is clever and charming, with gorgeous decorations and every amenity you could ask for.
Nestled amongst the cobblestone streets and brightly colored row houses, Emeline is perfectly located in Charleston’s historic district, just steps away from the Historic Charleston City Market. When you stay at Emeline, you’ll be within easy walking distance from the great shops and restaurants on Market Street. It’s the perfect place to explore downtown Charleston from. There’s valet parking available to guests at the hotel.
Emeline features 212 all-king bed guest rooms, including 128 luxury suites and 16 double king bed accommodations. The beds were SO comfortable, sleeping in them was an absolute dream. The attention to detail doesn’t end when you enter your own room, either. Gorgeous teal walls and plush headboards are accented with vintage brass mirrors and bedside sconces for the perfect mix of modern and traditional interior design.
Every room is outfitted with bespoke embroidered linens and towels from Matouk, premium in-room amenities from Red Flower in the signature Emeline scent, HD TVs, luxe branded spa robes, WiFi, custom ceramic vanity accessories by local Charleston ceramic artist Susan Gregory, and more. We had lots of fun with the Crosley turntable (there’s one in every room!), listening to Adele. For Charleston newcomers, and even for locals like us, take a flip through the custom Wild Same Field Guide to Charleston.
Frannie & The Fox
Emeline also offers a variety of dining options, including Frannie & The Fox, a wood-fired eatery serving breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Frannie & The Fox offers shareable dishes with regional ingredients, combined in an Italian flair. It was the perfect place to grab a bite to eat as a family! Plus, it’s also open to the public, so Charleston locals can stop in for a meal, too! We shared some classic pepperoni and margherita pizzas, and they were both so delicious. I can’t wait to come back and try more of the menu, like the marinated olives, wood-grilled South Carolina shrimp, and the charred corn small plates. We also tried some of the cocktails and mocktails, including Garibaldi – Campari, malfy blood orange gin, and fluffy orange juice. Their Nojito is made with mint, lime, salted honey and soda.
Clerks Coffee Company
Clerks Coffee Company is a wonderful cafe that offers to-go and dine-in service, serving excellent coffee, breakfast, brunch, and lunch to Emeline guests and locals alike. We stopped by Clerks for breakfast, which is served until noon. I got a chai tea, which was great, and Erik enjoyed their coffee. The coffee at Clerks is from local coffee roaster Second State. In addition to their breakfast menu, Clerks has a great selection of delicious pastries. Erik got the avocado toast with sundried tomatoes and a fried egg. For the locals, take note that Clerks offers loyalty cards with perks for returning customers!
Y’all know I love to support local Charleston artists and share unique finds with you on my Instagram. Well, Emeline thinks the same way! Up near the check-in desk is a small retail area called the Keep Shop. The Keep Shop is stocked with high-end goods, local art and custom-made products. It’s perfect for finding that last-minute souvenir that isn’t a mass-produced trinket.
Fun Details & Facts
There are so many little fun details throughout Emeline! You’ll have to explore yourself to find them all, but here are a few highlights you can look forward to if you’re planning a stay here.
- Up a spiral staircase is “The Archive,” which will feature a rotating display of local art.
- There are stations on each floor where you can fill up reusable bottles and glasses with still OR sparkling water.
- The hotel’s front doors have been in place since 1852.
- Every guest is handed a beverage upon check-in, and guests in the bar and lounge area of Frannie & The Fox participate in a complimentary toast every evening with house-made limoncello.
- Pet-friendly rooms are available, with treats and amenities for your furry friends.
- There’s a garden-esque courtyard perfect for lounging.
We absolutely loved our stay at Emeline. It’s the perfect combination of charm and class, with tons of detailed touches and nods to its Lowcountry locale. Definitely check it out when you’re planning your next Charleston trip or staycation!
Photos by: Rachel Red Photography