I am a Hilton Honors Gold member and frequently stay in Hilton brand products. Most often I’m in Hamptons, Hilton Garden Inns, and Homewoods. However, I also am familiar with Hiltons, Doubletrees, Embassy Suites and most Intercontinental products. My immediate family and I stayed in the Hilton Garden Inn Jackson Downtown (a.k.a. the King Edward) Wednesday, December 30, 2009. In sum, WOW!
For a downtown hotel, getting there is easy. We took the Pearl Street exit from Interstate 55 and proceeded west on Pearl Street for about two miles. When we reached the railroad tracks, the back of the King Edward was to our right. Apart from a few “punch list” items that I consider a normal part of breaking-in any new building or renovation, the King Edward is incredible. Of all the Hilton Garden Inn/Crown Plaza/Holiday Inn/Holiday Inn Select /Hampton Inn/Hampton Inn and Suites hotels I have ever stayed in, it is definitely the nicest. All aspects of the guest rooms, corridors, elevators and lobby are beautifully decorated with quality materials. The two rooms we had were 8th floor connecting rooms facing east. Both rooms had two very large windows. Unfortunately, the views were mostly of other buildings and the windows did not open.
Our room with the king bed had a dedicated shower where the tub normally goes. The room with two queen beds had a standard tub/shower combination. I very much liked having the dedicated shower in the king room. As already noted, the furnishings were very nice and of good quality. There was no room safe. The LCD television was 32 inches. The LG tv’s seemed to be connected to digital cable because the picture was excellent.
A remarkable thing about this hotel is that I kept forgetting it is a renovated, once-abandoned hotel that first opened 85+ years ago. I think this condition is the result of an amazingly well-done renovation. Everything that you want to function and feel like it’s brand new feels that way. For instance, it was cold and raining outside but the heating/cooling units in both rooms did a great job keeping the temperature constant. More importantly, the units operated silently. I am sensitive to noises but never once noticed these units coming on or going off. Indeed, the whole building seems to be very well-sound proofed. Although the railroad tracks are next door, I never once heard a train. Since I had children with me, I actually found myself wishing I was on the train-track side (the west side) of the hotel so that we could watch the trains. Perhaps someone else can report on the sound-proofing quality of the west side of the building.
At the same time, the things I want to feel original and classic did -- particularly the exterior, the lobby, and the second floor meeting rooms. The other thing that makes this renovation so successful is the bones of the building. The guest rooms including the bathrooms are at least as large as those in recently built hotels but with higher ceilings. Also, some rooms are larger. I happened to stick my head in the guest room located across the hall. I was surprised to see that it is larger than either of our two rooms. It reminded me of what is called a “studio suite” at a Hampton Inn and Suites hotel. This larger room also had the benefit of a bigger bathroom with a Jacuzzi tub and two sets of double windows.
For supper, we walked to a nearby casual restaurant recommended by the front desk. It is called the Mayflower. You can search “Mayflower Café, Jackson, MS” on Trip Advisor for reviews. We were told to: order onion rings for an appetizer, any of the seafood items for entre’s, and the lemon ice-box pie for dessert. We were also told we can take our own wine and drink it there without a corkage fee. All of these recommendations were 100% accurate. Surprisingly, Jackson, Mississippi has some great seafood. No one in our party of 9 was disappointed. Entre’s ranged between $15 and $30. Also, the Mayflower is kid friendly and has a kid’s menu. Like at the King Edward, the entrance to the Mayflower was well-lit and there was a security guard at the door.
Our walk to the Mayflower did reveal perhaps the biggest negative about the King Edward. It is in a run-down area without any shopping within walking distance. The sidewalk is poorly lit and some of the buildings look pretty dilapidated. There was a honky-tonk saloon located about halfway between the King Edward and the Mayflower. Had there been drifters milling about, I would not have felt safe. I definitely recommend paying for valet parking instead of leaving one’s car overnight in a street space. Perhaps better street lighting and some street cameras would help. Long term, there did seem to be some signs of construction so maybe revitalization is planned for all the buildings in this area.
We also went to the swimming pool which is located in the basement. While not grand, it is very nice and more than adequate. In fact, it is the best indoor pool I have ever seen at a Hilton Garden Inn or Hampton. There is a nice hot tub that works well and pool towels are supplied free. Also, I like the way the gym is adjacent to the pool. In the gym, there is a refrigerator full of free Dasani water. I tried the elliptical trainer. It worked perfectly and had a built-in video screen. I did need my own ear buds and the free-weight dumbbells were not set-up yet. Like nearly everything about this hotel, the gym and pool area is more than adequately sized. The only exception to this rule may be the bar which was packed with people on the Wednesday night of our stay.
We also had breakfast in the dining room. The dining room is bigger than I have seen in other Hilton Garden Inns. Also, it has a nice, open feeling with large windows facing east. The food was the standard Hilton Garden Inn fare which, other than in Hiltons and Doubletrees, is the best breakfast in the Hilton family of hotels. In particular, the fruit was fresh and even included ripe strawberries in December. Also, since the hotel is so new, everything was very clean and neat.
The King Edward hotel is very impressive. It is beautiful, luxurious and comfortable. I am very glad we tried it.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Whether you're attending an important business meeting, visiting historic sites or enjoying a Mississippi vacation, Hilton Garden Inn Jackson Downtown provides all you need to be your best. Rest comfortably in a bed with adjustable firmness or work efficiently at the large desk while seated in an ergonomic chair. All guest rooms and suites provide high-speed internet access, a refrigerator and microwave, so you will have everything you need to prepare for a successful day. At this Downtown Jackson hotel, we take care of life's details so you can focus on being your best while traveling. Review your meeting agenda or plan a day of sightseeing as you enjoy a cooked-to-order breakfast in the King Edward Grille, or savor classic American cuisine and Southern dishes for lunch and dinner. Our 24-hour Business Center and complimentary high-speed internet access enable you to keep in touch with your colleagues and family or take care of work tasks. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Hilton Garden Inn Jackson Downtown Hotel Jackson