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“Too Little Time in Columbia”

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Hilton Columbia Center
Ranked #10 of 94 Hotels in Columbia
Certificate of Excellence
Palm Harbor, Florida
Level Contributor
73 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 127 helpful votes
“Too Little Time in Columbia”
Reviewed 23 February 2012

My dad and I stayed at the Hilton Columbia Center Friday and Saturday, February 17 -18, 2012. We were in town to attend my best friend's daughter's wedding. My every interaction with the staff at this property was absolutely outstanding. When making the reservation, I asked for a late check-in, as our flight didn't even arrive in Columbia until 9:30 p.m. Late check-in was guaranteed and when I called back a few days before to make sure that was still the case, I was very cheerfully told that it was noted in the record exactly what time I was due to arrive. We landed on time in Columbia and had the good luck to land Charles, of Miracle Taxi as our cab driver. He ended up being our "chauffer" all weekend. He took us to the hotel and the front desk staff was extremely pleasant, cheerful, and professional. Bartley Cromer was the young man who checked us in (more about him later) and suggested that if we wanted a night cap, we could pop in to the bar at Ruth's Chris on the other side of the lobby. Great bar, terrific service. We got up to our room and settled in. The room was on the 8th floor (817) and was very spacious. There is free wi-fi and a good work station/desk. I did wonder at the space in the dresser that had obviously been intended (and perhaps once housed) a small fridge, as it would be nice to bring leftovers up from Ruth's Chris, but alas, no fridge there any more. There was a full size iron and ironing board (which we used and worked well). Good flat panel television with a lot of available stations. Good alarm clock radio. Beds were very comfortable!!! Anyway, we were unpacking and settling in when I got a voice mail on my cell phone and the room phone from Bartley at the front desk who had inadvertently failed to return my credit card to me. I went down stairs and after confirming my identity (thank you), the gal who had taken over for Bartley returned my card to me in a sealed envelope, none the worse for wear. In these days of identity theft and such, I was appreciative of their professional handling of this mistake. The next day my dad slept in and I went down to the lobby where free coffee and tea are always on offer. I brought a cup up for my dad, who was still snoozing, and then I walked up the street to the corner and saw that there is an IHOP right there and a CVS drug store across the street. One block over is Gervais Street, where there are countless places to eat and have libations as well as shopping. After a short exploration, I went back up to the room where my dad had finally awakened.

The gal who was getting married was my flower girl back in 1992 when she was only 7 years old. At the time, she told me that when she eventually got married, she would allow me to participate in her wedding, and when I asked what she would have me do, she stated firmly that I would be allowed to "pick berries." So, I really wanted to bring a basket of berries with me to the wedding (but obviously couldn't have packed one on the plane). When we went downstairs, I spotted Bartley working the door to Ruth's Chris and I asked him about where to go to get berries and a basket. He told me some shops to visit for the basket and then offered to go to Publix for me on his lunch hour and purchase assorted berries! Definitely above and beyond the call of duty, but I totally took him up on his offer and gave him money to go to Publix. He brought me back a bunch of berries and then proceeded to put together a gorgeous arrangement of berries in the glass basket I found in an antique store (great antiquing within easy walking distance of the hotel). I was so impressed with Bartley going so far beyond what his job description calls for; and he was funny, pleasant and professional as well. The rest of the front desk and restaurant staff were also absolutely wonderful - truly a terrific customer service experience.

We did have a small snafu the next morning with our room service, so be very sure to be very specific when ordering. But, the food was great and so was the coffee. They claimed to be out of tea bags, but there were some in the lobby, so not sure about that...

Overall, I highly recommend this hotel and would most definitely stay there again if I go back to Columbia.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank LollyMoz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
tonytam, General Manager at Hilton Columbia Center, responded to this review, 13 March 2012
Dear Lollymoz from Tampa, Florida,

Thank you for taking the time to write a very extensive review on the Hilton Columbia Center. First of all thank you for the very nice comments on our guest rooms and amenities. We are very proud of our accommodations and the decorations that surround them.

I am very glad that your credit card got back to you without incident.

What a wonderful story on the wedding you are attending and the connection of the berries to boot. Bartley is a wonderful asset to the hotel and I'm so glad that he was able to personal help gather your wedding gift and assembly it for you. I will personally make sure that he know how appreciative you are.

We wish you could have stayed a few more days in Columbia to enjoy the great city and experience more world-class service from the Hilton Columbia Center.

If I can personally be of assistance on your next visit to Columbia, please do not hesitate to ask.

Thank you,

Tony Tam, General Manager, Hilton Columbia Center
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Kabul
Level Contributor
89 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 February 2012

The hotel was great. The front desk staff friendly and helpful. Rooms were big and clean with comfy beds and pillows. Had an issue with my key not operating my door and it took more than an hour to have it fixed. But the hotel management were super apologetic afterwards. Hotel is in a prime position. Would recommend.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Kabulpickle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
tonytam, General Manager at Hilton Columbia Center, responded to this review, 13 March 2012
Dear Kabulpickle,

Thank you for taking time to write a review on the Hilton Columbia Center. First and foremost I do apologize for the extended period of time it took to get the electronic door lock fixed on your guest room door---technology as you know sometimes is not cooperative. Thank you for recognizing and acknowledging the helpful and apologetic hotel management staff that you interacted with while you are here. If any of your future travels brings you back to Columbia, please do not hesitate to personally let me know if I can be of assistance.

Thank you,

Tony Tam, General Manager, Hilton Columbia Center
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Columbus, Georgia
Level Contributor
56 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 February 2012

Had a very nice stay. I have stayed here over 10 times in the past year. By far my favorite hotel in Columbia. Very close to everything and a great staff. The only downside of the hotel from my point is the breakfast. No breakfast buffet is worth $12 before tip. The rooms are great but don't eat there.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Bill31820
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
tonytam, General Manager at Hilton Columbia Center, responded to this review, 13 March 2012
Dear Bill31820 from Columbus Georgia,

Thank you for taking the time to write a review on the Hilton Columbia Center. My sincere gratitude to you and your family for making the Hilton Columbia your favorite hotel in Columbia. I will be sure to pass along your comment recognizing the "great staff".

Thank you for your comments in regards to our breakfast buffet pricing, we strive to serve the best breakfast buffet in town and want to remain competitive in our offering and price. If there is ever an issue with the satisfaction of our breakfast buffet, please let us know and we will fully refund your breakfast.

Sincerely,

Tony Tam, General Manager, Hilton Columbia Center
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North Carolina
Level Contributor
346 reviews
310 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 363 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 February 2012

This place was good enough for a one night stay. The parking was a little obnoxious - you pull into what looks like a municipal parking deck and trapse through hallways etc to get to the desk. It wasn't a big deal - and it is a downtown location - but still not "easy" and a pain if you are carrying a lot of stuff. Everything else was fine. I wouldn't object to staying here again - but I also wouldn't go out of my way to stay here.

Stayed May 2011, travelled on business
Helpful?
Thank sbccc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
tonytam, General Manager at Hilton Columbia Center, responded to this review, 13 March 2012
Dear sbccc from North Carolina,

Thank you for taking the time to write a review on the Hilton Columbia Center. Our self-parking garage is adjacent to the hotel and is operated by the City of Columbia. The garage entrance does in fact take you through the hotel's meeting space, past the outdoor heated pool, business center, and the hotel's lobby. The design of the parking was meant to be away from the hotel's guest rooms to limit some noise. We do offer valet parking at our main entrance next to the hotel's registration desk---this would definitely eliminate the need to travel through our meeting space to arrive at our guest floor elevators. A bellman is always on duty to assist with luggage making the arrival experience less cumbersome. If any of your future travels bring you back to Columbia, please do not hesitate to contact me for personal assistance.

Thank you,

Tony Tam, General Manager, Hilton Columbia Center
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Fairfax, Virginia
Level Contributor
45 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 January 2012

Where do I start with this property?

I had to go to Columbia for a trade show. Stayed at the Hilton as I am an honors member and I stay at their family hotels when I can. This hotel was very nice, up to hilton standards if you will, but very frustrating at the same time.

I'll start with the good. Check in was fast and easy. The front desk staff was very nice and it was well staffed, better staffed even than most in much larger complexes. I was put on the third floor with a King size bed. The room was very nice and spacious. Flat screen TV with some HD TV. HIlton bed is always great. Bathroom was up to date and clean. The free Wi-Fi worked very well and it was very fast.

Now the frustrating (not so much bad but made you scratch your head). Some of these sound petty but they are the last things you want to deal with on a trip. Website stated $10 to park per day. No big deal. It was $12. OK, fair enough...if this were a downtown hotel. Columbia doesn't really have a downtown area to speak of. It's as if the Hilton had room so they constructed a garage just so they can charge you for parking. May even be city run, I don't know I don't care. There is plenty of space to have a lot for your guests. It's Columbia, not NY. As i stated before, the bathrooms were nice and very clean. The shampoo, conditioner and body was was all Thomas Roth, very nice. But where should I put them in the shower? On the small ledge for that...oh wait...there wasn't one. Just the ridged bar soap holder that they kept falling off of. I shouldn't have to bend over 15 times while taking a shower. It was petty, but infuriating. Lastly, I had to leave the hotel everytime I wanted something to eat. Sure they have a restaurant, a Ruth Chris Steakhouse. Very nice...very out of my work budget.

This was a very nice property but a frustrating stay. It's like they were building for a large downtown city and forgot they were in Columbia, SC. Last year I stayed at the Holiday Inn around the corner. Rooms were just as nice, parking was free and they had a free breakfast (not very good, but free). And it was about $20 per night cheaper. If you are on an unlimited budget, choose the Hilton. Otherwise, there are better options.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank randy623
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
tonytam, General Manager at Hilton Columbia Center, responded to this review, 13 March 2012
Dear randy623 from Fairfax Virginia,

Thank you for taking the time to write a review on the Hilton Columbia Center. I am so happy you thought the check-in was fast and easy, we were well-staffed, your room was nice & spacious, the great bed, bathroom up-to-date and clean, and the very fast free wi-fi. I do apologize that at the time of your reservation the website had not updated the self-parking pricing, this has been fixed and we want to make sure it does not happen to any of our other guests. Yes, the garage is owned and operated by the City of Columbia, our guests have access to the garage at a discounted rate which we can post on any guest room accounts that choose self parking. The hotel also offers valet parking for any guests that prefers that over self-parking. I appreciate your suggestion in adding an additional shower shelf for bath products, we are in the process of making that happen--Thank you for the AWESOME Suggestion!

Yes, we do have a fine-dining Ruth Chris steakhouse on-site. While we realize that Ruth Chris may not fit every price point, we do offer many early bird specials in the restaurant along with a very nice competitive in-room dining menu. If our guests choose to leave the hotel, there are 40 restaurants and bars with-in a 2 block walking distance from the hotel, many right across the street.

Thank you,

Tony Tam, General Manager, Hilton Columbia Center
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Additional Information about Hilton Columbia Center

Property: Hilton Columbia Center
Address: 924 Senate St, Columbia, SC 29201-3158
Phone Number:
Region: United States > South Carolina > Columbia
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#12 Family Hotel in Columbia
#12 Romantic Hotel in Columbia
#14 Business Hotel in Columbia
Price range (per night): ₹ 8,913 - ₹ 19,570
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hilton Columbia Center 3.5*
Number of rooms: 222
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Elegant in atmosphere and striking in detail, the Hilton® Columbia Center is ideally located in the center of the financial, entertainment and historic district. Our hotel provides a spacious haven for business and leisure travelers coming to Columbia, South Carolina. Enjoy our graceful combination of historical architectural elements with modern facilities, chic design, and Southern hospitality....Hilton-style. We feature 222 signature guestrooms and suites including 2 Presidential Suites, 12 Executive Suites, and 3 Junior Suites - all surprisingly spacious and inviting. Each of our guestrooms and suites was decorated with warm rich earth tones and elegant dark woods, floor-to-ceiling windows to entice business travelers and vacationers alike. We offer all the amenities needed to ensure an unforgettable experience each time you stay with us. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hilton Columbia Hotel Columbia
Hilton Hotel Columbia
Columbia Hilton

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