Newest Review: ... room When we eventually headed back to the hotel and collected our room key we realised we had been given a room with a sea view and on t... more
A comfortable hotel offering exceptional service and food
Hilton Hotel Blackpool
Member Name: carlz2001uk
Hilton Hotel Blackpool
Advantages: Food, staff, nothing too much of a problem
Disadvantages: Pool and changing rooms a joke, not enough towels
Myself and my mum have a girly break every year around April / May time when we take the girls away. We always opt for somewhere where there is plenty to do for the children, and this year it was decided that we would take the trip to Blackpool. Knowing full well we could probably go and stay somewhere for £20 a night, we really weren't interested in cost per se, and instead wanted somewhere that could offer us a bit more of an upmarket stay and avoid as best as possible any hen and stag do's. I've nothing against hen / stag dos (I've got two myself this year), however I didn't want my girls to be around them, so when we searched for hotels on a search engine and filtered to most expensive first (against every instinct I had!), we settled upon the Hilton which sat in the top three of the most expensive hotels in Blackpool (alongside The Big Blue and The Imperial).
To be perfectly honest price wasn't even that bad. For £300 we had a 3 night stay in the Easter holidays with 2 adults and 2 children. This didn't include breakfast but more on that later! Booking was easy and we secured the booking with the Hilton directly, and received immediate confirmation. Payment was taken at the time of booking.
Arriving at the Hilton wasn't too bad, my mum is an extremely nervous driver and for some reason I allowed her to drive, so after an extremely slow drive from Halifax to Blackpool, we arrived and realised we didn't know where the hotel was! I suggested we have a drive on the front anyway to gather our bearings and refresh our memories as to where the various attractions / restaurants we wanted to visit were. Aware that the hotel was near the North pier, we spotted the hotel in no time and were happy with its location which is just ever so slightly away from everything without being isolated! I would say it's a fair description that the hotel is one of the last main hotels on the seafront. A tram stop is literally right outside the hotel so don't let the fact that the hotel is in a quiet location put you off. Alternatively, we walked on the seafront to the nearest pier (The North) and it took us a leisurely 5/ 10 minutes. There is ample parking for residents of the hotel which is at a cost of £5 per night, added to your bill.
We arrived at the hotel a few hours before our 3pm check in time, however we were still able to advise the hotel we were there and sort out booking in. they advised us to come back in a few hours and simply collect the room key. Check in was easy and the reception staff were friendly. We had booked our stay as a room only basis and were offered breakfast at £14 for two adults with the children eating for free. We didn't want to commit to breakfast on each of the three mornings, but the receptionist advised us that we could head down to reception on a morning when we wanted to eat at the hotel and simply buy a voucher for that day.
When we eventually headed back to the hotel and collected our room key we realised we had been given a room with a sea view and on the fifth floor should have quite a nice view. We were literally at the other end of the rather large hotel though and it was a bit of a walk once out of the lift. Upon entering our room we were happy but not bowled over with the room. The children were basically sleeping on two camping beds and the mattresses were exceptionally thin. Had they not been 5 and 7 and weigh next to nothing, I would have perhaps made a bit of a fuss, but realised that for them they should be fine. The bed that me and my mum would be sharing was absolutely ginormous and between the two camp beds and the biggest bed I've ever set eyes on, it meant that there was little room left for us to move around in. the bathroom was clean but small with a very thin bath!
The flat screen TV with freeview was handy for us with the children, so they could watch a little tv after a full day out. I did see the option for movies and thought I would allow them to purchase a film one evening but when I saw the price of £8 per film I realised they were obviously having a laugh. The films were not even new releases!
Tea and coffee facilities were replenished daily, as were the rather generous offerings of toiletries in the bathroom. I have to admit to stealing the majority of these, for my upcoming trip to Las Vegas! I figured the handy travel sized bottles would save me space in my suitcase! The travel toothbrush and toothpaste was also taken, handy for freshening up after the long flight! Daily we were also left a bottle of still and sparkling water (Strathmore if I remember rightly) by housekeeping which was complimentary. We had brought quite a collection of juices and drinks of our own to save us unnecessarily spending whilst away, and unfortunately there wasn't a fridge in the room which I was surprised about. I did ask for an ice bucket from the bar which was given to me without question. This allowed us to cool our drinks each day. The other facilities in the room were the usual hair dryer, trouser press etc. An alarm clock was available but this had so many buttons on that we didn't even bother with it.
The view was absolutely beautiful and on all our evenings we were lucky to watch the sun set in a completely clear sky.
The room was clean and was cleaned daily. We had an unfortunate incident whereby my daughter was very ill one morning and unfortunately the majority of this 'illness' went all over her bed. Housekeeping were called and they didn't seem bothered one bit, in fact they even apologised to us?! We half expected our room to be charged but they didn't even mention it. We were given fresh towels daily, although we didn't ever seem to have enough for all four of us to use a large bath sheet each and on each day one of us always ended up with a teeny tiny towel! Two dressing gowns were available which I always love.
Gym and Swimming Pool
When looking at activities to do in Blackpool, we looked at the Sandcastle which is the largest indoor swimming pool with slides etc in the UK and did look fab. It was however on the expensive side and we figured that to make it worthwhile we would need to spend nearly the whole day there, but we had far too much other stuff to do that this wasn't an option. Given that the children are so young and my youngest has only just started swimming lessons, we figured that we would instead use the pool inside the hotel which would be free to use. Upon arriving at the swimming pool (heated), we were quite surprised at how small both the changing rooms and pool were. The changing rooms were almost inexcusably small and was very difficult to use. With one bench and only one cubicle, getting changed to go into the pool wasn't too bad but getting changed out of our swimming costumes was ridiculous. The floor seemed to lack drainage so was absolutely sodden and made getting dry extremely difficult. Our family of four used up pretty much all of the space but when another two families came out it was impossible, added to this was the traffic of people who had to walk through the drying area to get in and out of the pool area, this was the worst thought out changing area I've ever been in! There are lockers in here too but remember to bring change (we left handbags in the room) as you will need it to be able to lock them. There isn't any space poolside to leave belongings (or even towels for that matter). The pool is equally teeny tiny and is okay for the children to splash around in, but would take you approximately 3 seconds to swim from one side to the other! Imagine telling people you'd done 100 lengths of the pool! They'd think you were super fit! There is also a small steam room and sauna, both of which I took advantage of. You can only fit a few people in each though.
We didn't make use of the gym, however it is accessible 24 hours a day.
Lounge Bar: On our first night we were tired and hadn't had the opportunity to find anywhere that we wanted to eat, so we headed back to the hotel and made our way to the relaxed lounge bar. Nervously looking at the menu, I realised there was nothing remotely appropriate for the children, but we didn't want the formality of the main restaurant (where there seemed to be a selection of children's food). My mum swiftly took charge and collared a poor waiter asking him what was available. 'What would the children like Madam, I am sure the chef will be happy to prepare them something fresh'! Talk about service! Before I had even had chance to glare at the children to make them order something that didn't make me sound like a bad mother, they had blurted out chicken nuggets and chips! Groaning to myself, I politely asked him to add veggie sticks to each plate and off he toddled! When their food arrived, it looked like the chef had gone out and caught the chicken too, they were 100% freshly made and I could have quite happily tucked into them myself. I however had ordered a Thai Green Curry while my mum had opted for the Cumberland sausage and mash. Both were absolutely delicious although on the expensive side at around £15 a main, the portions were generous and the taste exceptional. Wine in the Lounge Bar is absolutely ridiculously priced with a small glass of wine costing around £5 and a large around £8. Bottles were not available to buy. Live entertainment seemed to be in the Lounge Bar nightly however we were back in the room with the children before this started. During the day (or on an evening if you wish), you can also grab a Costa coffee from this bar. Waiters are dotted all over the place so no need to go to the bar yourself.
Promendae Restaurant: A more formal area of dining, this is where you will find breakfast served and it turns into a formal dining area on an evening serving either an A la Carte or buffet. We were fortunate enough to find a deal online which saved us half price against the buffet menu which should have been around £25 a head. This gave us a 3 course meal with soup, salad bar, delicious choices on the main meal section and extremely tempting deserts (so tempting I chose two deserts!). Breakfast is equally as tempting with so much choice that you won't know where to begin! One morning I ate muesili, followed by a grapefruit followed by a delicious cooked breakfast and then a blueberry muffin! I was still full at teatime! A selection of fresh juices and teas and coffee are served by waiters, all of whom we found to be exceptionally helpful. My youngest daughter asked for fresh orange juice on the first morning and when it came with bits in she turned her nose up. The waiter was not fazed in the slightest and offered to get her some smooth orange juice, and even came back with a straw too.
This was easy and straight forward. Check out is at 12pm which gives you enough time that you are not rushing.
The Hilton at Blackpool has been awarded a Green Tourism (Silver) Award.
The Business centre and 11 multipurpose meeting rooms are available with wireless internet access.
Function space for 800 guests available.
While the rooms are not the most luxurious I have ever stayed in, our stay was for me made up of exceptional service in nice surroundings with fantastic food and friendly staff. I wouldn't hesitate in recommending this hotel and will happily return.
Blackpool Tower, including the Tower Eye, 4D Cinema experience and Tower Dungeons
Blackpool Pleasure Beach and Nickelodeon Land
Madame Tussauds Waxwork Museum
North Promenade Sea Front, Blackpool FY1 2JQ, United Kingdom TEL: 01253 623 434
Summary: 4 stars