When your one-way road trip is more than 20 hours, a necessary break is a good night’s sleep. When driving I-80 in Utah, I didn’t have time to search out a boutique hotel or unique inn, so I opted for a familiar brand hotel experience. I choose the Hilton Garden Inn Salt Lake City Airport, for its convenient access mere minutes from the interstate and affordability. And what sealed the deal for us was the indoor pool, on-site restaurant (and bar!), and even complimentary WiFi.
For spring break, I loaded up the car and the grandkids for a road trip from Denver to Oregon to visit my newest granddaughter. Some 1,300 miles and 20 hours later, the week was over. I had just crossed the Utah state line behind the wheel again returning to Denver approaching Salt Lake City, and ready for a break. A quick google search (by my granddaughter) for
A quick google search (by my granddaughter) for hotel near I-80, indoor pool, restaurant, and bar brought me to the Hilton Garden Inn Salt Lake City Airport website, followed by a call to confirm availability and book our room. The three of us suddenly gained more energy, eager to get out of the car and stretch for the evening.
Arrival at Salt Lake City hotel
Our phone GPS guided us to the Hilton Garden Inn Salt Lake City Airport hotel, easy to find and only minutes from I-80. Plenty of parking available up close, so we unloaded our overnight bags and wheeled into the hotel lobby.
The lobby is oversized with nooks and crannies of seating, warm colors of green and browns. The reception desk is tucked into the corner by the elevator, from the entrance straight through, past a massive fireplace, to the left of the lobby.
Our mid-evening arrival included a smooth check-in, even though we had literally just booked less than an hour earlier. While we waited for our room key, we asked how late the pool was open (11pm!) and I stepped to the right to check out the menu at the restaurant and bar, which was open until 10pm!
Just to the right and back of the reception desk is also a 24-hour convenience shop. The Pavilion Pantry Market, offers snacks, beverages, even microwavable meals (for those preferring to hibernate in their room), and an array of items travelers often forget to pack.
With room key in hand, we gathered our bags, walked the short distance to the elevators. Behind the reception desk is the guests’ business center (with complimentary printing).
Following 5 days of sleeping on the (comfortable) couch at my daughter’s small townhouse, I almost cried at the sight of two queen beds! And later that evening, it was sheer heaven stretching out and sinking into the crisp sheets and welcoming bed.
All guestrooms include a spacious work desk,FREE high speed Internet access, microwave, refrigerator, coffee maker, and security door locks. Although we never did turn on the TV, guests can enjoy premium channels and pay-per-view movies.
After being cooped up in the car, the oversized room was a haven for these road-weary travelers.
We were ready for a sit down, restaurant meal (as close to home cooked as possible, and the Garden Grille & Bar, located in the lobby area, also offered a children’s menu, and this traveling grandmom was happy to see a bar menu for a relaxing glass of wine with my meal. My grandson and I shared a burger, while the granddaughter ordered off the kids’ menu. Both meals were yummy, and a welcome reprieve from the truck stop and fast food stops while road tripping.
Separate from the dining area was the full-service bar, and every seat was full. The dining area was also (surprisingly for a Thursday) more than half full!
The grandkids were ready to burn off some energy, so we returned upstairs to change into swimsuits, heading back to the first floor to enjoy the heated, indoor swimming pool. Adjacent to the pool was well-equipped, 24-hour fitness center, which I simply did not have the energy to try out this trip.
After an hour of sharing the pool with a mom and her daughter, we returned to our room.
The next morning, I took advantage of the complimentary Keurig coffee maker and had 2 cups of coffee before getting on the road again for the 9-hour road trip back to Denver.
After checking out, we walked past the fireplace and noticed the complimentary free coffee and tea in the lobby? The in-room machines are nice, but it’s even better when someone else does the brewing. The grandkids were all about the hot chocolate and tea.
The Great American Grill was serving a hot breakfast buffet with cooked-to-order omelets at just $9.95, but it was too early to eat so we passed.
As we exited the building, we noticed a van filling up with guests heading to the airport, taking advantage of the free airport shuttle.
For those wanting to explore the surrounding area, take advantage of the close proximity of the Hilton Garden Inn Salt Lake City to the interstate and visit nearby ski resorts including Snowbird, Alta, Sundance, Park City and Deer Valley. Also close by is the Antelope Island State Park at the Great Salt Lake, Historic Temple Square, and Mormon Tabernacle.
Yes, I love exploring unique hotels, boutique inns, and B&Bs, but sometimes road-weary road trippers fall back on the reputation of brand hotels, such as the Hilton Garden Inn Salt Lake City. With its close proximity to I-80, on-site restaurant and indoor pool, this Salt Lake City hotel was the perfect trifecta: affordable, convenient, and family friendly hotel on our Denver to Oregon road trip.
Photo credits Diana Rowe & Hilton Garden Inn Salt Lake City Airport.