The Extended Stay America at Charleston and Mt. Pleasant is, yes, designed for extended stays. That means the rates get better if you stay longer, housekeeping cleans your room only once a week unless you buy extra cleanings, and amenities are very basic. The perks are organized instead around daily living. The studio rooms feature real kitchens complete with cooking and eating utensils. Children can stay for free in a room with an adult. And pets are ok—there are some breed and size restrictions and an extra fee, but at least some dogs can stay. If you have some reason for living in a hotel, the option to keep your dog with you can be critical.
Unfortunately, this hotel is not quite as good as it could be. Customer reviews report variable customer service and variable cleanliness—variable being the important word, here. Often, the rooms are clean and the staff is friendly and helpful, it’s just that neither is always true. And while the basic cost is nicely low, they will charge extra for a lot of services, and these fees could add up. That being said, there aren’t a lot of other places in the area where you and your dog can move in and cook dinner. The option to cook your own food can be a huge savings over time.
In addition to the kitchen and its conveniences, amenities include generous workspace, personalized voice mail, free local phone calls, complimentary Wi-Fi in the room, iron and ironing board, and on-site guest laundry facilities. That’s about it. There’s no pool, no fitness center, no continental breakfast, no chocolates on your pillow. But you get what you pay for, and this place isn’t about a vacation, it is about where you can live while you find a better place. This hotel is also a good bet if you find yourself in the Charleston area unexpectedly and need to find a place to stay without reservations—on vacation, on business, for whatever reason you have.
It’s not a dive. It’s not a dump. It’s a quiet, friendly place to put yourself for a while.
And the location is great. Downtown Charleston is just a few minutes away, as are the beaches of Isle of Palms and Sullivan’s Island. Beaches mean swimming, paddling, sailing, fishing, and wildlife watching. There are several area tennis courts and golf courses, as well as a number of parks and forests great for hiking. The Mt. Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park is nearby, too, at the base of the Arthur Ravenel Bridge. This waterfront park features a pier on the river that’s perfect for fishing and strolling. If you want to put the wildlife you see in context, you can go to the South Carolina Aquarium, whose exhibits trace aquatic habitat in South Carolina from small mountain streams, through powerful Piedmont rivers, out through bountiful coastal marshes and into the sea.
There’s a lot of serious history here, too, starting with the Patriot’s Point Naval and Maritime Museum, and the museum’s centerpiece, the World War II era aircraft carrier, the USS Yorktown. The Yorktown served in the Pacific Theater of the Second World War, and then again in the Korean War. This is also the ship that picked up the Apollo astronauts after their visits to the moon. Or perhaps is would be more fair to say “beginning with” Sullivan’s Island, because that’s where a major battle of the Revolutionary War was fought. Between the Revolution and the moon is the Fort Sumter National Monument, where War Between the States first erupted.
So, if you’re going to live in a hotel for a while, this one really isn’t a bad spot.