Thomas McDonald has worked in hotel management for over twenty years, and has been the general manager of the Hilton Garden Inn in Myrtle Beach for the past ten.
The Hilton Garden Inn is a franchisee of the Hilton Brand— a select service brand which offers all the guest room amenities people expect and love, such as free internet, room service, a microwave and fridge in every room, and 49-inch televisions with Direct TV and over 200 channels. In addition to a fitness center, they have an indoor and outdoor pool (unheated) and jacuzzi spa— all open year-round. They also have coin-operated laundry facilities on site.
The hotel offers a cook-to-order breakfast, dinner, and a full bar. All of their food and beverage is done in-house. Everything is made fresh, cooked to order whether it be in their restaurant or catered. There are ample spaces for lounging and relaxing, including their outdoor patio seating area with an outdoor fire pit.
“During my years at the hotel, we’ve won a total of 7 Hilton Garden Inn Success Awards, which is the Hilton brand for ranking,” Thomas says. “We rank in the top 5% of all the Hilton Garden Inn’s across the world. We’ve never gotten a less than outstanding on any kind of Hilton Quality and Assurance (QA) and Quality Inspection service which takes into account cleanliness, brand standards, and service.”
All in all, they’ve won a total of seventeen “Outstandings” in the past nine years. Thomas is proud of the accolades, and passionate about what he does.
“We have on average forty employees, many of whom are long term employees,” he continues. “We have a real team work environment here. And we like to do things to continue to reward our current team members. We are a bright hearted workplace.”
“We do a nice mix of corporate business and leisure business, and accommodate both types of guests excellently,” he adds.
The owners of this Hilton Garden Inn recently conducted an $800,000 renovation in the lobby, completely tearing it down, and the meeting room and pre-function area as well. The lobby was reworked with new flooring and walls, and the bar expanded. They created a much more open space with a plenty of room to enjoy the double-sided fireplace, and a convenience store right on the premises where you can get all of your basic necessities— everything that you need for your trip, without having to leave the hotel; even down to a bottle of wine.
But if you choose to, the mall is within walking distance. Or you could elect to hop aboard the hotel’s free shuttle which transports guests from the hotel around the mall’s perimeter, and also makes trips to and from the airport.
Single travelers will feel as much at ease at The Hilton Garden Inn as couples or those with a family. It’s an easy atmosphere that feels simple and modern, inviting and unassuming.
“This is a hotel for everyone,” Thomas adds. “It’s the most accessible property on the Grand Strand. We’re easy to get to, centrally located, and close to the beach.”
With the completion of the renovation, the hotel now has over 1800 square feet of meeting space with state of the art audio and visual equipment for presentations, meetings, and functions, and a full catering crew at the ready.
“The room can be broken up into three different sizes so it’s fully customizable,” Thomas says.
The space is a popular selection for reunions, corporate events, luncheons, meetings, Christmas and retirement parties, corporate breakfasts, lunches, and outings.
Who knew there was a seven-time award-winning hotel in Myrtle Beach?
The Hilton Garden Inn, 2383 Coastal Grand Circle, Myrtle Beach SC 29577. 843-839-1200. www.hilton.com/Garden_Inn/Myrtle_Beach; Facebook @ Hilton Garden Inn Myrtle Beach.