Among America's finest hotels, Charleston Place is the heart of the Historic District, renowned for its exquisite architecture, gardens, arts & fine dining. New Year's Eve is celebrated with international cuisines and entertainment for all ages.
For those registering later than 30 days before the Weekend, a $100/person Late Fee will apply. Accommodations at the principal venue, Charleston Place, typically are fully booked by November 1.
"America's Top City" to visit: That's how Conde Nast Traveller's readers view Charleston, its palmetto-lined streets and historic homes, fine dining, distinctive shops, great beaches and boating, famed tennis, golf and spas. The Holy City, steeped in history and culture, is often referred to as "America's most beautiful small city":
No other city more lovingly preserves its past than Charleston, from its houses, to churches, and even the cobblestone streets. Magnificent historic homes are seen at every turn in the large Historic District, from the Battery to the French Quarter.
From the front door of Renaissance Weekend's designated hotels, guests can enjoy leisurely strolls or inspiring jogging routes through some of America's most beautifully preserved antebellum architecture. Historic plantations and gardens are a short drive away.
Golfers can play more than 20 courses in the area, including the legendary Kiawah, Wild Dunes and Arnold Palmer Rivertowne courses. A 15-minute drive puts beach-lovers on pristine white sand beaches perfect for kayaking, fishing, sailing, surfing or simply watching dolphins play.
Check out an excellent review of Charleston.
Renaissance Weekend® is comprised of hundreds of programs in which participants with in-depth knowledge reflect off-the-record on a wide variety of current issues. Lively discussion by all participants is encouraged, and the tone is decidedly relaxed and family-oriented. All participants are encouraged to come and go as they like.
Because panel assignments are not completed until just before the event, the Final Program is only available at Registration, which begins at 2:00 P.M. on Friday, December 28. (However, a Tentative Program will be sent to all registered lead participants in late December, and they are asked to share it with members of their parties.)
Participants are assigned roles in the program based on the information provided on the PARTICIPANT PROFILES page of your on-line registration or, if requested, on the equivalent printed form. Thus, it is most important to complete your Profile online as early as possible.
Camp Renaissance® — an active program tailored for children ages 3-12 — typically includes presentations by fascinating adult participants, hands-on experiments, indoor and outdoor games, nature walks, musical performances, story-telling and arts-&-crafts projects. These activities are organized by the Camp Renaissance Counselors, with involvement from adult Renaissance participants whose experiences are of interest to young people. The children's program runs concurrently with the adult program and does not provide full-time child care. Camp-related costs are included in the children’s Registration Fees for the Weekend.
Young people are welcome at all functions. Most teens and college students participate in the Weekend's scheduled program. In addition, they often have designated gathering-places, assigned programs, and their own activities and discussions. Teens and college students are usually placed on panels related to their interests, as indicated by the information provided on registration's Participant Profiles. The final Program (available at the Weekend's first-afternoon Registration Desk) will note programs especially for teens, other panels designed with teens in mind, and details for additional teen gatherings.
College students integrate themselves into the scheduled program. Strong bonds and lifetime friendships traditionally are formed during programs planned specifically for them and evening social events.
There is no organized program or child care provided for children under the age of three. However, younger children are welcome at Camp Renaissance programs when accompanied by a parent or other responsible adult. Participants should make arrangements for babysitters at least three weeks prior to arrival at the Weekend by phoning the Charleston Place Concierge (843-722-4900) for assistance. To maximize enjoyment of the full program, families with young children are encouraged to bring a baby-sitter/“au pair". Although there is no Registration Fee for such individuals, they are to be registered for Meals at the Children's rate ($400). It is understood that they are attending solely for child care and that, if practical, they will assist periodically with Camp Renaissance. Baby-sitters/“au pairs” are free to attend programs and panel discussions designed specifically for Camp Renaissance participants.
Parents are expected to oversee their sons' and daughters’ comings and goings throughout the Weekend. Renaissance Institute and Renaissance Weekend, and the staff, assume no liability regarding children or teens.
Renaissance Academy®: The Academies afford participants opportunities to explore some timely issues more deeply. The format usually includes a plenary panel and break-out discussions of sub-topics. Academy topics and more information will be included with the Tentative Program e-mailed to registered lead participants in late December.
Some time will be set aside for afternoon recreation and for enjoying some of historic Charleston’s highlights, such as Middleton Place, Fort Sumter and the South Carolina Aquarium. Participants are encouraged to arrive early or extend your stay to explore more of Charleston and the South Carolina Low Country. If you decide to do so, review the additional information regarding year-end events and activities in Charleston. If extending your stay beyond the specific program days, please check lodging availability with both Renaissance Weekend and your Hotel and, as always, request “Renaissance Weekend Group Reservations.”
New Year's Eve will be celebrated with a gala International Feast, stimulating presentations, a champagne-and-dessert party, and post-midnight dancing.
Additionally, “Happy New Year, Charleston!” is a community celebration, offering a non-alcoholic, safe, and family-oriented alternative program to celebrate the New Year in Charleston. This city wide, admission-free program has something for everyone: comedy, dance, many forms of music including classical, gospel and jazz, street entertainment, children’s activities and more. This event will be held on Saturday, December 31, 2012 in Marion Square and is produced by the City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs (843-724-7305).
Golf tee times may be arranged directly at Charleston's premier golf resorts:
Dunes West Golf Club (843-856-9000): Greens fees (including cart charges) range from $56.
Kiawah Island Resort (843-768-2121): Greens fees (including cart charges) range from $150 to $220. Fees for the Ocean Course are $240 to $350 (walking course only before noon).
Patriots Point Links (877-709-5053 or 843-881-0042): Greens fees (including cart charges) range from $55 to $65.
RiverTowne Country Club (866-216-3777 or 843-216-3777): Greens fees (including cart charges) are $65 to $85.
Wild Dunes (800-845-8880): Greens fees (including cart charges) range from $50 to $100
The Health Club and Spa at Charleston Place is available only to registered guests of Charleston Place. For additional information and spa reservations, please call the spa directly at 843-722-4900 or visit the Charleston Place website.
Charleston — located on the coast of South Carolina, midway between Myrtle Beach and Hilton Head Island — is easily accessible by car. I-26 — with its eastern terminus in Charleston — connects with I-20, I-85, I-40, I-77 and I-95 from the north. US Highway 17, the coastal north-south route, runs through Charleston and connects with I-95 from the south.
Directions from Charleston International Airport and I-26 East:
Upon leaving the airport, follow signs to I-26 East — CHARLESTON. Continue on I-26 East until you are within the city limits of Charleston. Proceed to the LEFT lane as you approach the end of I-26 East. At the end of I-26 East, follow the far left exit (MEETING ST./VISITOR CENTER). At the traffic light turn RIGHT onto MEETING STREET. Continue on MEETING STREET for approximately 1.2 miles. The hotel entrance will be on your RIGHT just past the intersection of MEETING and HASELL STREETS.
Directions from US-17 North (West Ashley, Beaufort):
Drive over the Ashley River Bridge, staying in the far right lane. Bear right on LOCKWOOD DRIVE. Go under the overpass, then get immediately into far left lane. Take CALHOUN STREET Exit. Go 1 mile, turn right onto MEETING STREET. Go past 3 traffic lights and take the first right past HASELL STREET. A small sign on the right marks the entrance for Charleston Place Hotel.
Directions from US-17 South (Mt. Pleasant, Wilmington, Myrtle Beach):
Begin on US-17 South toward Charleston. Continue over the COOPER RIVER BRIDGE (Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge) and follow the MEETING STREET exit. Turn LEFT onto MEETING STREET. Continue approximately 1.7 miles. The hotel entrance will be on your RIGHT just past the intersection of MEETING and HASELL STREETS.
Charleston International Airport — located 15 miles from Charleston Place and Renaissance Weekend's other designated hotels — offers jet service from US Airways, Delta, Continental, Northwest Airlines, Southwest and United Express. Amtrak provides regular passenger service to the Charleston area.
Taxis are regularly available at the airport; but during holiday seasons, specific shuttle and taxi reservations are encouraged.
Shuttle Service between the Charleston airport and your Hotel is provided by the following: (Please call in advance and do refer to Renaissance Weekend when making your reservation to be eligible for occasional special rates.)
Marquee Limo provides transportation service to/from the Charleston International Airport and all Charleston hotels. One way fares for the Shuttle service is $15 per person ($5 per child under 6); Luxury town car service is $45 (not including gratuity) for up to 2 passengers; SUV service is $70 (not including gratuity) for up to 6 passengers. Reservations can be made online, email or phone (843-530-3257).
Kamatta Express provides Shuttle service for $15 per person and Taxi service for $35 (for 2 passengers). Sedan service is available for $70 (not including gratuity) for 1-3 passengers; or a private SUV for $85 (not including gratuity) for up to 5 passengers. All prices stated above are to/from Charleston International Airport or Local Private Airports near Charleston International. Advance reservations are recommended and may be made online or by phone (843-412-5644).
Charleston Executive provides Sedan service for $90.17 (1-3 passengers), SUV service for $105.17, or Van service for $30 per person (capped price at $120 per van for up to 10 people). All prices stated above are to/from Charleston International Airport or Local Private Airports near Charleston International. Advance reservations are required and may be made online or by phone (888-305-7779).
A rental car is not necessary in downtown Charleston as most activities will be held at Charleston Place. If you choose to rent a car or will be driving to Charleston, self-service and valet parking are available. Daily parking rates range from $12 (self-service) to $25 (valet).
This Orient-Express property has won countless awards and hosted distinguished guests from around the world. Literally the heart of the nation's largest Historic District, Charleston Place is noted for its elegant rooms, public spaces and meeting rooms, excellent restaurants and concierge assistance, and impeccable service. All rooms have complimentary high-speed Internet access, and the Business Center provides comprehensive services.
Accommodations ranging from $315 - $1,985/night
Located in the heart of Charleston, South Carolina's charming historic district, Planters Inn is a member of Relais & Châteaux, a collection of the world's finest hotels and gourmet restaurants, Planters Inn is recognized for impeccable service and subtle luxury. Make a reservation at our Charleston, SC hotel today to experience Planters Inn's signature Southern hospitality and premier location.
Accommodations ranging from $429 - $459/night
The historic Mills House, designed by the U.S. Capitol's architect, has been restored to its original 19th-century splendor and is the epitome of southern hospitality. Centrally located in the Historic District, its rooms have all the customary modern conveniences. The property is a 5-minute walk from Renaissance Weekend's meeting-site, Charleston Place.
Accommodations ranging from $225 - $475/night
Marriott's Courtyard Historic District (not to be confused with other Marriott Courtyards in Charleston) is at the edge of the Historic District, at the corner of Meeting and Calhoun Streets, a 10-minute walk from Charleston Place.
This Courtyard offers typical Marriott Courtyard furnishings and amenities, self-parking ($14/day), a small fitness center, and a new bistro.
Accommodations ranging from $245 - $265/night
Registration Fees will be refunded for cancellations received in writing (via fax, e-mail or mail) by Renaissance Weekend® as noted below. Registrants who cancel in time to receive a full refund will nonetheless incur a $250 processing fee.
Typically, lodging at Renaissance Weekend's meeting-place, Charleston Place, as well as designated hotels offering special rates for participants, is fully reserved by early November. Registration no later than November 1st is highly recommended to secure your desired accommodations.
Common Meals and Meeting Service Charges can only be refunded if written cancellation is received by Renaissance Weekend on or before December 14, 2012. Because “head counts” are guaranteed in advance of the Weekend, there can be no such refund after this date, nor can there be reductions of charges for early departures or absence from meals.
Lodging deposits, refunds and payments are handled in accordance with each hotel’s policy, as noted during the registration process. All hotels require a deposit equal to one night’s stay. Deposits are refunded if cancellations are received in advance by the deadlines noted below:
|Hotel||Cancellation Policy for Refund of Deposit|
|Charleston Place||72 hours prior to scheduled arrival|
|Mills House||48 hours prior to scheduled arrival|
|Meeting Street Inn||10 days prior to scheduled arrival|
|Planters Inn||7 days prior to scheduled arrival|
|Courtyard Marriott||No later than 3:00pm the day prior to arrival|
Transfer of Registration from the New Year’s Weekend to any of the next three Renaissance Weekends® may be possible, without penalty, if notice is received in writing by December 14, 2011, and if space is available (with a transfer fee of $100).
|Charleston Place||(843) 722-4900||(843) 722-0728|
|Mills House Hotel||(800) 874-9600 or (843) 577-2400||(843) 722-0623|
|Meeting Street Inn||(800) 842-8022|
|Planters Inn||(843) 722-2345|
|Courtyard Marriott||(843) 276-5592|
|Absolutely Charleston||(800) 747-0689 or (843) 747-4448||(843) 747-4454|
|Marquee Limo||(843) 530-3257|
|Kamatta Express||(843) 345-7428|
|Charleston Black Cab Company||(443) 216-2627|
|Charleston Executive||(888) 305-7779|
Registration opens on Friday, December 28 at 2:00 P.M. (Help with Registration is most welcome from early arrivals, who are encouraged to notify the Renaissance Weekend staff of their availability.) The first program begins at 6:00 P.M. on Friday. Please note that some Committees — including Music, Fun & Sizzle and Proctors & Moderators — meet between 4:00 P.M. and 6:00 P.M. In addition to obtaining materials at the Renaissance Weekend Registration Desk at Charleston Place, participants will need to check in separately with their respective hotels.
The final program ends by noon on Tuesday, January 1st. More specific advance information will be provided in the Tentative Program and other materials sent to all registered lead participants in mid-December. All other participants are asked to request that their lead participant share such information with them at that time.
Participants are encouraged, for their own enjoyment, to arrive early or stay past January 1st. Because the New Year's program includes interesting activities from 8:00 A.M. to approximately 11:00 P.M., families may find that an extra day or two would provide a more relaxed opportunity to enjoy historic Charleston. Should you wish to arrive early or extend your stay, stated room rates and privileges apply, subject to certain limitations and availability. Once Renaissance Weekend® has secured your reservation with the resort, please communicate directly with the to hotel to change your arrival/departure dates, if necessary.
Please advise Renaissance Weekend staff (info@RenWkd.org) of your flight information or arrival/departure time as soon as it is confirmed.
Charleston's December weather is typically mild "sweater-weather." But it can range from the 70's during the day to, occasionally, the 30's at night. Before packing, please check weather reports shortly in advance of the Weekend and include jackets and sweaters for "layering." During the day, dress is informal, resort casual, but coat-and-tie are customary at dinner. Attire for the New Year's Eve party is black-tie-optional (including Teens and Camp Renaissance®).
Conversation over meals is an important part of the Weekend, and it is assumed that all guests will participate in the Common Meals. (Thus, only children under age three are not charged for Common Meals.)
Meals On-Your-Own: Sunday’s dinner and Monday’s lunch are “on-your own,” enabling you to enjoy historic Charleston's award-winning restaurants. For recommendations, visit the Charleston Visitor’s Bureau or call the Charleston Place Hotel concierge (843-722-4900). Due to holiday and Renaissance Weekend, there may be some difficulty in obtaining your favored reservation for a specific restaurant if not made before arrival.
Please remember that, for those registering later than 30 days before the Weekend, a $100/person Late Fee will apply and, to secure your preferred accommodations, registration before November 1st is highly recommended.