I discovered the Knoxville Airport Hilton while driving up and down US129. I had been on the road all day, I was tired, and desperately in need of a decent place to stay for the night.

Part of me screamed “be sensible!” Surely one of the other hotels across the street would have been cheaper, but the aviation geek in me couldn’t resist a hotel right on airport property. I didn’t care how much it cost (to a point) – this Hilton looked good from the outside and I was determined to give it a shot.

A full review of my 1 night stay at the Knoxville Hilton (the one at the airport)

Knoxville Hilton exterior
This is the exterior of theHilton hotel at the Knoxville Airport, and even without the sign, it would still look like a Hilton. The saddest part about it is that this doesn’t even look more extravagant than the Waikiki Beach Hilton. At least they are consistent, right?

First impressions

The parking lot was full, which had me a bit worried thinking that they might be sold out for the night, but I was relieved to discover that they had plenty of rooms available. And speaking of that parking lot – it’s quite a walk from the main entrance, so if you stay here make sure that you pull your car up to the front door to unload your bags before parking.

I actually had to do the walk several times: once to find out if there were rooms available, once to get my bags, and once to retrieve something I forgot after settling into my room. At least it was good exercise, which felt great after doing nothing but driving all day long.

Knoxville Hilton entrance
Walking up to the main entrance from the parking lot
Knoxville Hilton bar and restaurant
The center atrium bar / restaurant inside the Hilton Knoxville Airport. This seems to be a common theme in airport Hilton’s I think – there’s something almost exactly like this in the Hilton at the Austin Airport as well.
Knoxville Hilton guest room hallway
I wasn’t expecting this to be as nice as the Frankfurt Airport Hilton, but come on. My first impression of this place was how bland and “sterile” it was.
Knoxville Hilton room door
The door to my room. Seeing light coming through from underneath was a good sign!

The room

Knoxville Hilton beds
Twin double beds in what ended up being a rather spacious room. Well, not as spacious as the room I had at the Phoenix Airport Hilton Garden Inn, but you know what I mean.

As far as airport hotels with a view of the terminals goes, this is probably the best one I have *ever* stayed at. Immediately walking into the room I was hit with the sight of a Delta Airlines CRJ-200 that was literally parked right outside my window. Talk about a close-up view of the action!

It was pretty exciting for the first few minutes, until I realized that the Knoxville Airport is not a very busy place and there wasn’t much going on at all out there on the field. Oh well – it was a nice room and it overlooked an airport so I was pretty darn satisfied.

Knoxville Hilton room window
Overview of the room showing the big window and…what’s that just parked outside?
Knoxville Hilton view from room
Yes, that’s an airplane parked right outside my window. How cool is that?
Knoxville Hilton plane spotting
No, the aircraft you’ll see from your window aren’t as interesting as the aircraft you’ll see from the Hilton at ORD, but this view is a lot better than the one you’ll get in many rooms at the Heathrow Airport Hilton (Terminal 4). Quit yer complainin’!
Knoxville Hilton view of airport from room
My excitement quickly faded once I realized how quiet the Knoxville airport is

There was one drawback to that great view of the airport: the windows aren’t very soundproofed, which led me to discovering how loud aircraft APU’s (Auxiliary Power Units) really are. Every time an aircraft arrived and parked at the gate, the APU’s sounded like jet engines.

The only break I got from that noise was from about 11pm until 6am. As an aviation geek, I wasn’t completely bothered by it but I can totally understand how annoying it would be to anyone who isn’t interested in airplanes.

Knoxville Hilton beds
View of the beds looking the other way
Knoxville Hilton desk and TV
Although the desk was small, it was nice being right next to the window
Knoxville Hilton room overview
As you can see, the room was bright and open
Knoxville Hilton carpet
Follow the stripes to the door…

The bathroom

Knoxville Hilton bathroom sink and vanity
The bathroom was nice – not too fancy, but not totally plain either
Knoxville Hilton toilet
I didn’t notice it until looking at this pic just now, but the wall texture clashes with the floor tile. Just sayin’…
Knoxville Hilton tub and shower
The shower was probably the darkest and most out of date looking feature of this room
Knoxville Hilton bathroom amenities
Peter Thomas Roth amenities in the bathroom

Room service

I ended up ordering room service as opposed to going down to the restaurant (or venturing outside the hotel), and I was pleasantly surprised with the menu. It was huge, and I didn’t have any problem finding something that sounded good. Unfortunately, the prices were huge as well (as expected).

Knoxville Hilton room service
Room service. I paid dearly for this meal (over $40), but it hit the spot after being on the road all day.

Final thoughts

This Hilton is about as perfect as an airport hotel can be. The main terminal is just steps away, and it’s a huge property with a pretty good selection of shopping and dining options. And the view of the gate area at the airport can’t be beat!

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