Saturday 13 November 2010

Hilton Garden Inn, Carlsbad Boulevard, Carlsbad, California

A low-rise, sprawling hotel built in the style of an Hispanic villa, the Hilton Garden Inn overlooks a sandy beach a couple of miles south of Carlsbad. Although there is a dual-carriageway between the hotel and the Pacific Ocean, it is still a fine spot that draws a mixture of tourists, business travellers and even the U.S. army. The big rooms have large, comfortable beds, sturdy furniture and free Wi-Fi, while the en-suite bathrooms, decorated in dark yellow patterns, have an odd air of opulence. The Hilton Garden Inn even has a free shuttle bus that will take you to and pick you up from anywhere within a five mile radius of the hotel. But you may need to wait half-an-hour for a collection. There is also free watery coffee in the morning and free cookies in the evening.  Oustide the peak season, you can get all this for less than $150 a night, but you pay more for a room with a partial ocean-view or for a full ocean view.  For an extra $12, you can eat as much as you want from the respectable breakfast buffet, including hefty omelettes and other hot food, in addition to the fruit, cereals, yoghurts and cold fare. There is also plenty of lacklustre coffee and orange juice. If its warm enough, you can have your breakfast on the terrace. Out here, there are neat flowerbeds, an enclosed swimming pool and a fine view of the sea stretching off to the horizon. 7/10