Hilton Garden Inn vs. Hampton Inn: Which Fits Your Next Trip?

Hilton Garden Inn is best for business travelers and points seekers, while Hampton by Hilton caters to families.
Apr 12, 2022

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With properties around the world, Hilton Garden Inn and Hampton by Hilton are two of Hilton’s biggest brands. While they are not in Hilton’s luxury portfolio of brands, they deliver value and comfort for guests looking to be cautious about their travel spend.

Here's a rundown of what you can expect with Hilton Garden Inn versus Hampton Inn so you can more easily make a choice.

The major differences

There are some major points to consider when determining which of these hotel brands suits you best:

  • Breakfast. Hampton by Hilton offers free hot breakfast to all guests worldwide. Hilton Garden Inn doesn't offer complimentary breakfast at U.S. hotels, but it does offer cooked-to-order breakfast for purchase.

  • Onsite restaurants. Hilton Garden Inn has a full-service restaurant and evening room service; Hampton by Hilton does not. Those who like the convenience of dining on site may prefer Hilton Garden Inn.

  • More rewards points. Hilton Garden Inn awards more Hilton Honors points per eligible dollar spent than Hampton by Hilton properties, which makes Hilton Garden Inn stays more valuable for people who collect Hilton points.

Best for availability and locations: Hampton by Hilton

If you're going to be loyal to a brand, it's important that it have plenty of hotels in the places you want to go. Hampton by Hilton wins in this category because of its size and geographic reach.

Hampton by Hilton

This brand is a behemoth for Hilton, with more than 2,600 hotels in 31 countries and territories. While it does not have the same geographic reach as Hilton Garden Inn (which is in about 20 additional countries and territories), Hampton by Hilton has nearly three times as many hotels.

Hilton Garden Inn

With more than 900 hotels in 50 countries and territories, Hilton Garden Inn is no small player. It has fewer hotels than Hampton by Hilton, but it covers a larger portion of the globe.

Best hotel for family travel: Hampton by Hilton

Traveling with the kids can be expensive, but Hampton by Hilton makes it more affordable by offering free breakfast. Also, many Hampton by Hilton locations have pools, which are family faves. While Hilton Garden Inn has convenient onsite dining, it does not offer free breakfast at its U.S. locations.

Hampton by Hilton

Free hot breakfast for all guests is a huge win for families looking to keep the kids fed and happy. Hotels also have a fitness center and often a pool, but don’t expect resort-type facilities.

Hilton Garden Inn

The cost of breakfast for a family can really add up. This counts against Hilton Garden Inn, since breakfast is not complimentary at U.S. properties. Outside of the U.S., breakfast is free for elite status members.

What families will appreciate, however, is Hilton Garden Inn's Pavilion Pantry market, which offers grab-and-go items and microwaves to cook them in. Hilton Garden Inn also offers a fitness center, a full-service restaurant and bar with local menu items, and evening room service.

Best hotel for business travel: Hilton Garden Inn

Hilton Garden Inn

With 150 and 250 rooms on average, Hilton Garden Inn properties are larger than Hampton by Hilton properties. They also sometimes provide meeting space for business groups.

Guest rooms are designed for productivity. They usually have a large desk, an ergonomic chair, complimentary Wi-Fi and even single-serve pod coffee makers, which can be convenient for guests who need to work in their room.

Hampton by Hilton

Many Hampton by Hilton locations have facilities for small to medium-sized events, but this is not a focus for the brand.

For people who need to work from the room, many Hampton by Hilton locations can do the job. Guests receive complimentary Wi-Fi, and every room is equipped with a desk and chair.

Benefits of staying as a Hilton Honors member

Hilton Honors members will find benefits at both properties, but there are significantly more perks for them at Hilton Garden Inn — particularly for those with elite status.

Hilton Garden Inn

Hilton Garden Inn has a strong fan base among Hilton Honors members. Typically, more than 65% of its rooms are booked by Hilton Honors members. All members earn 10 Hilton Honors points per dollar spent on eligible charges.

Elite members receive two bottles of water at check-in. Gold and Diamond members also receive a daily $10 food and beverage credit at U.S. hotels or complimentary breakfast at non-U.S. hotels.

Space-available upgrades for elite members are not a perk at these hotels.

Hampton by Hilton

At Hampton by Hilton, guests earn 5 Hilton Honors points per dollar spent — half the number earned at Hilton Garden Inn.

As at Hilton Garden Inn, space-available upgrades for elite members are not offered as a perk.

Credit cards that earn Hilton Honors points

If you're considering joining the Hilton loyalty program, getting a Hilton credit card can be a smart money move. Here are the current offers available for prospective cardholders.

  • The Hilton Honors American Express Card (annual fee of $0): Earn 100,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, you can earn up to $100 in Statement Credits on eligible purchases made on the Card at any of the Hilton family hotels in the first 12 months of Membership. Terms Apply.

  • The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card (annual fee of $95): This card comes with complimentary Gold status. Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, you can earn up to $130 in Statement Credits on eligible purchases made on the Card at any of the Hilton family hotels in the first 12 months of Membership. Terms Apply. (At launch, this card was referred to as the "Ascend" but was later renamed Surpass.)

  • The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card (annual fee of $95): Limited Time Offer: Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, you can earn up to $130 in Statement Credits on eligible purchases made on the Card at any of the Hilton family hotels in the first 12 months of Membership. Offer expires 7/6/2022. Terms Apply.

  • The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card (annual fee of $450): This is the premium Hilton card and comes with immediate Hilton Honors Diamond status. Earn 150,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card after you use your new Card to make $4,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.

If you’re choosing between Hilton Garden Inn and Hampton by Hilton

Business travelers may prefer Hilton Garden Inn since they'll earn more points on their stay; plus, they can enjoy a full-service restaurant and bar, with evening room service options.

With 2,600 Hampton by Hilton hotels around the world, this brand has more room availability; but it's not the best option for Hilton Honors loyalists, as it only earns 5 Hilton Honors points per dollar spent (as opposed to the 10 you get per dollar spent at Hilton Garden Inn). Families that don’t stay often with Hilton might opt for Hampton by Hilton because of its free breakfast offering — despite the fact that they'll earn fewer points during their stay.

Photo courtesy of Hilton Garden Inn Milwaukee Brookfield Conference Center.

All information about the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card has been collected independently by NerdWallet. The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card is no longer available through NerdWallet.


How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2022, including those best for:

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