Hilton, Coventry

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Hilton, Coventry

Hotel - (M6-J2) Paradise Way The Triangle, Walsgrave, Coventry, Warwickshire, CV2 2ST - 3 Stars - 172 Rooms

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Review of "Hilton, Coventry"

published 26/08/2009 | MizzMolko
Member since : 01/08/2005
Reviews : 171
Members who trust : 157
About me :
It has been over a year since I posted a review. I can't say I have any new ones in production at the moment either! I will return a rate but please leave a comment so I can see which review you've rated and when. xx
Good
Pro In a good location, many friendly members of staff, spacious rooms
Cons Questionable hygiene and maintenance issues
exceptional

"Too Many Hiccups at the Hilton?"

Ok, so this picture doesn't really show off the 'space' that I've been talking about...

Ok, so this picture doesn't really show off the 'space' that I've been talking about...

Long before a certain American socialite claimed that everything under the sun was ‘hot’, the name ‘Hilton’ was most commonly recognised as being an international hotel empire. Having expanded throughout the 20th century, from humble beginnings in Dallas, Texas, I’ve always thought of Hilton hotels as havens for businessmen trying to impress potential clients. Alas, as if you haven’t noticed, there is a global recession going on and the chain has seemingly relaxed their approach a little and offered those in need of a leisurely break the opportunity to stay in their hotels at a reasonable cost.

As a result of some rather difficult family circumstances, my folks didn’t want to venture too far away from home this summer. Whilst Coventry might not sound like everyone’s ideal holiday destination, it was far enough away from Lincolnshire so we could explore attractions that aren’t reachable within a day’s travel but at the same time, it wasn’t too far away either. We were very impressed by Hilton’s short offer of Two Nights for the Price of One; offering a swimming pool, gym access and an unlimited breakfast buffet at the Coventry branch, it would have seemed foolish not to book our stay there. The price worked out at just over £40 per room per night, an undoubtedly excellent price that was reinforced by our notions that the Hilton would be a fairly posh and well kept establishment.

However, it seems as if the hotel’s brand name was about the only thing recognising such an assumption...

THE FIRST HICCUP – OR PERHAPS ‘BRAIN FART’ WOULD BE MORE APT...
Like many people, we book our accommodation online when we’re looking to go away; you can shop around and determine exactly what you’re going to be paying before you commit to anything. The Hilton website, adored in blue and white, was easy enough to navigate; we wanted to visit the historical and very pretty Stratford-Upon-Avon area at some point and whilst Hilton didn’t have a hotel in Stratford, there was a selection of establishments in the ‘Nearby Hotels’ section of Warwick, Birmingham, Leicester and finally Coventry.

After deciding on Coventry – largely because it was sort of the ‘middle-man’ between Warwick and Leicester, two other destinations we considered visiting - we followed the simple online form that allowed us to check the availability of rooms, choosing between Guests and Deluxe rooms and dates whilst adding any additional requests. However, there was a problem; after my Mum had entered her Credit Card details, the site ‘kindly’ informed us that there had been a technical fault and urged us to contact Hilton’s customer services hotline to determine whether our order had been processed. I’d like to point out that the initial booking process wasn’t the only occasion that we’d had problems with the website; there is a feature on Hilton.co.uk called ‘My Bookings’ and whilst it was great the first time I logged in, to try and understand why we’d not received email confirmation of our two room order, later on when I tried to access this area again it declared that I was unable to check the booking online because of ordering more than one room!

Of course, before we could even consider checking our bookings online, we needed to call Hilton directly to make sure that our rooms had been reserved. After speaking to a largely helpful member of the Hiltons staff in America, where their call centre is based, we were left puzzled when after a couple of hours, the emails confirming both rooms and dates had not been delivered to my Mum’s inbox. Thankfully, we discovered this predicament before we couldn’t access the ‘My Bookings Page’ where we were alarmed to discover that the silly lady on the other end of the phone had misspelt my Mum’s name AFTER my Mum had been asked to spell it out to her! Of course, my Mum’s name features in her email address which is why we didn’t receive booking confirmations and this was all resolved after a quick phone call (once again to America) to a Hilton’s staff member who could both listen and type at the same time. No harm was done but of course, this was a needless inconvenience and the first of our Hilton related hiccups.

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION!
One of the reasons why we picked the Coventry branch of the Hilton hotel empire was largely due to the fact that it’s in an excellent location for restaurants. My Dad has a vendetta against eating in hotels at night after a few bad experiences but if you did fancy visiting this Hilton establishment, be prepared to pay £25 for a hot evening buffet. If you don’t mind playing chicken and trying to cross a very busy road, you’ll be able to find a selection of chain restaurants from the American/Italian eatery of Frankie & Benny’s, the home of Peri Peri chicken, Nando’s (is that why chickens cross the road – to get to Nando’s?!), Pizza Hut and the new all you can eat restaurant, Taybarns, with a Burger King close by for those of you with a cast iron stomach. Parking around all of those restaurants is free and there is also a bowling alley and Showcase Cinema on the same stretch as well as a Tesco’s Extra, just in case your packing skills aren’t up to scratch.. It’s undeniable that this Hilton is in a great location food-wise but I’d personally recommend the pub about a mile down the road called The Red Lion, a part of the Ember Inn pub chain, if you are a slightly older guest without a young family to cater for. I’d recommend driving to your restaurants, perhaps not if you’re planning on getting drunk; the road is very busy and can be quite hazardous to try and cross.

The Coventry Hilton is at Junction 2 of the M6/M69 and is a building you can see from the road, with its immense four floors of rooms. The hotel is situated right next to a business park but I would implore you not to be put off by this or the fact that the building is right next to a motorway; traffic noise wasn’t too much of an issue in either room I stayed in and for those of you that are unable to drive, please note that the train station is approximately five miles away but you would need taxis to get about unless you have a good knowledge of the Coventry bus services.

THE CAR PARK AND CHECK IN
One thing about the Coventry Hilton that will annoy many car drivers is the fact that the Hilton charges its guest to use the onsite parking facilities. We personally didn’t have a problem with this because of the ludicrously good price we paid for both rooms per night but I imagine if you’re not using the ‘Two For One’ offer and paying at least £85 a night, another three pounds on top of this may irk you slightly. Plus, there are several signs posted in the car park stating that all vehicles are left at their owners risk which is a bit cheeky considering you have to pay to use the spaces in the first place; it’s hardly as if you could park your car over the road and walk across with heavy luggage due to the nature of the road but there are barriers that allow guests access into and out of the car park with a range of parking fees available if you’re not staying the night.

In spite of the fact that the whole system with the car park, such as the payment, wasn’t explained to us at check in, the charge was automatically added onto the bill and we were given separate cards for each time we wanted to get in and out of the grounds. In spite of that, check in was quick and efficient with there being three ladies on the reception desk to hand out the key cards and direct guests to their rooms. I was also quite impressed by the hotel’s decor; with the mahogany coloured desks, red carpeting and golden fixtures, the Hilton gave off the impression of a real warmth and opulence with the bar and restaurant located to the left as we entered the building and the steps and lifts for guests staying at the hotel on the right. For people staying at the hotel for leisure purposes, there was a selection of tourist leaflets which, rather surprisingly, boasted of towns such as Warwick and Stratford-Upon-Avon as opposed to Coventry itself so we almost did a double take and thought ‘hand on: where ARE we actually staying?!’

THE ROOM AND BATHROOM
We did request rooms next to one another whilst booking online but we forgot to mention this over the phone and our rooms instead were several corridors away from each other, although still on the second floor. Seriously, the Hilton was like a maze of cream and green; every hall looked the same and if we hadn’t read the directional signs, the chances are we’d still be in there!

We booked two twin rooms (Mum and Dad seemingly like to escape one another whilst on holiday) and when we first entered my room, we were greeted by the sounds of flushing toilets and gushing water. Little did we know at the time that this would be our second Hilton hiccup later on that night. My first impression of the room was just ‘ok’: to be blunt, the room was nowhere near as classy or as well maintained as I was expecting it to be, especially in comparison to the reception area. The carpet between the two single beds had clearly not been hoovered in some time and this was a trend with the second room I stayed in. Whilst the room didn’t look bad, it made me reflect upon the fact that if we’d paid the full price for the room every night, I’d be a little ticked off; behind the green chair in the corner there was a piece of chewed up gum (certainly not ours) and the now non-smoking room had a cigarette burn in the net curtain. It seemed rather odd to me that the hotel would folk out for 32 inch LCD Samsung TVs in many rooms when a lot of the necessary decor had clearly been neglected...

The desk next to the window featured an internet modem and you would be expected to pay £15 per day for the service in the Guest Rooms. There are Wifi hotspots however dotted around the hotel, including in all 13 meeting rooms and in the bar area. The internet cost is a little steep, in comparison to the Innkeepers Lodge where you’re charged on average £9.99 per day but I did in general find this price to be in accordance with the general affluence of the Hilton; on the desk was a room service menu in which the hotel charges customers £3.50 for the food to be brought to the room. With prices like £13.00 for a simple Margherita Pizza, I think it’s fair to say that it would be far cheaper to venture off to the Frankie and Benny’s across the road if you’re in need of a doughy fix but this is of course subject to will power and bank balance.

One thing I really did like about the room was the space; it felt very open, except for the narrow gap between the beds, and boasted a lot of storage for clothes and other items. The telly was stood upon a massive sideboard with shelves on the left side and draws on the right side so I had no qualms with leaving personal belongings in there. On the sideboard was also a tiny travel kettle which was looking a little weary but still worked fine and a selection of coffee, tea and milk...and the yummy Walker’s shortbread biscuits! The wardrobe was situated right next to the entrance and was big enough to fit four days worth of clothing in (well, just about enough anyway) as well as any excess luggage that we didn’t want to keep on show whilst out and about. I rather liked the compactness of the makeup mirror and dressing table which was affixed to the end of the wardrobe; with a separate light and three mirrors, it would be a vanity lover’s heaven but sadly, it wasn’t too practical when it came to plucking eyebrows.

In spite of the dust on the skirting boards and the slightly tatty marks and rips in the furnishings, I genuinely liked the first and second room we stopped in; both were light and fact that there was (working) air-conditioning in the second room was a real plus as it could have gotten a little warm in there at times. I thought that having two phones in the room was a bit unnecessary but good as you could contact reception or other rooms in the hotel free of charge if need be. Calls to ‘the outside world’ ranged from 10p a minute for those of you without a mobilemabob but I was a little dissatisfied with the way that Hilton neglected to inform guests which television channels were which; sure, us country bumpkins could just about cope with the concept of channels of 1, 2, 3 and 4 but past that it was quite confusing and needlessly so. The room did lack simple pieces of information like that and felt very impersonal to the area of Coventry with little to nothing in the rooms with regards to the local area.

The bathroom – in comparison to the bedroom – was spotless and both guests were given a pure white hand and bath towel each. The second hand towel came in handy for when I flooded the bathroom because of the ill-fitting shower curtain although there are signs on the wall warning guests that you could create your own ‘Octopuses’ Garden’ in the bathroom if you’re not careful. The bathroom was again a light and roomy place; with a long mirror spanning from the edge of the shower to the doorway, it was again a good place to be if you like to do a lot of preening. I was particularly impressed with the selection of cosmetics on offer with there being a tube of body wash, shampoo and conditioner in each room but oddly enough, no soap. Thankfully, we’d packed our own so it wasn’t an issue but it just seemed odd to me that they supplied conditioner over soap. Also on offer in the bathroom were the ever sexy shower caps and a vanity box, including cotton pads, flossier/toothpick and a couple of cotton buds. Although we only got one of these, and it would have been handy to have two so it was one for each guest, the bathroom felt very well equipped with the Hilton also providing a flannel for guests and a couple of glasses in the bathroom and on the desk, just in case you fancied paying £20 for a bottle of House White later on that evening.

The shower was located just above the bath and, due to its cleanliness, the bath felt quite slippery upon its first usage. The layout for the bath and shower area was again very good as there were two soap dishes, one higher and one lower, and also a rail next to the shower, just in case you’re a little unsteady underfoot sometimes. It took very little effort to get the water to be at the right temperature and over the first few hours of our stay, I was actually impressed with the hotel...Until I tried using the darn hairdryer and it fell off the wall. Plodding down to another person’s room with damp hair whilst clutching brushes, combs and hair strengtheners would have to be considered a low point in anybody’s life.

Well, it was in mine until a little later on that night...

DISASTER NUMBER ONE: IT’S HOT...AND UNCOMFORTABLE...AND NOISY...
I am by no means a light sleeper – perhaps I was when I was little but I have developed the lazy teenager attitude to life and will sleep in most places as long as there are clean sheets (which there was in room one) and there is duvet, (again, this was the case). You know I mentioned the sounds of flushing water as we entered the room for the first time? Well, unless someone in the room above had left the shower on all night, I can’t think of what else the noise could be; the river sounds weren’t exactly soothing and neither was the bed that felt as if a fifty stone man had belly flopped onto it: the outer edges were quite firm but the middle horribly soft. Deterred by the heat, general lumpiness of the bed and the fact that even thoughts of Richard Armitage couldn’t relax me, I made the decision – at 2.13am – to put ITV2 on where my Mum and I were eventually lulled into a rather passive sort of coma by the repeat of America’s Got Talent.

Trust me: this occasion would be the only one where I’d dare admit to having Piers Morgan in my room at night.

After perhaps three or four hours of catnapping, we decided it was time to go the leisure centre at least try to motivate ourselves for a day of sightseeing ahead. We’d already made the decision that we wanted to swap rooms and after a brief conversation with the same girl who checked us in on Saturday, we were soon allowed access to a different room on the second floor although her approach didn’t seem as apologetic as I would have hoped for. It was rather suspicious that the receptionist didn’t even bat an eyelid at our request to move rooms, which led us to believe that the hotel had heard complaints about that particular room before, but at least we were allowed to move to another part of the hotel where it didn’t sound as if someone was having a whizz forever in a day – and night!

‘WE CAN WORK IT OUT’...AT THE GYM AND SWIMMING POOL
In spite of the fact that my eyes had more rings under them than Saturn, I was determined to go to the gym with my Brother the following morning and have a work out as such before breakfast. After signing in and being given a towel to wipe down any (not so) sweaty surfaces by the friendly lady on the desk (who accepted that I couldn’t be responsible for grunts as answers at 7.30am) I went in to the locker room to put my bag and phone away as they’re not allowed in the gym area. It’s essential to have a spare £1 coin for the lockers, or else you have to naff about giving in your room key to the leisure centre’s resident receptionist. The locker room itself was very ordinary; a little worse for wear and a little bit grotty but tolerable none-the-less. I didn’t use the showers down there but my Mum did. Now, she’s not a big lady, not by any stretch of the imagination, but she found the shower to be a little small and difficult to move around in. There was however plenty of shampoo and body wash but no conditioner. If you do use the pool, you get given a full sized towel and can request conditioner at the desk which seems a little illogical to me but never mind.

The leisure centre is open from 7.00am on a Saturday and Sunday and 6.30am the rest of the week whilst closing at 8.30pm over the weekend and an hour later during the week. The gym, it has to be said, matched the rest of the hotel; some areas could have done with smartening up a bit with some of the bicycles lacking the foot holders on the pedals (gym enthusiasts will hopefully known what I mean!) and the treadmills were a little unresponsive to the point where I had to thump the damn buttons to get the speed and incline to increase! Predictably, the gym isn’t very busy early in the morning but when it is, you’re asked to only spend 15 minutes on each machine, excluding the weights. Personally, I think that’s a bit rude, especially if you’re a paying customer who isn’t staying at the hotel; some of the machines aren’t in the best condition anyway, with many of the treadmills even being taped up to hide the broken plastic, so you’d probably need 15 minutes to try and get the damn things going!

I didn’t use the pool but my parents emphasised that it was a nice temperature and the Jacuzzi was well kept and bubbly. There weren’t many people in the pool early in the morning which is understandable but there was one occasion when we didn’t go for our pre-breakfast exercise regime...

DISASTER NUMBER TWO: WATER, WATER WHERE ART THOU?
We had been settled in the other room for a couple of nights; the bed was more comfortable and we were generally happier campers. My Brother and I had agreed to go down to the gym once again on the Tuesday morning so I wasn’t exactly late getting up. As I wandered to the wardrobe to get my clothes, I noticed a note under the door which was informing all guests that the hotel had lost its hot water supply at some point during the night and that they were attempting to fix it later on that day. That was fine and dandy but I couldn’t imagine going to the gym and not having some form of a shower afterwards and needless to say, my parents didn’t want to go to the pool either and walk around all day with hair full of chlorine. Unlike my Brother and Dad’s room, we thankfully still had a cold water supply so we were able to warm water up in the kettle to put in the sink for washing purposes but needless to say, this was a slightly random predicament.

My Dad went down to the reception to ask how he and my Brother went about having a wash and cleaning their teeth without water to which the receptionist was very friendly and said that they could open and use the luke-warm bottle of water on the table in their room free of charge and it’s normally £3.95 a bottle for those of you keeping score. Thankfully, the water situation was resolved by the time we arrived back at the hotel in the afternoon and we were given 20% off that nights room charges for the ‘inconvenience’, a warm and welcomed gesture guests were offered if they’d been down to reception to enquire about the situation and when it was likely to be fixed.

‘EWWW’ MOMENT OF THE STAY
I am a bit of a hygiene freak and I must have been so exhausted on the first night in the second room that I didn’t really bother to check the sheets and mattress of my bed. However, the second night I did and was rather disgusted to find an orange foundation mark on the bed sheets (certainly not mine – power to the pales!) and worse was still to come when I peeled back the under sheet and found a collection of brownish water marks on the mattress...lovely.

This is something I really don’t expect to uncover anywhere, regardless of the hotel’s name, and it emphasised to me once again just how glad we were not to be paying full price for our stay at this particular Hilton because in some respects, it felt as if cleanliness wasn’t the priority that it should have been.

NOW ONTO BREAKFAST!
If you want grossing out with regards to the mattress, feel free to have a look at the family friendly photos provided. For those of you that don’t, I’ll now discuss my favourite part of the stay: breakfast! This is where I really cannot fault the hotel (other than for the female member of staff who dropped a ‘clean’ spoon on the floor and still put it back on the table) as the selection available was massive; if you wanted a full English fry up, you could certainly get it with there being a delicious selection of bacon, sausages, mushrooms, hash browns, baked beans and the personally not so yummy possibility of eggs. The staff in the restaurant were really friendly, bringing either orange, grapefruit, apple or cranberry juice to the table as well as either tea or coffee and ice cold water if you so wished.

I was very impressed by the selection of both crispy bread rolls and normal sliced bread on offer although the toaster was just a little bit crap; if you like your toast fairly dark, if not black, like I do, you’d need to run it through the toaster at least three times to get the desired colour. The selection of blueberry and chocolate muffins as well as pastries, different fruits, cheeses, cold meats, cereals and yogurts made me think that there was a rare and glorious selection for all tastes at the breakfast buffet. Porridge was stored in big stove and if you wanted pancakes (which were regrettably still quite cold and rubbery) or an omelette, the chef behind the counter was only too happy to oblige and was, like the majority of the staff, a very welcoming and polite chap who seemed more than willing to cook anything.

Breakfast was included in the price of our stay which was preferable to paying £18.50 to get your hands on such a selection. You simply state your room number upon entering the restaurant and are guided to a table before being told you could go and eat as much as your stomach could manage. Breakfast was served from 7.30am on a Sunday and 7am the rest of the week and fresh food was constantly being put on the hotplate. My only complaint with this would be that during chaotic times, the bacon wasn’t as crispy as I’d normally have liked it to be but regardless of that, the breakfast was of an excellent standard and of course plentiful.

‘SHOULD HAVE BEEN DISASTER’ NUMBERS THREE AND FOUR...OK; LET’S JUST GET OUT OF HERE!
With it being somewhat necessary for us to use a car if we had any hope of venturing outside of the hotel’s grounds, we of course needed to use the barriers to get on and off the premises. On a couple of occasions towards the end of our stay, after just one second of receiving a ticket to get on the car park, the barrier came down rather suddenly and if my Dad had moved forward, I doubt our poor Rover would still be here today. Apparently, the maintenance guy who was a part of the team that had failed to fix one of the elevators throughout our four day stay, was meant to be taking a look at the barrier after we described the problem. I cannot comment on whether it’s been fixed or not as we never used it again.

I certainly wouldn’t put my money on it being in fine fettle though...

For the want of speed and efficiency, Hilton slips an envelope under your door at some ungodly hour in order to make checking out quicker. Basically, if your room bill looks fine, with any additional charges of course being added, there is a post box in the reception area where you can simply post the document and your room keys into before you can go on your merry way. Naturally, our check out couldn’t have been that simple, what with a different receptionist adding back on the discount for the water failure, and the fact that the hotel wanted to knock off the £12 spent on parking throughout our stay as opposed to the £16 for both rooms over that Tuesday morning...

If you’re disabled, the Hilton does offer specially adapted rooms to help accommodate you and there are lifts to any of the higher floors, just in case you happen to stop by for a business meeting. Unfortunately, the website doesn’t have any photos of the adapted rooms and neither do I but the hotel advises you to contact them if you require any additional assistance. If you’re a keen smoker or indeed need a cot for your little one, the hotel provides rooms with such features and you need to state such qualities whilst booking.

OVERALL: WOULD I BOTHER STAYING AT ANOTHER HILTON?
You may have gathered from the sections with the word ‘disaster’ in the title that this branch of Hilton hotels had it fair share of faults; perhaps we were just unlucky but from hygiene issues to maintenance problems, there were a lot of inexcusable hiccups along the way throughout our stay in Coventry.

I’m will to accept that the water mishap was just a coincidence but the fact that the receptionist didn’t seem at all shocked, or indeed willing to get someone to look at the original room and its rather odd noises is a bit suspicious. It’s interesting to note how a lady who claims to have previously spent a lot of holidays in Hilton hotels was dissatisfied with Coventry’s establishment; at the reception area, she complained about her room which was ‘like a sauna’ because of faulty air-conditioning and had been consistently noisy all night. It sounds like a familiar scenario and whilst it’s unfair to state that she must have had the same room as my Mum and I did to begin with, that thought did cross my mind and did make me once again question how often things are checked over at the hotel, particularly when complaints have already been made. As for one of the lifts not being in operation from the Saturday right through to the Wednesday, that just comes across as a bit poor, especially when appropriate signs indicating such a matter weren’t displayed on the lift’s second floor door until the Tuesday.

In addition to everywhere just being a little bit tatty and ill-kept, the website promised the regular Guest Rooms a Playstation in each of them. Now, I did search and I couldn’t find the Playstation in either room I stayed in which could be a bit disappointing for those of you after a bit of cheap entertainment for your children on a rainy afternoon. It didn’t bother us as the weather was largely good and we weren’t in the hotel longer than necessary but I can imagine it being a problem for some parents. As for whether I’d ever consider staying at a Hilton ever again, that’s an open book. I can’t deny that the price we paid for the rooms per night was exceptional but I also can’t help but thinking this would be the maximum I’d want to pay; the breakfast and its variety spanned above and beyond such a price tag but I really am still repulsed by that mattress and some of the not-so-clean aspects of the room, such as the carpet and that sheet.

Yes, I really am easily appalled - and I bet Paris wouldn't have found it 'Hot' either!

CONTACT & OTHER INFO
Address: Paradise Way, (yeah right) Walsgrave Triangle, Coventry, CV2 2ST
Phone number: 02476 603000
Check in: 3pm onwards
Check out: by 11am

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Comments on this review

  • j9j8j7 published 04/12/2011
    Well covered.
  • CelticSoulSister published 26/08/2011
    That’s terrible, the hot water situation & you having to boil a kettle….even worse is the stains on the sheets & mattress. Yuk!!!
  • malihat published 21/12/2010
    Excellent review!
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Product Information : Hilton, Coventry

Manufacturer's product description

Hotel - (M6-J2) Paradise Way The Triangle, Walsgrave, Coventry, Warwickshire, CV2 2ST - 3 Stars - 172 Rooms

Product Details

Rating: 3 Stars

Rooms: 172

Type: Hotel

Address: (M6-J2) Paradise Way The Triangle, Walsgrave, Coventry, Warwickshire, CV2 2ST

City: Coventry

Country: England

County: Warwickshire

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