Reviews: Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina

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  • Review for Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina

    Reviewed by: Richard Feffer on Dec 14, 2018
    Boat Type: Sail
    LOA: 34'
    Draft: 5.0'

    Rating: 5

    This place has it all. Great staff. Great amenities. 2 hotels, 2 restaurants, 3 pools, hot tub, tiki bar, fitness center and laundry. Nice floating docks. Free shuttle to downtown and to grocery.

    I came in with strong wind and currents. They advised me to tie up at their end t-dock and wait a bit for current to settle down. A wise move...

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  • Review for Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina

    Reviewed by: Elena&Meg on Jun 18, 2018
    Boat Type: Sail
    LOA: 46'
    Draft: 6.0'

    Rating: 3

    Marina: 4 stars.
    Maritime location: 2 stars.
    Waterside utilities: 2 stars.
    Shore amenities: 1 star.
    Shopping: 2 stars.
    Marina staff: 5 stars.
    Ambiance: 4 stars.
    WiFi: 4 stars.
    Price competitiveness: 1 star.

    MARINA: Boardwalks are showing their age in some sections. Some places are so splintered that closed shoes are a must. The gangways to the floating docks are exquisitely slippery when wet, or in the evening dew. Someone stuck a few strips of yellow non-skid on them a couple of years ago, suggest you aim for them, especially when the tide is out. I have the scars to prove why this is necessary. When the current rips through the marina, standing and rogue waves break over the leading floating docks, affording patrons a fun game of dodge-wave when going out for dinner, the losers get to spend the evening with their shoes full of seawater.

    MARITIME LOCATION: It is "sort of" near the Intra Coastal Waterway, or really far, if you get the currents wrong. It juts into a major seaway, like a sore thumb, and doesn't have breakwaters. The parade of freighters, at least, try to slow down, ("well, most of em, anyway," Elena just reminded me, as she sweeps up the remains of her laptop), but the water-warriors on humongous sports-fishers and muscle-trawlers, have no qualms about getting the boats in the marina rocking and a rolling. I've been thinking of putting a saddle over the helm station, getting a stetson and some spurs, and practicing up for the Calgary Stampede bronc busting competition.

    WATERSIDE UTILITIES: Good thing there's water from a hose by the slip, cuz you need to drench yourself down with it when there's no electricity, thus, no air-con. It was our good luck to show up during a heatwave and electrical upgrades. Marina office said power would be on later the first day they killed it. Guess the electrical contractor didn't get that memo because they just packed up early -- probably too hot for them to work -- and left the premises. Night without electricity, only two 15 min slacks a day to move a boat: we spent the night feeding the mosquitoes with everything wide open just to survive. Next day, electrical contractor shows up, complains about the wakes. Office promises power restored. Then, contractors are nowhere to be seen. Finally we tracked down the contractors (hanging out in the shade, catching a breeze), and they told us they had no idea when power would be back on. They complained about the heat, and the wakes, and the saltiness of the water, and how hard it makes their job, and then, figured it might be a few more days, give or take! Continuing to act as a go-between for the marina and its contractors, we managed to get intermittent power for another few days (On at night, at least). But nothing keeps you on your toes, and mighty glad there's a hose out the back of the boat for when the electricity you're paying for is willy nilly, yanked out from under you. Just thinking here, the marina is at the bottom of the priority list for Charleston Harbor RESORT and Marina, and the choice of contractors and scheduling would reflect that.

    SHORE AMENITIES: Marina clients are charged an obligatory RESORT FEE surcharge: $18 a night, or $300 a month, over and above all other charges. You wanna park your boat, then you're gonna pay for access to a tiny, un-maintained fitness center with a few machines and free weights. A couple of pools, and a mini-van-shuttle that goes every couple of hours to historic downtown.

    SHOPPING: There is none. But I gave it 2 stars because there is a Trader Joe's, a Whole Foods, a Harris Teeter, a couple of liquor stores, and a cinema, a brisk 50 minute walk from the "resort." If you aren't into the serious sweat, outdoor activity, adventure thing, you're going to need to Uber your way there. It runs about $10 one way. And NO, the resort shuttle doesn't go there. Downtown Charleston, however, is accessible via "resort" shuttle service, as part of your executive-class resort fees. It runs back and forth every couple of hours during the day. Every hour, occasionally. Be prepared to make your own way back to the so-called "resort": the van has a tendency to have more riders than seats available, and you'll be left standing in the oppressive heat. Drivers encourage tipping heartily, on top of your resort fee, just so you know.

    MARINA STAFF: 5 stars, they are doing the best they can, just not enough of them, and it appears they are starved of the necessary resources to keep the marina afloat. I don't envy them the position they are in with this facility. It was a much better place back in the days when the marina was a marina, and the hotel was just that. It would appear that the motel in resort-drag is a colossal drain on the marina, which is being bled, to cover some really misguided property development.

    AMBIANCE: The grounds are beautiful. The Maritime Museum is fascinating. There are trails in the woods. The grounds are well maintained. Signage near the ponds prohibits feeding the gators, so keep your kids out of the water.

    WiFi: Usual marina WiFi... better than most communal wireless LANs, but slows to a crawl under a heavy load.

    PRICE COMPETITIVENESS: It's the most expensive place around -- once you add that "resort" fee.

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  • Review for Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina

    Reviewed by: Engineer , Sea Duck Too, on Nov 10, 2017
    Boat Type: Power
    LOA: 50'
    Draft: 3.5'

    Rating: 5

    One of the best marinas around. Super professional staff, outstanding amenities. A must do stopover. Ain't cheap but well worth every penny.

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  • Review for Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina

    Reviewed by: Mary and on Nov 1, 2016
    Boat Type: Sail
    LOA: 44'
    Draft: 0.0'

    Rating: 5

    This is a first class operation. The dock staff are friendly, efficient and knowledgable. The facilities are excellent, There is a free shuttle to the grocery store and another into Charleston.

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