More about Hilton Garden Inn Queens/JFK Airport
Any port in a storm
It was purely by a strange series of events that, on my way to Madrid, I ended up at a Hilton (in Queens, New York near Kennedy Airport) together with a bunch of other young folks from Iowa who were on their way to a religious retreat in Israel. See, I am more of a Super 8 type of guy. For the second night in a row as I was off to Madrid for the whole summer of 1990, I was in a hotel on TWA's dime instead of flying across the Atlantic Ocean for Spain. The JFK Hilton (now called Hilton Garden Inn Queens/JFK Airport) is only 1/2 mile from Kennedy Airport and shuttles still leave on the half-hour. Back then, they had a desk, a coffee maker, and even a microwave oven. The bed was big and comfortable. If anything, it was too large and too soft. They still offer a free McPaper (USA Today) every morning. I'm sure they also had the indoor heated pool back then and possibly the gym. The hotel staff treated me well even though I was there on a voucher: they probably get that all the time. The only ripoff I saw was the drink machines charged $1.25 for soft drinks in a tin (in June, 1990!) when the going rate for that time was about 50¢. I had breakfast at the in-house restaurant which wasn't bad. I bought a New York key chain in the gift shop for my buddy in Barcelona. Additional research shows they have kept up with the times offering wireless internet service in the lobby and in-house restaurant and high-speed internet access among other facilities for the business traveler even down to ergonomic chairs.
Excellent airport hotel
We stayed here on two separate nights at the start and end of our holiday to the US and the Bahamas. This is a chain "corporate" hotel which isn't everyone's cup of tea, but for this sort of hotel it really can't be beaten. It is clean, comfortable, quiet, well-decorated and good value for money. The attached "Great American Grill" restaurant was surprisingly good too.
The only problem we had was that the cabby from JFK at arrival (we didn't bother looking for the shuttle pick-up point) had problems finding it - it would seem that the trick is to say that it's near the Ramada as that hotel appears to be better known to the cabbies.
If you're looking for a special place to stay for your holiday in New York, this is not the place for you. If you want a decent place to stay before or after a flight via JFK this is the place to go.
Absurd pool hours
If you are booking this hotel in the expectation that your kids will be able to swim in the pool, you may want to reconsider. The pool hours are absurdly restrictive. I believe that the hours were 4pm to 10pm on weekdays. We checked in late after a flight across the country, with the expectation that our kids would spend the next morning swimming and playing in the pool before we departed at 2pm for our international connection. Well, the manager was very nice and managed to get us in for half an hour after I complained so much. However, if I had not complained, we would have been out of luck. The biggest issue for me is that Hilton does not disclose this fact on their web site.
Hotel is nice, food was pretty good. In general this hotel was on par with all of the other Garden Inn's that I have stayed at across the country. The only big problem is the pool hours.
Excellent shuttle service
This is a very nice hotel. I note that other travellers have complained about the shuttle service, and I want to say that our experiences were all very good. Both times we arrived at the shuttle pick-up point the shuttle was waiting there and took us to the hotel immediately. It looks like they hang around the pick-up point after dropping people off until someone shows up, at least in the late afternoon. In the morning we were taken directly to our terminal.
Excellent Airport Hotel
We were needing a quality hotel near JFK airport for a two night stay with two children. This was an excellent choice for several reasons. The hotel is very new, and the rooms were very clean. We were pleasantly surprised by the hotel restaurant. The food was of a much higher quality than the "run of the mill" type of food which is usually expected in airport hotels. As well, the prices were very reasonable. We didn't hesitate to go back to this restaurant on our 2nd night there. Another small benefit of this hotel is that it is about a 2 minute walk to Enterprise Car Rental, negating the need for a long shuttle ride.
Our only complaint was the shuttle service. We arrived off the air train and called the hotel for a pick up. We waited 20-25 minutes and then called again. In the meantime, we saw hotel shuttles for other airport hotels such as the Ramada and the Doubletree pass by numerous times. When the shuttle finally showed up after about a 30 minute wait, the driver said that he knew nothing of our first call!! Something got lost along the way!! Interestingly enough, it was very clearly stated in the hotel that the shuttle leaving for the airport left on the hour and on the half hour, 24 hours/day! On the way to the airport (430am), we were pleasantly surprised that the shuttle dropped us at our airline terminal and not at the air train station!
Cant fault it as an airport hotel
An excellent airport hotel. Booked there as the reviews said it was nice and I certainly agree. Stayed for 1 night in August. The rooms are big (for European standards) and staff friendly. The shuttle was excellent, hotel clean. The pool looked nice but we didnt get a chance to use it! The restaurant was average but filled us up. There are two computers by the lobby which have free net access. You can checkout by phone from the room and there was complimentary coffee in the morning. Would certainly stay there again if I needed a night at the airport.
Great JFK Airport
Stayed here as had an early flight from JFK.
Caught the hotel shuttle at the rental car terminal after I dropped my car off, or you take the skytrain from your terminal. Less than 10 minutes to the hotel which is located almost in between two freeways, so you won't be doing too much walking around outside. Check in was courteous and fast. Rooms are very comfortable and well equipped and decorated. Amenities included a microwave and bar fridge. Large work desk with free Internet. Very comfortable beds. Even with the heavy curtains, a light sleeper like myself can hear traffic but the earplugs I travel with took care of that. It's a tradeoff of close location to the airport versus traffic noise with any hotels in that area. Took the 6 am shuttle bus to the airport, the shuttle runs on the hour and 30 minutes, was at my terminal within 10 minutes.
Excellent hotel for an early morning JFK connection, 100% predicatble travel time to your terminal. All rates for close hotels seem to be quite high so unless you value the close airport access as you have a flight to cathc there may be better alternatives.
Perfect for shorts stays at JFK
For an airport hotel, this hilton garden inn was very good.
They provided fast efficient chick/in check out service.
A good shuttle bus service, reasonably sized, well kept rooms and a small resteraunt for grabbing a bite to eat.
they also provide free internet/printing (handy for those on-line checkins) and free cookies at recpetion.
We stayed here for one night on our way to Niagara and then another night between coming back from niagara and moving into Manhattan. I'm glad we weren't here any longer but only because it isnt very handy for getting to/from the city.
One option to get in/out of manhattan is to take the shuttle bus to the airport then the airtrain and then the subway. We never did this because it would have been about $30-35 for the two of us and for $55 you can get a taxi straight from the hotel to anywhere in Manhatten.
Oh, here's a tip though, if it's raining, don't bother with a cab. For some reason, drivers in new york can't drive in the rain (a bit like drivers over here when it snows) and to cut a long story short it took us over 2 hours to make what should have been a 25 minute journey.
Anyway, back to the hotel, for short stays at JFK, it's perfect.
IOt was nice but our car was broken into
We stayed there the night before we went away to get married room service took forever but it was comfortable and a decent place when we came back our car had been broken into by means of our windows being smashed everything was stolen personal papers a very expensive gps our stereo was torn apart the people who worked there had put a bag over the window while we were gone they were helpful and helped us clean up all the shatterd glass nice hotel but dont leave your car there is my overall reviws thousands of dollars of damage was done and it was very hard for us to come home to that after we had just gotten married
After having stayed here on our last night in NYC this week, I have to say I have mixed feelings about our experience. I would stay in this hotel again if I had an early morning flight or late-night arrival after a long flight, but I would probably look into other options first. However, it seems like there are limited options close to JFK. Perhaps this is "as good as it gets."
We booked the hotel directly through the hilton website and got a AAA discount which came to about $160 for the night (+ tax). We booked this hotel because we had an early morning flight the next day.
While the receptionist was quite nice & helpful when we first checked in during the early afternoon, they hadn't given us the room type we had reserved (smoking vs. non). When we went back down to change our room, there was only one receptionist and she seemed put out and very busy.
Our 2nd room was a wheelchair accessible room which meant there was no bathtub or divider between the shower area and bathroom floor. We decided to make do since it had been such a hassle to change our room to our original reservation type and it was only for 1 night. However, when we later took a shower, the water ran along the floor all over the bathroom and we had to use all our towels to soak up the water.
We wish they would have explained the room type before giving us this room. We would have been perfectly happy to wait or leave our bags with the reception desk until another room was available. And we had told the receptionist this but I guess she really wanted to give us a room right away. Also, perhaps I should clarify that neither one of us were in a physical condition to lead one to guess that we required such a room. Even if such were the case, I wish they had asked if we did require such a room.
When checking out the next day, the front desk made a mistake with our bill which first came out to be about $260. Since I had a copy of my reservation, I was able to get the original rate we booked for.
We took the shuttle to the airport terminal. When we arrived at our terminal, our shuttle driver quite aggressively demanded we tip him. However, he hadn't been very helpful with our bags and hadn't solicited tips from other passengers. But we never had any problems with the drivers the day before or the shuttle service.
While probably common practice, I would definitely recommend bringing a copy of your original reservation, when booking online in case you encounter any problems such as we did. Perhaps we just happened to catch them on an exceptionally bad or busy day since all the other reviews seem quite positive.
Overall from our experience:
-Close & convenient to airport terminals
-Shutte bus to Air Train Terminal took about 5 min
-To get into Manhattan you can take the Air Train to subway ($5 per person), and take the E express subway to Manhattan ($2 per person, approx 1 hour to Manhattan). You can also take the LIRR.
-Clean rooms with nice furniture, housekeeping was very nice
-Heavy, light blocking curtains
-Refrigerator & microwave in room
-Has room service
-Front desk is understaffed, sometimes abrupt
-Problems with original reservation or didn't explain changes
-No bell service, as far as I could see (if they had one, it wasn't very active)
-Very small pantry (convenience type store in hotel), no gift or souvenir shop
-No stores or restaurants in seemingly walking distance, but I believe there are places close by if you have a car. Hotel has one small restaurant & room service.
-2 computers in business center, but internet access in room
-Overall questionable service