The trip to Utah was another essential business trip during the Covid19 Pandemic. Instead of flying, I opted in to drive all the way from Seattle to Ogden, UT. It was actually a pretty interesting drive and I found lots of places along the way I would like to explore further. Unfortunately, I had no time to stop and explore as I wanted to get to the Hampton Inn & Suites Ogden to check-in and get a good night’s sleep before heading out for work early the next morning. It took me about 12 hours of driving including only stopping for gas, to get to the hotel.
The Hampton Inn & Suites Ogden is located in Downtown Oden and sits on the corner of Washington Blvd and 24th Street. It is attached to the Ogden Eccles Conference Center.
Lots of shops and restaurants are nearby and within walking distance. The historic center of the town, 25th Street is just one block away and offers many dining and shopping options. At the end of 25th Street sits the historic Ogden Union Station, which houses now multiple museums and a restaurant. You can work there in a few minutes. The Greyhound Bus terminal and a railroad station are right next to the Union Station.
When I arrived at the Hampton Inn & Suites Ogden, around 8 p.m. it was already dark outside. My GPS guided me to my destination. I looked at the hotel up ahead of time and knew that it was located on a street corner and that parking would be different from a regular hotel. Once I arrived, I had to circle the hotel once before I parked at the bus stop in front of the hotel. The hotel actually has dedicated loading zones on Washington Blvd and 24th Street but all of them were taken up by cars to park there overnight as I would find out in a minute. The marking of the garage is also very bad and it’s hard to see at night.
I walked through the main entrance into the lobby and checked in. When I walked in the social distancing markers on the ground were clearly visible as well as a hand sanitizer station and the plexiglass window at the front desk. Checking in was quick and easy, as I would expect it from a chain hotel.
The receptionist explained the amenities of the hotel to me and the “Covid-Situation” at the hotel, like their breakfast service. I asked how parking would work, and she told me I can park where I am right now as the bus stop is currently not used and she told me that I can park at any of the passenger loading zones if I am comfortable with leaving my car there. Alternatively, I can park in the parking garage behind the hotel, but she told me that all of the spots are probably taken, and I would probably have to park in the public parking garage next to the hotel garage. I was fine with leaving my car there as this made it easier to unload my luggage with one of their luggage carts. The receptionist also told me I could check back in the morning to get a monthly pass for the public parking garage.
The elevators are located to the right and behind the front desk. Just follow the hallway around the corner.
1 King Bed 1 Bedroom Suite Nonsmoking (Room 706)
The room is just to the left of the elevator when you exit it. Even with the proximity to the elevator it never got really loud inside. Probably because there were not a lot of people staying at the Hampton Inn & Suites Ogden and the actual bedroom is further down from the room door. Between the door and frame was a “CleanStay” seal which should assure you that the room was thoroughly cleaned. Unfortunately, I wasn’t too impressed with the “CleanStay” during my stay. More about it throughout the post.
The suite is super spacious with a lot of space. Unfortunately, I have to call it dead-space. They could have put another dresser or closet in some of the corners which look just empty at the moment.
When you first walk into the suite you have the living area right in front of you. It has a sofa and sofa chair with a footrest in front of both. Next to the room door is a closet with the TV. Only the sofa chair faces straight towards the TV, the sofa itself is 90° off to the side. On top of the closet was the TV remote which was supposedly sanitized as it had a sticker wrapped around it with the “CleanStay” label. Right next to the TV remote were three sanitizing wipes. If you want to be safe and want to wipe down the room, you need a lot more than three. The sofa was old and worn out. One of the cushions was even torn and the foam was coming out. This is pretty sad for one of the best rooms in this hotel. This area has one window which doesn’t bring a lot of light into the room because there is a gigantic steel structure outside to support the whole building. The Hampton Inn & Suites Ogden has a U-shape form and my room was facing south.
From the living area, you can access the kitchenette, which has a dining counter and two bar stools. I expected more from the kitchenette at first glimpse. Once I started looking closer it was really just a kitchenette. There is only a microwave and coffee maker but no toaster (you might be able to borrow one from the front desk) nor a stove or oven. I also missed a dishwasher but that wouldn’t be that important compared to dishwashing detergent to at least clean the dishes in the relatively big kitchen sink. No kitchen towels were provided either but the shocker was when I started to check the cabinets. As there were enough plates for at least two people and to prepare some food, the utensils drawer was half empty. No forks or spoons, just knives, and teaspoons, and two sets of chopsticks. That’s pretty bad.
It looks like the whole kitchenette area is just more for show. At least the refrigerator had a decent size and you could store lots of food and drinks inside. One plus overall. But way smaller than what I see for example in Hyatt Houses. Overall I would say, this room was not intended to be used for long-term stays where you would do some of your own meals.
A small hallway inside the room will lead you from the living area to the bedroom. This area is very spacious as well. The King-sized bed is pretty much at the center of the outside wall and has a closet with a TV right across from it. This remote also had the “CleanStay” sticker on there but no additional sanitizing wipes. To the left of the TV is a dressing mirror and to the right is a door to access the small wall closet.
On either side of the bed, you find a nightstand with a lamp. As I slept on the left side of the bed and my nightstand was too far away to reach it from the bed, I moved it closer to it so I can also charge my phone and still use it. When I moved it, I found some trash behind the nightstand. This shouldn’t happen in a hotel like this and especially not in times of Covid. Basically, you cant trust the CleanStay seal and take everything with a grain of salt. You might want to wipe everything down yourself. Even tho Hilton’s intentions are good with the seal it always comes down to humans and in this case the housekeeping crew and the person servicing your room. Maybe he/she had a bad day or just doesn’t care in general. I don’t know!
In the bedroom-area is also a desk with an office chair to set up your laptop. This is one of the features I more and more miss in newer hotels. Some of them seem to go away from putting a work desk in the room. Next to the desk was the second and last window in this room. With the positioning of the window and the huge steel structure outside, you don’t get much light into the room and therefore your view is also not that great.
There are two climate zones in this room where you can adjust your AC setting independently. The first AC control is next to the room door and the second one is to the right of the TV in the bedroom in the huge storage area. I don’t know what else to call it. Even tho you have two separate AC’s and can set them independently there is no physical divider in the whole room. The only place which you can separate from the rest of the suite is the bathroom.
Most areas of this suite have a pretty big footprint but compared to this, the bathroom felt a little bit undersized. It was in no way cramped and there was plenty of space. Other than that, the bathroom was nothing special. It comes with a shower-bathtub combo. The freestanding bathroom vanity also felt off as they usually have storage space below which would also hide the piping.
As mentioned earlier, the lobby was very nice and clean. They closed the breakfast area down, where you would normally sit to eat breakfast. The seats along the windows were still available to be used but I rarely saw people using them. Only sometimes people misused them to have their breakfast there. I saw a family sitting there having breakfast and going back and forth to the breakfast counter to grab food. I am not too concerned about how much they grabbed, rather that they sat in the lobby eating with no masks. Yes, I know you can’t eat with a mask on, but imagine every guest would sit in the lobby eating breakfast. There is a reason why they closed down the sitting area for breakfast. You are supposed to go back to your room or take it with you. All I am asking is a little respect and courtesy for other guests. Speaking about masks, there were many guests who didn’t wear masks throughout the property. They walk in, past the big sticker, where it shows that masks are required and check-in, and hang out in the lobby. Unfortunately, the hotel staff didn’t do anything. I was in Utah just before the big spike in cases occurred in late October. The hotel should have given them a warning and if they continue to not wear a mask, they should have kicked them out of the hotel, permanently. It’s not that hard to wear a mask for the 2 minutes from the door to the elevator and to your room. It’s the rule at the Hampton Inn & Suites Ogden to wear masks and they should enforce it, the hotel has all rights to do so. But enough complaining about masks…
A small business center is located at the far end of the lobby right before you cross over to the conference center. You need your room key to get in. Inside are two terminals and a printer. When I checked the business center out, people were in there using the computers and leaving their garbage behind. Especially during the times of Covid19, we all should care a little more about cleanness and hygiene.
The guest laundry is also located on the lobby level and you have to keep going past the elevators and restrooms. The hallway will turn left around the corner and you will see a door for the guest laundry. This room also requires a room key to enter. All the machines are coin-operated but you can’t get any coins from the front desk as they don’t accept any cash at all. When I asked the receptionist on duty, she told me to go to a grocery store and have my money exchanged there for some coins. That is really stupid, sorry but I don’t find any other words for it.
One level below, in the basement, you find the fitness center which has a pretty good size and the usual workout equipment. Next door to the fitness center is a small whirlpool. Both were open for use during my visit. To get to the basement you can use the stairs from the lobby or take the elevator.
Thanks to Covid19 there was not much dining going on. There was only a grab and go breakfast in the morning, which was an all-cold breakfast. The variety of choices was actually not too bad. Compared to other places, where you just get a pre-packed box, here you have the choice to grab what you want and how much. During the breakfast hours, they kept restocking the “supplies” on the counter. As breakfast was supposed to be only available from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m., they had the breakfast already set up shortly after 6 a.m.
For dinner, I used delivery services like Uber Eats, Grubhub, and DoorDash to have food delivered directly to my hotel room door. It worked out very well and all the drivers were able to find my room with no issues.
I was actually planning on doing some food preparation myself but work just got too busy. On the other hand, I specifically booked the suite because it was the only room type that would offer a kitchenette. But with a lot of stuff missing in the kitchen corner, like half of the cutlery, I decided to go the easier way with food delivery services.
There is a pretty well-stocked convenience store next to the front desk where you can pick up some snacks and drinks if you desire.
Overall I wasn’t very impressed with the Hampton Inn & Suites Ogden. I probably wouldn’t stay here again. The service was ok but the overall condition of the hotel wasn’t what I expected. It looks like a beautiful convention hotel situated downtown, but only from the outside. Well, I have to give the team credit for the beautiful lobby. I couldn’t see anything wrong with the lobby space. But all the issues in my room, the torn sofa cushion, half of the cutlery missing, some dirt in the rooms but with a clean seal? But the worst was definitely the parking situation. The hotel itself has only two rows of parking in the garage for maybe 25-30 cars. Everyone else has to use street parking or the adjoined parking garage. I never was able to get a monthly parking pass for the public parking garage. They also had tickets for the short-term part of the garage but you had to get a piece of paper every time and had to put it in a slot of the pay station after you found out in which spot you parked. From there it’s also a good walk to the lobby and back. This was the worst parking experience ever. My problem was also that I drove a relatively large pick-up truck. I also had some concerns about having my car broken into, especially in the public part of the garage as I saw people skating in there…
The only way would be to attend a conference at the adjoined conference center. During conferences, the room rates are probably skyrocketing.
Peter has a passion for Traveling, Photography, and Geocaching. These are the best ingredients for amazing adventures all over the globe. “Traveling is fun, no matter if you stay in a luxury hotel or travel like a backpacker.” Peter shares his experiences on his Blog www.gatetoadventures.com
Some of Peter’s photos are published on corporate websites, in-flight magazines, travel guides, and much more.