The Best Hotels in Columbia, SC

Are you planning a trip to Columbia, the capital of South Carolina? Whether you are traveling for business, for pleasure, for a girls’ (or guys’) weekend away, or for a vacation with your little ones, there’s plenty to do in this part of the Palmetto State. One of your first considerations will be which hotel to book, and we’ve done some of the legwork for you.

We have looked at dozens of hotels in Columbia, South Carolina and have chosen the ones that might be the right fit for you. We considered their location, how past visitors have rated their cleanliness and services, the amenities, and the features that make the hotels friendly to pets, families, or business travelers.

Top Pick
Hilton Columbia Center Hotel

An excellent location and all of the amenities you’d expect from Hilton make this a perfect pick for your trip to Columbia, SC.

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The Hilton Columbia Center Hotel made our top pick of hotels in Columbia, SC. Its location in the historic district of the city and its proximity to the University of South Carolina and the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center make it a great choice for vacationers, those looking at the university, and business travelers. The rooms are over-sized and include several nice amenities, including free WiFi, a saltwater pool, a full business center, and a concierge.

The Best Hotels in Columbia, South Carolina

Editor's PicksBrandRating
Best OverallHilton Columbia Center Hotel 4.5
Runner UpAloft Columbia Harbison
4.4
Best Budget HotelCandlewood Suites Columbia-Ft. Jackson4.1
Best Hotel for FamiliesHyatt Place Columbia/Downtown/The Vista4.5
Best Boutique Hotel Hotel Trundle 4.9

*Ratings from Google are accurate at the time of publication and may change.

Our Top Pick: Hilton Columbia Center Hotel

The Hilton Columbia Center Hotel is our top pick for all travelers headed to Columbia. You won’t necessarily need a car, because the hotel is within walking distance to many restaurants and shops as well as to the amenities of the historic district. Good for both families and business travelers, it is also a block away from the convention center and a couple of blocks from the Vista.

The rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows, some of them with great views of the city. The WiFi is free, as is the daily newspaper. You will also be able to take advantage of room service. Ruth’s Chris Steak House is attached to the hotel and offers luxurious steakhouse meals; you can also book a private dining room if you are hosting an event. There is a business center for those traveling for work, and you’ll be able to unwind in the saltwater pool and the fitness room. The accessibility, a multi-lingual staff, and parking garage make your visit convenient in various circumstances.

Hilton Columbia Center Hotel Key Features:

  • Within walking distance to many attractions
  • Floor-to-ceiling windows
  • Suites available
  • Roll-away beds and cribs available
  • Pool
  • Fitness center
  • Parking garage

Our Runner Up Pick: Aloft Columbia Harbison

Runner Up
Aloft Columbia Harbison

This trendy hotel features southern charm, pet-friendliness, and an amazing location close to shopping.

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Aloft Columbia Harbison made our runner-up spot. Located right in the midst of the shopping action at Harbison Blvd and Columbiana Centre, you’ll enjoy shopping, dining, and easy access to attractions such as Lake Murray and the Riverbanks Zoo. You’ll also be close to downtown Columbia. If you’re looking for nightlife, you’ll be happy with the hotel’s bar and pool room. There are other dining options, as well. Watch a game at the bar or on the patio.

The pool is seasonal and the free WiFi is high-speed. The television in each room can stream Netflix, which you’ll enjoy watching while longing on your comfortable bed. The hotel allows pets. There is also a walk-in shower in each room to make life a bit more luxurious. Choose from rooms with one king bed, two queen beds, or one king and one pull-out sofa.

Aloft Columbia Harbison Key Features:

  • Close to amenities
  • Trendy bar onsite
  • Other dining options including breakfast
  • Seasonal pool
  • Pet-friendly
  • Various room configurations available

Best Budget Pick: Candlewood Suites Columbia-Ft. Jackson

Best for Budget
Candlewood Suites Columbia-Ft. Jackson

Every suite includes a kitchenette, making this a great deal for budget-conscious travelers.

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Candlewood Suites Columbia-Ft. Jackson made our top spot among the budget hotels in the area. Every room you book is actually a suite; choose from a studio, a two-bed, or a one-bedroom/one-bed suite. Each suite contains a kitchenette that is appointed with a stove, refrigerator, microwave, pots and pans, dishwasher, and everything else you’d expect in a basic kitchen. This means that in addition to saving money on the room itself, you’ll also save money if you decide to simply go grocery shopping and prepare some or all of your own meals. At the very least, you can bring back leftovers and warm them up in the microwave for later enjoyment.

This hotel is a bit off the beaten path and is located in a suburban area about 8 miles from the city center. Amenities include free WiFi, a fitness center, a business center, a self-service laundry facility, a pool, and a store that is open 24 hours per day with food and other small items.

Candlewood Suites Columbia-Ft. Jackson Key Features:

  • All-suite hotel
  • Includes a kitchen
  • Located 8 miles from the city center
  • Laundry facilities

Best Hotel for Families: Hyatt Place Columbia/Downtown/The Vista

Best Hotel for Families
Hyatt Place Columbia/Downtown/The Vista

Family-friendly suites located in the heart of the arts district.

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If you are traveling with your children, our top pick for you is the Hyatt Place Columbia/Downtown/The Vista. It’s location is great for families; you can walk to various attractions in the arts and entertainment district, so no need to worry about renting a car or toting along a car seat for little ones.

Every room at the Hyatt Place includes beds and a pull-out sofa, making it easy for your family to spread out. There is a separate sitting area that allows you to put children to bed and still sit up and watch television or get some work done on the other side of the room. Suites include a kitchenette with a kitchen and microwave. There is a full breakfast buffet available that includes eggs, oatmeal, sausage, bacon, yogurt, baked goods, and more; in addition, there is a menu available 24/7 for hunger pangs that occur any time of the day or night.

Hyatt Place Columbia/Downtown/The Vista Key Features:

  • Great location
  • Suites with a separate sitting area
  • Some include kitchenettes
  • Full breakfast buffet
  • 24/7 menu available

Best Boutique Hotel: Hotel Trundle

Best Boutique Hotel
Hotel Trundle

A 41-room hotel located in the middle of the Main Street District.

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If you are looking for a boutique hotel in Columbia, you won’t want to miss Hotel Trundle. This retreat was supported by the local artists, craftspeople and business owners and it combines three historic buildings into one. The staff is known for offering Southern hospitality and thoughtfulness, and the building itself features an eclectic art deco style.

This hotel proudly offers locally made amenities whenever possible. Their evening turn-down service features local treats, and the toiletries are by Davines MOMO. Each room includes high-speed WiFi, robes and slippers, a mini-fridge and microwave, and a Keurig coffeemaker. The hotel offers rooms for just a few nights and suites for extended stays. There are also options for those who want to host parties and gatherings in a unique space.

Hotel Trundle Key Features:

  • Locally sourced amenities
  • Located in a historic building
  • Excellent customer service
  • Evening turn-down service
  • Fridge, microwave, and coffeemaker in each room
  • Extended stay options

Who Should Look for a Hotel in Columbia, SC

If you are traveling to the Columbia area, it is wise to look for a hotel that will meet your needs at least a few weeks in advance. With that being said, there are plenty of hotels available even on short notice! Families, business travelers, and groups often enjoy traveling to this city. Those who are coming with pets should look for a pet-friendly hotel (see below) as soon as they know they are coming so they will be sure to find an appropriate place to stay with their four-footed family member. If you are attending a convention in Columbia or if you hope to visit USC, staying in a Columbia-area hotel will likely be your best bet.

If you find yourself traveling across the states, take a look at Modern Mansions: Must-See Homes On Your Next American Travel Excursion for some more location options.

Top Pick
Hilton Columbia Center Hotel

An excellent location and all of the amenities you’d expect from Hilton make this a perfect pick for your trip to Columbia, SC.

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Important Features to Consider

There are several things to keep in mind when choosing a hotel in Columbia, South Carolina. Here are some features to consider when making your decision about where to stay.

  • Amenities. Think about whether it is important for you to have access to a pool, a business center, a fitness area, a full kitchen, a free breakfast, and so on, then look for a hotel with those specific amenities.
  • Location. Will you be going to meetings at the convention center? Visiting the University of South Carolina? Hoping to check out the nightlife? Will you have a car or will you depend on public transportation or walking? These are all questions that you need to think about so you can determine where you should stay within the city.
  • Room styles. Do you need one king-sized bed, or would two queens meet your needs more effectively? Some hotels include a pull-out sofa or will allow for a roll-away bed or a crib. Consider the configuration that would best suit you and your travel companions.
  • Reviews. The hotel website will not mention if there is construction nearby, if the rooms smell like mildew, or if the area surrounding the hotel looks sketchy. That is where reviews come in. Before you book, look carefully at the reviews to see if there are any common issues that come up again and again.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best area to stay in Columbia, SC?

That really depends on what you hope to do while you are there. If you want to visit the University of South Carolina and take advantage of the city amenities, you’ll want to look for a downtown hotel. In that area, you might choose to stay more to the west, near the Vista Commons if you want to enjoy shopping, or the southern part that is closer to the University. There is also the area around the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center that is popular among business travelers.

What airport do you fly into for Columbia, SC?

The Columbia Metropolitan Airport (CAE) is seven miles from the center of Columbia and would be the closest airport. Other airports within two hours’ driving distance include Charleston International Airport and Florence Regional Airport.

Is Columbia, SC expensive?

The cost of living in Columbia, SC is about 20 percent higher than the average cost of living in the United States. Still, this is relative; if you are coming from the northeast or the west coast, you will likely find Columbia to be less expensive than where you live. The prices will be roughly comparable to other cities of its size in terms of things that tourists and business travelers will probably be doing.

Is downtown Columbia, SC safe?

Most of the touristy and business areas in Columbia are safe during the day. There are some pockets where drug use is more common, particularly at night, and it is wise to avoid these areas. Your hotel’s concierge will be able to advise you if there are any areas that you should avoid after dark. In general, using good travel sense, staying aware of your surroundings, and sticking to well-inhabited areas are all good practices to use in any city, including Columbia.

Other Columbia, SC Hotels We Reviewed

Top Pick
Hilton Columbia Center Hotel

An excellent location and all of the amenities you’d expect from Hilton make this a perfect pick for your trip to Columbia, SC.

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In addition to the hotels that made our top 5 list, we also looked at 20 other hotels. These didn’t make our top spots, but they are all still good choices for people traveling to the city for various reasons. We’ve categorized them for ease and have included the information you’ll need to compare them with each listing.

Family Hotels

Baymont by Wyndham Columbia Fort Jackson

Baymont by Wyndham Columbia Fort Jackson

This family-friendly hotel is located near the Riverbank Zoo, making it a great choice if you have animal-loving little ones. You will enjoy the pool, and rollaway beds are available.

Key Features:

  • Business center
  • Over-sized rooms available
  • Free breakfast

Best Western Plus Columbia North East

Best Western Plus Columbia North East

This economical hotel has a refrigerator and microwave in each room, which is so convenient for families. A guest laundry facility is available, as is a fitness center and a seasonal pool.

Key Features:

  • Business center
  • High-speed WiFi
  • Free breakfast

Homewood Suites by Hilton Columbia

Homewood Suites by Hilton Columbia

A full kitchen as well as a full hot breakfast make this hotel super convenient for families with children. It is close to the downtown business area, shopping malls, and the zoo.

Key Features:

  • Separate living and sleeping areas
  • Complimentary grocery shopping service
  • Free WiFi

Residence Inn Columbia Northeast

Residence Inn Columbia Northeast

These suites have a kitchenette to make feeding little ones extra convenient. In addition, there’s a free hot breakfast and a separate working area so you don’t keep the kids awake.

Key Features:

  • Free internet
  • One- and two-bedroom suites available
  • Fitness center

Springhill Suites Columbia Downtown

Springhill Suites Columbia Downtown

You’ll be within walking distance to the action of The Vista, which is filled with boutique shopping and many dining options. The rooms are large and the indoor pool is open all year long.

Key Features:

  • Fitness center
  • Business center
  • Free breakfast

Staybridge Suites Columbia 

Staybridge Suites Columbia 

This all-suite hotel offers free internet and a free breakfast. There’s a heated indoor pool for tiring out children all year long and on-site guest laundry for the ultimate in convenience.

Key Features:

  • Fitness center
  • Full kitchens in rooms
  • Complimentary breakfast

Boutique Hotels

1425 Inn

1425 Inn

Stay in one of the unique, gorgeously appointed rooms, each with its own en suite bathroom, as you enjoy a true “inn” experience. This inn provides a free continental breakfast and WiFi.

Key Features:

  • 8 guest rooms
  • Perfect for hosting events
  • Located in the historic downtown district

The Chestnut Cottage

The Chestnut Cottage

Located in the historic midtown district, this hotel has been a part of history since before the Civil War. There are five unique rooms and you will enjoy a full breakfast, too.

Key Features:

  • Historical theme
  • Private bathrooms with whirlpool tubs
  • High-speed internet

Inn at USC

Inn at USC

Located on the campus of USC, this boutique hotel offers the elegance of Southern charm along with the modern amenities today’s travelers are looking for like a business center and meeting space.

Key Features:

  • Laundry facilities
  • Free WiFi
  • Fitness center

Pet-Friendly Hotels

Comfort Inn Hotel Columbia

Comfort Inn Hotel Columbia

This pet-friendly hotel offers plenty of amenities for human visitors, too, including free WiFi, an airport shuttle, a fitness center, and an outdoor pool.

Key Features:

  • Microwave and refrigerator
  • Work desk in each room
  • Free hot breakfast

DoubleTree by Hilton Columbia

DoubleTree by Hilton Columbia

Located at the crossroads of I-20 and I-26, this convenient hotel is happy to host both you and your pet. They have cookies waiting for you and have suites and an on-site restaurant available.

Key Features:

  • Fitness center
  • Outdoor pool
  • Free high-speed internet

Holiday Inn & Suites – Columbia Airport

Holiday Inn & Suites - Columbia Airport

If you and your pet are concerned with the environment, this might be the hotel for you. They are very eco-friendly and meet LEED Gold Certification standards with their rainwater harvesting and recycled poolside chairs.

Key Features:

  • Saltwater filtered pool
  • 24-hour business center
  • Free WiFi

La Quinta Inn & Suites – Columbia Ft. Jackson

La Quinta Inn & Suites - Columbia Ft. Jackson

Comfortable guest rooms, an outdoor pool, a fitness center, and free breakfast make this pet-friendly hotel a great choice for someone staying in the Northeast Columbia area.

Key Features:

  • Easy access to city’s top attractions
  • Free breakfast
  • Seasonal outdoor pool

TownePlace Suites Columbia Southeast

TownePlace Suites Columbia Southeast

This all-suite hotel offers studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom suites for you and your pet. Visitors get a free hot breakfast and can cook their lunches or dinners on a Weber grill if they choose to.

Key Features:

  • Full kitchens
  • Custom closets
  • Fitness center

Business Hotels

Country Inn & Suites by Radisson

Country Inn & Suites by Radisson

Free high-speed WiFi and a free breakfast gets you off to a great start before your meeting. Book a two-bedroom apartment if you need extra room to spread out while you work.

Key Features:

  • Fitness center
  • Indoor pool
  • Free newspaper daily

Courtyard Columbia Downtown at USC

Courtyard Columbia Downtown at USC

With plenty of meeting space, free WiFi, and a fitness center, this conveniently located hotel will keep you in shape and near everything you need for a productive workday or week.

Key Features:

  • Nice downtown location
  • Free parking
  • Lots of dining options

Embassy Suites by Hilton Columbia Greystone

Embassy Suites by Hilton Columbia Greystone

A stress-free business trip can be yours with an airport shuttle, spacious two-room suites, free WiFi, and a 24-hour business center. There’s also an indoor pool and a fitness center to help you stay in shape.

Key Features:

  • $8 parking
  • All-suite hotel
  • Fridge and microwave in each room

Hampton Inn Columbia – Downtown Historic District

Hampton Inn Columbia - Downtown Historic District

This hotel is adjacent to the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center, making it an ideal choice if you are attending a conference or meetings. It has a business center and a free hot breakfast.

Key Features:

  • Breakfast or “on the go” pack available
  • Gym/fitness center
  • Free WiFi

Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham Columbia Fort Jackson

Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham Columbia Fort Jackson

If you are looking for meeting space as well as a place to stay for your business function, this hotel has space for 25 attendees. A business center and free WiFi make it a convenient place to work.

Key Features:

  • Free breakfast
  • Laundry facilities
  • Free parking

Sheraton Columbia Downtown Hotel

Sheraton Columbia Downtown Hotel

Enjoy complimentary WiFi and wired internet in your room as well as concierge service and a fitness center. A whirlpool tub and various dining options make this hotel a relaxing oasis for business travelers.

Key Features:

  • Full-service business center
  • Room service
  • Pet-friendly

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