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Hilton Garden Inn Portland Downtown Waterfront
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Reviews (1,592)
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All reviewsgreat locationfront deskold portvalet parkingstandard baking companystandard bakerywithin walking distancecasco bay linescommercial streetwater viewferry terminaldowntown waterfrontvalet servicedirectly across the streetbreakfast buffetfore streetshops and restaurants
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Reviewed 15 October 2007

Ok- first the positives. This hotel is in an ideal location- it's perfect for visiting Old Port, walking the shops and visiting the waterfront. In fact, I would say it is in the best location of all of the Portland hotels- with the Regency and the Portland Harbor Hotel close seconds. The room was pretty nice- the bed was comfortable, the bathroom neat and updated and everything was generally clean and taken care of. The front entrance was warm and the ambiance generally nice. But....

There were a number of negatives.

First off, my wife and I paid $235 a night- not a Plaza-like rate, but not the Holiday Inn, either. For that price, this hotel is way below where it should be in terms of service. And I'm not talking about chocolates on the pillow- it's a Hilton- I didn't expect it and didn't get it. But what I did expect was a reasonable level of service. But I had two experiences that left me scratching my head. First, the cleaning service was "out to lunch" (literally). My wife and I stayed at this hotel from Friday Oct. 12-Sunday October 14. After a nice first night, we took off at 9 AM Saturday for some sightseeing, shopping and perusing. We returned at 3:15 PM to find our room was still not cleaned. When the cleaning staff knocked on my door at 3:30 I told them I was disappointed that the room was not cleaned when we returned from being out for most of the day. And I tried to explain to them that though we still wanted the room cleaned, my wife was pregnant and needed to take a nap for about 30 minutes and asked them to come back in about an hour. The cleaning lady told me she did not speak nor understand English very well. I then called the front desk to explain the situation and express my dissatisfaction both with the fact that my room was not cleaned and that I had tried to unsuccessfully explain my wishes to a cleaning woman who could not understand English. I was told by the clerk that "Hilton hires a diverse group of professionals" and that some of these people "do not speak English well". I got the sense I was being called "culturally insensitive" or something else politically incorrect. I was pretty deflated- I guess it was expecting too much to have my room cleaned by a reasonable time in the afternoon and to be able to speak English to hotel employees who knocked on my door wanting to interact with me. My second headscratching interaction was with the front desk- on the morning we were checking out I asked if they could tell me if there was a Catholic church in the Kennebunkport area that my wife and I might be able to attend. The woman wrote the name of a church on a piece of paper and gave me the phone number and told me I "might want to call" to get the mass times. Interesting- I thought the service desk might actually be able to provide such a service. Again, I guess I was being unreasonable. What was I expecting for $235/night?

Bottom line: this hotel is (at best) a mixed bag. I think their management is confused- it's not nice enough to be a high end hotel, its atmospherics are most like a business class hotel, but the location and clientele are not businesspeople- they are predominantly tourists. And the hotel simply does not take the time or care necessary to really provide the right degree of service for their guests. Check out the Regency- it's a couple more bucks, but a considerably better value.

  • Stayed: October 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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2  Thank rjelinek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 October 2007

The Hotel felt more like a Hawthorne Inn than a "regular" Hilton -
basically a place you'd sleep on a biz trip when nothing else is
available.

We flew up from Boston for an overnight stay because we enjoy
some of the restaurants near the waterfront and returning back
the same day was not an option. The hotel has a free shuttle bus
from the airport, and a call to the front desk arranged for a pick-up
at the GA terminal. Upon return, the hotel shuttle was not
available, so the front desk arranged a cab on voucher.

We had a view of the parking lot (a 316.72 USD web special, not
including breakfast). To my disappointment, no minibar - just an
empty refrigerator - how useful. Called room service to order a
mineral and a Campari. The call that the bar was out of Campary
came 20 minutes later - cancel that order.
The room itself was clean, the beds comfortable.

The main attraction of this hotel is its location - if your target is the
waterfront you're all set, no cars, cabs needed - everything is in
walking distance.

We got woken up by loud guests at around 1 am. Was bad
enough to call security, which subsequently had to return 2 more
times without us calling.

The in-house wire-less did not work for my PDA - the front desk
knew nothing about it and connected me to an off-site service
center, who kept insisting on walking me through irrelevant setup
procedures. I ended up using the computer in the hotel's biz
center.

Breakfast ($12 a pop as I recall) was your basic buffet. It took the
staff forever to clear a table and then there was another
substantial wait to get coffee. I can only describe breakfast as an
unorganized mess.

For some reason, Portland,ME is a tough spot to find a decent
hotel. I do think this hotel is overpriced for the services it offers.

  • Stayed: August 2007, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank pilothead
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 September 2007

My wife and I had a great long weekend at the Hilton Garden Inn. We had a terrific room on the top floor and had a partial view of the water which was really nice as there was much to see with two cruise ships visiting during our short visit.
The best things about the Inn is the very friendly attitude of the staff, the great location and the large comfortable rooms. We also loved being next to the wonderful bakery and don't miss their morning rolls. Having a small refrigerator in the room was a nice feature.
The worst part of the trip was that our beds were very soft and uncomfortable. We paid 249. for the room each night.
We had a great time at Scarborough Beach and a great meal at Street and Company.

  • Stayed: September 2007, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank MrDodge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 August 2007

This hotel is located right across from the waterfront. Our room was large and cheerful. It was also remarkably quiet. We were on the second floor facing the street and, except for the occasional truck, we heard no traffic noise. The staff was friendly and accommodating. We would definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed: August 2007, travelled with family
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1  Thank unicorn3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 July 2007

The best things about this hotel are the location on the waterfront and the proximity to Standard Baking Co. (don't miss the pecan sticky buns - I have a friend who goes to Portland once a year and dreams of those sticky buns from one year to the next). The hotel staff are very friendly and helpful across the board. The rooms, while clean and relatively new, are pretty generic - no unique charm or sense of being in Portland or Maine. The sheets are a little scratchy for a Hilton. I will come back though for the reasons mentioned above. Try the Porthole for dinner and Gilberts for the best seafood chowder ever. Becky's along the waterfront is another good choice for breakfast - a local institution for hearty breakfast and they have a great fruit plate too.

  • Stayed: July 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
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4  Thank Gothampanda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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