When we decided to make a last-minute trip to central Oregon to visit some long-time family friends, I was surprised to find that many of the hotels I checked in Bend – including a hotel that had become our favorite – were completely booked, even though the Labor Day weekend was behind us. As a long-time HiltonHHonors member, I went to the Hilton web site and booked a room at the Hilton Garden Inn. Because such properties can be, well, humble, I decided to spend a bit more and upgrade our room to a King Deluxe with a sofa bed and a view of the nearby Deschutes River.
|Interior of Room 320|
As it turned out, we were delighted by what was waiting for us.
The desk clerks on check-in were as attentive and professional as many of the four- and five-star hotels at which I’ve stayed. They were young but quick and efficient, polite and refined. They confirmed my selection of room type as well as my request that our room not adjoin any others, then completed the check-in quickly. They provided a brief run-down of the amenities the property offered including the pantry next to the front desk that offered beer, wine and snacks; then provided our room keys and directions to the elevator. They did not once refer to as “you guys” nor did they use the grating phrase “No problem!” instead of the preferred “You’re welcome” or “My pleasure.” High marks for professionalism.
Upon entering our room, Number 320, we realized we should have elected to stay longer!
|Shower for two|
The bathroom brought additional surprises, including a huge shower for two. It also included the standard amenities including a hair dryer; high-quality Neutrogena lotions, shampoo, and conditioner; as well as a kit with an Emory board and cotton swabs.
|View of The Old Mill|
from the room's private balcony
But the view! And the room! WHEW!
After we returned home, I contacted the property's general manager who told me we had been upgraded from the King Deluxe with sofa bed and river view to a King Deluxe with balcony and river view. While the hotel's web site prices the two room types similarly, I would certainly agree that exchanging a sofa for a huge, private balcony and a fireplace constituted a major upgrade indeed.
On property are a dining venue – The Garden Grille and Bar – an indoor swimming pool, fitness center, business center and meeting facilities. Room service and the aforementioned 24-hour pantry are also available. And while our room did not have an in-room safe, the hotel does offer safe deposit box service.
The property does not offer some things one might expect to find at many upmarket properties. It does not have 24-hour room service, a concierge, or valet parking, though self-parking is complimentary. But unless those things are deal-breakers, I highly recommend the Hilton Garden Inn in Bend's Old Mill District.
I never thought I’d characterize a Hilton Garden Inn as “upmarket,” but I guess there’s an exception to every rule and a first time for everything.
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Photos by Carl Dombek
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