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Thursday, July 10, 2014

BUF airport -- Cheektowaga, New York / Hilton Garden Inn Buffalo Airport

May 2014, Weekday, 1-night, King guestroom #439

Status perks and check-in
When I checked in, I received the standard two bottles of water at this Hilton Garden Inn. Looking at the guestroom diagram, it looks like half of the guestrooms in this hotel are oversized, or they are suites. I did not receive an upgrade to a larger room, and in the 10+ years I have been a Gold member, I only remember receiving an upgrade at a Hilton Garden Inn once. I do not expect an upgrade at hotels every time, although the differences between the Hilton properties surprises me. I receive a room upgrade at full-service Hiltons, and at DoubleTree hotels 99% of the time. I am impressed when that happens, and the fact that Hilton Garden Inn and Hampton Inn do not upgrade like the full-service properties confuses me. It seems like there is a lot of potential for glowing guest satisfaction and reviews, as well as returning customers.

This hotel has five floors, and guestroom 439 is located on the 4th floor at the end of the hall. The room was well soundproofed. I did not hear any noise from the floor above me, or from outside. The hallway noise was minimal. The entrance door to the guestroom automatically shut perfectly. I have stayed in many hotels where the door slams or does not shut all of the way. It was nice to have a guestroom door that was set perfectly and shut quietly!

The doors inside the guestroom also shut on their own, which I did not like as well. I usually like to leave the bathroom door open, especially during the night. I also like to be able to have the closet door open, if I choose to. I have found that when there is a lot of hallway noise, leaving the closet door open when it extends across the guestroom door, helps to block out the noise some. 

The guestroom looked like every other Hilton Garden Inn I have been in. That is one thing I can count on with Hilton Garden Inn--consistency. The guestroom was comfortable and clean.

A closet was located by the entrance door across from the bathroom. It contained a folding luggage rack, and an iron and ironing board.

The dry bar area next to the closet contained a Kuerig coffeemaker with supplies, a small fridge, and a microwave. A full length mirror was hanging on the wall across from the coffee.

The bathroom across from the coffee area and closet was average size. It contained a tub/shower combination across from a long vanity. A shower curtain was hung on a curved shower rod, and the towels were good quality.

A hairdryer was mounted on the wall next to the vanity, and bathing amenities were provided.

The bath amenities were the only thing that I found inconsistent with Hilton Garden Inn. There were three different brands of products, which I have never seen at any hotel before. The lotion was Neutrogena, the brand I usually see at Hilton Garden Inn. The shampoo was Paul Mitchell, the brand I usually see at Fairfield Inn, and the conditioner was Bath & Body Works, the brand I usually see at Holiday Inn. This was not a big deal since I did not use the products anyway, although I thought it was odd.

The bedroom area contained a king size bed, two nightstands, lamps, a large flatscreen TV on an armoire, a soft chair and footstool, small end table, floor lamp, and a desk and chair. There were two telephones in the guestroom; one on one of the nightstands, and one on the desk. The clock on the nightstand had a charging station on top.

The sheets were good quality, and the bed was comfortable and clean. The desk chair was also comfortable, as was everything in this guestroom.

Food & Beverage
Complimentary Zone bars and cookies were available in the lobby in the afternoon. I do not usually eat or drink at Hilton Garden Inn, because I think their food and beverage prices are outrageous, and this hotel was no exception. I made the mistake of ordering a glass of Apothic Red wine at the bar without asking for a wine menu or asking the price. It was $11! I can buy an entire bottle of Apothic Red at my local store for $10. And, I would think a big company like Hilton purchases it for an even better price than that.

Business center
I always like the business centers at Hilton Garden Inn. They have on demand printing, and they are always well stocked with many office supplies. I had a bit of trouble getting my document to print, although it did eventually print. When I entered my print code, it said the document was not found. I had not tried to print it too quickly, because about one half hour had passed from the time I had received my print release code. I was ready to give up after I entered the code three times, and then on my fourth try, the document was found!

Shuttle service & misc.
This hotel is located across from the airport. I had planned to return my rental car after check-in, and then walk back to the hotel or call for the shuttle. When I arrived, I noticed a Hertz lot right next to the hotel. After I checked in, I walked next door, and I was able to return my car to that lot for the same cost as returning it to the airport.

The shuttle service in the morning was prompt. A couple of guests that had signed up for the same departure I was on were delayed. The shuttle driver had a full bus, so he told the front desk agent he would take us, and then be right back to get the last two guests. This worked out for me, because I forgot one of my bags on the shuttle bus when I got off! I realized after I got to the airline counter to check my other bag. I called the hotel, checked my bag, and returned to the drop off area to meet the shuttle driver and retrieve my forgotten bag.