Our daughter attends USC in Columbia, so when we stay here we always want to be in the vicinity (considered city center or downtown). We have no real favorite or loyalty since all of the hotels are 2.5 to 3.5 stars in the area. The big names (Sheraton, Hilton, etc. are old buildings without any special reason to pick them). The go to is the new "all suite" type hotels with amenities like Staybridge Suites and the like.
So, like many people who do not have a major preference, we select the best rating (3 star) in the location we like and let HOTWIRE do the work (and the savings).
Recently we were assigned to Holiday Inn Express, which is a typical example of the type I described above. It is well located, simple, clean and ordinary. It is also fairly outdated (no central AC, for example). Still, it is fine.
This review is not so much about giving it a thumbs up or down, but more about our experience in general:
After traveling all the way from West Coast, we arrived (after our daughter picked us up at the local airport) at the hotel about 5:00 local time at the Holiday Inn. The front desk had one employee working, who was dealing with issues including a card swipe room card machine that was inoperable. She also confessed she was a new employee. God knows why she was alone in this situation, and all the more kudos to her. As she attempted to make calls (unanswered to her superiors), it became apparent that this was a big problem. As our line swelled behind us, we spent over 20 minutes trying to check in to no avail. To her credit, she was composed and polite...however, she indicated that we would have to wait while she checked in the other people in line BEFORE she could walk us to our room to let us in manually. Almost amusing, yet irritating. This took at least 60 minutes and then we were given a room key that worked. Luckily, we had no plans that were pressing or this would have been a major issue.
Next, I tried to get a roll away bed sent up to accommodate our college daughter who we were visiting. I was told no problem but later told that they were out of roll aways. OKAY, we sent our daughter back to her apartment for the night but requested (and was promised) a roll away for the next night. Guess what? Next day (even after we reconfirmed), not only was the roll away not delivered, but when I called that afternoon, I was told we were out of luck again. This time, I got upset. The manager on duty agreed to look into it and did come through 45 minutes later, however, charged me $25 for the "courtesy". At first I thought about challenging this miscalculation in customer service, but instead laughed it off and felt appreciative that at least our daughter could at least stay with us for the night.
Bottom Line: Very amateur Customer Service, but not without trying to satisfy AND you get what you pay for. Too bad Columbia does not have better options in general
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in the Historic District of Downtown Columbia, SC and just minutes away from USC, Finley Park, and Columbia Metropolitan Civic Center. We offer free hot breakfast, free wired and wireless high speed internet, manager reception Mon - Thurs, free local calls, and 32 inch HDTV's in every room! Whether here on business or leisure, Holiday Inn Express & Suites Columbia has what you are looking for. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Hotels.com, IHG, Booking.com, Travelocity, Hotwire, Priceline, HotelQuickly, TripOnline SA and getaroom.com so you can book your Holiday Inn Express & Suites Columbia Downtown reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Holiday Inn Express & Suites Columbia Downtown Hotel Columbia
- Holiday Inn Express And Suites Columbia Downtown
- Comfort Suites Columbia
- Columbia Comfort Suites