Following a series of out of town trips, we are now down south in the state of Virginia!
We were there to visit the Shenandoah National Park, one of the only National Parks on the east coast. I’ve always wanted to visit the park because of the popular song Country Roads!
There isn’t any accommodation options within the park itself. Most visitors will have to stay in one of the surrounding towns like Front Royal or Luray. We chose Front Royal because its located right beside the northern entrance of the park.
During our stay at the Hampton Inn, we stayed in the 2 Queen Beds Nonsmoking room for US$172 a night. We made our booking directly through Hilton.
Several days before our stay, the Hilton mobile app prompted us to check-in and select our room. I selected the ground floor as that seemed to be the most popular option.
Upon first stepping into the room, we found that the room was spacious yet a little dark despite turning on all the available lights in the room. We couldn’t open up the blinds for privacy as it was directly facing the carpark. I guess it wasn’t the best decision to choose a ground floor room.
The room itself was very clean and neat as expected. Decor was slightly old fashioned, with wood dominating most of the furniture material choices.
The room came with an LCD TV that was too small for the room. Compounding with the distance to the beds, it was too straining on the eyes to enjoy any shows on it.
There was a microwave right beside the TV which is good if you’re thinking of bringing back some leftovers or microwave instant food to your room.
The Hampton Inn Front Royal was the first US hotel we stayed in that didn’t come with a Keurig machine. Instead, it featured a Hamilton Beach coffee maker with 2 packets of coffee powder.
As usual for a hotel of this range, there was no in room mini-bar services. The fridge was clean and we kept our store bought ice-cream here.
The bathroom was large and clean, as you’d expect from a Hilton branded hotel.
There were plenty of towels available in each room. You won’t have to call room service for it even if you’re travelling in a family of 4.
We really liked the showers in the room. It had the perfect combination of temperature and water pressure that makes for a great shower experience.
The Hampton Inn came with Neutrogena branded bath gels. Even though it’s not anything fancy, its a brand that everyone would be familiar with.
The hairdryer was easily accessible! We didn’t have to go on a treasure hunt (like in most hotels) for it.
Body soap comes in a bar form.
First experience with the Hilton Digital Key
This was our first time trying the Hilton Digital Key feature ever since it was launched! The entire experience was very seamless.
We got our Digital Key after receiving an email from Hilton at around 12 pm on the day of check-in. The email also mentioned that we did not have to visit the main counter at all. We could simply walk to our room and use the app to enter it.
You can also use the Digital Key to access amenities within the hotel.
The whole experience was very seamless! The app had no trouble detecting which area you’re near and automatically changes its interface.
As a new feature, guests can now share their digital keys with up to 4 friends. This makes it incredibly convenient when you’re travelling in a larger group and sharing a room.
The gym in the hotel in the hotel was clean, tidy and offered everything you need to do a simple workout. There were threadmils for cardio exercises and enough variations of dumbbell weights.
In contrast to the messy towel situation at Holiday Inn Hartford Downtown, the gym in the Hampton Inn was better maintained.
There was an indoor heated pool in the hotel which is much appreciated during the cold autumn nights. This was also one of the cleanest hotel pools we’ve seen in the country.
Unfortunately, we didn’t bring our swimming attire for this trip. Otherwise, I foresee ourselves spending a long time here!
There were pool towels readily available by the side.
The laundry room is located in a corner at the ground floor. This is great for anyone who’s on an extended holiday and needs their clothes washed.
Washing detergent is also available for purchase via a dispensing machine.
Every stay at Hampton Inn Front Royal comes with free continental breakfast included. We’re really glad that hotel breakfasts are coming back!
Breakfast hours are from 6 am to 10 am daily and are located at the breakfast area near the hotel entrance.
Spoiler alert: This is one of the best continental breakfast we’ve had in US hotels thus far! There’s a wide variety of food available from the usual standards.
I really liked the colourful and loud signs inside the breakfast area. It gives characteristics to an otherwise boring experience.
There’s even Quaker oatmeal available!
The dining area is small and spaces are limited. We came during a busy period and took quite a while to get our seats. We’d recommend coming earlier if you have a large party.
The Hampton Inn had amazing wifi speeds throughout the building. I was able to comfortable surf the web and even stream Youtube videos during my stay.
The Hampton Inn is located a fair distance away from the main Front Royal town. If you’re visiting in a car, this shouldn’t be a problem as it’s only a short 5-minute drive away from the town centre.
It’s conveniently located beside Highway 66 and near the entrance to Shenandoah National Park.
Despite being a Hilton Gold member, there wasn’t really any recognition of it here. We weren’t offered any upgrades (not like there were any better room options) and late check-out.
If you’re planning a trip to the beautiful Shenandoah National Park, you have to stay at Hampton Inn Front Royal. It’s everything you’d expect from a chain hotel and it does not disappoint. The place was clean and the service staff was as pleasant as one could be.
In a tourist gateway town like Front Royal, I was surprised that there wasn’t a wider selection of hotels available. You wouldn’t go wrong with booking the Hampton Inn for your vacation.