In August 2012, my sister and I flew up to Anchorage, Alaska, for a weekend of outdoor fun and adventure as guests of the Hilton Garden Inn Anchorage. We went glacier hiking, dog carting, and even kissed a moose. And then we snuggled into bed each night at the HGI.
Before this trip, I didn't know much about Hilton's Gardin Inn brand — I just assumed all Hiltons were up-scale and expensive. Well, it turns out I was wrong.
While the Garden Inn brand (with more than 500 properties worldwide) is used primarily by business travelers at the moment, it is also an ideal hotel chain for leisure travelers of all sorts — families, girlfriends looking for a getaway, young Gen Y travelers… the Garden Inn is suitable for all of these audiences.
Why? Because the Hilton Garden Inn chain is affordable. Rooms at these mid-range hotels can be half as expensive as rooms at Big Brother Hilton. And yet you still get a lot of the Hilton amenities.
Here's what I thought of my stay at the Hilton Garden Inn Anchorage:
The hotel had an amazing cook-to-order breakfast bar, along with the standard continental breakfast fare. You can wake up, grab a coffee, and then order a reindeer sausage omelette to get your morning started.
I loved the lobby of this hotel. There's a fireplace, a giant elk head, native artwork, and a stuffed bear that everyone calls Reggie. There are also comfy couches and a flat-screen TV, which my sister and I put to use while we waited for our room to be ready when we arrived. We hardly even minded the wait.
Need a ride to the airport or to downtown Anchorage? The hotel has a free shuttle that runs frequently throughout the day.
The double room my sister and I had was huge and comfortable. It had two heavenly beds, a chair, a big TV, and a really nice desk. (I'm all about the nice desk when I'm traveling and have work to get done.) The bathroom was even massive!
As noted above, the beds were amazing. Soft but not too soft, and with an ample amount of pillows. If you get a room with a King-sized bed, you are even able to control the firmness of it.
The hotel has the standard fitness room, pool, and hot tub — perfect for relaxing after a long day of outdoor adventure.
This is one of the biggest selling points for me when I'm considering booking a room at a hotel. And yes, the HGI Anchorage offers FREE wifi in both the rooms and the lobby. Better yet, the wifi is fast and responsive.
Another important aspect of any hotel is the staff. The staff members at this hotel were friendly, helpful, and just generally nice people from what we could tell.
While breakfast s delicious, it isn't free. In fact, the cook-to-order breakfast is downright pricey, at roughly $15 per person.
I wished that the HGI Anchorage had been closer to the city center. It is located roughly 2 miles away, so you pretty much have to take the hotel shuttle (which only runs until 10 p.m.) or call a cab if you want to go downtown to explore.
All in all, though, the HGI Anchorage is a clean, comfortable hotel at an affordable price. I would definitely stay again if my travels ever take me back to Anchorage.
*Note: My stay at the HGI Anchorage was sponsored by the hotel. However, I was not asked to write this review, and the opinions expressed here are mine and mine alone.