Well folks, I’ve got good news and bad news. Actually, the more I think about it, I think it’s just good news all around. You see, when I first started writing detailed trip reports way back in 2013, I was really gung ho on the idea of documenting every single portion of each and every one of my trips – and to be honest I’m really surprised that I stuck with it for this long. From airline reviews to hotel reviews to lounge reviews and everything in between, it’s been fun writing about my travels and hopefully providing you, the reader, with useful data which you could use to guide your own travel decisions.
Unfortunately (I mean fortunately), this review of the Hilton at the Austin Bergstrom Airport is the last run-of-the-mill hotel review I’m doing here on sanspotter.com – or anywhere else. I’m not giving up hotel reviews entirely, but from now on, I’m going to be a lot more selective about the hotels I choose to write about.
It all comes down the fact that this blog is my full-time job now (along with a couple other projects) and spending entire days writing reviews of generic chain hotels that don’t provide any real value isn’t a very good use of my time. 99% of my daily traffic consists of visitors reading airline reviews and nothing else, and I guess I’ve come to the realization that it’s those airline reviews which have built the SANspotter brand – not reviews of yawn-inducing hotels such as this!
Some of my reviews of fancy-pants hotels (such as the Sheraton Grand Dubai and St Regis Beijing) get a small trickle of daily traffic, but other reviews of cookie cutter hotels (such as the Holiday Inn Express in Bellingham, WA and Comfort Suites in Salem, VA) are essentially dead in my archives and therefore I am making the executive decision to stop writing about that kind of stuff. Nobody seems to be searching for it, and I’m totally ok with that – to be honest I don’t have much interest in these lower-tier hotels anyway and I was just doing the reviews because I thought I had to. It’s obvious that airline reviews are what you (and first time visitors) want, so that’s what I’m going to focus all my energy on!
Let’s get on with the review…
Starting out with first impressions is a great way to start a review, and it was super easy to be slapped in the face with a really good one as far as a mile away as I was driving up to this property for the very first time. Right away, even before seeing it up close, it immediately reminded me of the sparkly new circular Apple headquarters up north in Cupertino. Who would’ve thought that the architects for that billion dollar HQ got their inspiration for that design from an airport hotel deep in the heart of Texas? The things you learn while traveling…
It was certainly the most unique looking airport hotel that I’ve ever seen, at least on the outside. Standing alone out there in a large green field, big and bold, with what looked like really easy access to the airport – it has a presence! I mean, if you are a traveler who just arrived at AUS and you were in need of a room for the night very close to the airport, how could you not choose this hotel based on looks alone?
Unfortunately, the interior of this magnificent building didn’t quite match the exterior. Sure, it looked like a giant spaceship from the inside, but the decor was cookie-cutter airport Hilton and to be honest it was so generic that it could’ve been a Marriott or a Courtyard Inn for all I knew. All of these low to mid-tier chain hotels look the same anyway, and it’s kind of a bummer that they didn’t take advantage of the unique floor plan to make it something really special inside.
All in all, The Hilton here at the Austin Bergstrom Airport is a pretty good value if you can nab a room at a decent price. It’s far from being luxurious (or even unique for that matter), but it’s proximity to the airport makes it a very compelling option if that is your primary goal. I wouldn’t consider it to be walking distance to the main terminal, especially in that crazy Texas heat – but I suppose if you do the walk very late at night or very early in the morning, it shouldn’t be that bad and you probably won’t die. Take the shuttle bus though – it only takes approximately 10 minutes, and your chances of ending up dead are far less.
So that’s it. My last ever review of a generic cookie-cutter hotel, unless I come across one in my travels which is so unique and interesting that I can’t resist keeping all to myself. And FYI, there will be a hotel review in my next trip report series, only because it’s a resort hotel that I think (hope) a lot of people will be searching for information about.
R.I.P SANspotter hotel reviews! Well, not totally, but pretty much…