Stretching the bounds of the “Upper King ” definition, we come to the Ashley Inn (201 Ashley Ave., 843/723-1848, www.charleston-sc-inns.com , $100–125) well northwest of Marion Square , almost in the Citadel area. Though it’s too far to walk from here to most any historic attraction in Charleston , the Ashley Inn does provide free bikes to its guests, as well as free off-street parking, a particularly nice touch.
It also deserves a special mention not only because of the romantic, well-appointed nature of its six guest rooms, suite, and carriage house, but for its outstanding breakfasts. You get to pick a main dish, such as Carolina sausage pie, stuffed waffles, or cheese blintzes.
In a renovated 1924 building overlooking beautiful Marion Square , the Francis Marion Hotel (387 King St., 843/722-0600, www.francismarioncharleston.com , $200–300) offers quality accommodation in the hippest, most bustling area of the peninsula—though be aware that it’s quite a walk down to the Battery  from here.
The rooms are plush and big, though the bathrooms can be cramped. The hotel’s parking garage costs a reasonable $12 a day, with valet parking available until about 8 p.m. A Starbucks in the lobby pleases many a guest on their way out or in. Most rooms hover around $300, but some are a real steal.