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Well, IMNSHO, Hilton still stinks as hotel choice, while Marriott continues to be exactly what I expect

By Andrew Pollack on 10/29/2003 at 02:09 PM GDT

Well all my dear friends out there, I'm ending another week of travel and I thought I'd review this Hilton Olympia in Kinsington, London, UK.

Frankly, It stinks. Aside from bad food and expensive mini-bar prices that you'd expect everywhere this particular hotel also has the added offer of bad rooms, idiots for staff, and no in-room network connection.

First - if you're going to call yourself a business hotel these days, you damn well should have in-room high speed access. They don't. Not at any price. They do have cat5 connections there, but they're not connected to anything. Of course, neither is the 110v outlet by the desk, and neither are some of the 220v outlets. Downstairs in the "business center" (which is always closed, but has an empty desk nearby with at least 10 outlets (8 non-working, 2 working)). That's BTOpen or some thing like that. Its expensive, but at least its unreliable.

When I checked in, I was given a lovely square room with a view of an airshaft at the center of the hotel which was heated to a lovely 95 degrees Fahrenheit. After moving to a normal shaped room I was pleased to discover a view of air conditioning units and a window that was allowed to open almost 4 inches. This was enough to cool the room over time, but not enough to remove the odd smell of diesel fuel. How does a 7th floor room get to smell of diesel anyway?

The second room had a pair of single beds -- which is fine, I can sleep on a single -- which were hard as rock. I mean it felt like slabs of concrete padded with a quarter inch of foam set on springs. Lovely. It was made more comfortable by the four rock solid by pizza-box thin pillows.

The bathroom looked nice, and the plumbing worked -- I was grateful, but the bath was set so high that if you took a shower your head was an inch from the ceiling. I'm not that tall folks. Poor Ben must have had some time of it, but that isn't really something I want to picture -- I'm sorry if you just did. (Hi Ben).

I almost moved back to the Marriott where we stayed when we first got here -- a stunning location near parliament and "Big Ben", but that would have added nearly a thousand pounds to the cost of the trip as this Hilton was paid for by the conference. Ah well.

Hilton, as usual, sucked. Marriott, as usual, was exactly as predicted -- in fact better this time. I used to hate Hilton because they were inconsistent. They've fixed that at least. Now they all seem to suck. I've heard rumors of nice ones, but not seen one in many years.

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By Ben Langhinrichs on 06/23/2004 at 11:21 AM EDT
I hate to say, but I must agree. Not a great hotel, and would definitely make me reconsider whether I should stay at a Hilton again. The conference itself was good, but the sponsers need to host it at a better hotel next time (which I told them, as I am sure you did too). As for the shower, at least they had one. Last time I stayed in London, there was only a bath. Don't even try to picture me fitting into a 3.5 foot bathtub.
You got four rock-hard pizza-box thin pillows?By Richard Schwartz on 06/23/2004 at 11:21 AM EDT
You're lucky! I just got one. My room was about 50 degrees F when I checked in. They must have sent my heat up to your room. But at least I had no trouble with the 110V AC outlet. -rich

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