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HOTEL REVIEW: Hilton Garden Inn Darwin, NT 

It's so awkward people when have the same names in your friends group. Names have to change to make it work. Rebeccas become Becky, Becs, and Becca. In Darwin, they had the same dilemma with two DoubleTree by Hilton properties right next to each other! Unlike the Rebeccas, who only changed their name, the Hilton Garden Inn Darwin also opted for a mini makeover! Zoe Macfarlane checked it out.

It’s so awkward people when have the same names in your friends group. Names have to change to make it work. Rebeccas become Becky, Becs, and Becca. In Darwin, they had the same dilemma with two DoubleTree by Hilton properties right next to each other! Unlike the Rebeccas, who only changed their name, the Hilton Garden Inn Darwin also opted for a mini makeover! Zoe Macfarlane checked it out.

The Hilton Garden Inn Darwin (the first Hilton Garden Inn in the Northern Territory) has a prime location on Darwin’s famous Esplanade. Only 15 minutes from the airport, the property offers guests easy access on foot to central Darwin’s top attractions. Like the fun-filled Waterfront Precinct, the informative Royal Flying Doctor Service attraction, and the outdoor Deckchair Cinema

Check-in & beyond 

Hilton Garden Inn Darwin
Welcoming faces greet as you arrive at the newly refreshed Hilton Garden Inn Darwin. © Hilton Garden Inn Darwin

After boarding the last flight from Sydney to Darwin, I checked in at an unsavoury 1:30 am. Luckily, that was the only unsavoury experience as a warm welcome and an efficient check-in greeted me. One that recognised the need to get my weary body to my room in minutes.  

Check-out is equally swift, with a key-drop area if you’ve charged nothing to your room.

The check-in and check-out crew at the Hilton Garden Inn Darwin are a can-do bunch. Actually, everyone at this 4-star property is. When I moved rooms to start my Outback Spirit tour, they went above and beyond to find a missing item left behind.

The rooms 

Hilton Garden Inn Darwin
The harbour view rooms are the way to go. © Double Double Deluxe Harbour View Room, Hilton Garden Inn Darwin

Their recent renovations, completed May this year, have not only upgraded the style of the 184 rooms to the 2020s contemporary, but the lobby, bar, and restaurant, too. A long way from the olde-style from back in the day; it was one of Darwin’s first hotel Esplanade properties.

There are 184 rooms and three main room categories with varying bed configurations – king, double,a double double. Choose from Guest, Harbour View (floors 4-7), and Deluxe Harbour View (8-10), along with the property’s two suites, Pool View and Harbour View. The hotel has 27 interconnecting rooms. 

I stayed in two rooms during my 2-night stay, Guest and Harbour View. With identical décor in both rooms, selecting a room category is mainly a vista decision. And, while I could see the harbour from my Guest Room balcony, if I returned I’d opt for a Harbour View room. I found it especially serene in the afternoon when sunlight streamed in.  

Hilton Garden Inn Darwin
All bathrooms come with Peter Thomas Roth toiletries. © Hilton Garden Inn Darwin

The ‘garden’ in this Hilton Garden Inn property is reflected in the room’s tasteful décor. White walls allow the forest green accent chair and two delicate monstera plant paintings to pop. The prints were so on-trend and lovely I wondered if I couldn’t just take them home.  

As you might expect from a hotel that only had a refresh a few months ago, the beds were comfortable, pillows plump, and linen and towels fresh-as. As someone who is not a fan of being tucked in at night like a slumber straitjacket, I appreciated the duvet tuck-in at the foot of the bed only. It’s the small things.  

The bathrooms were modern with everything you need, including Peter Thomas Roth toiletries. Power and shower are not two words you’ll be using together here, however, though the water pressure was a little better on the 7th floor (versus the 10th).  

Food & drinks

Hilton Garden Inn Darwin
Choose to dine indoors or out at Together & Co. © Hilton Garden Inn Darwin

Breakfast at the Hilton Garden Inn Darwin offers the standard fare of any 4-star hotel for $32 per person. Choose from a hot breakfast, cereals, bread, and pastries.

If the fancy coffee machine isn’t fancy enough (or the Keurig in your room), the Together & Co little coffee bar is well worth the extra $$. The baristas made such a good brew I had two each day! 

The evening meal I enjoyed at Together & Co. the property’s indoor and outdoor restaurant, was a fancier affair. Our tour group raved about the hearty portions, beef cheeks, and delicious cheesecake from the set menu.  

As someone with health-related dietary requirements, meals out can be stressful. But, prior to dinner, I received a call from the head chef to coordinate a meal that was both safe and delicious. This level of attention sets the property apart. 

Facilities 

Hilton Garden Inn Darwin
No need for the salt-water pool to be heated for Darwin’s climes! © Hilton Garden Inn Darwin

The hotel has a small salt-water outdoor pool, and meeting rooms are available for business-y type people.  

The verdict 

Hilton Garden Inn Darwin
The Together & Co coffee shop was a big hit. © Hilton Garden Inn Darwin

The Hilton Garden Inn Darwin’s prime location on the famed Esplanade makes it a top contender for any Darwin stay. Shout out to the above-and-beyond staff at the property, they truly dial the experience up a few notches.

The Hilton Garden Inn Darwin is only 15 minutes from Darwin International Airport; reach it by rideshare, taxi, or airport shuttle.