This is the second time I have tried writing a review about the Courtyard by Marriott in Columbia. I did the first a week ago but for some reason my review has been taken down so I shall try again so that you can decide whether to stay there or not. I have had longer to consider the place too, and am far less complimentary than in my original piece so I hope you find it a more valuable contribution.
The background to my stay is that an old school friend of mine and I are sharing one of those birthdays that are part celebratory and part intimations of mortality. Either way, it ends in a '0' and we decided that we needed a pre birthday present to ourselves, so we signed up for a trip to the Masters golf tournament at Augusta and our package had us staying in Columbia at the Courtyard.
First the good things about it: it is very conveniently placed for downturn, especially the Gervais Street corridor where the majority of bars and restaurants are to be found. The hotel is welcoming and spotlessly clean, if a tad soulless. I would not dream of bringing my wife here as it is far too utilitarian for her tastes but for two blokes sharing a double room it is more than adequate and far from expensive. One bar of complimentary soap for five days seemed mean but at least we had brought our own.
Our comfortable and spacious room faced Assembly Street, which can be very noisy, with the nearby railway station vying with the main road for which can generate most traffic. Amtrak horns can be particularly annoying during the early hours of the morning.
However, the biggest ground for complaint is the bar. I have never fathomed why so many people who do not enjoy other people's company decide that bar work is their vocation, but the barman at the Courtyard is most certainly one of those. Unsmiling and barely co-operative his presence behind the bar made me look elsewhere to enjoy a drink. Whilst everyone from the chambermaids to Keith, the wonderful hotel shuttle bus driver, could not have been more helpful and friendly this fellow cast a cold chill across the premises.
The bar also closes early with no drinks served after 11.00 pm. Beer is available from a self service cold unit near reception but being unable to get a glass of wine or a glass of spirits in a hotel of this standard is downright daft. The minibar in our room was also empty. Even more incredible that a business such as Marriott can ignore lots of thirsty golf tourists all more than happy to pay whatever it takes to get a drink in the hotel where they are staying.
So, if you need a clean, convenient, affordable base in Columbia then the Courtyard is the place for you. But I would not recommend you stay here for any more than a short break and head for Gervais Street if you want a drink as the staff in all the establishments I visited during my five day stay run rungs around the surly barman in this hotel. He does the rest of the staff no favours at all.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Courtyard Marriott Columbia Downtown at USC is located in the heart of the University Historic area within walking distance to the Colonial Arena, Columbia Convention Center, Koger Center, State Capitol and The Vistas Entertainment District. Amenities include a new state of the art Fitness Center, complimentary Guest Appreciation receptions on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 5 to 6:30 with free beer, wine and appetizers and free wireless internet access throughout the Hotel. Complimentary transportation is provided to the Vistas and Five Points restaurants as well as neighboring businesses. Cocky's Bar provides libations Monday through Saturday evenings and a dinner menu is offered Sunday through Thursday nights fromt 5-10pm. The Courtyard USC also has complimentary access to the Capital City Club, a private restaurant and bar on top of the tallest building in South Carolina! Courtyard Columbia is the premier sponsor of USC Gamecock Athletics! ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Courtyard Columbia Downtown At Usc Hotel Columbia
- Marriott Columbia
- Columbia Courtyard