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Reviewed 20 June 2012

After staying here in March, I was quite apprehensive about staying here for the Doctor Who 11th Hour convention, as on my previous stay I had booked an executive room, whereas for this stay I had booked a deluxe room. The convention rate was a good deal though, and we wouldn't be in the room much except to sleep, so I was prepared to put up with anything for the convenience of being on-site. But what a surprise! The deluxe room was WAY better than the executive room. Smaller, but it had a big flat-screen television, and was decorated in a boutique-style way. A huge improvement on the dowdy executive room with its antique television. Breakfast was included in the rate, and it was excellent, a really good choice of hot and cold food, and plenty for a vegetarian. All the staff were lovely this time, especially the bar staff both in the lounge bar and Millers - they were all really good with my son. A word of warning though - when you get your bill, there is a place to add a tip, and I was about to (as I HAD on several occasions last visit) when I noticed a service charge was already included - hmm, a bit cheeky, that! We went for a swim in the pool, and as previously this was a really nice place to swim. I was concerned though that the corridor to the disabled changing room is still filled with laundry (I'd assumed this was a one-off thing on my last visit) - especially as I had seen several people in wheelchairs in the hotel. I don't think it is acceptable that they would have to ask for several large bags/trolleys of laundry to be moved before they could access the changing room. It gives a subtle message that wheelchair users are an inconvenience. But the beds were comfortable and we both slept really well, the water was hot and the soap and shower gel smelled good. I really don't understand why the deluxe rooms are so much nicer than the executive ones when the executive ones are so much more expensive - maybe I'll think the use of the executive lounge is worth the extra money when my son is old enough for me to drink alcohol in there!

Room Tip: Executive rooms probably aren't worth the money if you have an inclusive breakfast rate, unless you are likely to be spending a lot of time in the executive lounge.
  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled with family
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Thank karenlf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 27 June 2012

Dear Karen

Thank you for your comments in relation to your stay with us.

I am glad that you were happy with everything during your stay. Our TV's have recently been updated throughout the hotel. Your comments regarding access to the changing room have been noted and referred to our Leisure Club Manager, however I would apologise for any inconvenience.

I do hope we may welcome you back again soon

Kind regards

Ross Mounsey
Director of Operations

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 June 2012

I recently stayed here overnight for a conference. It was VERY busy, with a Dr Who convention on at the same time and many odd characters- some even in costume. Bizarrely, there was a Michael Jackson lookalike.

Check-in necessitated a queued, short wait, but was courteous, quick and efficient.

The room was fine, with all expected amenities and sprays. Bed very comfortable.

Dinner and lunch (the next day) were tasty and varied, with all one could eat. Breakfast, similar, after a rather too lengthy wait to be seated; although the black pudding was dry and had little flavour.

Sleep was disturbed twice (midnight and around 3 a.m.) by whooping in the corridor. I can only assume that the Daleks were pursuing some unfortunate victims. I hope they got ‘em !

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled on business
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Thank firstrees
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 June 2012

Great location - enormous reception area with open bar/coffee snacks area ajacent. However prices in this area are at the usual Hilton level and include a hidden service charge which you don't realise until you get your bill. However the service we had was very pleasant. Good room with an opening window which was a bonus.
Fantastic meals - breakfast with fresh fruit galore and real fresh fruit - no tinned or frozen, Unfortunately as so oftern in hotels no-one knows how to make drinkable coffee!The restaurant was a bit small for the numbers at breakfast and we queued for 10 minutes but when we got a table there were loads of uncleared tables.
Spa and pool were great.
We had executuve passes for the night which was great, but the executive lounge was just full of pigs helping themselves to large amoounts of spirits and food to avoid eating in the restaurant. Should just serve wine/beer and nibbles only in my view.
Overall I feel just a bit of extra management in certain areas would iron out a lot of little niggles at this hotel.

Room Tip: There are two lobbies A & B, and B is miles from reception. If you have mobility problrems I would ask for a room in A lobby. Although the hotel says it is no smoking I was allocated a smoking room which was odd as I hadn't asked for one.
  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank AcolLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 June 2012

Apart from the occasional personal visit, I have stayed at this hotel over a number of years for an annual national business conference. During these times I have always received excellent and friendly service from staff at all levels, My room has been completely to my satisfaction and has generally overlooked the lake. I have the privilege of accessing the executive club room where nothing is too much trouble nor have I ever been dissatisfied with the quality of the food. The hotel is very accessible with the nearby mainline railway station and a number of motorways,

Room Tip: I find the executive club rooms overlooking the lake very scenic.
  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled on business
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Thank 830alwaysontheroad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 June 2012

As a guest at the Hilton, I was expecting something along the lines of the brand I had grown up with. As a child the name Hilton was synonymous with luxuriance and comfort, but my actual experience during my stay at the Hilton, as with all idealistic impressions has been somewhat diluted. Admittedly I did stay in one of it's single rooms, so I did have the cheapest room on the board, but it was still the Hilton.

The building is a sort of lazy attempt at Bauhaus and it looked like wings had been added on over time as they realised they had more conference space than bedrooms. I travelled half an hour to get to the hotel, and I felt like I walked half that each day in mirrored corridors. But that was neither here not there as the size of a hotel shouldn't reflect on the service it provides.

The lobby was glitzy and glamorous as you expect it to be, and there was an efficient check-in process and a concierge desk that would bend over backwards for you. The only minor error I experienced was that I realised only after I purchased my room that breakfast was not included. I was prepared for this on check-in but the check-in attendant informed me that breakfast was included. Needless to say I double checked later and it was not included. I was offered the chance to add it on, but I knew the prices of add-on's after booking would be ridiculous so I had to decline.

My room was as people had said, small and compact and had the amenities that I had expected. This was though, where my experience took a fall. The room was tired and worn out. It looked like the cabin from an seventies cruise ship with ageing wood desks and maroon carpet. The papered wall was yellowing in patches and the ceiling had brown stain marks where moisture had leaked down from above somewhere. The Bathroom was an echo of the bathroom with fittings that were loosely screwed to the wall. My toilet roll holder hung down at a 45 degree angle and the handle to help less able people out of the bath wobbled and rocked on its fittings. The door opening into the bathroom hit the towel rail every time and I had to take the towel off it so I could close the door. You also had to either straddle the loo or stand on it to be able to get the door closed.

I do have to say that the showers were nice though, and the towels were changed everyday were also nice and big. Did hear from another guest though that their room attendant had taken away her towel and forgotten to put a new one in.

When a day before I came to check-out, there was a knock on my door and one of the staff asked if I was staying another night. As far as I know I was booked another night... surely she should know this?

Just to be aware of fire alarm tests at 8.30 in the morning. There will be discreet photocopied notices dotted about the place, which will be your only notice.

When it came to my checking out day, I felt the cleaning staff couldn't wait for me to vacate my room. They asked two times if I was done packing before 10am, and my check-out time wasn't until noon. In the end I gave up and handed my key into the express check-out guy and I was on my way.

Overall my experience was average. The room, while being a bit tatty was comfortable and due to the convention being held that weekend the location was unbeatable unless I slept in the lobby. Outside the room the Hilton was every bit as grand as I had expected.

Tips:
-Ordering snacks and drinks from your seat costs 10% extra service charge.
-Beverages are VERY expensive. £2.70 for 330ml of cola. You can get the same for 60p from the supermarket, even cheaper if you buy multi-packs.
-Don't be afraid to badger the staff if you aren't getting served. I was sat for an hour waiting for someone to give me a coffee, even after I was told to sit down and someone will be over to serve me. I never complained though, as I really wasn't bothered about the coffee and I was mainly interested in seeing how long it would take them. Most of the staff seemed to be busy chatting in the bar area or just not present at all.
-If you are disabled and have mobility issues, scout out, or get someone else to scout the hotel for the best routes. I noticed that while everywhere was accessible by wheelchair you often had to snake around the hotel looking for temporary wooden ramps. I did see some poor souls hobbling up steps because they couldn't find the ramps.

Room Tip: If you can, go for a double room. The hotel seems to take more care of you if you can fit more than one person into the room. Getting breakfast added to it can be a good way to fill up for the day as the only place to eat outside the Hilton is a Weatherspoon's or subway. If you have a car though, your options open up.
  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled solo
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1  Thank MattH4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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