Written by Caylee Matthews
The historic, culinary and cultural charms of Charleston are well-known among more mature travelers, but in many instances, making these same specialties salable to the younger set involves some creative cajoling. Fortunately, the Beach Club at Charleston Harbor ensures the trip is an easy sale. Opened in 2016 and located on a peninsula adjacent to the Charleston Harbor Marina, the largest in all of the Carolinas, the 92-room boutique hotel is one of only two hotels in South Carolina to be part of Leading Hotels of the World. Easy access to the city center and a host of family-friendly on-site activities all but guarantee that guests of all ages will be amply occupied.
I have been vacationing in Charleston for years, and as its reputation as an “it” destination continues to grow, so do the crowds. During my most recent visit, I genuinely looked forward to returning to the serenity of the Beach Club—just a 15-minute commute from Charleston’s city center across the Ravenel Bridge to Mount Pleasant—after a day amidst the hustle and bustle. Parents appreciate the resort’s family parlor rooms, which feature a separate closed-door bedroom for the kids with two twin beds – ensuring that grownups get time to themselves after the little ones go to sleep.
Our spacious room was outfitted in the clean, casual, coastal chic style one looks to experience when in Lowcountry. We noted the unique artwork, custom furnishings, and a smattering of contemporary design flourishes that kept the décor from looking cliché. I made a point to bookend each day on the balcony of my room, enjoying the tranquility of the water views, and greeting the sun at daybreak and bidding it adieu at day’s end.
The lobby and common areas at the Beach Club are outfitted in the same comfortable and elegant fashion as the guest rooms, with the addition of original art by Charleston artist John Carroll Doyle. Interspersed with classic British Colonial-style furnishings and lively upholstered pieces are large white Murano glass chandeliers and tall Venetian mirrors. There is an intense attention to even the most minute details, evidenced by porthole-shaped sconces, whimsical oar finials on curtain rods, and colorful banding on the linen drapery.
Property amenities include two marina-front heated pools with ample lounge chairs and full-service private cabanas, fire pits, Jacuzzi, a 30-seat movie theatre, a fitness center, full service marina with water taxi service to Charleston, and a complimentary resort trolley to area attractions. Charleston Harbor Fish House, an award-winning restaurant overlooking Charleston Harbor, is among a trio of on-site dining options, in addition to 24-hour room service. If you are a seafood lover, don’t miss the spectacle that is their chilled seafood castle and tower. The Beach Club’s Estuary Spa is a simple sanctuary focused on expert face and body treatments utilizing high quality products.
Kids ages 5-12 can enjoy the Mini-Mariners Kids’ Camp ($25 per child/day including lunch), which encourages them to step away from technology and engage in the environment around them by making weather instruments, interacting with ocean life, hunting for shark teeth, painting, fossil digging and piñata making with items from the earth. A daily dock walk in the summer months allows children (and parents) to learn about sea life above and below the water. Each evening, a “Sunset Celebration” at the beachfront fire pit involves roasting marshmallows followed by making a wish upon a shell and tossing it into the ocean, a ritual that studies show is calming to children, and teaches them to live in the moment.
“Our location on Charleston Harbor and close proximity to downtown gives us the best of both worlds – exploring this amazing city through weekly field trips and getting the kids out into nature. Being near the water has a very calming effect on children and teens; and science shows it can make people happier and healthier,” said Amy Smith, Recreation Manager and Captain of the Mini Mariner program.
A very short walk along the marina’s edge brings you to the Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum, where you can easily spend the majority of an afternoon exploring the USS Yorktown aircraft carrier, the USS Laffey Destroyer and the USS Clamagore submarine, among other attractions.
Hop on a complimentary Schwinn bicycle for the flat ride to Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park, where there’s a great playground and you can rent poles for fishing off of the pier. If you are feeling extra adventurous, continue up and across the three-mile span of the Ravenel Bridge, where kid favorite attractions include the South Carolina Aquarium, the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry, the North Charleston Fire Museum, carriage tours, and Charleston Pirate Tours.
The beaches of Sullivan’s Island are just 6 miles away. “When is the last time you drove a single speed cruiser to the beach? We’re about showing our guests another side of Charleston–one that is unexpected and unique to our waterfront location and close proximity to the beach,” said Oliver Rooskens, the property’s Managing Director.
The Beach Club at Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina is located 7 miles from downtown Charleston at 20 Patriots Point Road in Mount Pleasant. Rates start at $249 per night.
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