I will be traveling to Columbia this fall for a Football game and I'm looking for the very best fine dining spot. A recommendation for the very best hotel close by with fine dining and maybe a spa would help also. Thanks.
I would stay at the holiday inn. Its inexpensive and a cheap cab ride to down town. Fine dinning there is a place right smack dab down town it is a bar/restaurant in the lobby of a hotel. It looked a bit pricey. My wife and I at there food was good. Just up the street there is an indian food restaurant as well. For some late night fun. Try the eastside tavern. Its theme is Sci-fi,horror Rock n roll and cheap booze. I will try and get some more info for ya. good luck "Red"
The downtown hotel you are referring to is the Columbia Regency, and the restaurant is Thai Kitchen, not expensive at all, nor would I call it fine dining, although it is very good Thai food.
The two restaurants downtown that are the best in fine dining, IMHO, are Sycamore, right on Broadway, a few blocks west of the Regency Hotel, and Cherry Street Wine Cellar and Bistro, sensibly enough located on Cherry Street.
The Holiday Inn Select on the west side of town is not inexpensive (probably one of the most expensive hotels in town) but they do have a very expensive fine dining restaurant called Churchill's inside it, and I'm sure the hotel has a spa for their customers. If you are wanting to stay downtown, the Columbia Regency is your only option. Might want to call to see if they offer the amenities you are seeking.
I second Sycamore. If you did stay at the SC Inn, then Murray's is hard to beat. Murrays is hard to beat anyway. However, Sycamore is "finer" dining that Murrays. Downtown Strada Nova would be my second choice, but I've not been to Cherry Street yet and it has been awhile since going to Strada Nova.
Hotels fill up quickly on football weekends. Don't procrastinate. I recommend Stoney Creek Inn where you can walk to the football game and walk to the best restaurant in Columbia, Murry's which has an eclectic alacarte menu. Good salads, excellent value on the steaks, and who can pass up fried green pepper rings dusted with powdered sugar? Can get packed but worth the wait.
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I like Trattoria Strada Nova, or Ninth Street Trattoria, which is on ... guess what? Ninth Street! Casual atmosphere, a cigar bar, and excellent northern Italian food with a nouvelle twist. Bread and olive oil to start the meal. Good stuff. It's just a block north of Broadway, right downtown.