Mills House – Charleston vacation with family
This post is made in collaboration with the Mills House. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I may also make commission from your purchase if you click on an affiliate link at no additional cost to you.
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to stay at the iconic pink hotel in Charleston? Mills House is the perfect place to plan your Charleston vacation with family. My bestie, Vi, who some of you might know as @hoangviton on Instagram, and I just got back from a family staycation to help celebrate the 170th anniversary, and now we have all the deets.
Charleston family vacation at the Mills House Info
Address 115 Meeting St, Charleston SC 29401
A Charleston vacation with family is not complete without learning some history, and the Mills House is full of it. It’s so cool that you’re able to stay in a place built in 1853, and where President Theodore Roosevelt stayed at in 1902 when he visited the Charleston Exposition! The hotel was later demolished in 1968, however, the ironwork and cornices were salvageable, so you can still see those in the new build.
Activities during Cheers to 170 Years!
Throughout the month of August, the Mills House will be hosting fun pop-ups that pay homage to the hotel from the 1800s. From fun social media giveaways (August 25-31) to free shaves and haircuts (August 26), and throwback menu and cocktails. Follow Mills House on Instagram to enter and see the daily giveaways, like prizes to Iron Rose, a two-night stay, swag bags, and more.
The Gibbes Museum also created a pop-up gallery on the first floor of the Mills House showcasing original historical works of the Mills House like their menu, news clippings, and more. Guests staying at Mills House also receive 20% off all tickets to the Gibbes Museum using code “Mills23” during the month of August.
Stay at the Mills House
Mills House Packages
My best advice is to always check the hotel’s website for the best prices and deals. There’s always some type of promotion, and different packages that you can book to make your stay even more special. We happened to run into the Pink Figgy, which is this super cute vintage pink Nissan Figaro that’s used for photo props and more, and has been featured in Vogue and other top magazines.
Rooms at the Mills House perfect for a Charleston vacation with kids
We stayed in a Studio Suite with a King bed, a pull out sofa bed, and they added a pack and play for Vi’s baby. It’s really spacious, and there’s even a separate vanity area connected to the closet area. The best part? THE ROBES and SLIPPERS!!! I lived in them. The towels are soft too! You know how many times I go to a hotel and the towels are like sandpaper? Too many!
The room has a coffee station, which to be honest, we didn’t even touch, and a hydration station by the elevators. You’re able to purchase reusable water bottles to fill up or fill up your own. I loved the decor, and I’d live there if I didn’t have a family lol.
Play at the Mills House on your Charleston family vacation
What’s a Charleston family vacation if there isn’t a pool involved? Vi and I got a Cabana the first day since we planned it as momcation day one, and a family staycation day two. The Rooftop Terrace Bar also serves all sorts of drinks like froses, cocktails, beers, and of course one of my faves – Tipsy Spritzers. You can order small bites to eat poolside, at your cabana, or on the terrace.
Rent a Cabana
You don’t have to be a guest to reserve a cabana, however, there is a discounted rate if you are. The Cabana fits up to 6 people, you have access to the pool, towel service, complimentary wifi, fruit plate, and bottled water. There’s also room in the cooler to store your own drinks, like the Sera Luce Venetian Spritz we brought.
Once our family came, we definitely got our pool time in. The pool is 3 ft on the shallow end, and 7 ft on the deep end (that’s actually towards the middle). If you don’t want to get in the pool, there are some really cute loungers and umbrellas to keep you in the shade. There’s also towel service and let me tell you – those towels were nice and heated… or maybe it was just the heat outside?
Also on a side note – get your hands on some of these Rheos Gear sunglasses. They’re amazing if you’re around the water a lot because not only do they float, they’re high quality, polarized, and made with 100% UV Nylon Optic lenses. Carter’s rescued so many sunglasses for people when we’re out on the water and guess what? None of those floated.
Eat at the Mills House on your Charleston family vacation
Black Door Cafe
I’ve posted about the Black Door Cafe a few times on my Instagram. It’s one of my favorite places to start off the day in Charleston, whether you’re on vacation or just hanging out for the day. They run weekly specials and have seasonal menus. They were out of the Historic Pink Smoothie when we went, so we opted for the Strawberry Honey Latte, and I was surprised that I liked it! Not really a fruit flavored coffee girl over here. There’s also grab and go options for food, or stay and have a breakfast sandwich. If you’re in the mood for a treat, there’s also gelato and some sweet treats in partnership with Charleston Sugar Studio.
*Fun Fact: The cafe is named after the black paneled facade on the exterior of the Mills House, which was once the entrance to the hotel cafe in the 1800s.
Talk about fancy! I love everything about the Iron Rose, right down to how they came up with the name. According to the Iron Rose website, “Iron Rose” evokes Charleston’s hidden gardens festooned with cascading flowers, and the ornate wrought iron railings and gates that have protected and enclosed those gardens since the Victorian era. Generations of Charleston’s skilled blacksmiths have trained to bend and forge metal into ornate scrollwork and graceful floral motifs. Iron Rose celebrates craftsmanship, symbolism, and the rough made delicately beautiful.”
Aside from the regular menu, Iron Rose offers weekend brunch with entertainment, and live music with half off wine bottles on Thursdays. And for the month of August, there’s a throwback menu to celebrate 170 years. It’s an homage to the original menu from 1860.
It can always be a little nerve-racking taking kids to a luxury hotel, but what I’ve learned from all of our travels is that people give you a lot more grace than you think. My kids can definitely get super wild but we try to make sure to get their energy out at the pool, or walking around town with different activities, and definitely having the sugary stuff earlier in the day. The staff at Mills House are all so amazing and super accommodating, making sure we had what we needed, and if not, they took the time to help us get it. Everyone was really friendly, and never made us feel out of place even when our kids were a little wild. If you’re contemplating a trip to the Mills House (or any other destination really), I wouldn’t second guess it if you’re able to make it happen. It’s worth the experience and the memories.