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Hampton Rising – Rediscovering an Old, Overlooked Hotel Brand

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Hampton By Hilton
Hampton Inn Chicago Downtown West Loop. Source: Hilton.com.

Hampton by Hilton

Somewhere along the line, Hampton Inn & Suites became Hampton by Hilton.  Maybe I didn’t notice because I didn’t particularly care.  I still hear the former, but it seems Hilton’s really pushing the latter.  And I noticed that name isn’t the only thing being redone with Hampton.  A recent stay and a few other matters are making me focus more on the brand.

Increasing Travel Needs

My family and I are visiting an ailing family member more often these days.  Beyond sleeping, we’re not in the hotel much during these trips, so luxury isn’t what we’re looking for.  We primarily satisfy this and other similar travel needs more with limited service brands from Choice, Hilton, IHG, and even Wyndham on the lower end.  For the past few years, Hampton by Hilton has always been in the rotation, but maybe less than the others.  I’ve stayed at Hamptons occasionally on recent solo trips.  But a family stay has me considering Hampton even more.

Hampton By Hilton
Not Your Grandpa’s Hampton Inn. Source: Hilton.com.

New Layouts and Refreshed Properties

For a three-night stop in Carolina, we stayed at a larger Hampton with a V-layout.  Gone was the straight, squatty feel of the older Hamptons (still the majority of their properties, it seems).  My family appreciated the spacious lobby and breakfast area at the V’s base, even finding ourselves spending more time there beyond scarfing down a first meal or picking up a nightly sure-why-not coffee.

My grandfather’s brand had done away with the rich, woodsy tones in the room.  Instead we got grays and whites, even a bit of color from the furnishings and decor.  The bathroom was plenty bright, and the door didn’t hit the toilet – neither are safe assumptions at limited service properties.

Breakfast Ain’t That Bad

Nothing neutralizes my family and I more than the Too Much Bread phenomenon at limited service hotels’ complimentary breakfasts – danishes, waffles, pancakes, packaged muffins, bagels, bread, bread, bread.  Ugh!  Granted, Hampton has been and still is a big participant here.  But we also found plenty of proteins, fruit, and yogurt options during our last stay.  And, more importantly, they varied daily – different breakfast meats, egg presentations, etc.  My wife volunteered that the (Hampton version of a) western omelet wasn’t bad – probably her most glowing review of a limited service hotel breakfast ever.  The kitchen staff was great, also.

The Other Stuff

It’s not always about Hampton, though.  Other matters are impacting our choices.  The Hilton elite daily food and beverage credit is still a big winner in my book.  But our family’s looking past Hilton Garden Inns a bit more now, primarily due to the limited $20 maximum daily credit for a room of two or more.  My family of four is going more significantly out of pocket during such stays.  Meanwhile, Hilton Garden Inn breakfasts aren’t what they used to be.  I still love Hilton Garden Inn properties, but not for larger family stays.  Enter Hampton by Hilton!

Consistency

Other than Holiday Inn Express, Hampton seems to be the most consistent limited service hotel brand, in my experience.  I probably won’t get a huge, upgraded room, but I also won’t receive any unwelcome surprises.  The quality and service may not be out of this world, but they’re competently delivered.

Hampton by Hilton

Efficient Redemptions

I’ve been able to find reliably good deals on Hampton properties in recent years.  For our travel needs, we’re still able to find plenty of perfectly fine Hamptons in the 20k-30k nightly award range.  Sub-20k redemptions are an endangered species but still exist, I’ve found.  Meanwhile, Hilton Garden Inn award rates just seem to get worse.

Conclusion

Undoubtedly, one can obtain the same from other brands.  A variety of chains are leaning into limited service brands, including Hilton.  I haven’t ever stayed in a Tru property, and I doubt I’ll be interested in Spark as they show up more.  Hampton’s familiarity with a bit of a refresh wins the day for us, and I imagine I’ll be booking there more these days.

Are you a Hampton by Hilton fan?  Why or why not?

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Benjy Harmon
Benjy Harmon
Benjy focuses on the intersection of points, travel, and financial independence (FI). An experienced world traveler, husband, and father, he currently roams throughout the USA close to expense-free. Benjy enjoys helping others achieve their FI and travel goals.

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

10 COMMENTS

  1. I agree with what then President Obama once said – that with Hampton you always know what you are going to get. Clean comfortable rooms and decnt still free breakfast, IHG Express and Hampton are the best out there for a “regular” night’s stay when not needing luxury but just a nice room and a good breakfast to start your day.

  2. I’m generally a Hampton fan, and have been for a long time. I find Holiday Inn Express a little more consistent overall, as I’ve stayed in a few Hamptons the last few years that I thought were subpar. However, I like the Hilton portfolio better than the IHG portfolio. So, when I need a mid-tier hotel, Hampton usually wins out.

    • Nice, Kevin. In my view, those two run neck and neck. I’m perhaps too big a fan of the cinnamon rolls at Holiday Inn Express. It’s probably best that’s the one bread NOT available at the Hampton Inn breakfast.

  3. Hampton is my go-to for our all 50 states quest or when visiting friends/family when there is no Hyatt option. Not great, but not terrible either.

    The $50/off/night Sapphire credit has helped too. I forgot to use this credit for many years.

  4. Hampton is sort of my go-to the last couple of years. A lot of my travels are to smaller markets and a Hampton is probably the best option, if not for something local/historical (which I’ll still take in a heartbeat). I’ve had fairly good success being “upgraded” at Hampton which yields a room like what you pictured above, which is pretty nice. The free waters and snack are appreciated as it saves a stop. I’m not typically around late enough for breakfast, but quite a few have had pretty decent grab n go with some sort of carb, a yogurt, and maybe a banana or an orange. Also noticed as you have that more Hampton properties are taking the appearance of their surroundings, and more present in urban areas or downtowns, and of varying designs/floorplans. But the service/rooms have been very consistent.

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