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Monday, August 27, 2012

Wisconsin Dells / Hilton Garden Inn


August 2012, Weekday, 2-nights, King whirlpool room #347

Status perks and check-in
I had been pre-assigned guestroom 348, which I later learned is a top floor corner room. The agent at check-in did not state what type of room I had been assigned, so I asked if there was an upgrade available. She said she could upgrade us to a whirlpool room with a balcony on the top floor, so I accepted it. I think the room I had originally been assigned was a deluxe king room, so I am sure that room would have been great, too. It appeared that the only additional item in the new guestroom was the whirlpool tub. I also received two bottles of water.

Guestroom #347
The guestroom contained the usual Hilton Garden Inn comforts--garden sleep system, dry bar area with small fridge, microwave, coffee maker, and a desk and chair. This guestroom also had a balcony with two chairs and a small table, a fireplace at the foot of the bed, and a whirlpool tub in the living area. There was not a chair or sofa in the guestroom.

The hotel diagram showed that this guestroom is the same size as the room we had originally been assigned. If the diagram is accurate, then room 348 must be a good sized room. Guestroom 347 was spacious enough for a chair, even though there was not one in the guestroom (other than the desk chair). Since we had two chairs on the balcony, we decided to keep the whirlpool room. I prefer it when the employee completely explains my options, and I wish I had asked for more detail about the original guestroom before asking about an upgrade.


We had a decent view from the balcony, and the outside chairs were comfortable and clean. The glass side walls on the balcony were clean, although the floor needed a good sweeping (there were many pinecones and needles on it). The balcony in this guestroom is right next to the one next door and it is not private. The balconies on the corner rooms (where we had originally been assigned room 348) are private.

The whirlpool tub and the bedding were clean; however, there were a few issues with the guestroom. There was mold along the edge of the tub/shower in the bathroom, and the bathroom drains were slow--in the sink and the shower. I stopped at the front desk on our way out the first morning to tell the employee about the slow drains. The employee I spoke with said he would have an engineer take care of it when he came in at 9 a.m. When we returned later that day, there was no evidence that anyone had been in the guestroom except housekeeping. The drains were still slow, so I told the agent about the problem again at check out. He reduced our nightly rate $20 because of this.

Housekeeping did not completely clean our room on stayover. The counters and desk had not been cleaned, and the coffee pot had not been emptied or cleaned.

There was a good amount of storage space and ample electrical outlets in this guestroom. Wireless Internet was available, although the connection speed was extremely slow.


Food & Beverage
We did not have any food or beverages at the hotel during our stay. I did not receive breakfast coupons (like I had at the last HGI I stayed in), and there were not any Happy Hour food or beverage specials either night of our stay. Since this hotel is in a resort area, and many of the restaurants nearby offered Happy Hour type promotions--on food and beverages--I was surprised that the Hilton Garden Inn did not offer anything. Some Hilton Garden Inns I have stayed in offer Happy Hour food and beverage prices, and/or free snacks.

Pool
This hotel has an inside pool and three hot tubs. Two of the hot tubs are located outside where there is also a patio area with a couple of tables and chairs. There is an outside smoking area at the other end of hotel.

Area & misc.
We dined at both of the restaurants in front of the hotel--Del-Bar and Sprecher's Pub. We preferred Sprecher's, and probably would have eaten there both nights, if we had discovered it the first evening.

Del-Bar offered good quality food with Happy Hour pricing; however, we needed to buy two beverages to get the discounted food items, and we thought the beverage prices were high. Del-Bar Happy Hour menu. The service at Del-Bar was disappointing. I ordered the Sashimi Tuna, which was served several minutes before my husband received his Cheeseburger and Fries. We had not ordered the items as an appetizer and then an entree. We had each ordered the items at the same time for our respective meals. Complimentary cheese dips and crackers was served in the bar area, and neither bartender let us know about this. We inquired after we observed guests walking to a table on the other side of the bar from where we were seated.

The service and food quality at Sprecher's Pub was excellent, they have an extensive beer menu--which my husband liked, and the Happy Hour food and beverage prices were good. We had the Shrimp Ceviche Salsa, which was delicious and an excellent value. Guests dining near us had the Chicken Nachos, which they said were excellent. The nacho portion size was generous.

The Pizza Pub about 1/4 mile down the road (north), offered a 10% discount to hotel guests for showing their room key. A Subway restaurant is located about 1/4 mile south of the hotel. We walked there for breakfast one morning, and then waited for the restaurant to open because we had arrived before 8:00 a.m.

A few attractions are within walking distance, if you are a walker. We walked to the Wisconsin Duck Tours (I will be posting a review about that next), which is about 2 miles one-way. Tommy Bartlett's Ski Show is just down the road, on the other side of Sprecher's Pub. We did not go to that show, although guests we chatted with in the hot tub area at the hotel one evening said they had gone to it, and that it was great.