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Reviewed 5 January 2022

Hilton Shillim - A property that has a lovely location but is absolutely clueless when it comes to service.

My wife and I booked Hilton Shillim to celebrate our third wedding anniversary from 28 Dec - 1 Jan, clubbing it with New Year’s Eve.

Our main issue:

After having a confirmation in writing by one of their staff that the New Year’s Eve Gala dinner was a part of our package, they went back on their word and two days into our stay, said we had to now pay an additional Rs.13,000 to stay on for the dinner.
First, the person who had given us the confirmation in writing called the room around 1pm. He tried playing with words explaining to me what he meant by “included in the package.” He also spoke about an email that mentioned the additional charge. I checked my inbox and the email that he was referring to had been sent 3 hours AFTER we had checked in. I’m assuming they sent this mail because at check in when they asked for the additional charge, I had shown them the conversation that proved that it was included, to which they didn’t say anything further and we thought nothing more of it. Back to the conversation, I then just asked to speak to his supervisor.
One hour passed and no one called back, so I called the front desk again to tell them the problem, and they transferred my call, while I was mid sentence, to the same person that had goofed up. He again said he would arrange for a call back.
About 10 mins later the Assistant Manager, Akshat Kumar, called back. I told him the issue and requested him to sort it out before 4pm as we had a massage scheduled for 5pm. He said that he would sort it out, and requested me to email him screenshots of the conversation and the timing of the mail, which I did. This was the last proper conversation that we had.
He called back after almost another hour, asking if the chef had called me. I was so perplexed and asked him why I would speak to the chef, to which he responded saying that the original person who had goofed up had spoken to the chef who had spoken to me and everything was sorted. They were all over the place.
I informed Akshat that I had not spoken to anyone since our last conversation, and this was becoming rather tiring, that we had been sitting in the room for 3 hours now, trying to get this sorted, and if he wished we’d just check out given that our problem seemed insurmountable to them. He again assured us not to worry as he would figure this out.
5 minutes later we get a call from Reservations, giving us information on how to cancel our last night. This was the tipping point. The next call we received after the Assistant Manager had told us that he was going to sort things out, was from Reservations regarding cancelling our last night. The entire situation felt like they gave us one big giant middle finger, and just wanted us to get lost.
I asked the person from Reservations as to why Akshat was not on this call, to which he replied that he was right beside him and put him on. Akshat then said that there was nothing they could do except give us in-villa dining, but we had to order by 6pm as they would not do alacarte after that.
The Assistant Manager’s only solution, after admitting that it was their mistake, was to have us sit in our villa for NYE, and order room service, that too hours in advance. I gave him quite a piece of my mind, to which he actually hung up the phone! I called back immediately and a lady answered the phone saying that he’s unavailable. I told her that I was on the phone with him less than ten seconds ago to which she replied that he was busy with some other guests. I then told her we'd like to check out the following day to which she promptly said he’s available again, and passed him the phone. I was astounded at his behaviour and I let him know it. I gave him several solutions off the top of my head with which he could have sorted out this mess such as:
Acknowledging their mistake and sticking to their word of the Gala being included.
Acknowledge the mistake and charge for one person instead of both, which would have been a fair compromise.
Letting us eat at the Gala but no alcohol
Letting us sit at the Gala but instead of the buffet we’d have a pre-set dinner, that would be a chargeable a la carte

With any of the above solutions we’d at least still be a part of the NYE celebrations instead of locked in the room (still can’t get over that). To the last solution he even replied “oh that might be possible”, but it was too late. He obviously did not care whether we checked out or stayed on, so we decided to check out the next morning, and we even cancelled our 5pm massage that evening.

This entire situation made zero sense. After acknowledging that it was their mistake they were still happy for us to check out a day early, with zero care that they had ruined our anniversary and NYE plans. Even from a financial point it made no sense as they gave us a full refund for the last night and we ended up cancelling our scheduled couple’s massage, which was as much if not more than that NYE dinner.

Some of the smaller issues:

On check in, I asked them if they had any special dinner location that I could book on any of the nights that we were there for, as we were primarily there to celebrate our Third anniversary. They told me that they did not take any reservations, yet on our final night we were denied the outdoor seating tables in their only restaurant that stayed open post 8pm, because they had taken a reservation for an 18 person table. I asked the server why I had been told that they don’t take reservations, yet they had done exactly that for this group, and his verbatim response, “They paid extra.”
So I asked him which was it, that they don’t take reservations or that they charge for it, to which he replied that they don’t take reservations. The double standards were not even subtle.

At the restaurants, the waiters do not write down your food order. Several times during our stay we saw them mess up orders of tables around us, and only on the last day at breakfast did it happen to us as well. Our server came to us with a plate of cut fruit and asked us if we would like extra fruit, unsure of which table had ordered it, something that was confirmed after we said no and he skipped a couple of tables to directly place the plate on the correct table.
Guests aren’t impressed if you memorise their order instead of writing it down, no one’s there for mental math skills, but if you mess up the order a guest will never forget it, and this was happening around us at every meal we had there.

Rats. On our first night there, a lady seated on a sofa in the indoor section of the restaurant screamed because a rat had jumped on her.
On our last evening, we heard a rat in our room’s air conditioning vent, and housekeeping didn’t seem surprised when we told them. They sent someone from maintenance who climbed into our room’s ceiling and placed the sticky mouse trapping tape in the vent!

The door to the outdoor balcony area in our room refused to open. Even the car driver that walked us to the room on check in wasn’t able to open it. He finally sort of broke it open, and said, “There you go sir,” to which I replied, “But it’s broken”, and he sheepishly grinned back, not knowing what to say.
I decided to check the channels available on the TV to see if I’d be able to catch some cricket and football over the next few days. The TV itself was 43” so a good size for the room, but sadly most of the channels were only standard definition and thus ended up being a bit pixelated. HD channels are no longer a high premium price in India, so at a luxury resort they should be a given. The biggest and probably the silliest flaw was that the TV was in a corner, and with the bed being a four poster, you had one pole blocking the view from most of the bed. (See picture attached.)

The only thing luxurious about this resort is the property itself, even though the room fixtures and fittings could use some maintenance. The staff, although courteous, are often clueless and robotic. They have been trained to do things a certain way and they don’t know how to adjust to real life situations without asking their seniors, who seem to be even more clueless. Their biggest issue is their front desk. Why everything needs to be routed through them I don’t understand. For Housekeeping, Room Service, Spa, Activities, anything at all, you need to call the front desk. They always seemed in a rush and often hung up while I was mid sentence.

It has been nearly a week and I still cannot fathom the indifference with which the Assistant Manager, Akshat Kumar dealt with us. He should be nowhere near a resort that aims to provide a high level of service, let alone be in a management role.

It’s sad our stay ended the way it did, because on our first two days strolling around the property we were actually discussing what a lovely place it would be to host any intimate party or function.

But sadly I won’t be returning to this place again.

Date of stay: December 2021
    • Value
    • Service
5  Thank Varun P
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed 1 January 2022

I met Dr.Gaurai on Dharna reception wellness Hilton spa discussed with her my queries and she made me comfortable and helped me book a session for myself I have taken a session immediately with her for Facial Acupuncture , I am feeling very much better and I feel it was truly worth coming meeting Dr. Gaurai and got to know more about Acupuncture therapy . Everyone must try.Thanks. We will come back sure

Date of stay: January 2022
Trip type: Travelled with family
1  Thank Rajashri123
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed 28 December 2021 via mobile

Great location. Getting there by road is tedious. Takes less time from Pune than from Mumbai though the road is bad in some stretches. The staff are extremely hospitable and friendly. The chefs were particularly eager to make food as per our tastes.

Date of stay: December 2021
Trip type: Travelled with friends
2  Thank MooresRoad
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed 28 December 2021 via mobile

Having informed the hotel that due to a knee injury i would need a villa with minimal steps , a quiet area and a view , we were given one that was impossible for me to use.
The staff try hard but do not have the knowledge of the property and with low occupancy there is no reason to have dissatisfied customers.

The next room that was allocated to us at 7pm had one step so I couldn’t understand why the person who checked us in was unaware of this Villa and was so disconnected that despite seeing the brace on my foot , didn’t take the time or effort to find us an appropriate one .

Dinner at the only functioning restaurant was sad at 7/30 pm we were one of two couples with 6 staff serving or rather noisily keeping themselves occupied .

Woke up this morning expecting to see this gorgeous view we drove all this way for only to see that the room was locked in with numerous trees . So no sunshine and no view .

So with a broken leg we are trapped in this room without a view .

Definitely not what we paid £1000 for 3 nights for .!

Not worth the trouble. I’m sure it’s a great property if you have the right room but being a well travelled person 2nd best is just not acceptable…

Date of stay: December 2021
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
2  Thank anjumvira
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Reviewed 26 December 2021

Amazing session with Dr Gaurai for facial acupuncture. Highly recommend!! This was my first time experiencing facial acupuncture and it surpassed my expectations! Incredibly relaxing and rejuvenating.
As the mother of an 18m toddler - I carry a lot of stress and anxiety. To take 45 mins pit for myself was blissful. My face also looks less tired and fresher already!

Date of stay: December 2021
Trip type: Travelled with family
1  Thank 188olwenk
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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