Our recent trip to California came with a late arrival. So rather than bugging my mother-in-law at midnight, we decided to hotel it. The HGI in San Bernardino is a short 5-10 minute drive away, and with a reasonable last minute AAA rate of $122, it made sense for this stay.
Hilton Garden Inn San Bernardino
- 1755 South Waterman Avenue, San Bernardino, CA
- Website: http://hiltongardeninn3.hilton.com/en/hotels/california/hilton-garden-inn-san-bernardino-JSBGIGI/index.html
- Amenities: business center, pool, restaurant, fitness center, free WiFi
Directions: from the 10 freeway, exit Waterman Avenue and head north. The hotel is approximately 2 blocks on the right.
Date of stay: Sunday, February 3, 2018
Check-In and Common Areas
We made it to the hotel around 11:30, so needless to say, we were the only guests in line. The clerk processed our check-in quickly, but wasn’t particularly attentive. We received no greeting, and he didn’t confirm our Honors Gold benefits. I expected to receive breakfast vouchers, but we received none. Later, I checked my “My Way” choices for HGI, and discovered I selected 750 Honors points instead. Oops. In any event, my mother-in-law insisted we get breakfast at the house in the morning, so no harm, no foul. But still, Hilton is usually pretty good about confirming benefits at check-in, which would have helped here.
Another aside – while I appreciate online check-in, it really provides limited utility at limited-service properties. You still have to go to the desk, show your ID and credit card, and get your keys. I guess the option to select a room is nice, at least.
Anyway, most HGIs are pretty cookie cutter, and this was no exception. In fact, I found it quite similar to the Hilton Garden Inn in El Segundo we visited a few years earlier. This hotel features a plain though fairly spacious lobby. Plenty of windows let in plenty of that Southern California sunshine.
The lobby features a fireplace front and center. It was too warm to use on this day. But it can get a little chilly in the Inland Empire, so I bet it would come in handy on a cold day.
Between the lobby and restaurant is a complimentary coffee station. The clerk mentioned that coffee is available starting at 4 am daily. I don’t know when they stop offering it, but there was none when we checked in.
To the left of the lobby is an outdoor pool and whirlpool. Nobody taking a dip at 8 am when this photo was taken, needless to say.
Behind the lobby is a small, two-computer business center with a printer.
I didn’t go inside the restaurant since we weren’t eating there, but I did snap a photo of the bar seating and cereal dispensers.
The restaurant is the standard “Great American Grill” found in all HGIs. This menu comes from a property in Houston, but it doesn’t vary much from property to property. In other words, pretty typical mid-range hotel fare. Probably not something I’d go out of my way for, but fine if you’re pressed for time. Breakfast is free for Honors Gold and Diamond members. As long as you select it as a “My Way” benefit, anyway. These photos of the dining room came from the hotel’s website.
The hotel wasn’t very full, and we selected a corner room on the first floor. The corridors were standard issue Hilton corporate.
This standard room featured one king bed. No luck with an upgrade to either a whirlpool room or a suite.
On opposite corners, you’ll find a small desk and work chair, and a lounge chair. The desk did come with a proper work chair, much appreciated.
And, of course, a flat screen TV over a chest of drawers.
I appreciated the abundance of plugs throughout the room. Not only are there plenty, but they’re nicely spread out throughout the room. I found outlets on the desk, behind the TV, and on each nightstand. The lamp outlets especially came in handy to keep a phone charging within easy reach of the bed. Wifi speeds were good, but I encountered an annoying bug common to many Hilton hotels. Every time my iPhone screen locked, the network booted me off, forcing me to select the network again. I assume this is some kind of security feature. Annoying, for sure.
Finally, in the corner are a microwave, fridge, and Keurig coffee maker.
Overall, I found the room fine, though was a little surprised at how small it was. It’s not like the Inland Empire lacks space, after all. On the other hand, I thought the bed was REALLY comfortable. Granted, it was a long day, but I fell asleep immediately and didn’t get up until 7:15 the next morning.
The bathroom continued the small-ish theme. It was clean, though, and the marble sink was nicely done, I thought. Some of you might appreciate the shower-only configuration. Personally, it’s a pet peeve of mine.
Bath amenities included Neutrogena Clean products, which were fine. I see these at several mid-priced Hilton properties.
Conveniently located right off the 10 freeway, the hotel is about 5 minutes from Loma Linda University Medical Center, and 5-10 minutes to downtown San Bernardino. Ontario Airport (ONT) takes 20-35 minutes, depending on traffic. Should you fancy a weekend at Lake Arrowhead, but can’t afford the prices up there, the drive takes 45 minutes to an hour. Getting here from LAX is a different story, though. At 10:30 on a Sunday night with no traffic, the 70-mile slog took an hour and 12 minutes. It can take upwards of 2 hours if you time it wrong, though.
If you have time to go out for lunch or dinner, there are numerous fast/fast casual restaurants up and down Hopsitality Lane, within walking distance of the hotel.
Hilton Garden Inn San Bernardino – Final Thoughts
For the price we paid, the HGI San Bernardino is a fine choice for Hilton loyalists with business in the area. The small rooms notwithstanding, you get a clean hotel with comfy beds and easy access to the freeway. We were certainly satisfied with our one night stay.