I previously had a disappointing stay at this hotel back in February 2013. But I wanted to have easy access to both Kings Cross (trains from the North), Paddington (for the Heathrow Express) and Charing Cross for our tour of the disused Aldwych/Strand Underground station. So I booked again, two rooms, for two nights.
The hotel is conveniently located near to both Edgware Road underground stations. You can walk to the hotel from either. It’s also only one stop to Paddington, from where you can catch the Heathrow Express. I believe it’s also outside the London congestion fee zone. I chose the hotel because of the good transport links and also because we would receive extra benefits as both Hilton Gold Card holders.
On my last visit, the hotel was reconstructing the main entrance and East Wing. This time they were reconstructing the Tower Lobby area. To be fair, there was this notice on the Hilton booking page:
Refurbishment of portions of the Tower Lobby will occur from Monday, 19 January – Saturday, 28 February 2015. Works will take place Monday – Friday 8am – 5pm, but will still allow foot access to the rest of the hotel and will not affect guest rooms.
On check in, I was told I’d been upgraded as a Gold card holder and was in the West Wing. I remarked that last time I stayed the West Wing, those rooms didn’t have access to the Executive Lounge. The clerk said that as the hotel wasn’t so busy, upgraded West Wing rooms did have access. My son had previously had the same experience when he checked in a few hours earlier. It’s quite a confusing situation for those who have never used the hotel before.
The West Wing upgraded rooms are quite good – better than the East Wing Executive Rooms. There was also a small plate with sweets and one piece of fruit, plus two bottles of water. The only downside of the West Wing is that is quite a long walk from reception, via the Tower Lobby construction site, to get there.
The lounge was almost full at 18:30 and stayed that way until we left an hour later. A couple of guys were watching some comedy show on a tablet with the volume turned up. I was disappointed that the lounge staff didn’t ask them to use headphones.
The morning breakfast was the same poor offering that I remember from last time when I wrote: I was disappointed that the lounge didn’t provide a better hot breakfast offering as many other Hiltons do. There were croissants, cheese, ham, porridge and boiled eggs.
This hotel is all about location and price – it’s definitely not a destination in itself.