By Nancy Trejos, USA TODAY
Corrections and clarifications:A June 27 article misstated free amenities at
Hilton Garden Inn properties. Complimentary cooked to order breakfast is offered only for elite loyalty program members. Complimentary wine is only for elite members in certain hotels.
For Mike Maloney, consistency is key when staying at a hotel.
For that reason, his favorite mid-scale hotel brand is Hilton Garden Inn.
“You know what to expect at each location,” he says.
The consumer products consultant from
Overland Park, Kan., says the Hilton Worldwidebrand has also won him over with its clean and comfortable rooms and food and beverage selections that he calls on par with upscale hotels.
He also praises the brand for its staff and service, “Everyone makes you feel like you are a VIP from the time you check in until the time you leave,” adding that he has seen "very little turnover in the staff,” at the locations he stays.
USA TODAY conducted an informal survey to determine favorite mid-scale hotel brands among readers.
A total of 128 members of our Road Warriors panel cast votes. These frequent travelers chose a variety of brands. But the one that got the most votes —23—was Hilton Garden Inn, which bills itself as an upscale but mid-priced lodging option.
Hilton Garden Inns offer free Wi-Fi. Complimentary cooked to order breakfast is available to Gold and Diamond Hilton Honors Members. Some properties also offer free wine to elite HHonors members. The hotels also offer a business center and meetings rooms for the business traveler.
Bob Bowen, a human resources consultant in
Canton, Ohio, appreciates the spacious rooms at the Hilton Garden Inn. He calls the pillows excellent.
And, he says, “the shower head is above my head so I don’t have to bend in the morning to shower.”
Another morning perk that won over Andrea Warren, a financial consultant in
Birmingham, Ala., was the free breakfast.
“It had a larger than usual breakfast menu and they gave me a free bottle of wine,” she says. “Breakfast is a big factor for me when selecting a hotel.”
William Waff, a retired army officer from Gurnee, Ill., loves the Hilton Garden Inn in Mt. Holly, N.J. He pretty much lived there from October 2010 through September 2013.
“They allowed me to keep a suitcase and uniform box in the baggage closet when I was not there, which eliminated me having to haul stuff back and forth with me,” he says. “They also pretty much kept the same room 'fenced' off for me with some additional table lamps and other specific items in the room that made it much more personal".
Hilton Worldwide in general earned high marks among Road Warriors looking for mid-priced housing options. Ten other Road Warriors say they turn to Hilton when looking for affordable lodging.
Another Hilton brand,
Hampton Inn, got 10 votes.
“The rooms are generally more spacious than other chains, with a more upscale feel,” says Tom Gauer, a media analyst in
Kansas City, Mo. “The property is meticulously maintained, and the staff goes way beyond efficient and friendly.”
He also enjoys the free breakfast with hot entrees that rotate every three or four days.
Courtyard by Marriott brand was singled out by 16 frequent travelers.
“In their newer properties they have the best room for working on the road,” says George Evans, a health care consultant at
Pascagoula, Miss. “Rooms are adequately sized, very nice work desk area with lots of plugs, great desk chair. Good selection of TV, free internet. Very consistent experience from property to property.”
Drew Guenett, an automotive trainer and consultant in
Scottsdale, Ariz., says that in addition to helping him work, staying at Courtyards helps him relax.
“They do a great job of making you feel at home in your own living room,” he says.
Marriott’s Fairfield Inn, which has 700 locations, also impressed business travelers with their free Wi-Fi, breakfast, and meeting spaces.
Dan De Riemer, an automobile dealer in
Roswell, Ga., especially likes the one in Clermont, Fla.
“Every level of staff had a smile on,” he says. “Rare in today’s travel venues. Friendly, courteous, helpful, and welcoming.”
“The new Holiday Inn hotels have made a noticeable effort to raise the bar by providing comfortable, clean spaces while maintaining a reasonable price for business travelers,” says Tom DeWaard, a district manager in
Springfield, Mo. “I enjoy their business suites with large work stations, separate bedroom area, and kitchenettes. Their locations in Baton Rouge and Oklahoma City offer nice work out areas with free weights and a variety of machines.”