Posted by: wrmcnutt | August 12, 2009

Bed and Breakfast Review – 36 Meeting Street, Charleston South Carolina

36meetingstWhat to say about 36 Meeting Street . . .

36 Meeting Street is a bed and breakfast inn in downtown Charleston, South Carolina located at, big surprise, 36 Meeting Street.  I should probably begin with where 36 Meeting Street departs from the standard B&B experience, at least as it is known in the United States. Breakfast is strictly a cold continental breakfast.  While this doesn’t have much appeal on the surface, the fact that 36 Meeting Street is priced at HALF of nearby B&B’s that offered a hot breakfast.  As there are roughly 27 restaurants within walking distance of 26 Meeting Street, I was unconcerned at the lack of a hot breakfast, particularly given the discounted rate.  And then I saw the magic words “off-street parking provided.”

Charleston was laid out in 1680.  The original city fathers landed at Charles Towne Landing, three miles up river, and built the original settlement there.  But the ground was low and marshy, and it was hard to secure it against predators both animal and human.  So ten years later, after a careful survey, them moved, lock, stock, and sea chest to a place then called “White Point,” out on the peninsula.  The city was carefully laid out in a grid, the lots marked, and much construction and 300 years of development ensued.  The houses were built right up to the edge of the sidewalk.  How, might you ask, is this relevant to our B&B?  Charleston was laid out by people who rode on horseback, or took light carriages around town.  The streets are too narrow for parking in many places.  Where there is on-street parking, there’s only room for the residents.  Finding a spot on an ad hoc basis is like going on safari.  So between the cut-rate price and the off-street parking, I fell upon 35 Meeting Street like a starving chihuahua on a pork chop. 

And I have no regrets.  The place was great.  We actually split our stay into two suites.  Our first night, we stayed in the old kitchen house on the first floor.  Back in the day, fire ordinances required houses in Charleston to have detatched kitchens.  The most likely place for a fire to start in the old anti-bellum houses was the kitchen, and if it was detached, the fire was less likely to spread to the main house, and from there to adjacent homes.  The theory must have worked.  While Charleston has a Great Earthquake, two Great Hurricanes, the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, and, of course, the War Between the States in it’s history, there is no common reference to a “Great Fire,” unlike many other cities.  We had a two-room suite, with a bedroom/sitting area/kitchenette on one side, and a second bedroom on the other.  While attractive, interesting, and comfortably furnished, it had the problem of my wife and I having to go through my sister’s bedroom to get to the door.  After our first night, we moved to a different suite, which had both the bathroom and the exit in an alcove between the two bedrooms.  We still had to share the kitchen and sitting area, but the privacy was better.

Both suites were air-conditioned.   You can’t always assume that in a 260 year old building. We had direct control over the room temprature, and the AC was aggressive, quiet, and effective. The rooms were spotless, the grapefruit fresh and flavorful, and the decor eclectic and interesting.  I suspect there was a special on reproduction rice beds when 36 Meeting Street was being furnished, though.  We wouldn’t have noticed had we not switched suites, but in fact, all four bedrooms were furnished with the exact same rice bed.

Nothing’s perfect, though.  The wifi signal was weak, and only worked at the end of the kitchen house that was closest to the main house.  Still, when you’re visiting Charleston, you don’t want to be wasting time with your nose buried in a computer, anyway.

I give 36 Meeting Street:

Four of five Comfy Beds for Service

Three  of Five Comfy Beds for Amenities

And Four of Five Comfy Beds for Atmosphere.

Giving a composite score of of 3.7 Comfy Beds

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  1. thanks for the great review!

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