a chalkboard with yellow writing on it
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

Why Is This Hampton Inn Historic? Hotel Review.

The stay will be remembered — but not in a good way...

I arrived at a particular Hampton Inn hotel property recently. While I was checking in for the night, I noticed a small blackboard near the front desk which called this hotel property “historic”. Why is this Hampton Inn historic? I still do not know.

Why Is This Hampton Inn Historic? Hotel Review.

a building with a parking lot and a parking lot
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

The hotel property in question is the Hampton Inn Columbia-I-26 Airport in South Carolina. It is certainly an older Hampton Inn — but it does not seem to be historic.

a chalkboard with yellow writing on it
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

The words on the aforementioned blackboard were as follows:

Welcome to the
Hampton Inn


mon-fri – 6:30 – 9:30am
Sat & Sun-6:30 – 10:00am


By the way, I have never seen a number 3 used as an ampersand before.

The person behind the front desk who was checking me in to the hotel property for the night could not answer my question. “Maybe this hotel is so old that it qualifies as historic?” I asked. We both had a good laugh about that.

a hallway with a few doors
Photographs ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

The corridor to the two elevators is the narrowest which I have ever seen. It is slightly wider than two floor tiles — and it seemed to be approximately double the width of a typical aisle aboard an airplane. The hallway to the room was ordinary but nice, clean, and illuminated well.

a screen on a table
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

The flat screen television in the room displayed a welcome message for me.

a bed with a white blanket and a brown headboard
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

The bed was reasonably comfortable. Night tables were built into the wall on each side of the bed, with an alarm clock on one side and a telephone on the other side. Curiously, one side had a table lamp; while the other side had a lamp built into the wall.

a bed with a headboard and lamp
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

What was weird was that the other side of the bed was somewhat messy. It appeared that the member of the housekeeping staff who attended to it did not finish. Also, the room was hot upon entering it, as the thermostat on the wall did not seem to work properly.

a green chair next to a table
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

Speaking of not finishing, I have never walked into a hotel room and seen the cushion of a chair upright. Perhaps this part of housekeeping had not been completed either?

a room with a chair and a table and a lamp
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

The floor lamp next to the desk did not have a light bulb in it. I tried adjusting the temperature on the climate control unit; but that did not help to cool the room either.

Behind the chair was one of the most bizarre closets that I have ever seen — similar to the closet at the Hampton Inn Concord-Kannapolis hotel property in North Carolina. Are these the typical closets in rooms at Hampton Inn hotel properties in North Carolina and South Carolina?

a swingers on a shelf
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

In the “closet” were six hangers, a plastic laundry bag, and an ironing board. A closer look shows wiring for the lighting of the “closet” that appears to be installed haphazardly…

a light on the wall
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

…as further evidenced by the use of some sort of tape which was not electrical tape. I am not an electrician; but do wonder how safe is this wiring. Could this be a fire hazard?

a close up of a door
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

Even the structure of the “closet” itself did not appear to be installed correctly or finished properly. A portion of an electrical wire can be seen “peeking” above the top.

a room with a desk and a mirror
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

The room was not all that large. A black square ottoman of sorts, a microwave oven, assorted tea, coffee, mugs, condiments, and an ice bucket all were included in the room.

a small refrigerator with two bottles inside
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

At least I did receive two complimentary bottles of water, which I promptly placed in the refrigerator. A Holy Bible that was placed by The Gideons was strangely found in one of the wire basket drawers inside of the unit.

a book inside a cabinet
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

The Bathroom

a sink with a mirror and a mirror
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

The bathroom was that of a typical Hampton Inn hotel property; but it was quite small.. A mirror was installed on the wall above the vanity, which included a bar of ZERO/o soap, a shower cap, a small bottle of blue mouthwash, a packet of makeup remover, and a box of tissues.

a bathroom with a toilet and shower
Photographs ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

Adjacent to the vanity were an adequate number of assorted sizes of towels, a toilet that flushed too slowly, toilet paper, a bath tub with an adjustable shower head, and a hair dryer in a bag which was hanging from one of three hooks on the wall between the bath tub and the door to the bathroom.

a group of shampoo bottles
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

Installed in the wall above the bath tub were bulk dispensers of shampoo, conditioner, and shower gel — all manufactured by ZERO/o.

a sign with text on it
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

On the mirror was the following notice:

For your comfort, housekeeping services are
provided every other day during your stay.





Need anything else? Call or message
Guest Services, and we’ll be happy to assist!

While we value your privacy, please note that we
reserve the right to enter the room if the need arises.

Problems With the Room

a close up of a sink drain
Photographs ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

The drain in the bath tub had discoloration around it; while hair was above the drain in the sink.

a close-up of a table
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

I do not even want to think about what happened to the base of this floor lamp behind the chair — but it appeared to be incredibly disgusting.

a metal object on a glass surface
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

The finishes around the room — such as on this handle on the vanity in the bathroom — were showing significant wear and tear.

a close up of a wood surface
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

Were these burns from cigarettes — or did the edge of this desk suffer from a different malady?

a close up of a wood
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

In addition to the burns from cigarettes, stains were found around the room.

a crack in a wall
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

The popcorn ceiling had cracks in it.

a counter with a variety of items on it
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

Breakfast included a waffle iron to create your own waffles, oatmeal, one hot breakfast item, yogurt, dry cereal, and assorted “juices” that were watered down significantly — as well as a few other items and condiments. The breakfast at this particular hotel property was not as plentiful — nor was the food as good — as what is found at a typical Hampton Inn hotel property.

Views From The Room

a parking lot with cars and trees
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

The views from the room were not very good.

a white truck parked in a parking lot
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

In addition to the parking lot of the hotel property itself, the views mainly comprise of the interchange between Interstate 26 and United States Highway 378…

a street with power lines and trees
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

…as well as trees and other buildings in the area.

a street with a pole and trees
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

Overhead highway signs directing traffic from Interstate 26 to United States Highway 378 east towards Lexington and west towards West Columbia.

a road signs on a pole
Photograph ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

No Hampton Inn Guarantee Invoked — Or Even Found

During my stay of one night, I received the following text message:

Welcome to Hampton Inn Columbia-I-26 Airport, Mr. Cohen. Thank you for being a valued Hilton Honors Diamond member. We are elated to have you! Please let us know how we assist you during your stay. -Xxxxxxxx

I responded with a text about my stay. I never received a response. I informed the person behind the front desk about the issues which I experienced during my stay. Nothing was done.

Hampton Inn once had a 100% satisfaction guarantee that quietly disappeared a few years ago. Now no guarantee seems to exist at all.

Final Boarding Call

This Hampton Inn hotel property may or may not be historic — but it will be remembered…

…and not in a good way, as it would be hysterical instead of historic if the stay was not so bad. Although members of the staff were nice, polite, and friendly, I unfortunately cannot recommend staying at this hotel property when in Columbia. The issues which I experienced were never resolved; and many better choices of lodging are available nearby.

The total cost for the room for one night was $121.40 in United States dollars, including all taxes and fees. I thought that was overpriced for what I received.

This hotel property — which is conveniently located off of Interstate 26 and not far south of Interstate 126 — has no fitness center. I did not use the outdoor swimming pool.

Hampton Inn Columbia-I-26 Airport
1094 Chris Drive
West Columbia, South Carolina 29169
United States of America

Free parking is available.

All photographs ©2024 by Brian Cohen.

  1. The hotel is historic as a footnote, if even that. It was the original Hampton Inn in South Carolina, opening soon after the first Hampton Inn opened in Memphis in 1984.
    Perhaps the author of the sign used “historic” because it starts with “h” as in Hampton Inn.

    The ampersand can be written as a backwards 3 with a line through it. The way it’s written on the sign is wrong except maybe to someone with dyslexia.

    Unfortunately, in my opinion, Columbia, SC is a sorry place. The airport isn’t ugly but its airline service is sorry, having mainline service only to DFW and ATL. It use to be better. One bright side about the sorry airport is the control tower. Located beyond baggage claim, it was designed by I.M. Pei, who won the competition to build nearly identical air traffic control towers. The one at O’Hare is in front of the Hilton and Terminal 2. It resembles CAE except it’s much taller.

  2. This article is really helpful and detailed! Thank you for sharing Brian Cohen’s information and experience at this hotel. I really like how Brian has provided so many images to illustrate the article. This helps readers have a comprehensive view of the hotel and feel the space, amenities, and surroundings.

    Thank you for sharing this link and allowing us to explore more of the world of travel through Brian Cohen!

  3. If there’s so many better hotels around, why didn’t you leave after checking in, were you held hostage?

    On the other side of the coin, do you request that they honor the 100% guarantee, I’m sure a property like that is used to paying out and definitely couldn’t afford to proactively offer it

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