Hilton’s first new brand offerings in this millennium, Tru by Hilton (founded in 2016) and Home2 Suites (founded in 2009) represent an attempt at contemporary coolness by the established hotel operator. They target people who travel often as a part of a modern lifestyle and who want well-trimmed accommodations without having to shell out a month’s worth of expendable income for it. In Ogden, Utah, Tru and Home2 come together for a co-branded approach that brings the hip business crowd of Home2 together with the millennial audience of Tru by Hilton.
I spent a few nights in the Tru by Hilton/Home2 Suites Ogden in early September and found the property to be efficient both in accommodation and location. Ogden’s Tru/Home2 mashup is a chain hotel property that you actually want to spend time at, rather than crash out and leave first thing in the morning, stopping only long enough to fill up your coffee mug on the way out the door. The result is a property that is, even if unintentionally, perfect for the modern remote worker.
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Room to spread out and be productive
Charging outlets are everywhere from the bench seats in the breakfast room to the pool table and dedicated work booths in the lobby’s lounge area. My room on the hotel’s Tru side had chargers on both sides of both queen beds. Neither my laptop nor my phone were ever far from a zap of juice during our stay.
The lounge area resembles a modern coworking space, as it’s designed both for productivity and social connection. Three dedicated work desks enclosed in a half-capsule and with padded bench seats make for a perfect place to pop open the laptop over morning coffee. The desks also provide enough privacy that taking a call doesn’t leave you feeling like you’re distracting the entire room. Couches and lounge seating are also available, and, of course, the aforementioned pool table. This being Utah, no beer is sold on premises, but if you arrive prepared, the fire pit area outside makes for an excellent happy hour or nightcap spot.
An inspiring place to stay fit on the road
My favorite part about the Tru by Hilton/Home2Suites Ogden was its gym. As someone who regularly travels for work, I’ve spent plenty of time in dimly lit, cramped hotel gyms that would have been better purposed as a storage closet for the housekeeping staff (and likely once were). The gym here is quite the opposite. Lined on two sides with expansive bay windows looking out to the city, there’s not a single dark corner in the room. There’s a free-weight area with dumbbells on one side, machine weights on the other, and treadmills along the windows. Only one exercise bike was available, but I never had to wait for it. Modern pop played clearly but not annoyingly loud over the stereo. The ambiance resembled that of a hip, downtown big city gym catering to the office crowd, which in a way is its intended user base, though a relocated one.
The indoor pool and hot tub are open year-round, and while the pool certainly isn’t Olympic-sized, it’s big enough to get morning laps or play with the kids in with the bonus of, at least while we were there, never having more than a handful of people using it at once. Sliding into a hot tub after a long hike is one of life’s greatest pleasures, and I was glad I didn’t have to share the experience with a random family from Boston or Bridgeport.
Location and efficiency win the day
There’s no more convenient location in Ogden. Lindquist Field, home of the single-A Pioneer League’s Ogden Raptors, is right across the street. Historic 25th Street, lined with Ogden’s best restaurants, pubs, and nightlife, is a block away. We were in town to hit the area’s famous hiking trails, and multiple trailheads, including the 22nd and 29th Street Trailheads as well as the popular Coldwater Springs Canyon Trailhead, are just a few minutes’ drive away. For skiers and snowboarders, Snowbasin Resort is only 30 minutes from the hotel.
Onsite, small sustainability efforts are apparent throughout the hotel. The bath in our room featured wasteless toiletries. Porcelain mugs are on offer at breakfast and throughout the day at the coffee station. A water bottle filling station is located right outside the gym.
Our room at Tru was basic but well-trimmed and efficient. A clothes rack was available in lieu of a closet — fine for most short hotel stays. A work desk provided a productive space in the room, adjacent to the TV. The room overlooked the baseball stadium and was well-lit by both natural light and LED lamps. Laundry is available onsite, and the lobby has an extensive snack bar open 24 hours. The Temper Healy beds were comfortable and plush, topped with sheets and a warm comforter that kept me warm even though my wife, Alisha, prefers to sleep in a cool — some might say chilled — environment.
With a hot breakfast including omelets, roasted potatoes, and both waffles and pancakes available, the hotel “wins at breakfast,” as Alisha put it. I love a good bagel, and these were aplenty. There wasn’t much on offer for our infant daughter beyond a few bites of our meals, as the yogurt pouches and cereal available were stuffed full of sugar. But we filled up each morning on eggs, potatoes, and fruit before hitting the trail.
In the ongoing battle between hotel brands and short-term rental platforms, the inevitable winner is the traveler, and Tru by Hilton/Home2Suites Ogden is proof of this.