Hilton Garden Inn has been steadily expanding, with more than 850 open hotels in over 48 countries. Part of the upscale hotel brand’s strategy to attract guests is the on-property Garden Grille & Bar concept—a full-service restaurant and bar that serves cooked-to-order dishes, sharable small plates, handcrafted cocktails and craft beers.
The company hosted several hospitality journalists at its new Hilton Garden Inn West Palm Beach I-95 Outlets. Here’s a quick look at what the 190-room property, which opened in spring 2019, and the region has to offer.
This West Palm Beach Hilton Garden Inn, as the name suggests, is located just off of Interstate 95 and adjacent to the Palm Beach Outlets, a six-year old, open-air shopping center. Another fun fact about this location: The hotel accommodates the Houston Astros baseball players during spring training.
The hotel had previously been a 10-story office building—one of three at the Forum corporate complex in West Palm Beach. This posed some challenges in terms of the space’s layout and footprint during the two-year renovation and conversion to a Hilton Garden Inn.
For instance, a narrow, L-shaped swimming pool and patio occupies one corner of the limited outdoor space.
As with all of the Hilton Garden Inn locations, the lobby boasts natural light and modern decor, with a 24-hour self-service retail space called The Shop for food, beverages and personal items.
The Garden Grille restaurant offers casual American dining, including a freshly prepared breakfast and dinner offered daily. The full menu and light bites are available at the bar, along with a selection of domestic beer, craft beers and cocktails.
Exploring the city
The schedule included a trip to the West Palm Beach GreenMarket, which takes place every Saturday from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., October through May, and features more than 70 regional vendors. A local community events manager led the group on a curated tour to sample and speak with key vendors and partners that have been part of GreenMarket for years.
The afternoon involved a local brewery experience on the “Damn Good Beer Bus” (shown atop). We visited the West Palm Brewery & Wine Vault for lunch and a tour, as well as Barrel of Monks Brewery for a tour and tasting.
A family-style dinner that night at the hotel paired grilled sirloin steak and blackened mahi mahi with Florida citrus mango salsa with Barrel of Monks beers. Kris Beck, Hilton’s director of brand food and beverage, discussed the pairing strategy and flavor notes.
The meal, which also included wines from Trinity Oaks, showcased how the brand’s Garden Grille & Bars customize their menus to offer locally sourced ingredients and reflect the regional flavors.
The group also had a chance to view parts of Palm Beach from the water while on board the “Hakuna Matata” catamaran. The cruise down the Intracoastal Waterway included views of the Palm Beaches, the mansions and mega-yachts.
The trip coincided with the Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival, so we went to the Grand Tasting event at the Palm Beach County Convention Center. It was a full afternoon sampling wine, spirits, beer and cocktails, as well as local restaurant dishes and desserts. We definitely got a taste of the West Palm Beach scene, not to mention the Hilton Garden Inn’s local experience.