Hotel Review: Hilton Garden Inn Charlotte/SouthPark

The Hilton Garden Inn Charlotte/SouthPark is located down the road from the SouthPark Business area and across the street from the SouthPark shopping center, just south of Charlotte. There are a Ruth’s Chris, Palm and DelFrisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse just minutes away, so it’s clear hotels in this area are catering to those visiting the many surrounding office complexes. As I was visiting for my first work trip ever, it was nice to have many restaurants in the area that were open late and accustomed to solo diners showing up to catch a bite at the bar just before closing time (and with expense account that allowed me to eat at them).

The Hilton Garden Inn shares a building with a Homewood Suites but for my entire stay, I managed to stay in “my” side of the hotel. The Hilton Garden Inn side of the hotel consists of 160 rooms spread over seven floors. Parking for the hotel is located in a (usually full) small lot across from the entrance and a two-story parking garage. There’s no charge for parking or any type of hotel fee charged at this hotel.

Hilton Garden Inn Charlotte/SouthPark
4808 Sharon Rd.
Charlotte, NC 28210

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When I arrived at the hotel it was around noon, three hours before the stated check-in time. The desk agent was very nice and informed me that my room was ready and thanked me for being a Hilton Gold member. While I canceled my AMEX Platinum card months ago, my Hilton Gold status remains intact until Hilton resets status levels (they do this every April).

Hilton Gold status is worth quite a bit, as I received an 80% bonus on points earned for my stay and received free breakfast at the hotel restaurant. While I never valued breakfast before as a leisure traveler, traveling for business made me appreciate the ability to get a solid meal before heading out to work for the day.

The lobby area was very nice, with several seating areas, a place to watch TV and a fireplace. The Garden Inn side of the hotel has a small grab and go area by the front desk with sodas, snacks and sundries.

The hotel restaurant, where they serve breakfast and dinner, is located just across the lobby. Since they use an open floor plan, there’s no real separation between any of the areas of the lobby.

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There was also a hotel bar that was populated by guests from whatever conference was in attendance that day. The one night I stopped in, they had live entertainment with a keyboard player/singer who was actually pretty good.

Outside the hotel, there’s a nice pool area with areas set aside to lounge. There are also BBQ grills if you want to make yourself some burgers or the like. I’d imagine this area is quite pleasant in the summer but in March, it was definitely not pool or lounging outside type of weather.

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I was assigned a room on the third floor. The color scheme of the hallways is rather dark. The change in the lighting in the picture is where the hotel changes from being a Hilton Garden Inn to a Homewood Suites, which is kept much brighter.

I was assigned room 326, which was right in the center of the building.

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The room was quite large, as there was plenty of room for a king size bed, two nightstands and a sitting chair with ottoman and a small table/tray. I just can’t understand the art placement. Were there supposed to be two? Why hang it over the edge of the bed? And what’s up with suspending it with wires from the ceiling, a’la 1889?

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As you’d hope from a hotel catering to business travelers, there was ample space to work, with a comfortable office chair, sufficient light and plenty of power outlets.

The room also had a refrigerator, Keurig coffee maker and microwave. This was also where my complimentary bottles of water for being a Hilton Gold member were stored.

One thing this room did have was power outlets. Plenty of outlets. Everywhere you looked there was either a power outlet, USB charging port or both.

The bathroom was direct to the left as you entered the room. I’ve already commented about the use of a barn door and the challenges presented when combined with the awkward mirror placement in the room.

Otherwise, the bathroom was fine. The shower controls were easy to use, you could reach them without getting wet and the door closed so water didn’t end up all over the floor. What else could you ask for?

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Much of the storage in the room was in the area across from the bathroom. Here was the area to hang clothes and a series of baskets and shelves. I found this to be a great way to maximize space and make everything easily accessible.

Final Thoughts

The Hilton Garden Inn Charlotte/SouthPark was a great hotel for me. It was only a 10-minute drive to my worksite, the free breakfast included cooked to order eggs and potatoes (occasionally grits as well), there are a number of restaurants in the area that stay open late and the room was brand new with plenty of power outlets. Since the hotel is south of Charlotte, it’s easy to get there from the airport as you never have to go past downtown. Traffic in the area can get bad around rush-hour as the roads are all one to two lanes wide and if there’s an accident (or road closure), be ready for some long delays.

If you’re going to need to stay in the SouthPark area of Charlotte, the Hilton Garden Inn and the Homewood Suites that shares the same building is a solid choice.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

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