Recently I've stayed at the Hilton Hotel in the Research Triangle Park area of Raleigh, NC (http://www.hilton.com/en/hi/hotels/index.jhtml?ctyhocn=RDURTHF). Being a guy from the West Coast and most specifically from Southern California, I didn't know what to expect.
Upon arriving at the main entrance of this hotel, it looked very nice. It was recently renovated in 2004, so the paint and structure look fairly new. What was interesting to see is a row of white rocking chair on the front porch of the hotel. It reminded of Forrest Gump or one of those movies about places in the south.
As you enter the main lobby, you will be greeted by a nice grand piano and beautiful lobby area. You could sit by the fireplace and listen to someone playing the piano, read a book, or even play chess in this peaceful atmosphere. To the left of it is the bar. After a few drinks there, the most tiring day seems to be just alright.
The rooms are pretty standard style room. The one I was in comes with a king size bed and a sofa. The pillows are a bit uncomfortable for my taste. It was a bit hard. The TV comes with most of the basic channels, including a few ESPN channels, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, CNBC and two premium channels like Starz and HBO. The executive suites comes with a nice wet bar, spa style tube and separated shower, a nice comfortable main room area where you could sit back and watch your favorite TV shows. It comes with Starz and HBO included. All of the rooms and the entire places have wifi signal, for those business traveller or kids who want to be anti-social with their parents, time to get hook up online! The shower pressure is fairly weak. During the winter time, especially when it is a busy seaon, you have to fight for hot water. Ouch!
Their exercise room isn't too bad. No weights to do benching with, but they split up the area into two rooms connected together. One side of the room you have a TV and couple of threadmill. On the other side you have a few bikes and a nice suana. Interesting to see, not may hotels have them. You get a pretty nice state of the art water cooler, which look like it is from a star trek movie. Lol!
For those who prefer the outdoor atmosphere, right outside of the exercise room you have a pool area where you could soak in the sun. It is time like this where Southern California doesn't seem too bad. Who in their right mind want to soak the sun when it is so humid out there! But heck, it is there for those who wants it. A few of the first floor rooms have patio doors where it will lead you to the area as well.
Diamond Hilton Honor members get additional perks. Upon checking into your room, you will greeted with a nice soft cotton rob nicely set on your bed and a book of chocolate. Whoohoo!
Within a mile raduis of the place, if you are a Starbucks morning person, don't plan to see one for awhile. There is a sign said coming soon, but the nearest one is 4 to 5 miles away.
Overall, I think this hotel is fairly nice. I have to say it is one of the better looking and conditioned hotels I've stayed at in the past year. It must be because of their recent renovation.
Hilton Raleigh-Durham Airport at Research Triangle Park
4810 Old Page Road, Durham, North Carolina, United States 27703 Tel: +1-919-941-6000 Fax: +1-919-941-6030
Directions & Transportation:
Interstate 40E: Take Exit #282 (Page Rd.). At bottom of exit, turn right and make an immediate right onto Creekstone Drive (Sleep Inn is at the same turn). Follow the driveway until our entrance. Interstate 40W: Take Exit #282 (Page Rd.) At bottom of exit, turn right and and go through the first stop light. After the light, make the first right onto Creekstone Drive. The hotel is toward the end of the road.