I hate writing negative reviews. This is only the second negative I have ever written and they were both in the last two months AND they were BOTH STARWOOD PROPERTIES. But we aren't talking about little stuff or things you should know ahead like room size or location. We are talking about things this hotel is KNOWN for and that you would choose this hotel for and it no longer even existing. The BAD DEFINITELY outweighed the good. Unfortunately. Here we go.
First, know we LIVE in Columbia and got a Groupon deal for $125 for a night with champagne, strawberries, breakfast and a restaurant credit. Additionally we had to pay ALL service taxes and fees, gratuities, valet ($18), food and drink over and above, ect... Which we expected and was fine. My husband and I wanted to do something less expensive than a full vacation to celebrate 10 years as a couple. I called the hotel when I made the reservation in January and twice the day of our stay and I had mentioned this was a special occasion. NO mention was made of ANY of the following.
- People complained about the room size in other reviews. We thought the room was great! Small but cozy, well laid out, great temperature control. Shower pressure and water temperature lacked considerably but that is minor.
- The food in the Main St. Restaurant was very good and extremely large portions BUT we will get to their bad health rating and why we couldn't eat at P.O.S.H. in the 'BAD'.
- Room service was on time with our champagne and strawberries BUT the strawberries... see the 'BAD'.
- Breakfast Buffet was ample and tasty although over-priced at $12.45 a person
- P.O.S.H. restaurant no longer exists. Period. IT DOES NOT EXIST. Closed. They still advertise it. They have a bunch of entrees displayed in the elevator that aren't available in the bar restaurant . The only thing served in the P.O.S.H. area is breakfast. I was told they are going to 'expand' the Main St. subterranean bar menu to be more 'pub'. Which it already is. So no elegant dining for our evening. We had assumed we would be eating at P.O.S.H. and when we went down to the dank underground bar and saw a guy in flip-flops eating fries and the B health rating we weren't excited. We even called two or three restaurants within a half mile walk but it was 7pm on a Friday and the earliest we could have had dinner was 8:45pm. Taking the car out would have cost us an additional $18 for valet. We had only been there 1.5 hours.
- A "B" health rating on a restaurant in SC is NOT GOOD. I have worked in restaurants and my husband works for major grocery chain. A's are EASY to maintain. Not only is the Main St. grill rated an 83 right now - it has DROPPED from an 89 last April. That is terrible. And the health department makes it EASY to correct your rating and get your score back up in less than two weeks. What are they doing? We NEVER would have eaten there based on that alone if we had had ANY choice after finding out P.O.S.H. was closed.
- The VAULT martini bar is 'Temporarily Closed' Yep. One of the reasons I chose this for a getaway within our own city was the unusual aspects like the Vault Martini Bar, The P.O.S.H. and the Rooftop Bar all in one place. They had lost a bartender so the bar was gated and locked. Yippee.
- We went to the Rooftop Bar for drinks immediately after checking in to enjoy the sunset. The impression the website and photos give you is a relaxed upscale bar overlooking the city right? Nope. Run-down, torn-up college level bar with 1 bartender and one barback for OVER 40 customers. No place to get 'inside' away from the wind and cooling air, had to bus our own spot and she had to keep asking people if they would take their drinks in whatever glass she had available because none of the traditional ones were clean. Wasn't her fault - she was clearly left hanging by her GM but it took over 30 minutes to get a mojito. In a martini glass. And sunset? Not on that side of the building.
- The strawberries that were delivered to the room were a bit worrisome. The 'green' tops were ALL crusty brown and actually pretty frightening. We cut the tops off and ate some of the strawberries; some were pretty gritty with dirt. Let's just say if you had seen a package in the grocery store with tops like that, you would have told the manager to throw them out. My husband took a pic with his phone but it was too fuzzy to post.
- The room was clean but the lobby, breakfast area, THE DISHES WE ATE OFF, restaurant tables and cloths were dirty, dirty, dirty. This place was created in 2008 and it hasn't been dusted since. We were seated at a dirty coffee-stained two top for breakfast. Both the bread plate at dinner and breakfast had to be cleaned with our cloth napkins to be used. Really.
Overall? If your job puts you up here and it doesn't cost you anything, it is fine. Otherwise, no. I know the economy is bad. But if you are going to CHARGE as much as usual and not even offer what the Holiday Inn does in quality, cleanliness and service then YOU DON'T DESERVE TO BE RATED AS AN UPSCALE ESTABLISHMENT. This is becoming a common issue in U.S. properties. If you can't keep it upscale, then lower your star rating and your prices.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This sophisticated hotel is 1.3 miles from the South Carolina State Museum and 3.1 miles from Riverbanks Zoo. Modern rooms and suites with vaulted ceilings and hardwood floors offer free WiFi, desks with ergonomic chairs, flat-screen TVs and coffeemakers. Some rooms add whirlpool tubs. Club rooms provide access to a lounge with complimentary breakfast and evening appetizers. There's a restaurant that serves breakfast and dinner, a trendy martini bar in a historic bank vault, and a hip rooftop lounge/bar. Full service Starbucks Reserve store in the lower lobby with fireplace and lounge chairs. Additional amenities include a 24/7 business center and a fitness center ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Columbia Sheraton