Charleston shines again, this time in U.S. News & World Report's list of the top 10 hotels in the United States.

The magazine ranked Wentworth Mansion as the No. 3 hotel in America, and one of two from South Carolina on its national list.

Coming in at No. 1 in the nation was the luxurious Inn at Palmetto Bluff in Bluffton, near Hilton Head Island.

U.S. News also ranked hotels by state. By that measure, Charleston-area lodgings represented eight of the top 10 spots in South Carolina.

The news magazine singled out the Wentworth Mansion, built in 1886 as a home and converted into a hotel in 1998, as one of Charleston's grand old properties.

"Designed at the height of the Gilded Age, the mansion is filled with details like hand-carved marble fireplaces and Tiffany stained-glass windows," the publication said.

"Common areas like the Rodgers Library and the Harleston Parlor recall a slower time in which genteel folk could peruse the evening paper or sip wine at their leisure."

It also heaped praise on the Wentworth Street inn's spa and its on-site restaurant, Circa 1886.

Linn Lesesne, director of marketing and public relations for Charming Inns, which includes the Wentworth Mansion and which she co-owns with husband Rick Widman, said the magazine's designation shows that hard work by the company and its staff pays off.

"Like my husband always says, 'I can give somebody a great building, but it's the service that keeps the guests coming back,' " Lesesne said.

State's top 10

The top 10 hotels in South Carolina, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report:

1) Palmetto Bluff, Bluffton

2) Wentworth Mansion, Charleston

3) Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort

4) Planters Inn, Charleston

5) Inn at Harbour Town, Hilton Head

6) French Quarter Inn, Charleston

7) Charleston Place Hotel, Charleston

8) Market Pavilion Hotel, Charleston

9) HarbourView Inn, Charleston

10) Woodlands Inn, Summerville

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Reach Warren L. Wise at 937-5524 or