Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Hilton Heist

Hilton Metropole Birmingham




If you are anything like me when you hear the name Hilton you instantly get an image of style, glamour, Hollywood in the 50's/60's, luxury and opulence
So last weekend as an attendee of a convention that was happening within the hotel, my good friend and I decided the deal we could get as part of the convention was [for a Hilton] amazing and we paid £259 for 3 nights, twin room and including breakfast.

This is a price similar to a Premier Inn or Holiday Inn Express for the same amount of nights. 


We used the free mini bus to pick us up from the NEC (to be very honest it is much quicker to walk if you don't have too much luggage) and drive us directly to the hotel. The reception is beautiful with gorgeous crystal chandeliers and a warm and welcoming concierge. Marble floors and luxurious fabric instantly make you feel like you are walking into quality.

Check in was fast and efficient. With hundreds of people arriving at the same time the staff coped extremely well and we were given our key cards and went to our room.

We had a second floor Deluxe Twin room. The room was clean and basic. With a desk, wardrobe, hairdryer, coffee/tea making facilities and TV (reception is terrible). In the bathroom we had bath with shower facilities and small complimentary bath products.

In fact as I said before the price is the same (with the offer) as a Premier Inn type hotel and to be honest the rooms are exactly the same. In fact the room I stayed in this weekend with Premier Inn at Excel was more spacious, bed more comfortable and bathroom far bigger.
There is a free to use safe inside your wardrobe but this is not huge and could not hold my laptop but for smaller items like jewellery/kindle etc it is more than adequate.

Restaurant

Going down to breakfast on Friday, the first morning we were immediately seen to our seats and then left. Our order for drinks were taken but not brought to us until 10 minutes later after I had chased them up. The range of breakfast was amazing and delicious and the staff busy but still very helpful.
This did not continue Saturday and Sunday, we were in a different room and the food was not cooked properly, virtually all cold and unpleasant.
Monday morning it was again superb, so I can only think it is the change in staff that decides the quality.

The Bar

We were supposed to receive a discount as part of our convention offer for the whole weekend but this depended on which member of staff actually served you. Some gave it until 8.30pm or some not at all, some all night and some so rude would not even allow you to pay cash and more or less shouted at me to open a tab at the desk!
Other than 3 or 4 staff that were brilliant (one actually looks so much like Heath Ledger it is unnerving!) the general attitude of staff is removed and indifferent.

Pricing

Everything is overpriced and food extremely expensive. The cheapest main meal at £11 is the pasta cabanara or you can live on chips for £4.50. We found a Wetherspoons in the NEC (10 min walk) the main meals (were nicer) around £7. There is an in house Costa Coffee but £2 is added on to the normal Costa price so a large coffee is £5 which quite frankly is ridiculous.
I do not mind paying extra when I stay away as obviously we are all out to make money in whatever way you can but I do not like to be taken for a mug. (or indeed a paper cup)

Concierge

Cannot fault the staff at this desk, always a pleasure, helpful and generally 5*

So all in all it was a well.... hotel stay, I am not impressed and the Hilton certainly did not live up to my expectations. The saddest point is on the Sunday evening when I went to pack I realised a bag (which I had been given for my 40th by a friend) had gone missing from my bottom drawer. Now you can't buy one and there are no more as it was a gift to conference members. I am really upset, it was a violation of my room and quite frankly very upsetting. I had put my Kindle etc in the safe but never thought to lock away a TOTE BAG!

I went downstairs and reported it - my conference guest liaison accompanied me and we sat with the Security guard and filled out a statement form, my details were taken and he informed me he would leave at 6am and inform the security manager who I needed to see before I checked out.
I did this - the security manager did not know anything about it and informed me he would do a lock check to see who had been in the room.
That is the last I've heard - no call, no letter, no email NOTHING! I wish now I had called the police but at the time thought the Hilton would be more dedicated to their guests welfare and security. I was wrong.
I tweeted them and yet still I am waiting for any type of information. they seem to have a problem as the room was booked in my friends name and so without a confirmation number appear unable to even use a phone to apologise!
My friend is in Tenerife for 2 weeks so I can't even get the said number and so I still wait.....

So overall for Hotel accommodation 6/10

Food 4/10
Staff 4/10
Concierge 10/10
Bar 2/10
Internet Cost 1/10 (ridiculous)

I would not use the Hotel again if I had a choice but I will have to next year. I hope that there have been improvements by this time.

It is such a shame because I was so excited about staying there; but these days companies need to be so careful as people are being so choosy as to where they spend their hard earned money.
Relying on a past reputation to keep you going in these times just does not cut it. Every business needs to keep reinventing themselves to offer quality and those little extras that make it worth their guests while and make them want to return.
I will update this post when if ever I am contacted by the Hilton.