I'm a fan of Hilton properties, especially Hampton hotels - I've always found them to offer a good balance of environment and perks for a price I can afford (approx $100/night). The Garden Inn in Abilene looked equally promising online, and I must say that it is brand new and looks very nice throughout. My room was clean and had all the promised amenities; the adjustable beds were especially welcome.
The hotel grill has mediocre but palatable food for lunch and dinner, and a good breakfast offering. We had hamburger and chicken tender meals for dinner, which I'm fairly sure were constructed entirely of items purchased at SAMS or Costco and then heated. The food wasn't bad but not, to me, worth the $8/meal we paid; I'm glad I didn't get one of the more expensive items. I suggest going elsewhere to eat lunch or dinner if you have the energy and time. Breakfast, which you have to pay for ($8/person), was pretty good - you can have eggs cooked to order, plus there are all the other items typically offered for breakfast at Hilton hotels.
The indoor pool area was a disaster after a family reunion group used it the night before (we went around 8 am). All the towels had been used and left strewn all over the pool deck and in the restroom, as well as discarded drink containers. The water treatment was odd - instead of smelling/tasting like chlorine, it tasted like salt water. Otherwise, the pool was great.
As far as I could tell, the hotel has no soundproofing whatsoever, which partially led to this being my worst Hilton experience. Sound insulation is often mediocre in hotels, and I expect to hear nearby doors opening and closing and anyone talking or yelling loudly near my door. I don't, however, expect to hear the cleaning staff vacuuming at 8pm, slamming doors at 8:30 pm, and yelling to one another down the hall until 10 pm. Around 9 I asked the cleaning personnel to keep their conversations down, since my 2 yr old was having trouble sleeping in a strange place to begin with. The response I got was yes, of course they would, so sorry, but they'd been called in to cover for some other person who left early and these weren't their usual rooms anyway. When the noise resumed 5 minutes later, I tried again, as politely as I could, and got the same response. At that point I called the front desk and explained to Guest Services the trouble I was having. The manager on shift assured me yes, sometimes they do clean late, but shouldn't be so noisy. I gave up and eventually got a few hours of sleep. The next morning on my way to breakfast I mentioned the previous night's problem to the new shift manager, who was shocked this had happened, assured me it was not normal at all, and comped our breakfast in apology. A kind gesture, but in light of the long drive ahead, I would've preferred the missed sleep.
Essentially, the hotel is new and shiny and under the right management probably a lovely place to stay. I hope others have better experiences there and mine was just a fluke - otherwise I can't recommend it.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
I apologize for the issues you shared with us. I will address each item with the appropriate person today, and a change will be made immediately. Exceeding your expectations is our only goal, and I'm sorry we did not do that for your stay. I hope you will give us another try in the future, as I know we can do better. Thank you for being a loyal Hilton Worldwide traveler.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.