Where to Stay in Columbia, South Carolina

Many hotels in Columbia have enviable downtown locations
Many hotels in Columbia have enviable downtown locations | Courtesy of Graduate Columbia / Expedia

From fighter planes and football games to state parks, forests, and timeworn mansions, the city of Columbia, South Carolina, makes for a great trip. Spend the night in a historic cottage, or turn to a martini served up in a bank-vault bar – however you want to experience Columbia, picking the right place to stay is key. Here’s our roundup of the best hotels, inns, B&Bs, and suites around town.

1. The 1425 Inn


The white panelled 1425 Inn surrounded by green foliage
Courtesy of The 1425 Inn / Expedia
A seven-suite B&B dedicated to all things South Carolina, the 1425 Inn is a proud supporter of the Palmetto State. With rooms named after stops around town like Fort Jackson and local heroes such as Thomas Sumter, the inn knows a little cultural recognition can go a long way. Works from a local artists guild line every wall of the 1425 Inn, and the Soda City Market – a year-round Saturday street market showcasing local artisans – is just blocks away.

2. DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Columbia


A relaxing dining area at Doubletree by Hilton Columbia with a long wooden table, a printed carpet and modern light fixtures
Courtesy of DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Columbia, South Carolina / Expedia

Located close to two major interchanges, the Doubletree Columbia provides a great base for travelers looking for Hilton-standard comfort and convenience in equal measure. Nature lovers will have plenty to do, too, with outdoor spots like the Saluda Shoals Park, Lake Murray, and the Riverbanks Zoo and Garden nearby.

3. Embassy Suites by Hilton Columbia Greystone

Suite Hotel

A casual cream-toned bedroom at Embassy Suites Columbia with a double bed, a TV and dome shaped windows
Courtesy of Embassy Suites by Hilton Columbia Greystone / Expedia

The seven-story, open-atrium Embassy Suites Hotel will send a free shuttle to meet you at the airport and arrange a return journey for you on the day you check out. This kind of thoughtful hospitality is a common touch here – you can even have your breakfast made to order. It’s in a handy spot for exploring Columbia’s top landmarks: the zoo, the Riverbanks Botanical Garden, and the Saluda Riverwalk where you can hire kayaks are all right around the corner.

4. Graduate Columbia


An eclectic lounge area at The Graduate Columbia with four green velvet armchairs in front of a wood and marble fireplace, art on the walls and a printed carpet
Courtesy of Graduate Columbia / Expedia

A stay at Graduate Columbia puts you in the thick of downtown, and right on the University of South Carolina campus. There’s a distinctly local feel about the place, from Gamecock-inspired headboards to portraits of former alum Darius Rucker who went on to form the band Hootie & the Blowfish and is now one of America’s most famous country music singers. Plaids and touches of grasscloth come together in guest rooms, while down in the lobby, bright colors and florals pop against the dark wood paneling. Pick a book from the shelf in the lobby-level cafe, Poindexter Coffee, and learn more about the city’s past over a coffee or two.

5. Hotel Trundle


A large double bedroom suite at Hotel Trundle with a large gray sofa in front of a flat screen TV
Courtesy of Hotel Trundle / Expedia

The entrance to Hotel Trundle, once home to a Western Auto, greets you with svelte green booth seating, a matte-black, raised-panel feature wall, and a wrap-around staircase painted with roses that look like a grandmother’s cross-stitched pillows. Beyond that, brick walls, exposed ceilings, and metal accents hint further at the hotel’s industrial past. Plus, all of the furniture here – including the beds, the breakfast table, and the reception desk – is custom built by a local craftsman. It’s a testament to Trundle owners Rita and Marcus’s attention to detail, who even go as far as providing each guest with a guidebook full of curated recommendations.

6. Marriott Columbia


A cream-toned lounge area with a sofa, dining table and bar in a suite at Marriott Columbia
Courtesy of Marriott Columbia / Expedia

The Marriott offers a well-rounded, upmarket stay with plenty of nods to local culture. The hotel’s restaurant, Midlands’, serves up a slew of classic dishes, like shrimp and grits, fried green tomatoes, and ham hock collard greens. Snag a room with a balcony for a prime view of the capital, or head out and explore it for yourself: the Marriott drops you in the heart of downtown, right by the steps of the Columbia Museum of Art’s Boyd Plaza.

7. Sheraton Columbia Downtown Hotel


Cosy restaurant at Sheraton Columbia Downtown Hotel with brown and orange seats, a patterned carpet and white tablecloths on the tables
Courtesy of Sheraton Columbia Downtown Hotel / Expedia

Standing 215ft (65m) high, the Sheraton Columbia Downtown was the tallest building in town when it was constructed in the early 1900s. Originally it was a bank, complete with the vault that now serves as the hotel’s hidden martini bar. The striking façade, made of carved limestone and terracotta, reaches all the way up to the rooftop bar, which overlooks downtown and Main Street below. There’s plenty to keep you entertained nearby: across the street, Granger Owings will suit you up with tailored fits, while Stoner’s Pizza Joint slings slices until the wee hours of the morning.

8. Chesnut Cottage Bed & Breakfast

Bed and Breakfast, Hotel

This Classical Revival-style cottage has a storied past. Named after the B&B’s former owners, the five-room guesthouse was spared from the fires that swept the city in 1865 as it was captured by Union forces. Today, it sets itself apart from the competition through features like the iron-and-wood-clad balustrade on the front portico, high ceilings, and plush four-poster beds. The Columbia Museum of Art, the South Carolina State House, and the University of South Carolina campus are all within walking distance.

Looking for alternative accommodation across South Carolina? Here’s our guide to the best hotels in Downtown Charleston, or check out where to stay on Hilton Head island.

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