I was given the opportunity to stay in a Hilton Property overnight this past week. I had the option to choose a place to go and stay. I started thinking about where I’d like to go and bring the family. I figured that we’d go looking for a place where there were fun attractions as well as good places to eat. I also had to have a hotel with a pool. I started my search as I always do for a hotel room by doing an Internet search.
A nice pool for family swim 3-5ft deep
Hilton has an app for smartphones and I used that to look up my reservation. I haven’t booked anything on my phone yet but I just learned about this app recently. You can also log into your Hilton Honors account through the app. I would have but I haven’t traveled in in so long that for some reason my account has lapsed and I cannot access my Hilton Honors account online anymore. As an aside, I did talk to the employee at the front desk about this and she recommended that I call Hilton Honors to get my account access turned back on, I will try that.
The Breakfast area
So, I started searching first in the Boston area, then the New Hampshire area and also the Rhode Island area I remembered that maybe Mystic, Connecticut would be a good option. We’d never taken Eva to the Aquarium and the drive is only an hour away. I then had to decide upon whether or not I wanted to stay at the Mystic Hilton or the Hampton Inn.
I searched for options and amenities at both of the hotels. I found the Hampton Inn to have quite a few good options and there were even packages that we could chose from with additional extras. I settled upon a King suite with a pull out couch for Eva. We also got a $25 gift certificate from the Chamber of Commerce to use at a participating location. I had forgotten about this but luckily the front desk let me know with a call to our room.
We drove down to the hotel and got there about 1pm. Check-in is at 3pm but we went to the front desk and asked if the room might already be clean. As luck would have it the room was ready and we were able to check in early. We brought our stuff up to the room and then Allison and Eva went over to Jake’s Wayback Burgers to pick up our lunch while I recorded part of an episode of Geek Dads Weekly, we record every Thursday at 1pm.
The room was big, it had plenty of space for the family to spread out. Eva had her own bed on the pull out couch. Allison and I had nice King Size bed as well. There was a microwave, mini fridge, large Philips flatscreen, big closet, free wi-fi and a shower with great water pressure too. We used the living room part of the room to eat our lunch and then we were off to the Aquarium. The hotel was minutes from the aquarium which was great because who wants to drive somewhere just to get to a hotel and then drive even further to their destination of fun.
Doing this trip on a Thursday was perfect because we missed any possible crowds at the aquarium and it was as if we had private audiences with so many of the animals. We even had a really special encounter with the beluga whales. It was incredible.
After the Aquarium we went for a nice dinner a few miles away at a place on the water called the Dog Watch Cafe. Dinner was delicious and was followed by a tasty dessert and then a walk along the a dock behind the restaurant. We took some fun photos of the beautiful boats as we digested dinner.
Eva Took This one
It got late and we headed back to the hotel to settle in for the night. Eva was excited about having a very special bed, she had not seen a pull out couch before. We read her a book and said prayers and got her down. She then asked about her music. She sleeps with a playlist of Barefoot Books songs every night on an iPod. We didn’t bring that iPod or the radio that goes with it but we were not out of luck. The room had a clock radio that with an auxiliary/Mp3 jack. I had my iPod touch along with me and some of Eva’s music on it so we were able to use that to help her get to bed.
She didn’t get to bed right away though because we were all in one room and Eva doesn’t like to be left out so since we were up and reading and working on our iPads she was still awake. I then laid down with her and held her hand and she went off to sleep. I would love to have a more family friendly room that had a divider so that little kids who go to bed early can sleep while moms and dads can stay up to read or watch TV or something like that without bothering the kids. We’re lucky that once Eva’s out she is out.
I’m glad that I booked a King bed because at 4am Eva came and slept with us. She went to bed quickly but at the same time put her hands on Allison’s back and her feet onto my back. We ended up sleeping soundly until around 7am.
Many cereals to choose from.
Our second day in Mystic was laid back because we went down to the free hotel breakfast buffet. Eva discovered Lucky Charms for the first time and enjoyed them thoroughly. There was plenty for us to eat too. There were cereals, muffins, toast, yogurt, scrambled eggs, ham and make your own waffles. The area where you eat the breakfast was real open and airy. There was a large high table with tools for many people to sit at. Eva made all sorts of friends around us. That gave it a real neighborly feel.
Plenty of choices for a nice breakfast
The hotel had other amenities like a Snack Suite where you can buy snacks and drinks and things you might have forgotten at home like sunblock and a toothbrush. There was also a business center where you can use computers and the printers. There is also a decent looking gym room with nice equipment as well. But what we wanted most was a pool.
Eva and I went down to the pool first and Allison came down a little while later. The pool was heated and it was early in the morning so we had it to ourselves. It was fun to swim around and enjoy our time together.
Our family had a very nice time at this hotel. We enjoyed the special touches around the hotel including cute photos on each door number, Allison noticed that they were all different and that they all said “welcome” on them, she liked that touch. The hotel room had big beautiful black and white photos of sailboats which fit the location perfectly. The staff was really pleasant and helped us out when we needed extra pillows. Eva also chatted with the housekeeping staff and the front desk staff, everyone was pleasant and helpful. We’d certainly go back.
Disclosure: We were reimbursed for the cost of our hotel stay and provided with some money to cover the cost of travel and do an activity from Collective Bias. The opinions about our stay are 100% ours.
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