by Taylor Shelby
Charleston, South Carolina
April 23, 2005
To get to the inn, you have to drive down a long dirt road, passing by the Middleton Stables and all of their fields full of beautiful horses. It is so idyllic, it just about seems fake. There are huge Spanish moss-draped oak trees. It is misty in the morning and the evening. You go by little ponds. All the fields have wooden fences. It’s almost too much. Almost.
The inn itself is unexpected. In order to contrast with the 200-year-old plantation, it is very modern on the exterior. Sheer walls are covered with creeping fig, large windows divide the facades asymmetrically, and staircases come out of strange places. But it is beautiful. It has a great location, too. It is sitting right on a high bluff overlooking a bend in the Ashley River, with large expanses of salt marsh going off in the distance. It is quite a view. In order to help you appreciate the natural setting, they offer all kinds of activities, like kayaking on the river and bird-watching.
The rooms are beautiful. The long wall in our room had floor-to-ceiling windows, and there were more on the wall beside it. They were covered with light-wood plantation shutters. The room had a big fireplace and a little TV (they way to do it!), with a big comfy sofa facing them. The bathroom was enormous, with a giant tiled tub. And there was so much attention to detail. They had complimentary umbrellas outside of every door. The bathrooms didn’t just have soap and shampoo, but cotton balls and Q-Tips, which I always forget. There was a welcome basket with cheese, crackers, and biscotti. It was very homey.
There are a lot of perks. Every evening, there is a free wine-and-cheese reception in The Lodge. Breakfast is a "lavish" buffet served in the Lake House (although it isn’t so much a lake as a big hole filled with scummy water, but it was still kinda pretty). You get free admission to the gardens throughout your stay. It is about a 3-minute walk through a wisteria-covered path, and you are smack in the middle of everything.
There are a few different rates and room styles. Ours was $149/night, and it was really nice. You can check out the other rate plans at the website (www.theinnatmiddletonplace.com). This place was wonderful. I highly recommend it.
From journal Entertaining my Parents in Charleston