You can’t beat the Hampton Inn Downtown (822 Gervais St., 803/231-2000, www.hamptoninncolumbia.com , $159) for its combination of location and service. Right in the Vista and close by the State House , this property has the usual high standards associated with the Hampton brand, along with the usual price premium. The only problematic thing about this property is its continuing tight parking issue.
A good B&B with a distinctly Victorian air is Rose Hall Bed and Breakfast (1006 Barnwell St., 866/771-2288, www.rosehallbb.com , $139–219). Set in the historically-rich University Hill district adjacent to the USC campus, Rose Hall is in a relaxing, quaint location with suitably ornate and comfortable period-style rooms.
Housed in a former bakery building, the Inn at Claussen’s (2003 Greene St., 803/765-0440, www.theinnatclaussens.com , $160) is the premier lodging in Five Points proper. It’s not as chi-chi as some of the more plush, new places nearer the Vista, but the rooms are particularly large and comfortable. And of course, being steps away from the nightlife  and shopping  at Five Points is a big plus.