BOISE: Hilton Garden Inn Downtown

The brand new Hilton Garden Inn in downtown Boise, Idaho has much to recommend it, along with a few caveats.

Opened in July, the property is sparkling new with a contemporary vibe, but the staff members are either veterans of the hospitality industry or are extremely quick studies. Service was excellent at check-in, in the restaurant, and elsewhere. Staff members greeted us when we passed in the common areas and the halls. Amiable front desk staffers chatted with us, and were quick to offer recommendations on things to do and places to dine.

Hotel exterior

Guest rooms are generous, and the suites are even bigger than others. Ours, a King suite, was not a true suite in the sense of having separate rooms, but the single room with a living/sleeping area and separate work station measured 20 x 15 feet (350 square feet) overall.

Sleeping area of the King suite

Situated in a part of downtown that is currently under development, this Hilton Garden Inn is clearly aimed at business travelers. The in-room workstation includes a desk area that is more than 10 feet long; plenty of space to spread out and work. It includes both A/C and USB outlets, and the Wi-Fi is among the faster sppeds I have seen in a hotel setting: 28.8 Mbps download and 21 Mbps upload speeds, as measured by In addition, the work space is separated from the sleeping area by a four-foot high wall; enough to keep one’s work out of sight when it’s time to relax or retire.

Workspace separated by 4-foot wall

The room also has an open closet space containing an iron and ironing board and storage drawers. Next to the closet, an alcove contains a mini-fridge, microwave over and Keurig coffee maker with four pods of the most popular coffee. Guests can purchase pods containing different coffee blends, tea or hot chocolate at the pantry next to the front desk.

In-room coffee station

The large bathroom has a double-sized walk-in shower and comes equipped with Neutrogena amenities; a cut above many properties in the mid-range hotel space. A hand-held hair dryer is also included.

Neutrogena bath amenities

Breakfast and dinner are available for purchase at the restaurant off the lobby, and the lobby bar has a pretty decent selection of wines by the glass at very favorable prices compared to many hotels. In addition to coffee and tea pods, the 24-hour pantry has snacks and wines by the bottle for those who want or need to get back to their rooms. The property also has an indoor pool and hot tub, a business center, fitness room, guest laundry, and conference space available.

Situated along Front Street, which is a busy arterial, it can get a bit noisy during the evening rush hour. However, things quiet down relatively early so the noise wasn’t an issue by bed time. It is also within walking distance of the downtown core with its selection of stores, bars and restaurants.

The few minor caveats.

Self-parking is in the adjacent garage at $15 per day including in-and-out privileges. While that isn’t bad for a downtown hotel in a major city, this is Boise. The rate seemed a bit excessive and perhaps opportunistic, considering that there really aren’t any good alternatives nearby.

Rooms do not have in-room safes for storing your traveling electronics. And the hair dryer in the bathroom was the loudest I have EVER used.

Considering all, the Hilton Garden Inn is a fine place to stay in Boise. Just bring earplugs if you intend to use the hair dryer.

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Photos by Carl Dombek
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