Review by Tom Barracks

Staying at the Graduate Columbia, S.C., was nothing short of a magical experience, one that intertwined the essence of historical elegance with a lively, welcoming ambiance. Strategically positioned in the heart of downtown Columbia and steps from the iconic Horseshoe on the scenic campus of the University of South Carolina, this hotel stands as a true campus charmer. The charming atmosphere resonates with the rich history and cultural vibrancy of the locale, making it a haven of comfort and style.

From the moment I stepped into the hotel, I was greeted by the warm, friendly, and incredibly knowledgeable staff who made it their mission to ensure that my stay was memorable. Even as a first-time visitor to the town, their guidance and suggestions helped me navigate through Columbia like a local, exploring the historic essence of South Carolina’s capital and the trendy Five Points neighborhood with ease.

The hotel’s aesthetic is a delightful fusion of historic grandeur, accentuated by pops of prep, making every moment spent here feel like a return home. The decorative elements blend local charm and unique accents seamlessly, highlighted by Gamecock-inspired headboards and echoes of “Oot Oot.” The subtle harmonization of plaids, chevron, and touches of grass cloth in the guestrooms created an ambiance of refined elegance and cozy retreat.

The lobby is a vibrant symphony of colors, where bright and cheery florals stand out against dark wood paneling, providing a refreshing contrast and a visual treat. It’s more than just a reception area; it’s a lively space that mirrors the energy and cultural richness of Columbia.

A visit to the lobby-level café, Trophy Room, was a delightful indulgence. Surrounded by an ambiance filled with bookish charm, I found myself savoring every sip of my caffeinated beverage, fueling my muse and preparing for the day’s adventure. The Trophy Room is not merely a café; it’s a space where inspiration flows freely, and every flavor tells a story.

Whether it was cheering on the Gamecocks, immersing myself in the local neighborhoods, or diving deep into the historical landscapes of the city, Graduate Columbia, S.C., served as the perfect backdrop for every experience. The hotel’s commitment to making every guest’s stay special was evident in their meticulous attention to detail, the blend of tradition and modernity in their décor, and the unparalleled hospitality of their staff.

Link to the Graduate Columbia on

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