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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Fargo, North Dakota -- Hilton Garden Inn

August 2010, Weekday, 3-nights, King guestroom

Status perks and check-in
I received the two bottles of water that I always receive from Hilton Garden Inn. I only recall one time when I received an upgraded room at a Hilton Garden Inn as a Gold member, and that was in Panama City, Florida. I was glad the agent mentioned that I must have chosen to receive free breakfast as my choice instead of bonus points, because that is not my preference. He said he would change this to bonus points for this stay; however, it would probably not be reflected in my profile. When I checked my profile after I got to my room, it was set to receive bonus points, so I am not sure if he was able to correct this, or if he had been mistaken.

The guestroom contained a king size bed, nightstands, a fridge, microwave, flatscreen TV, soft chair, and an ergonomic desk chair at the desk. The bed, pillows, and sheets were all good quality and comfortable. 

I was slightly annoyed by a couple of things in the guestroom: The temperature was set at 62°F when I arrived, and the room was an icebox! It took until the next morning for the temperature to get up to 72°. The bathroom door would not stay open; it kept closing unless I propped it with a shoe or something. The door to the hall did not shut tight unless it was pulled or pushed with extra force; I had to do this each time I went in or out of the room to make sure it was shut. Something I did like: liquid creamers were available in the fridge. I do not know if this is a new HGI thing, or if housekeeping did this on their own. I always get liquid cream from the restaurant when it is not in the room, and when I checked the fridge the first night, there were four inside. I thought maybe the last guest had left them because that is what I do, if I happen to pick up more than I use. I used two of them, and they were replaced the next day. The day after this, the two I used were not replaced though. 

The room was spacious and comfortable for working, although the wireless Internet connection was quite slow.

Food & Beverage
I ordered food three different evenings, and each time it was served very quickly. The smoked salmon appetizer was satisfactory, the mushroom soup was very good, and I was not happy with the NY Strip. The steak was overdone, and the bartender did not check back with me right away, so I ended up eating the center only instead of sending it back. Both bartenders the first two evenings were excellent; however, I was not happy with the service the last evening when I ordered the steak. The bartender did not bring my silverware until after he had served the food. When he checked back with me, he asked if the steak was okay, so I told him it was overdone. He looked at my plate, saw that it was, and then said he had ordered it medium. He did not apologize, but instead made excuses about the fact that he did not know the cook. I think at the very minimum, he should have apologized and told me he would inform the cook. I wish I had noticed his name, so I could warn others not to order from him. One of the bartenders that provided excellent service was Cody.

I thought breakfast was overpriced. It was raining my last morning, and I was hungry before I was ready to depart, so I ate at the restaurant. The only thing available was a mediocre buffet for $9.95.

Business center
The business center was the basic HGI type with no charge printing services and two computers. The only addition I would have liked is a stapler. There were staples in the room, so I expected to see a stapler.

Fitness center
The fitness center was open 24 hours. There were seven cardio machines with cardio theater. I wish the agent at check-in had told me I needed to get the headphones at the front desk. When I checked in, I asked about the fitness center location, and he did not mention this. The room was quite hot after 10 -15 minutes. The temperature had been humid and over 90 degrees during my stay, and it seemed that some business facilities could not keep up with the cooling.  There was also a weight machine, weights, a mat, and exercise balls.

When I went to the dining room to eat the second evening, I learned there was free beer and wine, as well as free appetizers until 7 p.m. I enjoyed all of this, although it would have been nice, if I had known about this beforehand. It's nice to know about this kind of thing when planning where and when to dine while out working. The bartenders were excellent about promoting this and offering refills. I was told this is held on the first Tuesday of every month.

I would stay at this hotel again for the bed comfort; however, I did not care for the onsite dining. It is  located near a mall, so there are several restaurants nearby.