Hilton Garden Inn Ottawa Airport {CAN}

100   Recommended

2 Queen
January 8, 2019 by
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2 Queen

Liked:
Location
Service
Food
Amenities
Room

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Room
2 Queen

I have stayed several times at Hilton Garden Inn Ottawa airport in the past although I did not bother writing an official review unti now.  I used to book almost exclusively at this hotel before a flight out of YOW but the number of options around the airport has increased so I have been mixing things up recently although this hotel remains a decent choice for a quick overnight near the airport.

Location

There is no hotel connected to YOW and this hotel is the closest to the airport along with Fairfield Inn.  The hotel is reachable via shuttle bus however it’s close enough that it is borderline walkable depending on the season (1.5km) but no sidewalk for a small stretch of the road so I would not recommend walking.  Since the Fairfield Inn hotel opened right next door to the HGI (same owner) the shuttle bus is no longer on demand and there is now a schedule in the morning servicing both hotels.  I find the schedule less convenient than before when I could just go whenever I wanted.  In addition the shuttle bus used to be a small passenger van, but now it’s a bigger mini-bus and the strange thing is that there is no storage for suitcases in the back nor is there a storage rack near the front of the bus.  The driver rolls the suitcases at the very back of the bus and it takes seating space away.  This is the reason why they now limit passengers to one suitcase only to take the bus.  I don’t know to what extent this is enforced but on some trips I have more than one suitcase and I would find this situation with the bus somewhat inconvenient.  

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Parking

One nice feature of the hotel is that you get free parking which can be quite valuable if you are parking there and flying off for several nights.  They have recently marked the best two parking spots as “Diamond Member Only” which is nice in the winter although I am not sure it will be respected by all non-Diamond members.  

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Room

As a repeat Diamond guest, I am almost never upgraded to a suite at this hotel except for a couple of times perhaps two years ago when I asked about an upgrade at check-in.  For almost all my stays I do not ask about upgrades because I do not care much for only an overnight, but I suspect it would not hurt if they were a bit more generous; some guests might care more than myself about upgrades once in a while.  

The hotel added a new wing about one year ago which about doubled the number of rooms available in the hotel.  If you get a room in the new wing you will have a newer room but to be honest the rooms in the old wing are just fine and I cannot see a big difference.  All rooms are of a good size and in fact considerably larger than the nearby Hampton Inn YOW.  The rooms at HGI have a microwave and mini-fridge as expected.  

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Dining

The breakfast at the hotel is decent and superior to the Hampton Inn YOW breakfast.  In addition the restaurant stands out regarding dinner – it’s one of the few airport hotels where I occasionally go for a meal because I enjoy the food there.  

Gym

The fitness gym near reception and near the swimming pool was inadequate for a hotel of this size.  The good news is that when they built the new wing, they also opened a new gym in the basement of that part of the hotel so you have the choice of two gyms now.  Interestingly most guests do not seem to even know that the second gym exists because they just see the one near reception.  In about a dozen of times I have been to the new gym, I have never seen anybody, at any time of day or night.  It has decent and new equipment and TVs on the wall.  

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Check-Out Time

Like some other Hilton properties, check-out time can be stringent unlike the more liberal 4pm guaranteed check-out at Marriott/Starwood for Platinums.  To make matters worse, the HGI YOW has recently rolled back the mandatory check-out time from noon to 11am which I find to be not very guest-friendly. Fortunately as a repeat Diamond guest I have not had issues on the few occasions that I asked about 4pm but my views would change if I was denied and I would move some of my stays to Fairfield Inn if that was to happen, for the stays where late check-out is important to me. 

Overall

Overall it’s an ok airport hotel but there are a few minor issues such as the shuttle bus, the lack of upgrades, and the check-out time.  For all those reasons, even though I generally like the hotel, I am not willing to pay a large price premium to stay there so they need to stay competitive for me to return and fortunately they generally are.  HGI is frequently cheaper than the newly built Fairfield Inn.  Sometimes HGI is cheaper than Hampton Inn but sometimes not - it’s quite variable.  The Hampton Inn is good enough that if it’s moderately cheaper I will go there instead of HGI.  If the price almost the same, I pick HGI over Hampton Inn because HGI is closer to the airport, the rooms are larger, and the breakfast is better. The other new choice near the airport within the Hilton chain is Homewood Suites which I have not tried yet but will probably do so next month to compare with HGI and Hampton Inn.

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