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Any regular reader of the blog would know my family loves visiting Columbia, South Carolina. It is, after all, my hometown and the location of my alma mater, the University of South Carolina. I love to go to USC games, especially the reigning national champion women’s basketball team. So my family recently visited Columbia to go to one of these games.
Sometimes, we like staying very close to Colonial Life Arena so we can walk to the games. You can read a review of a couple of the hotels we stayed in recently that are within walking distance of CLA:
But one of our recent visits was during the holiday season when we wanted to get a lot of shopping done. And one of my favorite places to go shopping in Columbia is Columbiana Centre Mall. So we decided to stay at Aloft Columbia Harbison.
The proximity of Aloft Columbia Harbison to Columbiana Centre Mall is one of its best features. It is right across the street so it is just a couple of minutes away. And I really like Columbiana Centre Mall. It has some of my favorite stores, like Belk, Dillard’s, and BoxLunch.
Not only is it close to the mall, but it is also close to a lot of dining options as well. It is right next to a Fazoli’s, which is a fast food Italian restaurant and one of my family’s favorites. Please note though that when we were there, only the drive-through was open due to a worker shortage. But we were able to buy our meal and then eat it at in the lobby of the hotel. We had the Fettucini Alfredo and breadsticks which were delicious and we highly recommend it! It was not only scrumptious but affordable, too.
But it’s also close to other great restaurants and entertainment around the mall, too, including places like Dave and Buster’s. They even boast that there are over 100 restaurants within 5 miles of the hotel. So there’s definitely a lot to eat and do right around the mall.
But it is also very easy to get to other places around Columbia, such as Colonial Life Arena or Williams Brice Stadium if you are here during the football season. It was very easy for us to get to Colonial Life Arena for our game, so it is a great choice if you too would like to go to a Gamecocks basketball game. By the way, if you do want to go to a game you can find some great prices for games here:
Also, you can click here to get good prices for South Carolina football tickets.
The hotel is also convenient if you are visiting Riverbanks Zoo. So no matter where you want to go in the Columbia area, this hotel is convenient.
Another outstanding aspect of the guest rooms at Aloft Columbia Harbison are the guest rooms. If you stay in a room for four they give you two queen beds rather than double beds, which I prefer. The beds are also really comfortable.
Another great aspect of the rooms is their great use of space. There is plenty of room to walk around and put your stuff. For example, they have a nice bench in the corner you can put your luggage on.
They also have a desk which is great if you need to do business during your vacation, which we did.
There are a lot of great amenities like the refrigerator. And I love how they put the refrigerator under the desk so it takes up less space.
There are also plenty of outlets and USB ports if you need to charge any of your gadgets like your phone or tablet.
I really liked the TV, too. They have 55” LCD TVs in their guest rooms that can stream Netflix.
I also loved the pictures of Columbia up in the room. Really added to the fun of staying in Columbia.
There was, unfortunately, one big negative for the room. And that was the bathroom. First of all, it was not very big. But worse, they had a sliding door that was broken! So it was almost impossible to open or close the door. Which is obviously not ideal with a bathroom. Hopefully, this was just our room and you won’t have that problem.
The lobby was nice.
There was plenty of seating and also a pool table when helps add to the welcoming atmosphere of the lobby.
As I mentioned earlier, I was able to eat my lunch at the bar area. Speaking of the bar, they have a W XYZ Bar that serves craft cocktails and bar food.
They had breakfast available, but I was disappointed they did not have a free breakfast. Similar hotels available for similar price points around Harbison Boulevard I’ve stayed at before do, like Tru by Hilton Harbison Columbia (which is a really similar hotel – you can find out more about this hotel and see a video tour of it here).
But you can buy breakfast here.
They have options like cinnamon roll with cream cheese icing, pearl sugar waffle, egg & chorizo wrap, breakfast biscuit sandwich with pork sausage, egg, and cheddar on a buttermilk biscuit, and more.
And if you want to buy a bit cheaper of a breakfast, McDonald’s is really close by (this is what we did).
They also had an elevator, which sadly not all hotels do. They had an outdoor patio, but it was too cold when I was there to take advantage of it. Similarly, they have a pool, but it is seasonal and not open.
Aloft Columbia Harbison is a great choice for a hotel if you are visiting Columbia. No matter your reason for visiting, whether it’s to catch a University of South Carolina basketball, football, etc. game, visit Riverbanks Zoo, etc., you’re in a great location. Especially if you want to visit Columbia Centre Mall as it is across the street!
They also have spacious rooms with comforable beds. And while I had a few things I didn’t like (bathroom door didn’t work, would have preferred a free breakfast), overall we had a great experience.
Especially given the price of the hotel. You can find a great deal for the hotel here.