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HELLton not Hilton
Hilton London Heathrow Airport
Hilton London Heathrow Airport
Date: 23/11/00, updated on 03/01/01 (631 review reads)
Advantages: Multi-lingual Staff & Good Business Services
Disadvantages: Incorrect Bills, Rude Staff
The Hilton London Heathrow Hotel is no exception to the problems I have.
I knew there were going to be problems when I went onto the Hilton.com website to request an information back on the hotel. It took 6 months 24 emails (which go to Dallas in the USA) and a letter to the Managing Director of Hilton before I got a response.
Finally I received the information that I wanted. The brochure claims that the hotel is a modern luxury hotel, conveniently located next to Heathrow Airports Terminal 4.
Ideal we thought as we had a flight leaving early in the morning, it would save all the trouble of travelling down on the day and would allow us to relax before a long 11hr flight.
I also saw the information for Hiltons Reward program Hhonours which I decided to apply for online.
We went ahead and made the booking for an Executive Room which according to the information sent to us, included seperate check in, an executive lounge with free drinks and snacks, a larger room with better facilities.
We booked two stays one before our flight on a Thursday night to Friday morning (cost £170) and the second on our return which was a Friday night to Saturday morning (cost £130) the booking was made over the internet over 4 months ago. The stay by the way was at the start of November 2000.
Nothing more about the Hhonours card was heard for over 2 months. So I wrote again to the Managing Director complaining about the lack of communication. He did reply himself and agreed to a complimentary upgrade to a suite for both nights.
Time passed and the big day finally came. We eventually got
the the hotel after a nightmare journy on the trains!
There was a large queue at check in but as we had booked an executive room and been upgraded to a suite we looked for the seperate check in area. We made our way up to it on the 5th Floor (very handy!)
On our arrival the desk was not staffed and so back down we went and there we stood 20 minutes to check in.
It was finally our turn and more problems began. Firstly the hotel claimed that they only had us down for a standard room and to be upgraded to an executive room to which they had none available in any case. We asked to see the manager who confirmed this. We showed them the letter and confirmation of the booked and they did then agree to put us in a suite but told us we would have to wait an hour for it to be cleaned.
We waited in the so called Executive Lounge with the free drinks etc. The drink was there but no cups or glasses to drink it from. The food was left overs from breakfast and still no member of staff. I asked a member of staff to supply a glass but it never arrived.
After an hour we were taken to our suite and we opened the door to find an awful smell of tobacco smoke. Having booked a no smoking room and me being asthmatic we went straight back down to complain.
The manager didn't seem to understand the poblems we were having and said "you have a suite at a good rate what more do you want" hardly service of a luxury hotel!
After another 30 minuites of arguing he agreed to find us another suite but we again had to wait for it to be cleaned.
It was 7pm before we were taken to our room 3 hours after our arrival at the hotel. I was not happy but thought to myself that I was not going to let it wreck my holiday.
The hotel itself is a bit like Castle Donnington Service Station on the M1, it is a big white building in an atrium style with all the rooms over looking the central atrium area where the bar and the 3 r
esturants are located.
There is a good choice of food including a 24hr brassarie, an oriental resturant and a more continental style resturant.
The prices are quite steep (well probably normal for a London Hotel) £6.50 for a single Vodka and Orange or £12 for a burger and fries. Room service includes the menues from all of the main resturant together with other snacks and sandwiches.
The hotel has a "Living Well" health Club including a very small overcrowded gym with the normal array of fitness machines, very small changing rooms which can hold no more than 6 people at a time. A puddle, sorry swimming pool which was shaped like a puddle (and about the same size) which is un-supervised so not suitable for unattended children. A mixed suna and steam room. The club does provide a towel and the normal shampoo, shower gel etc.
I found the changing rooms to be very dirty. It was about 8pm when I went (it closes at 10pm or 9pm at weekends and I think it opens at 8am) there were used towels all over the place and a horrid smell of mould.
The hotel does offer good business facilities although I didn't use them. You can access the internet from the bar on a small screen but I heard another guest state it was very expensive.
The executive lounge was very small, contained three sofas a tv (constantly showing sky news) and a mini bar with free drinks together with a coffe and tea machine and snacks (leftovers) after 6.30pm the evening drinks come out and you help yourself to the vodka, wine or what ever takes your fancy. bearing in mind the price of drinks downstairs you can save yourself money after 3 drinks by booking the executive room.
The suite was also very small, it contained a lounge area and a seperate sleeping area screaned off by a sliding door. The rooms have total blackout blinds, mini bars (£1.50 for a mini can of coke) be warned not to touch anything in the mini bar unless you intend to
pay as it detects movement and automatically charges. A tv with sony playstation built in but it doesn't work, pay movies that don't work, internet access in the room that doesn't work, a fax machine that starts chucking paper out in the night and they have the check to charge you £3 for it! (no we didn't pay it)
A very small bathroom which also smelt of mould and penhaligans soap etc.
The suite's are all nicley placed next to the service corrider so you get the noise of that all night long and the beds are very soft and don't offer much support, although you may prefer that.
On check out we again expressed our concerns about the service and tryed to get reassurance our stay the following week would be perfect, after the time that took we had missed the free continental breakfast (served in the executive lounge between 0700 and 1030hrs and only free if your in an executive room or suite). We checked out and were glad to be away.
Sorry if this is going on but I like to cover everything!
The stay on Friday 17/11/00 to Saturday 18/11/00 was off to a bad start as the flight back from USA was awful. We checked in with an open mind.
This time we managed to check in at the Executive Lounge but we had to explain all over again about the upgrade.
After 30 minutes we were put back in the smokey room again so back up we went, we were then transfered to the other suite we had before.
There were not too many problems this time until 0830hrs Saturday morning when we were awoken by loud banging, we went outside to find builders working on the service area. We asked them to be quiet but got no response. We tried to get back to sleep but the noise was unbearable.
We got up and went for breakfast in the Lounge. It is a continental Breakfast consisting of bread rolls, fruit, cereal etc, we also received our bill which showed we had been charged over £550 for the night.
lained to the manager who was very rude, she wouldn't let me finish a sentance and when I said I was not paying, she threatened to call the police.
I produced all the booking papers and she still wouldn't believe me stating we had booked a suite. We finally got her to change her mind and she took the rate down to £270 this time (we booked at £130) we again continued to complain and finally she took it down to £130 which I paid in protest.
She also tried to say that we were told there would be building work at 0830hrs and that we were lying. We were never told about it and by the sounds of it neither were half of the hotel who were at the desk complaning.
We went back to our room but the noise by now was even louder, we could hear ourselves speak (we did video it as evidence). We had now had enough and left.
I nice long letter (even longer than this report) has gone back to the Managing Director and I can't wait to see what that come up with!
If you want a relaxing stay somewhere before your flight then go elsewhere.
If you want to spend hours complaining and trying to get your bill down to what you had booked at then come here!
********************************************* UPDATE *********************************************
Just to update you all after many long letters to the Directors of Hilton. I have now thankfully received a full refund, however I am still awaiting an apology!
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