Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Sherman's Headquarters: Clarion Hotel in Columbia, SC

I rececently had the opportunity stay at the Clarion Hotel in Columbia. Civil War history and modern touches blend well at this South Carolina hotel. The historical marker you see in the photograph is on the outer hotel wall next to the main entrance.
The marker states that General George Sherman had his headquarters here during the Occupation of Columbia during the Civil War in February 1865. The Clarion Hotel is 1615 Gervais Street; Columbia, SC 29201 and is close to other historic sites.

General George Sherman set across South Carolina with a vengeance. Almost nothing remained after his infamous 'march to the sea'. That this hotel was left standing at all seems pretty remarkable. The area around the Clarion Hotel is filled with all kinds of civil war.

The Clarion is a franchise of Choice Hotels. This mean that my stay was applicable to their rewards program known as Choice Privileges. Points accumulate toward free nights and other perks.

Each of the staff members that I came in contact with were helpful. My room was typical of many Choice Hotels. There king sized bed was comfortable and there was space to move around. The high speed wireless worked as flawlessly as the in-room coffeemaker. Choice Hotels often have business centers in the Clarion Hotels and this was set up with everything I needed.

At the Clarion entrance it was possible to imagine how the building might have looked in the civil war era. An archway of windows surrounds the front entrance. Inside the lobby is large and bright with deep gold decor against a stone floor. The overstuffed couches bespoke of an elegant old southern home. The elevator had the iron doors that are reminiscent of the civil war era. The walls were thick and quiet. Other than these touches, this Clarion Hotel is as modern as any of the others that are franchised by Choice Hotels.

The Clarion Hotel in Columbia, does not offer a complimentary breakfast. A restaurant just off the lobby, had good and good service. There is a Comedy Zone and bar across the breezeway and upstairs. Like many Choice Hotels, the Clarion was within a short drive of several other restaurants so we found something with no problem.

I was a little disappointed that more information about the role the building played in the Civil War wasn't offered. Still, for a total cost of $94.71 (AAA rate) I will probably stay at this Clarion Hotel again.

Carter House Civil War Museum in Tennessee

London, Kentucky tourism has info on Civil War sites and more