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During my recent trip to Florida I drove down to Palm Beach for a couple of days, and spent the first night at the Hilton Palm Beach Airport.
The Palm Beach area is simply really crappy for hotels. You have some decent limited service chain hotels, but aside from that you only really have a couple of expensive independent hotels, which I find to be way overpriced. If I had my choice I’d much rather stay further south, be it at the Westin Diplomat or St. Regis Bal Harbour.
So in looking at hotel options, the Hilton Palm Beach was one of the more reasonable options, at ~$100 per night. While it’s an airport hotel, it’s not really any further from Palm Beach than any of the limited service hotels in West Palm Beach, so isn’t a bad option.
Since I’m a Hilton Diamond member through the Citi® Hilton HHonorsTM Reserve Card, this seemed like the best option.
I arrived at the hotel in the evening, and was pleasantly surprised to find that parking was complimentary, which is rare for an airport hotel. The lot was massive, so there was no shortage of parking.
The lobby looked exactly as you’d expect for an airport Hilton, and was definitely a bit past its prime (do airport hotels really even have a “prime?”).
I was quickly assisted at check-in, and the associate thanked me for being a Diamond guest. I thanked him and asked if they had any Diamond upgrades available, and he said “oh, we’ve already upgraded you to a double bed superior room.”
That’s funny, because that’s exactly what I booked. I mentioned that to him, and he just pretended nothing happened. Ultimately it wasn’t a big deal, but it does frustrate me when hotels “fake upgrade.” If you don’t have rooms to upgrade to or don’t want to upgrade me then say so, but please don’t tell me I was upgraded when I wasn’t.
In addition to the complimentary breakfast for being a Diamond member, I also received two vouchers:
- One for a complimentary drink
- One for a complimentary glass of wine, two draft beers, one mixed well drink, one appetizer, or one dessert
That was definitely a nice touch.
I proceeded up to the 10th floor, where my room was located. I was assigned room 1017, which was a two double bed superior room, exactly as booked.
The room was perfectly fine — not especially nice, but also not so old that it was in dire need of a renovation.
It was reasonably spacious, with two double beds, a chair by the window, and a console with a desk and TV.
On the desk was a welcome amenity consisting of two bottles of water and some M&Ms — also a nice touch.
I did notice that the clock was set to the completely wrong time, which shows a lack of attention to detail.
My room faced a parking lot, so those weren’t the most exciting views in the world.
Oddly the room had both a sink in the bedroom, and then another sink in the bathroom, just on the other side of the door.
The bathroom consisted of a sink, shower/tub combo, and toilet.
The toiletries were Peter Thomas Roth branded.
After settling in I decided to go to the bar and redeem my appetizer/drink vouchers at this point, though service in the bar was non-existent. I sat there for 15 minutes without being acknowledged.
I then walked up to the bar and asked if there was any service. She said the server would be by shortly, and gave me a menu in the meantime.
I sat there for another 15 minutes without even seeing a server, at which point I just left and ordered room service instead.
While I was trying to be healthy, that was a lost cause given what they had on the menu, so I ordered a pizza. It was delivered in a pizza box, which seems to be the direction a lot of room service is headed.
The pizza was surprisingly good, at least.
I had breakfast at Veranda Restaurant, which opens at 6:30AM. As a Hilton Diamond member I’m technically only entitled to complimentary continental breakfast, though this hotel offered a full breakfast for free, which was cool.
My nonfat cappuccino was delicious, though perhaps a bit less “non-fatty” than I was hoping for thanks to the cocoa powder.
The buffet spread itself was also better than I would expect from an airport Hilton. It offered fruit, cold cuts, cereal, yogurt, toast, pastries, croissants, a handful of hot dishes, etc.
I didn’t have time to use the other facilities, but the hotel did have a pool, hot tub, and two tennis courts. So it looked like a nice enough outdoor area, especially for an airport hotel.
The gym was rather disappointing, however, as I thought it was awfully tiny for a hotel of this size. Then again I didn’t see anyone in it, so maybe the South Florida airport hotel crowd just doesn’t use hotel gyms. 😉
Hilton Palm Beach Airport bottom line
I was a bit miffed by the service at check-in and in the lounge, but all things considered I was pleasantly surprised by all the “small touches.” The in-room amenity, drink vouchers, and full breakfast were nice added features. The room itself was fine, and if the price was right I’d certainly return given the lack of decent options in the Palm Beach area, even if not flying out of the airport. While Hilton isn’t my primary hotel chain (Hyatt and Starwood are), they’re a great backup option, especially given how easy it is to get status with them through the Citi® Hilton HHonorsTM Reserve Card.