Situated in the bustling Central Business District (CBD) in Gaborone just 15 minutes away from the Sir Seretse Khama International Airport, Hilton Garden Inn offers the travelling business person a tranquil haven and the comfort of working while having fun.
Thursday night, the Hotel General Manager (GM), Evan Harrington hosted a media sleepover for the fourth estate to appreciate the services offered by the infant player in the local hospitality landscape.
Upon entering the premises, a warm and welcoming reception staff makes checking in a breeze. The hotel’s security feature, the digital Key, requires getting used to.
The Hilton’s mobile-enabled room key is swiped over a contraption in the elevator and takes the guest to the floor of their room and the first floor where the Gym is housed.
Other than the two, the key card takes a person nowhere else.
Once in the room, where the huge size of the bed stands out, it becomes evident that the hotel’s promise to keep out the city noise is delivered, a welcome development because the hotel is next to one of the city’s busiest highways. The white, crisp crease free linen beckons the guest to slide between the sheets that moment. I don’t know about most but a good bed is my kryptonite and I almost over slept and missed dinner!
The space in the room is neither too big nor too small; it gives just enough leg room for the discerning business traveller. The room has a combined shower, sink and toilet bowl all packaged in an ergonomical plan that makes use of space and light.
“The vision of the place is that it caters for the travelling business person who would stay with us for up to three days or more at a time,” explains Harrington over some refreshing cocktails at the hotel restaurant situated on the first floor.
Harrington illustrates that the size of the hotel (147 contemporary guestrooms equipped with the latest technology and ergonomic comfort) does not cater for retreats or huge functions like other Hilton Hotels that have the capacity to host over 5000 guests at a time.
Having been in Botswana over 10 years ago, Harrington jumped at the prospect of coming back under the Hilton Garden Inn to set up shop. “I was the best candidate for the project as I had prior experience of the hotel industry in Botswana,” he explains.
Hilton Garden Inn Head Chef, Prince Keokgale, prepared a scrumptious buffet for the cohort. Though an international brand, Hilton Garden Inn menu incorporates local favourites to ensure inclusivity while keeping in line with the brand identity.
Prince holds a Certificate in National Craft from Madirelo Testing and Training Centre (MTTC) and has vivid experience in the local hospitality sector. He has previously worked as the Head Chef in Serowe, Commis Chef and then Sous Chef in Phakalane, Senior Chef in Gaborone, and Specialty Chef for a private company.
“If there is one thing you will not see in the restaurant is chicken and waffles,” he laughs. Chicken and waffles is an American cuisine where warm spongy waffles are coupled with crispy fried chicken, often times smothered in sweet and sticky maple syrup.
During dinner, the conversation flows to wine and the GM makes note that the list is still being compiled from a trial and error perspective to try and see the local favourites.
This, he believes, will be done by charging people corkage so they come with their favourite wines and then they will have their finger on the pulse of the local wine trends.
“That will help us stock our cellar with wines people will drink and enjoy,” he asserts.
The conversation during the three course buffet dinner –incorporating starters (soups are available for the discerning soup lover), main course and desert – flows effortlessly as does the wine. The night cap enjoyed under the moonlight by the pool area was the perfect ending to a beautiful evening spent at the peaceful Hilton Garden Inn.
The hotel also offers a 24/7 Pavilion Pantry, business centre, fitness centre fitted with the latest equipment. Room options include standard king and twin rooms, suites, and interconnected rooms for small groups or families, a mini-fridge and coffee/tea station in every room, complimentary WiFi, comfortable bedding and blackout curtain, exceptional workspace, including a large desk and ergonomic chair and a 43-inch LCD TV.