Considering that this is a Hilton brand hotel, we left feeling a little confused by the experience...
We stopped for two nights on a weekend in June 2012, having had a mini break to London, partly to go to the Ledbury in Notting Hill for a bit of an indulgent treat, but also as we randomly got tickets to the Radio 1 Hackney weekend! (I think we were the only people to ever leave a Hilton hotel dressed in Wellies!)
The location is perfect, right by a tube station so easy to get to. The hotel itself is really well presented, modern and has an amazing glass ceiling in the central reception point which acts to brighten the whole entrance up and give it a courtyard feel... interestingly even more exciting when it's raining (as it was when we arrived) so you can smugly feel "haha beat you evil rain of doom" ahem.... anyway....
The rooms were well presented, spacious, modern and Apple TV is a nice touch, even though I'm not a mega apple fan boy (he says writing this review on an iPad... lol) Bathrooms don't normally get a mention but this small but perfectly formed bathroom with a really strong power shower was a delight in the morning (...and evening post Radio 1 festival mandatory grime...!) the only gripe I could say is that the double bed had been made up by combining two fairly hard and slightly less comfortable single beds, when comparing beds to other DoubleTree Hiltons that I've stayed in. Still, we slept well though.
Now here comes the odd part... service was always complete with a smile which was absolutely fantastic, however there are only so many times you can stand a smile when the actual products of that service don't quite go so well. For instance, only being given one (all-be-it delicious) welcome cookie when there were two of you checking in, being cheerily told you had to pay for breakfast even though your booking confirmation clearly says breakfast included, which neatly brings me onto breakfast....
On both days, breakfast was a total disaster! I know it was a weekend, but it felt like we had entered breakfast on the titanic as you had a constant sinking feeling the longer you endured the experience! Service remained with a smile, but everything else was total chaos. You had to queue for about 5 to 10 minutes for hot food, which (although being mildly funny) resulted in our table being cleared away upon return and having to re-request coffee, cutlery and so on, and then having to go up and queue again in the toast line... To top it off, the food quality was quite poor for a DoubleTree, actually I think Premier Inns are better (sorry DoubleTree). All of this led to a a stressful feeling which almost resembled a mild heart attack... So as (or more likely, if) you finish your breakfast and your stay here, you may leave being carted off in an ambulance... but at least as the customer service is so nice, you would be left with kind words of "thanks for staying and come back soon" as the ambulance door closed on you... (sorry, I say this tongue in cheek, but seriously I've never experienced such a comical breakfast experience).
On the whole, this is a nice, stylish and comfortable hotel with very friendly staff, but I think I'm more likely to book with the Hilton Towerbridge down the road next time, as the experience there was comparably a lot better.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- At DoubleTree by Hilton, we know that the little things mean everything. These days, travel can be hard. At DoubleTree by Hilton we understand that, and every little thing we do adds up to creating a rewarding experience for our guests. This is evidenced through the signature warm chocolate chip cookies guests receive upon arrival, the advantages of the award-winning Hilton HHonors(R) guest reward program and our industry-recognized Culture of CARE that's been part of our DNA since 1985. ... more less
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