Charleston’s The Mills House Takes You Back in Time
Why just travel to Charleston, South Carolina, America’s most charming small city, when you can time travel there as well?
All the way back in 1853, local businessman Otis Mills built the hotel bearing his name as a means of offering traditional Southern hospitality and cuisine to guests, Southerners and Yankees alike.
The 218-room hotel in Charleston’s iconic French Quarter was renovated in the 1960s and has just completed a top-to-bottom reimagining and redesign in time for its 170th anniversary. When you stay at The Mills House, you’re getting a taste of historical Charleston, right now in the midst of the 21st century.
Sure, you can take a wellness class at the rooftop pool any day of the week at The Mills House, yet the property offers experiences that you simply cannot find anywhere else. Charleston has long been famous for its delicious crabs. Wouldn’t you and your kids enjoy a “cook your catch” experience with Tia Clark, a well-known Charleston personality? She leads guests on Lowcountry crabbing expeditions, so you and your loved ones can have a great time crabbing (instead of your kids crabbing that there’s nothing to do). You can then enjoy the crabs you caught at their legendary restaurant, Iron Rose.
Also being offered at the Iron Rose this August for the 170th anniversary of The Mills House is a tasting and drinks menu which mimics the original dishes that were offered nearly two centuries ago. Signature cocktails inspired by the creator of the modern cocktail, also a bartender at The Mills House, Jerry Thomas, give you a feel for the timelessness of the hotel.
If you’re of a culinary bent, you might also try a biscuit-making workshop with the folks from Charleston’s beloved Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit. That’s for business and events groups, so why not bring your whole team with you?
You can also get married at The Mills House, which offers a seamless wedding experience along with backdrops your photographer will go crazy over. Those locations, available not just to newlyweds, are a gorgeous hidden courtyard designed by acclaimed Charleston landscaped architect, Loutrel Briggs, which includes the original cast-iron fountain dating back to 1853. You’ll also see some of the hotel’s original 19th-century chandeliers in the lobby. Not to mention the hotel’s amazing art collection focusing on female artists and female subjects from across the southeast.
The Mills House recently joined Hilton’s Curio Collection, the chain’s foray into owning and managing unique and beautiful properties around the world, from Madrid to Nashville, from Pismo Beach to Sao Paulo. Honors Members will be happy to know that they will enjoy the best of both worlds at Mills House—a unique boutique experience combined with legendary Hilton service.
Locals favor The Mills House because of the quality of its food and the depth of its wine list at the aforementioned Iron Rose, where, every Thursday, live music can be enjoyed from 6 to 9PM along with a half-priced bottle of wine in The Courtyard Bar.
If you’re fortunate enough to visit Charleston in July, you can gorge yourself at the Charleston Caribbean Jerk Chicken Festival, where you can watch the competition for Top Jerk Chef and you can even enter the Jerk Wing Eating Contest (at your own risk, of course). Any time of year, you can visit the International African American Museum, a short distance from the hotel, where you can take in twelve permanent exhibitions as well as special exhibitions celebrating the “trauma and triumph” of the African American experience in the United States.
So, whether you come to Charleston for pleasure, for work, for a wedding, or just to experience one of the most beautiful and historic cities on the planet, The Mills House offers the opportunity not just to travel well, but to time travel as well.