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“Football Game weekend”

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Holiday Inn Express & Suites Columbia Downtown
Ranked #36 of 94 Hotels in Columbia
Aruba
Level Contributor
34 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Football Game weekend”
Reviewed November 8, 2013

We stayed at this hotel during a football weekend to visit our son who recently moved to Columbia, South Carolina. The hotel was full with fans from both teams. The staff was very friendly and the rooms were clean and spacious. The breakfast area was large enough for the guests and the food options were good. We stayed 3 nights and had no problems with the hotel or the parking.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank CanyonLakeside
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hiex C, General Manager at Holiday Inn Express & Suites Columbia Downtown, responded to this review, November 18, 2013
We are happy to hear you had a good visit to Columbia, SC to see your son. I have passed along the kind complements to the front desk staff and have let housekeeping know you enjoyed the rooms. IHG tries to keep a good variety of food items on the breakfast bar and we are always happy to hear that the guest are enjoying the choices. We hope you will be able to come back again soon to visit. Thank you for taking the time to review our hotel. Have a wonderful year!

Cera
General Manager
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204 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (49)
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English first
LA CANADA
Level Contributor
45 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed October 22, 2013

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

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank trojanking
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hiex C, General Manager at Holiday Inn Express & Suites Columbia Downtown, responded to this review, November 4, 2013
Thank you for your review. I apologize for your experience at the hotel during your stay. The issue with the key reader was a first to our hotel and we apologize to all guest that had to wait for the emergency keys. The managers were walking through the front desk agent how to reset the key reader while one was on the way to the hotel to retreive emergency keys. We have since then gotten this issue fixed. We are pleased that the agent was doing all she could to assist guest while they waited. Being a small limited service hotel there is not always two people on the front desk as you will see at many small service hotels. I do apologize for the front desk agent that first promised a roll away bed. We cannot make guarentees like this due to the demand of roll aways and the limited amount. I am happy they did get one avaiable for you though during your stay. We hope you will continue with the Holiday Inn Express brand and come back again for a new experience. Thank you again for your review and time.

Cera
General Manager
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Level Contributor
99 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed October 17, 2013

I stayed here for two nights. The room was very nice and the décor was good. The only issue with the room was the bed frame. They used a metal frame and it almost reached the end of the mattress. As such when you walked up to the bed you always hit the frame with your shoes or toes. Took getting used to. I did not try the breakfast. There was plenty of parking.

Room Tip: One thing I did notice there is not a lot of restaurants close by. When I talked to the front desk...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Wetwklley99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hiex C, General Manager at Holiday Inn Express & Suites Columbia Downtown, responded to this review, November 4, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to write us a review. I am happy to hear you enjoyed the room during your stay except the bed frame. This is a new accurence to us of the frame being an issue so we will be sure to look into this to make sure the frames are not being moved. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We hope you will come back again so you may try the hot breakfast bar we provide. We are sad you did not get to try out the pancake machine or the Holiday Inn Express cinnamon rolls. We hope to see you again soon and have safe travels!

Cera
General Manager
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Anderson, South Carolina
1 review
Reviewed October 13, 2013

Stayed here for two nights with friends and had a fantastic experience. Everyone we interacted with was friendly, and we were greeted every time we walked through the lobby. There was a variety of breakfast foods in the morning, and everything tasted wonderful. We had two queen beds and we had plenty of room to store our belongings out of the way. There was plenty of parking, and our window overlooked the parking lot which allowed us to see our cars. We were not bothered by any noises, and all four of us slept well each night. We enjoyed our stay and would not hesitate to stay here again.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Katherine2006
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hiex C, General Manager at Holiday Inn Express & Suites Columbia Downtown, responded to this review, November 4, 2013
I am glad to hear you had a fantastic experience during your stay with us. We thank you for taking the time to review our hotel. We always keep a selection of breakfast items that try to meet guest choices and glad you enjoyed them. I am glad your enjoyed the room and that you were happy you could see your car to give you peace of mind during your stay. We hope you will be back again soon and have a great year!

Cera
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kiawah Island, South Carolina
Level Contributor
34 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
Reviewed October 13, 2013

Admittedly it's been a while since I've stayed in a Holiday Inn Express so I was not sure what to expect and wasn't certain where the hotel was located when I booked it. To my surprise, not only was it in a great, convenient location, it could not have been more clean and the room was very modern and accommodating. It's a little tricky to get in and out of the hotel because the side street is one way, and the street in front of the hotel that leads to I-126 will not allow you to make a left turn because of a concrete median in the road. Other than this, I must say that this hotel was extremely clean to the point of there not being a speck of anything in the room or bathroom. I am a very discriminating traveler so I was pleased to find that the room was spotless. Housekeeping is to be commended. The room was also very quiet, although my room overlooked the parking area and not the nearby highways. Rooms facing these streets may not have been as quiet, although I had no noise issues as noted in other reviews. There was a nice manager's reception in the lobby with complimentary beer and wine as well as appetizers that all looked fresh. The lobby itself is attractive and clean as well. While this is a few blocks from restaurants and not really an option to walk to any area restaurants, it is not only extremely convenient to Downtown Columbia, easily accessible and very convenient to access I-126 and then I-26 and I-20 while still being away from the interstate. I highly recommend this property and will definitely stay here again should I have another business meeting in the area,

Room Tip: Ask for a room facing the parking lot to avoid any possible highway noise.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mas11068
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hiex C, General Manager at Holiday Inn Express & Suites Columbia Downtown, responded to this review, November 4, 2013
Thank you for the great review!! I have passed along your great comments to the housekeeping staff. They are always happy to hear when their hard work is commented on. We understand we sit on an odd corner for the roads. The front desk staff is always happy to give you recommendations on which entrance to exit from to get you to where your going. We are happy you enjoyed the managers reception. This runs every Monday through Thursday evening with complementary beer and wine (2 drink max) along with fresh made appetizers. All nearby restaurants are located in the Vista area which is about a 15-20 minute walk depending on where you are heading. We hope to see you again soon and thank you again for the review!

Cera
General Manager
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Washington, DC
Level Contributor
106 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 115 helpful votes
Reviewed October 11, 2013

Stayed here for three nights on business. The stay was great on all fronts. The staff was extremely kind and accommodating from the front desk staff greetings whenever I arrived or departed daily to the staff managing the breakfast/snack area. In fact, there was a discrepancy with the rate I was quoted versus the rate on my bill. I reported it to staff, provided proof and they corrected the mistake without any drama. The hotel was clean from the lobby to the fitness room to the guestrooms. Housekeeping staff was efficient and did a good job maintaining my room as well. I never saw staff sitting around doing nothing; they were constantly busy.

At first, I was concerned that my room was street side and that I would be bothered by the nighttime noise, but that didn't happen. Despite the fact that this was an older hotel, there were many modern touches that set it apart. For example, they provided disposable cosmetic cloths! What an idea! Holiday Inns typically use white washcloths and towels and I feel terrible when I have to wash my makeup off for fear of staining them. This solved the problem! Another delightful perk was the option to choose a soft or firm pillow - it said so on the pillow case! I used both in combination. Teehee! The other thing I liked was free parking. Even on business, expenses count.

Negatives? There wasn't a place to hang wet washcloth and towels except on the back of the door. If they ever re-model, they need to add towel racks in the bathrooms. The hotel isn't within walking distance of restaurants, but The Vista is 5 minutes away if you have a car. Also, the gym equipment needs to be serviced; adding free weights would be a plus.

Overall, this hotel served me well and I will return if I'm ever in Columbia again. I stayed in another Holiday Inn chain the following week and it was the opposite in many ways, so the standards of individually owned and operated hotels make a difference. This one did the brand proud.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Crecia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hiex C, General Manager at Holiday Inn Express & Suites Columbia Downtown, responded to this review, November 4, 2013
Thank you for the great and detailed review!! We are happy you enjoyed our hotel and it makes us proud for the comments. The front desk staff is always happy to assist the guest in any way they can. I am happy to hear they were able to assist you with the rate discrepancy. The staff appreciates your comments and that they were able to help you. I am glad to see you enjoyed your room. I hope you will be back again as we continue to add more items and touches to our hotel. We like to offer free parking and wifi to all guest since as you said it counts in express travel. I will look into seeing what we can do to add more ways to hang towels and washcloths in the bathrooms. Thank you again for the review and the comments. We hope you will be back again soon!

Cera
General Manager
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Jacksonville, Florida
1 review
Reviewed October 1, 2013

While deployed with the military I made a reservation for an upcoming football weekend, believing that by that time I would leave active duty and enjoy some time off. Due to a change in circumstances, I will not leave active duty as planned and cannot travel to Columbia as I intended.

At the time of booking, this hotel's website indicated a deposit was due at the time of booking, which would be lost if the reservation was cancelled. Some three months later, our credit card was finally charged. We then attempted to cancel our reservation and were told losing the deposit actually meant being charged in full for both nights of the reservation. We attempted to remedy the situation but were denied twice. We were told the policy has since changed stating explicitly that payment in full is due at booking and the hotel will attempt to book the room when we do not arrive, almost assuring they will earn a double profit on this room. I've never had a problem with this chain of hotels before and I've come away very disappointed.

Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank NickinFlorida13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hiex C, General Manager at Holiday Inn Express & Suites Columbia Downtown, responded to this review, October 11, 2013
Thank you for your review. We appreciate all guest reviews and comments. We apologize for any inconvenience you feel you experienced with your reservation restrictions. Your reservation was booked on a home football game weekend which has special restrictions that have been in place since the start of the 2013 year. All of these weekends state that a deposit for the entire stay is due for your reservation to be held. We apologize for the inconvenience in the system lag on the deposit being taken. We have notified the appropriate people so this can be looked into and corrected. We thank you for bringing this system error to our attention. These weekends are also a non-refundable weekend if you decide to cancel or do not show for your reservation. Yes, this does mean that you lose your deposit which is for the full amount as stated when booking. All of these restrictions are stated at the time of booking and also on the confirmation page you receive. We have reviewed the copy of your confirmation page you sent us by email and it does have the policies listed on it. We again apologize for any inconvenience you feel you have experienced and hope you will continue to stay with the IHG hotels. Thank you again for your review.

Cera
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Holiday Inn Express & Suites Columbia Downtown

Property: Holiday Inn Express & Suites Columbia Downtown
Address: 501 Taylor St, Columbia, SC 29201-2738
Phone Number:
Location: United States > South Carolina > Columbia
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #36 of 94 Hotels in Columbia
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Holiday Inn Express & Suites Columbia Downtown 3*
Number of rooms: 81
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 
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Also Known As:
Holiday Inn Express And Suites Columbia Downtown
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Columbia Downtown Hotel Columbia
Comfort Suites Columbia
Columbia Comfort Suites

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