Hilton Columbia Center, SC

Best Hotel: Hilton Columbia

As the mother of a University of South Carolina Gamecock, I have concocted plenty of excuses, good reasons to visit our student in Columbia, SC. Though over the years we had split our stay among five hotels that had met my criterion for cleanliness, we now frequent the Hilton Columbia Center at 924 Senate Street.

The red brick Hilton Columbia Center Entrance
The Hilton Columbia Center is centrally located in The Vista.

The Vista

We love the Hilton Columbia Center location in the Congaree Vista because it is within walking distance of restaurants, shops, and downtown. Additionally, the University of South Carolina, the Columbia Museum of Art, Colonial Life Arena, the SC Governors Mansion, and downtown Main Street all are between a five and twenty-minute walk. Plus, if you like Starbucks coffee, one of their shops is a few blocks away.

You can trek about two miles to William Brice Stadium to watch Gamecocks football, but I wouldn’t recommend it.  This part of Columbia lacks sidewalks; therefore, your options are to hug the edge of the road or navigate the overgrown railroad tracks.

View overlooks the Columbia State House
A junior corner suite in the Hilton Columbia Center in South Carolina overlooks The Vista.

Hilton Columbia Center Parking

Unless you are carrying a lot of luggage, I recommend self-parking for $12. Moreover, you can walk through the parking garage into the hotel. However, if you choose to self-park your car inform the front desk receptionist. She will give you a card to enable you to drive your car out of the garage.

Valet parking at the Hilton is $24.00 and based on a 6 a.m. to midnight time frame. I feel that the cost is high especially for Columbia, SC, and of course, a tip adds to the price.

Hilton Columbia tan and red colored lobby
Chairs and tables provide conversation areas in The Hilton Columbia lobby.

Hilton Columbia Center Lobby

The hotel lobby is large and furnished with muted colors and comfortable chairs creating a beautiful venue. It’s an excellent place to grab a cup of coffee or tea from the coffee station and relax and watch people come and go.

Computers are near the reception desk where guests can print and copy. Furthermore, you can find a conveniently located ATM nearby, and if you need something notarized, a Notary Public should be on location. If you require a business center, you can find one down the hall and around the corner.

Also just behind the printers is a small gift shop equipped with necessities like cookies, health bars, and additional sundries.

Statues flanked by brick flanked by palm trees at pool's end
The saltwater pool at the Columbia Hilton maintains an 82-degree temperature.

Hilton Columbia Pool

A lobby door leads outside to a courtyard decked out with overstuffed chairs. In the middle, a fence surrounds an 85-degree saltwater pool. Honestly, I might like a more refreshing pool on hot days.

A fence and buildings enclosed the Hilton Columbia pool.
Red flowers and chairs add color to the Hilton Columbia pool courtyard.

Hilton Columbia Welcomes Children

The Hilton staff encourages you to bring your children. To accommodate them, they provide cribs, highchairs, playpens and rollaway beds. Additionally, they offer a children’s menu.

Lights bounce off tan stone floor in Hilton lobby
Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse is at the end of the Hilton Columbia Center lobby.

Ruth’s Chris Steak House

Though it’s the priciest restaurant that we had tried in Columbia, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse is conveniently located right off the lobby.

When we dined at Ruth’s Chris, I couldn’t help but notice their 40 oz. Tomahawk Ribeye was priced at $119. Though the waiter said that the ribeye was meant for customers to split, I would have had to divide it five ways to digest the cost. With that said, steaks start at $39.

Also, I  ordered two drinks from the bar made with name brand vodka, and with tip, the price totaled $30. My point, I would save Ruth’s Chris for a special occasion. However, despite the costs, when we dined at the restaurant to celebrate our Gamecock’s birthday, the place was packed.

Restaurants in The Vista

Other restaurants that we love are Blue Marlin for their steaks and seafood; Grill Marks for their burgers and milkshakes; Cola’s Restaurant for their ambiance and fantastic food; the Liberty Tap Room for their pub food and lively bar; and Pearlz Oyster Bar for their oysters.


In addition to the outside pool, guests can workout in the Hilton fitness center. But as mentioned, there’s a lot to see by foot so you can get your exercise walking the town.

King guest room furnished with a king size bed, desk and bureau
This king guest room in the Hilton Columbia overlooks the pool.

Hilton Columbia King Guest Room

King size bed in guest room
A king size bed is the focal point of the king guest room at the Hilton Columbia.

The last time that we had stayed at the Hilton Columbia, we checked into a king guest room. King guest room perks include a small safe; newspaper; room service; complimentary internet; a plush top mattress; fine linens; and an alarm clock and radio with MP3 connectivity. Moreover, they equip a high definition flat screen TV with Pay-Per-View Movies, Nintendo, and Express Check-out capability. Other room features include a desk with computer and phone outlets, plus a coffee maker to prepare tea and coffee.

King guest room tan and black carpet
Housekeeping places water bottles and coffee and tea service items in the room for the guests’ convenience.

Hilton Columbia King Bed Junior Suite

In the past, I had booked a corner junior suite that overlooks the city. In addition to the conveniences mentioned above, the suite includes a sitting area with a sleeper sofa and tables; curved shower rod in the bathroom; bathrobes;  and a granite counter in the hallway stocked with a  coffee maker, microwave, and small refrigerator. It’s the perfect room for three.

Black and red carpeting that looks like Gamecock feathers
The hall carpeting in the Hilton Columbia Center celebrates the Gamecocks.

Hilton Columbia  Presidential Suites

Presidential Suites include all the above plus an oversized master bath with a whirlpool tub, master bedroom, walk-in closet, private office and a dining area.

Furthermore, accessible rooms for the physically challenged are available by request.


In my opinion, the Hilton Columbia Center hotel rooms are clean and provide adequate amenities. For us, the best part is the location since we can walk almost everywhere and not worry about a car. If we had stayed there our first time, we might not have strayed elsewhere.

If you intend to visit Columbia, SC often and plan to stay at the Hilton, I would join the Hilton Honors program and earn rewards.  Given these points, I hope that my experience helps you enjoy your stay.

What is your preferred hotel in Columbia, SC, and do you have a favorite restaurant? Please comment below.

Lobby and Pool

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Best Activities in Columbia, South Carolina

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14 thoughts on “Hilton Columbia Center, SC

  1. I’m a Gamecock, my daughter graduated from there 2 years ago and I live in Columbia. So I’m aware of the Hilton downtown. However, I’ve never stayed there though it looks like a really nice hotel. I’ve always wanted to stay at the Inn at the University but since I live in Columbia there wasn’t really a need. My favorite things to do in Columbia are the Soda City Market and eat at Gervais and Vine tapas restaurant. Go Gamecocks!

    1. Jill, I love Columbia, South Carolina, and we have visited a few times every year for sporting events etc. Thank you for your input because when we return, I will check out the Soda City Market and Gervais and Vine. We were in Columbia last week and the weather was warm and bright and the cherry trees were in bloom along Gervais Street. USC has been a great ride for us and our Gamecock. Go Gamecocks!

  2. Looks like a great hotel. I love that everything is walking distance. Personally I prefer self parking to valet. I hate having to wait for them to get your car. I have not visited Columbia yet, but will definitely keep this hotel in mind for when I do. Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard

    1. Anisa, thank you for your comment, after trying five hotels in Columbia, the Hilton has worked out best. I love Columbia because it’s warm in February. #TheWeeklyPostcard

  3. Ive never been to Columbia, but I a msitting in a hilton right now reading this – i would def recommend signing up for hilton honors they give you some fun perks like a goodie bag on check in!

    1. They do have good perks, and ironically if we check in with our daughter, we let her have the points and she graciously accepts.

  4. I like staying at Hiltons because I can always count on them being nice, but I try to break away from big chains and focus on smaller mom and pop hotels which I feel are more personal, but I don’t mind the occasional stay at a Hilton! Thanks for linking up with #TheWeeklyPostcard!

    1. Like you, I love boutique hotels plus I like to give help out th​e smaller businesses. Thanks for your comment. #TheWeeklyPostcard

  5. Staying in a chain hotel is always reassuring. You know the level of comfort you can expect. This seems like a boutique hotel though, unlike most Hiltons I know. I’d love to visit Columbia someday. #TheWeeklyPostcard

    1. Anda, you are right, your expectations are usually met at a hotel affiliated with a brand​​ like the Hilton columbia Center.

  6. Oddly enough, after several years of visiting our Longhorn in Austin, we’ve settled on Hilton’s Doubletree as the place to stay. Not the fanciest in town, but very convenient location, and always spotless. In a college town, that’s nice! 😉 Thanks for linking up with #TheWeeklyPostcard!

    1. The Hilton hotels are consistent, so you know what to expect. Thank you for your comment. #TheWeeklyPostcard

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