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“Good for the Columbia Marathon”

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Carolina University Inn
Ranked #76 of 94 Hotels in Columbia
Orlando, Florida
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Good for the Columbia Marathon”
Reviewed March 19, 2014

This was the headquarters for the recent Columbia marathon. It was perfect, since we could pick up the race packets in the lobby, and we were only 4-5 blocks from the start/finish line. The rooms were a bit old, but things were clean, and they were kind enough to give us a late checkout so there would be time for a shower.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Yankeetowner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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183 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    47
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (47)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Houston, Texas
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed March 17, 2014

My husband and I stayed for a family wedding, so it was at a discounted rate. And in my opinion, $119 is still too much for this place. Front desk was friendly, but the room had cleanliness issues and was really outdated. Desk chair was heavily stained. Curtains were very old. The only upside was the comfiness of the bed. Wouldn't recommend staying here just for that.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Maggie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wilmington
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed March 17, 2014

Booked this hotel over a month ago for a St patricks day festival. I picked this hotel due to location and chose to ignore the reviews. I was a little nervous because the day after I booked the hotel was sold out. We arrived to the hotel around 1 and tried to check in since numerous other people were, including another friend that we were with. She checked in ahead of me and was told they had a ton of rooms cleaned and ready to go. When I tried, I was told that my room was assigned already because I booked with hotwire and they couldn't see my rate. That was fine though I told him we would come back after the festival (7pm) to check in and he said it would be help until 12am. At 7pm I tried to check in and my room had been given away. I waited in the lobby for over an hour while a manager cleaned rooms and tried to get me and a few other furious couples accommodated. After complaining numerous times we were finally put in a room with 2 double beds. Not what we booked but it worked. Just wish we hadn't had to go through the hassle and I dont think I would stay here again.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Michelle W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Easley, South Carolina
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed February 3, 2014

Our conference was a success in spite of the Clarion facility. Our planning staff obviously got taken for a ride; they would never knowingly have chosen a venue this bad.

My experience was so bad that I will never again darken the doors of ANY hotel in the entire Choice hotel group. We attended a tightly scheduled conference that ran from Friday evening through late Saturday night. We were dependent on the onsite restaurant and conference rooms to meet our needs.

We knew it was an older facility. We were greeted with a smile and the statement that renovations were coming soon. That raised a big red flag for me, so I steeled myself for the worst. Little did I know....

The hotel staff was pleasant and helpful, when they were able to accomodate our basic requests. Hotel rooms of our fellow attendees either had lamps with built-in outlets or were equipped with a grounded power strip. We only had to ask twice for one when only 2 of the 3 outlets in the room worked. But we were brought an old, ungrounded extension cord. No, we didn't use it. I value my smartphone, as did my two roommates. At least the room was clean and outfitted with decent quality, newer linens. The carpet was, well, needing renovation. No bare feet for me!

The attached conference building was the same age and equally in need of renovation. It too was clean except for the carpets, but the hvac spewed hot dust when it kicked on, and wouldn't go off even when turned off. At least we didn't need the coffee they didn't serve. We needed more pitchers of water than were available, though.

And I've saved the worst for last. The hotel is at least 6 blocks from the nearest restaurant and our lunch and dinner breaks were short, so we had to rely on the onsite restaurant. Obviously the hotel and restaurant management don't communicate. Dinner the night before was good, but overpriced. Breakfast was a buffet, but had one server to provide water and coffee to the 60 plus conference attendees. She told us that they didn't even know a group was coming, but most of us had prepaid meal vouchers. Figure that out.

At lunch, the same now clearly exhausted server was still by herself, the lunch menu was the same as dinner the night before and the same cashier stayed in her booth and ignored us 12 tables of attendees even as she was made well aware our lunch break was only 90 minutes and most tables hadn't been waited on 25 minutes after sitting down. Most of us ordered soup and salads (to save time) and still waited almost an hour to receive them.

The afternoon session was started 30 minutes late so everyone could eat their lunch, and many of the attendees filed in later, as soon as they were able to gulp down their overpriced food.

For dinner, we all fled offsite by car in the rain; finally we were able to enjoy our meals and arrived on time for our final session. Remember, I warned you!

Room Tip: Choose it somewhere else.
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Dianes40
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Franklin, Tennessee
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 30, 2014

Charming hotel. Convenient and friendly helpful staff. Wonderful bellman, Lance. Took us to early school appt via courtesy shuttle. Delicious breakfast in restaurant. Beds comfortable and room was spacious. Only downside is because of being older, I could smell remnants of smoking days though now a non smoking room. Again, older and not perfect but a very good value.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Kathy J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbia, South Carolina
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed January 7, 2014 via mobile

Enjoy bringing in the new year here at this hotel. The hotel was great, food was great, front desk service sucks. The view was great over looking the city. The new years celebration downtown was amazing. Cool and the gang really put on a great show. Looking forward to next year

Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
Thank Billy H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ches
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed January 3, 2014

My sister and I stayed here for a friends out of town wedding. The hotel was old but very well maintained and the staff were all very friendly and helpful. There is a hotel restaurant and I believe there is a swimming pool and work out area but I was there such a short time I did not avail myself of these facilities. This was my first trip to Columbia. It is a quiet city with the sleepy air of a beach town. The hotel is only a few blocks from the downtown area. I would feel safe walking from the hotel to Main Street during the day but not at night. This is a great base for anyone who wants to explore Columbia by car, bike or foot. If I ever get to go back to Columbia I'd stay here again.
WORD OF WARNING: The curtains are merely for decoration and don't close all the way. If you want your privacy bring cloths pegs to jimmy rig the curtains closed.

Room Tip: Some rooms have entrances inside the hotel some rooms have entrances outside motel style. This hotel...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Catherine R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Carolina University Inn

Property: Carolina University Inn
Address: 1615 Gervais St, Columbia, SC 29201-3413 (Formerly Clarion Hotel Downtown)
Location: United States > South Carolina > Columbia
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #76 of 94 Hotels in Columbia
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Carolina University Inn 3*
Number of rooms: 87
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to the Carolina University Inn located in the heart of Downtown Columbia. Travelers of all needs can take advantage of our one of a kind property located in the business, financial, and entertainment district of downtown Columbia. Unique local restaurants, boutique shopping, and exciting night life are all located within a one mile radius. The brand new USC Law School opening in Fall of 2017 is just across the street from the hotel's front door and a short walk from where you can discover everything the University of South Carolina campus has to offer. We take great pride in our Gamecocks here in Columbia. Williams Brice Stadium is a short 2.9 mile drive where you will experience college football here in Gamecock Country! Breathtaking views of the South Carolina State House are blocks away on Gervais Street. The South Carolina State Museum and Museum of Art are conveniently located downtown offering a taste of our local culture. Take the family on a delightful educational adventure to the Riverbanks Zoo and Garden or the Edventure Children's Museum, both located within 5 miles of the hotel. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Clarion Hotel Columbia
Clarion Columbia
Columbia Clarion

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