Monday, November 9, 2020

Hampton Inn by Hilton - Hotel Review and Experience

Explorer Lens


Year 2020 hasn’t been really a happening year in terms of travelling, especially long distance where you need to take a flight or cruise. We had planned two big trips this year, one to Yellowstone National Park and another one to Bahamas, but had to postpone both of them because of the current Covid situation, which is still quite widespread and constantly growing.

It was my wife’s birthday and as our cruise trip to Bahamas on our anniversary was cancelled, we thought to go for a trip, probably the last one for this year (Maine was our first).

 We stay in New Jersey and had covered almost all the drivable places from here, so it was a tough task to decide on the destination. The beautiful fall time was here and there was one place on our bucket list which we probably wanted to go with friends during this time – “The Great Smoky Mountains National Park”. But, as there were issues of work leaves, stay and 700 miles one-way drive, none of our friends showed interest in accompanying us for this adventurous trip to Smoky, it was us who has to make the decision.

Considering the huge 700 miles drive and concerns over staying in hotel during this time, we decided to drop the plan. Suddenly just one week before the birthday, somehow, we both got this intuition that we have to do this trip and hence the trip was on.
Now, the most important question was where to stay?

When it comes to Smoky, Cabins are the top most priority because of the feel, vibes, experience of stay and the scenic views. But, as we were not getting budget cabins during the last hour, we thought of going for hotels. Hilton has always been one of our favorite vacation hotels and we decided to go for Hampton Inn by Hilton, Oak Ridge, Tenesse.

Booking Process :
We booked the hotel over call and it was a smooth experience. The associate was quite humble and she reserved the room type and dates for us. We requested for microwave in the room, as it was not available in the room type we selected, and the associate happily did that for us.

Checkin Process:
We were really happy to know that they have contactless checkin and it was just a matter of downloading their App – Hilton Honors. The navigation on the App is quite simple and you can choose the rooms from different floors which match your already chosen room type.
Our room type was No smoking King size room and there were 4 rooms available during our stay of visit.
We picked one of them and the room was booked in our name.

Now here comes the most interesting part – Digital Key. When we reached the hotel, we directly went to our room which was sealed. We took off the seal and unlocked the room using the Digital key on our App. Once you turn on Bluetooth and are in vicinity to your room, the key will automatically detect that you have arrived and will show option to “Unlock”. Once you touch that, the door will automatically open.

Please enjoy the video displaying the entire process :

Room :
The room was clean and arranged systematically. It was spacious and had all the amenities that were described on the website. To my surprise, they also had a QR code which we can scan and see the video of how the room was cleaned. The housekeeping was on a request basis which is another good move by the Hotel. The bed was quite comfy, AC worked smoothly and the toiletries were by Neutrogena which is one of my wife’s favorite brand😊

Breakfast :
The best part of our stay was super yummy breakfast that was available from morning 7:00 – 10 am.
There were lot of options to choose from - muffins, Danish, bagels, mini cakes, protein bars, Oat meals, Cereals, Fruits and juices.
If you don’t want to have the breakfast from the spread, they even had go to breakfast packets, which had a water bottle, one snack bar, one fruit and a tissue.

Staff :
The staff was quite amiable, helping and humble.
As it was my wife’s birthday and we were still stuck in Smoky, I requested the receptionist if she could arrange a cake for her. To my surprise, she really managed to arrange a big Red Velvet cake which is my wife’s favorite flavor. My wife was so happy when she saw the cake. It was a great surprise for her which couldn’t have been possible without the help and efforts from the Hotel Stuff.
Love you guys for that <3

Other Amenities
They have fitness center and Indoor Swimming Pool open, but as we were short of time and also not comfortable using them, we didn’t experience these amenities.

Accessibility :
The hotel is situated right on the spot where the Google Maps indicate and is easily accessible.
As it is not located in the interiors and right on the main road, you can easily locate it.

Location :
It is situated in the Oak Ridge Business District and has lot of other hotels/food joints in its vicinity.
There is also a gas station nearby. So, as per me the location is quite good.

Parking :
They have their own parking which is a bit less as compared to other hotels, but manageable.
We always found a spot to park during our 3 days stay.

Checkout Process:
The checkout process is also contactless. You just have to checkout using the App and you are done.
These are some really great safety measures during this pandemic time.

We really loved and enjoyed our stay in Hampton Inn by Hilton, Oak Ridge.
I would give it a 5/5 rating.

Explorer Lens / Author & Editor

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