I should start off by saying the management of this hotel 'gets it'. I have really never encountered a more friendly staff of managers and front desk people and they will go out of their way to keep your business. On Long Island there are so many brand loyal frequent travelers that I feel the hotels I've been to pretty much take their average frequent guest for granted. Not so at the Hilton Garden Inn where they really make you feel welcome. Having said that, I will say that pricewise this is one of the highest costing 'value' chain hotels on Long Island. Even setting up a frequent stay group rate is fairly expensive comparitively to what you find at Sheraton, Marriott or Holiday Inn properties nearby.
The tradeoff is the immaculate rooms at the Hilton Garden Inn. Given the recent bedbug scare in the New York area, I don't mess around when it comes to hotels. If a hotel I stay at looks dirty, has a lot of deferred maintenece or the housekeeping is lax, I will not stay there again even if the room is an incredible deal. At the very least, I can see that the housekeeping staff is up on their job at this hotel and while nothing can guarentee you won't find bedbugs somewhere ... its always good to do what you can to avoid them. The beds and carpets feel clean. There are no stains on the wall and the bathrooms look brand new.
Not only are the rooms/lobby immaculately clean ... the decor feels more 'resort-ish' compared to the average Holiday Inn Express in the area or the dingy and dated Sheraton, which feel more hotel-ish. This hotel is very bright and homey looking, from the big mantle/bookshelves and seating in the lobby to the guest rooms and their expensive looking doors and crown moldings. You just feel more relaxed and happy in this place because of the decor. Plenty of parking as well and very well lit. (GPS Theives are rampant with Long Island hotels.)
The breakfast bar is phenominol if you are lucky enough to get it included in your group rate or rate. Otherwise, $12.95 for breakfast is a bit steep. However a lot of the offerings are fresh made. They have a guy who makes Belgian waffles, pancakes and omellettes or eggs fresh in the back for you. And they also have lots of grab and go options on the buffet.
The pool is right next to the lobby, so it is not the most private place in the world. And it is fairly small. Forget about doing laps or even relaxing if there is more than one person in there. There is a jacuzzi as well next to the pool. I am a little dissapointed about the hours of the pool ... it closes fairly early on weeknights even though it is within sight of the lobby. Why do hotels do this? Is there some law about a pool being open at 10 or 11 p.m. after someone gets done with business meetings? I raced back to the hotel after going out to dinner with a client and got in the jacuzzi 20 minutes before it closed and within 5 minutes there was a guy who was literally standing right next to the jacuzzi hoovering over me holding a ph test kit. The funny part is there I am with 15 minutes until closing trying to relax in the jacuzzi and I have a guy standing 2 feet from me looking at me as though I am keeping him from going home. After 5 minutes of this stare down, I couldn't take it anymore and got out of the jacuzzi after only 5 minutes and he says, 'Are you done'. Uhhh yeah. I guess I was done 5 minutes ago when you walked in and hoovered over me. I hate when this happens at hotels.
The workout room is small but adequate as it has a few treadmills and a television. Not the best fitness center I've seen but not the worst. I was a little worried because there is an entire wall made of glass mirrors behind the treadmills. If you were to lose your footing and fall backwards off the treadmill, you would slam right into a glass mirrored wall, which would be disasterous.
The location of the hotel is good if you want somewhere in between the LIE and the Sunrise Highway. It is very easy to get to Sunrise Highway/Route 27 from the hotel. A couple of turns and in about 5 minutes you are there. The LIE is another story ... it probably takes about 10 minutes to get there (15 minutes if you hit all the lights) and is a straight shot but it feels like a hike. Convenience-wise if you will be traveling the LIE each morning this could be a deal breaker. However, if you are looking to use the Sunrise Highway or the Southern Parkway, it is a great convenient location. There is an Applebees nearby but that is about it within 10 minutes or so from the hotel. I am sure there are a few good local places, but I haven't found them yet. I still love Cafe La Streda off 111 for good Italian food and don't mind the 15 minute drive from the hotel.
Overall, this hotel feels more like 'home away from home' than any of the others I've stayed at in Long Island. I will admit that price-wise it may keep me from returning compared to the group rates I have set up at some other hotels. However it is clean, nicely decorated and one of my favorite moderate budget chain hotels in the area. I will say one last thing ... Hilton Hotels really cater to their top tier Hilton club members. If you are an blue level member (or whatever the first teir is) you will get nothing and feel like a second class citizen. The fact that the points will expire and you will lose them if you don't travel for a year is another sticking point which makes me not favor the Hilton program vs. others.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.