My stay at the Hilton Garden Inn/ Bush Intercontinental Airport, Houston, Texas was not planned. When a flight leaves Columbus, Ohio on a three-hour delay, it’s clear one isn’t making that Houston, Texas to Albuquerque, New Mexico flight. This was the time when one can either think, “All will work out” or it won’t. I went with the upbeat version. I was right.
Hilton Garden Inn, Houston Texas: A Hotel Choice on an Unplanned Overnight
When I arrived at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport after my connecting flight to Albuquerque had already left, United Airlines gave me a few options for my complimentary overnight stay. I picked the Hilton Garden Inn Houston/Bush Intercontinental Airport for its close proximity and was happy with the choice. An unexpected travel interlude became a pleasant experience instead of an annoyance. Fortunately, this travel adventure did not have consequences because my Albuquerque must-do plans were a day later. Because the hotel staff was stellar, and fellow travelers who I just met banded together, I had a great time.
Several of us loaded into the hotel van at the airport around 9:30 pm. By 10:15, we all had rooms, and some, including me, bought snacks from the hotel’s kiosk before heading off to slumber. The staff also gave me two bottles of water since I am a Hilton Honors member. One fellow traveler ordered a hamburger from the Garden Grille, the hotel’s restaurant, even though the kitchen had just closed. It closes at 10 pm. This is just one way the staff helped make an unplanned stay pleasant. It is also a reminder to ask and you may get what you want even if it’s after hours.
Hilton Garden Inn Kiosk Comes In Handy
I wish I ordered wine from the bar. The bar closes at 11 pm. Instead, I bought a small bottle, the size you get on an airplane from the kiosk along with a small pack of potato chips. That was $13.00. One woman, an 81 year-old solo traveler heading from North Carolina to Phoenix told me she bought the single serve microwave lasagna.
Comfortable Slumber in a Double Queen Room
Armed with my wine and chips, my double queen bed room had all I needed for my quick stay. It was clean, comfortable and tastefully decorated. Modern prints in the bathroom and the bedroom, along with the blue of the desk lamp and bright yellow of the accent chair added splashes of color to the neutral tones.
I did use the room’s hair dryer, coffee maker and flat screen TV. Plus, I asked for a wake-up call since my flight out was early and I wanted time for breakfast. Someone knocked on my door right on time.
A Robust Breakfast is Worth It
Although there is complimentary coffee in the hotel lobby, breakfast has a cost. I used one of my two $15 vouchers for the made to order eggs, bacon, hash browns, biscuits and gravy. Juice, toast, Chobani yoghurt, fresh fruit, coffee and cereal are included. The staff brought over the Tabasco sauce. By the time I finished eating, I was full and satisfied. The $15 airline voucher didn’t quite cover the bill. After tax, I owed a little over a $1 and I added a tip.
Other breakfast options include avocado toast and the continental breakfast buffet. The hot items didn’t add much more to the total and were tasty.
Because I was in the hotel less than 12 hours, I didn’t have time for the pool. The workout room was temporarily closed. I did have time to check out the hotel’s meeting room attached to the lobby. It’s a lovely space with large windows with a view of the pool and a gas fireplace.
The lobby also had ample seating for people waiting for the hotel’s shuttle to take them to the airport. The shuttle runs every half hour. Don’t dawdle. I missed one shuttle because it was full, but the airport is only 3 miles away so it’s a quick jaunt. I had time. While I waited for the shuttle, I had more coffee and water infused with oranges. There was water with cucumbers as well.
Although, my Hilton Garden Inn was unplanned, I do recommend this hotel if you need to stay close to George Bush Intercontinental Airport. One woman I met on the shuttle to the airport stayed at the hotel because she didn’t want someone to have to come to pick her up after midnight and take her back to the airport. She knows someone in Houston and was on her way to Belize from L.A. She had a long layover.
This hotel is pet-friendly, parking is free, Wi-fi is free, and you can get room service. There are king bed rooms in addition to the two queens. Rooms currently start at $173 at the Hilton Garden Inn Bush International Airport website. Try Booking.com for a better deal.
If you are in an airport and you know you are staying over in a hotel without your luggage (I checked mine), head to an airport gift shop. You might find a T-shirt deal. I’m glad I had something else to sleep in.
As soon as you know you will miss your connecting flight, call the car rental company if you have a rental car. I was able to get my rental adjusted. I also was able to shift my Thursday night Albuquerque hotel stay to Friday night through Hotels.com. It took a bit of coordinating but it worked.
Post and photos by Jamie Rhein