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Homewood Suites by Hilton Houston Intercontinental Airport

I had chosen the Homewood Suites HOU Intercontinental Airport because it was not that expensive and I wanted to try a Homewood Suites, one of the Hilton brands I have not yet stayed at. Writing this, I think I have to try Conrad and Embassy Suites, too. The hotel offered a shuttle service to the airport, which was important, since I did not want to rent a car. During my research about this property, I learned that there is not much in the area around this hotel, but this should not be a problem for one night.

The hotel is located a 15 minutes shuttle ride away from IAH (Houston International Airport). There is indeed not much in the neighbourhood and you probably need a car if you are not just staying there for an overnight stay. I cannot remember any bigger companies in the direct area around the hotel.

The hotel building is two storeys high and built in L shape. It has 64 rooms. You enter the hotel through a covered driveway. Once inside you find yourself in the lobby. From the appearance a bit like a Hilton Garden Inn. On the right hand side were two check-in desks to check in guests. Beside was the “Suite Shop” where you get microwave meals as well as soap for the washing machines on each floor and other travel related items. Opposite were some lounge chairs and tables and the entrance to the business centre. This area is divided by a wall with fire place. On the other side is the area with tables and lounge chair where between Monday and Thursday the Manager Reception is held and also in the morning breakfast is served. The food is prepared on a buffet area left hand side.

If you walk through this part of the hotel you reach the wing with the rooms or suites and the elevator to the other floors. In this part are also located the small gym and the entrance to the basket ball court and the pool with Jacuzzi.

The decoration is a bit like one could find in suburban Hilton Garden Courts. Perhaps a bit uniform and one could eventually miss the personal touch, this brand is advertising to have, but to me it was okay.

On each floor are a vending machine and two washing machines.

To enter the gym, business centre, etc. one need the room key. Also one needs the key if one likes to enter the hotel through one of the side entrances.

In the evening on Monday to Thursday a manager reception with an evening meal is hold in the lobby. If you need only a hot meal in the evening without having too much expectation concerning food quality, it is probably okay. It is not of the quality of food you found in the average hotel restaurant.

Breakfast in the morning is okay. It consists of some hot items like scrambled eggs, little hamburgers, fresh fruits, cereals, bagels, toast, jam, juices and coffee and tea.

visited on USA + NZ

stays 11 February 2008

Arrival Date: 11 February 2008
Departure Date: 12 February 2008
Room type booked: Standard One Room Suite (got two room suite)
Rate Plan: Net direct rates
Room Number: 321
Room Rate: 107.10 USD (excl. taxes)

Status of Guest Program: Gold

As I did not find the hotel listed on the courtesy phones I called them by my mobile phone and was told the shuttle is on its way to the airport. So I waited for app. 40 minutes for the shuttle to arrive. The ride to the hotel took app. 15 minutes as we pulled into the driveway.

I was friendly greeted and an agent checked me making some small talk by this occasion.

I was told after I got the keys to my room the opening hours for pool and gym as well as the times while the manager reception would be held and the breakfast times. I got an explanation how to reach my room.

The room was at the far end on the highest, second floor (third floor in the American Way of counting). I entered my room by wiping my key through the slider at the door and found myself in the living room. Right at the entrance was the small kitchen with stove, microwave, wash basin, dishwasher and fridge. A small table were placed here. The living room part consists of a sofa together with a lounge chair and a table. A small flower basket gave the room a personal touch as well as some paintings (printed) on the wall did. Two lamps were placed left and ride of the sofa. Opposite the sofa was the TV together with a DVD player. Right beside the TV was the working desk with phone and another lamp. The chair at the working desk was adjustable in the height, but not high enough for a good seating position. The desk was big enough to work with a laptop. The phone had a data port and a LAN port was available as well, but there was not W-LAN signal in my room. However, W-LAN was available for free in the lobby and business centre – LAN in the rooms is complimentary, too. Through a door one enters the bedroom with had two king beds, a sideboard with TV and a lounge chair. Two reading lamps between the beds and a Hilton Signature Alarm clock with a radio malfunction. Opposite the bed was another TV on a sideboard. Right hand side was the bathroom with bath and toilet. The washbasin was placed in the room near the wardrobe with iron and ironing board.

The bathroom had a fan in addition to the air condition, which worked only when necessary. It was quiet and did not make that much noise. Contrary to this the fan in the bathroom was very noisy, luckily it could switched on only if necessary with a separate switch. Bathroom towels were provided more than enough.

The furniture was in good condition, but if you take a closer look they had some scratches. The drawers were in parts dirty with hairs in it, especially these at the sink. A big stain in front of the carpet at one of the beds were clearly visible, otherwise the carpet was okay.

In the bathroom I found two used towels at the shower curtain, probably overseen by housekeeping. Showerhead was not working properly, especially the massage function, while the shower curtain was okay. One of the lamps at the wash basin was not working.

The food at the evening reception was okay, nothing special (chicken with rice and green beans), salad and a chocolate cake. A red and white wine – of course of lower quality – as well as lemonade, coffee and water were available.

Breakfast in the morning was okay, both quantity and quality. The only thing I would have hoped to find a bit healthier options regarding fruit (a fruit salad of green and yellow melons seems a bit of a poor side). Unfortunately they have offered the hot water tank for tea for coffee before, because the tea tasted had a strong coffee taste. So I switched to coffee.

In addition one had a coffee machine in the kitchen in the suite together with two bottles of water and some cookies (as HH Gold gift). The menu of the manager reception hang on the door of the fridge, but it was the one of January.

From this point a mixed impression. The towels, the lamps and the leaflet for the manager reception were things one could easily avoid by looking more carefully during housekeeping. The hotel itself was relatively new and the equipment in good shape and staff was friendly. But I like the concept of the hotel and will look for this brand in the future, especially if I travel by car around and need a hotel as base.