by Sarah J.F. Braley | September 01, 2016
Why here?
Southern small-town charm along with sophisticated hotel options mark many cities of the Carolinas, including Charleston, S.C. (pictured); its waterfront location guarantees fresh seafood and beautiful views. Founded in 1670, the city has many pre-Civil War homes and its own French Quarter.

 Just west of this South Carolina island, more than $100 million was spent to turn the Inn at Palmetto Bluff into the 200-room Montage Palmetto Bluff, debuting Sept.1 with a 13,000-square-foot spa and 20,000 square feet of meeting space.

 The 416-room Westin Hilton Head Island is adding a 5,000-square-foot pavilion overlooking the water. Seating up to 350, it will open in April 2017.

Opening in January 2017 is the 198-room JB Duke Hotel at Duke University in Durham, N.C., with 20,850 square feet of meeting space in the Thomas Executive Conference Center.
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Local Update

 In mid-July, the 155-room Dewberry Hotel opened downtown, overlooking Marion Square. The property has about 2,000 square feet of indoor meeting space and 2,250 square feet of outdoor event space in the Walled Garden. Henrietta's, the signature restaurant, features seasonal Southern fare.

 A six-month, multimillion-dollar refurbishment has been completed on Tom Fazio's 36-hole South Carolina Links Golf Course at the 525-room Wild Dunes Resort on Charleston's Isle of Palms (the resort also offers a top golf school). In addition, just opened at the hotel's 93-room Boardwalk Inn is the nautical-themed restaurant Coastal Provisions, and all  guest rooms and the lobby have been renovated as well. The resort has approximately 50,000 square feet of meeting space.

Meeting Hotels: About 2,200 guest rooms are clustered near the city's convention center and airport. Full-service hotels include the 291-room North Charleston Marriott, 255-room Embassy Suites Charleston Area, 166-room Crowne Plaza Charleston Airport Convention Center and 142-room Holiday Inn Express & Suites Charleston Airport Convention Center.

To find and compare hotels, and send RFPs, visit

Convention Center: Charleston Convention Center; exhibit space, 150,000 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 21; (843) 747-1882

Airport Transit: Charleston International Airport, about two miles from the convention center and 11 miles from downtown. Transfer cost by taxi to the convention center, $10; downtown, about $30; by shuttle to downtown, $14. Most airport area shuttles are complimentary.

Taxes: Room tax, 4%; sales tax, 8.5%; total tax on hotel rooms, 12.5%

Group Venue: Go exploring via Crafted Charleston Tours. Using certified guides and limousine service, this outfit specializes in brewery, distillery and history tours, which can be customized to participants' interests, for groups of up to 28. (843) 804-9933

Contact: Charleston Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, (800) 774-0006