Fall in love. Or at least watch sparks fly in Beaufort, South Carolina.
By Hope S. Philbrick
Lots of places claim to represent “true Southern hospitality.” At The Rhett House Inn in Beaufort, South Carolina, it’s no mere boast.
On the day we were scheduled to arrive in Beaufort, Erin Bass of Deep South Magazine and I had already been traveling the Lowcountry for several days. It was to be her first visit to Beaufort, my fifth—it’s one of my personal favorite communities—and we were both eager to arrive and planned to arrive well before the 5 p.m. check-in time recommended by our hosts. But as road trips often go, we arrived with less than 20 minutes before our scheduled 6 p.m. harbor tour departure.
We pulled into the gravel parking lot behind The Rhett House Inn and rushed inside barely noticing its grand white-columned front. The goal was to check in, freshen up, then race the block to the harbor.
A friendly, nice-looking guy greeted us. “Welcome to The Rhett House Inn,” he said, and then launched into what I can only assume is a standard greeting with details about the Inn and its amenities. If a person had time to listen to it, I’m sure the information would be useful. We did not have the luxury of time, so I interrupted him: “I don’t mean to be rude, but we’re in a real hurry and need to get to the harbor in a few minutes. Can we check in fast?”
“But now you’re here at The Rhett House Inn!” he said. “There’s no stress here! Relax! Have some hors d’oeuvres! Some Champagne!”
“We’d love to, but we’re scheduled for a tour…”
Turns out—and this underscores Beaufort’s size as well as its friendliness—he knew the tour guide. “Oh, you’re going to have a great time!” he said, stepping around the reception desk holding two room keys. He raced with us out to the car, helped carry our heavy bags to our rooms, and invited us to return to the lobby before our tour.
I assumed he wanted us to sign some paperwork.
I’m happy to have been wrong. It was way better than that: He handed us two disposable cups with lids. “For your harbor cruise,” he said with a wink and a smile. “You can’t arrive at The Rhett House Inn during happy hour and miss the Champagne!”
That was the moment I fell head-over-heels in love with this place. (And, at least a little bit, with him.)
The quick glance of my guestroom had made my heart flutter, but this was true love.
The guestroom, with which I got better acquainted after dinner, was fantastic. Located in the cottage, across the street from the main Inn, it boasted a fireplace, whirlpool tub and supremely cozy bed. It had a work area, bar / coffee area, space to stash my luggage plus the stuff I’d accumulated during the trip, and a bathroom much bigger than mine at home.
The accommodations are lovely, but its people make The Rhett House Inn the sort of place that lingers in memory long after the vacation ends: Every staff member we interacted with during our two-night stay never failed to impress.
When we returned to the Inn after dinner the gentleman who’d welcomed us invited us to have dessert—who can pass up chocolate cake?—and sip bourbon in front of the flickering fireplace. He popped in and out, whisking away crumb-littered plates and refilling glasses.
The Rhett House Inn is the only AAA Four Diamond Inn in Beaufort. The main Inn is a restored 1820s plantation house, located in the heart of Beaufort’s historic district just a block from the Intracoastal Waterway.
The Inn offers spacious verandahs, lush gardens, thoughtful décor, above-average culinary amenities and, best of all, attentive, genuine, gracious Southern Hospitality at its best.
- Complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access
- 17 guestrooms, some with fireplaces, balconies, whirlpool tubs
- One two bedroom suite
- Robes available for use
- Cable TV
- Complimentary Southern breakfast every morning
- Complimentary cookies, tea & lemonade every afternoon
- Complimentary Champagne and hors d’oeuvres every evening
- Complimentary homemade desserts every night
- Complimentary bicycles, beach chairs and towels
- Complimentary off-street parking
- @21plusTravel Trivia: Stars Gwyneth Paltrow, Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock, Robert Redford and Barbra Streisand have stayed at The Rhett House Inn while filming movies in Beaufort like The Prince of Tides, Forrest Gump, The Big Chill, and The Great Santini—to name just a few.
- Odds of Encountering Children: Slim.
The Rhett House Inn
1009 Craven St.
Beaufort SC 29902
Beaufort, South Carolina was among the stops of the #DSGetaway shared by Deep South Magazine and Getaways for Grownups. To read more related features, click on the DSGetaway tag on this site or on DeepSouthMag.com. On Facebook and Twitter, search #DSGetaway.
– Photos © HSP Media LLC
Featured products, services and/or travel arrangements may have been complimentary in part or in full; this affords the research opportunity but does not sway opinion.