Quiet Inn Slips Into Cannon Street

Helen Mitternight



Amidst the sound and fury of the great Charleston Hotel Debate, 86 Cannon has slipped in quietly, with only five guest rooms and a designer who says she was determined to honor the “bones” of the former home to a prominent Charlestonian.


The 1862 home was occupied by a daughter of Peter Poinsette, the brother of, Septima Poinsette Clark, for whom the Crosstown is named. Owner Marion Hawkins has said he wrote to the elderly woman asking if she wanted to sell it. She agreed, after first refusing outright, and the home was converted to what it is today, a bed and breakfast.


Guests are greeted by Sully and Gus, two curly buff Cockapoo pups who hang out in the office in the rear dependency. The designer, Betsy Berry of B. Berry Interiors, made sure the accommodations were as comfortable for Sully and Gus as they are for guests, and the hotel office has a tiny doggie door leading out onto a miniature fenced yard just for the dogs (guest dogs are not allowed at 86 Cannon). The rear office in the Dependency House also has a commercial kitchen for larger gatherings.


The salon — photo by Katie Charlotte


The front house, where the guest rooms are, is divided into three floors. The main level features a hand-painted entry floor. In a tour of the property, Berry shows off the grass cloth wall covering in the cool blue front parlor and the petite furniture. Other rooms include a library with an honor bar on the third floor and a small cafe for Continental breakfasts and early evening wine and cheese.


“A lot of the furniture is custom made and had to be made to scale,” she says. “These rooms are not large, so we had smaller furniture to give it an open feel.”



Bathrooms in each room have a modern feel, with light-colored floating marble vanities.


The Blue Room — photo by Katie Charlotte


Berry says the location of the Inn allows easy access to Hominy Grill, Xiao Bao Biscuit, and the other up-and-coming restaurants only a block away on Spring Street, as well as the Grocery and the Ordinary for more upscale dining. And the neighborhood, while still a little scruffy, “may not be shiny and perfect, but there is so much authenticity in this neighborhood. The history is still here.”

Rooms start at $359 a night.


“I don’t think many spaces, especially hotels, have the same aesthetic,” Berry says. “The aesthetic is bowing down and respectful of the bones of the house and architecture. It has a traditional feel, but the modern aspects make it young and fresh. It still feels like Charleston.”