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Travel Blogs from Portsmouth
In the afternoon, Kyle had to go to camp, so we dropped him off at the weekend christian camp, there were tons of ten year old boys running around mental, and wee Holly packed a sad cause she was too young to stay over night. However after some pizza, loom banding, and going to see her daddy play in the pub seemed to cheer her up no end.
Still, after a busy day I am looking forward to bed.
... are as crazy for loom bands as everyone else, so we've been making bracelets for almost 3 days straight now. I even learned a new weaving technique! These seven year olds are way better than me.
The jet lag is still pretty strong though. When I said I was going to bed at 10 past six, the kids looked at me like I was messing with them. They were kind of surprised when I actually went to bed.
... for passport control. The car was fine and ticking over nicely the queue moving enough not to switch off but not enough to be meaningful. The temperature gauge began to rise but I thought nothing of it having repaired the fan, the gauge is a bit rubbish anyway and has a habit of going off the scale for a while anyway. We queued, the heater was now on full blast bathing us in 90 degree hot air, the temperature gauge kept rising we crawled through ...
The Final Leg began in nice weather. We negotiated a tight bend to reach the dump to empty our tanks. I set off up the camp lane while Raewyn went back to get the car. When she came round the bend and found me stopped she thought the worst, that I had hit something. The road was obstructed by a badly parked van belonging to an occupant of a cabin. His neighbour told me it belonged to ...
... up the part and a few extra bits (kids in a toy shop syndrome) it was off to the port, expecting a bit of a wait, but no we were on the ship by 19:15. Interestingly we were stopped and the van checked by customs on the way out, a new one on me. Once settled on board it was off to the restaurant for a lovely three course meal (yes, we are going to talk about food again ). A starter from a buffet selection including various salads, dips, meats and seafood - which made Ei ...
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Give this one the heave-ho!
Like most of your reviewers I found problems with both the room and the food.
We had specifically asked for a quiet room, but were allocated one which faced the motorway less than 100 metres away and was therefore very noisy. I noticed that there was no air-conditioning and these top floor rooms must be unbearable in hot weather.
The room contained just one easy chair which meant that one of us had to sit on the bed or on a dining chair. The beds in this twin-bedded room were the narrowest I have come across in a hotel of this supposed quality and the duvets were for some reason very noisy. There is no radiator in the bathroom and it was therefore somewhat colder than we would have liked.
At (Sunday)dinner we were offered the salad bar. A lot of this must have been sitting there most of the day since the lettuce was sadly wilted and the pate had begun to dry to the point where the edges had turned hard and dark brown. This did not look very appetising at all.
The steak was just about edible but the risotto defied description. Whatever they had done had turned it into a hard baked mass with lumps of half-melted cheese in it. I suspect that it had been made much earlier in the day and then microwaved.
Breakfast on both mornings was overcooked and tepid. If the hotel had been full I could have understood, but since there were never more than about ten people in the restaurant on either morning I find it difficult to understand why it should have been a problem at all. My wife's tea was served having been made with lukewarm water. It was replaced, of course, but why did the waiter not sense that the teapot was not very warm?
The service was satisfactory but there was always the feeling that the mainly Eastern European staff were more willing than able.
I did write and express my concerns to the general manager and, to give him credit, I did receive a reply at my home address within fortyeight hours. However, it was so bland and full of the usual corporate apologia that it seemed that this was something he was fairly used to doing and went no way to meeting the issues I had raised.
There is very little I can find to say in favour of this hotel and I certainly could not recommend it.
Why Is Hilton Dumping This Hotel? Read On.....
I stay at Hilton Hotels at least once a month. I had business in Portsmouth so it was appropriate to stay at the Portsmouth Hilton. The hotel is about 3-4 miles from Portsmouth town centre located within 50 metres of a busy motorway junction. Noise from this road pervades the whole hotel. The weather was extremely hot for the UK. None of the rooms had climate control so the choice was to have windows open (and be deafened by traffic noise and eaten by mosquitoes) or fry.
I had been promised an upgrade, because of my Hilton HHonors Gold Card Status, when I booked but, when I arrived staff were unaware of the Hilton HHonors upgrade scheme and we had to occupy standard rooms.
The rooms appeared to be clean but, when we retired to bed, we could see stains under the sheets. Examination revealed urine and blood stains on both matresses and three out of four pillows. This Hilton does not seem to have adopted the new 'luxury' range of bedding as proclaimed in the Hilton brochures. This may be because Hilton intend to sell off or rebrand this hotel later this year.
On the first evening we went to the Hotel's Restaurant Bancoa. Even though the restaurant was less that half full we had to queue for a (prebooked) table. Our table was in a corner which, luckily, was well away from several tables occupied by screaming kids. The furniture reminds me of garden furniture. Wooden chairs with padded seats. The wooden chair arms have been painted white. On my chair chips of paint were flaking badly. I rested my arm and was promptly cut by a sharp flake.
The carvery meal was mediocre to say the least. When we came to select the 'cold' desserts we found them displayed, uncovered, on a shelf which was at room temperature. These desserts, along with the cheese, biscuits and cut portions of fruit, were crawling with flies. I pointed this out to the head waiter and demanded cold desserts straight from the kitchen. He promised to cover the food but, when we ate the following evening we found that the same situation prevailed for the cheese, biscuits and fruit. They had made an attempt to cover three puddings with metal covers. Because of noticeable marks on the fruit I could see that the cut fruit (melon etc), which was on display on the second night, had also been in evidence the first night we were there.
They had also run out of demerera sugar for coffee in the restaurant! How can a hotel run out of such a basic commodity?
I complained to the duty manager about the above problems and received grovelling apologies and promises of immediate rectification.
As one of the previous reviewers has said... 'The gym is a joke'. The pool is warm and clean but I've seen larger conference tables! At least the leisure centre changing rooms were clean and well appointed, if a little small.
Would I stay there again? Only as a last resort and I would write to the General Manager, Sean Wooden, beforehand expressing my concerns after our first visit and asking for better service.
Don't be put off by negative reviews
I have just landed a 6 month contract in Portsmouth and was fearing the worst when I checked into the Portsmouth Hilton after reading the reviews on tripadvisor. However I have found the hotel to be very acceptable so far and not experienced any of the problems mentioned.
When I tried to book they told me they were totally full. However as I am a Diamond honors card holder they managed to squeeze me in. The room allocated to me is a very large suite in a quiet area away from the main road (at my request). The room is very quiet indeed which is important to me as I find it hard to sleep in noisy hotels. It is large and the bed is comfortable and also very big. The shower is good and plenty powerful. On the down side the decor is a little out of date (like so many other Hiltons), there is no broadband access from the room and they don't seem to have upgraded the linen to the new style Hilton 'luxury' range.
The staff are very friendly and the food actually not bad. OK the menu is pretty limited but the steak was OK and I had some great grilled chicken tonight. Breakfast is excellent. Again on the down side the gym is the smallest hotel gym I have ever been in and the pool is just a joke. Also the hotel is quite literally in the middle of nowhere so I imagine I'll be travelling into town to eat most nights as it won't take long to work through the limited menu.
So on the whole an average Hilton. I've certainly stayed in worse and I prefer it to the noisy Marriot just down the road.
Over-rated, over-priced, rip-off Britain at its worst
Stayed 2 nights in a 'deluxe' room (we checked) for Trafalgar 200 booked via an agency. We were amazed to find that even if we had booked directly with the hotel, the standard rate for the room would have been £187 + VAT per night for a tired, cramped room bearing no relation to the illustration on the web site without aircon, a fridge/minibar or safe (secure) facilities.
Staying 2 nights at summer temperatures, where the room was sweltering (the top floor was noticeably hotter than the lower floor) meant leaving the window open with a generator running outside it, or sweating even more. The room was no more spacious than a Travelodge or Travel Inn type motel and certainly did not justify either the 'deluxe' nomenclature or the phenomenally high price for the location.
Add to this the fact that there was no lift between floors, that half the staff whilst willing showed little evidence of training in customer care, and you end up with a package which demonstrates the principle of charging solely what the market will bear and not what the product is worth.
In fairness, Hilton make few claims on their website to offer 'value for money' and are absolutely right in that respect - they don't.
This place was atrocious
I checked in with a group that took up around 10 rooms. 5 minutes after checkin I met most of the group back at the front desk all with one complaint or another. We were there in early Sept 2004 and it was apparently unseasonably warm so we had to sleep with the windows open. Since our room was at the back of the property this meant we had traffic noise from the adjoining interstate, and mosquitos like mad since there was no screen on the window.
Towels, forget it. They had a sign, leave your towels on the floor if you want new ones. Instead what this meant was leave your wet towel on the floor and we will fold it and put it on the foot of your bed. Washcloth, one member of our group talked of taking one home as a rare souvenir after getting one only after asking for several days.
Our toilet took like literally 20 minutes to refill and made a horrible noise while doing so. The front desk promised to look into it but of course never did.
I left my US to British power adapter at the previous hotel. I asked if they had one I could use and was told they did and they would bring it right up to the room. A couple of hours later I asked in person at the front desk. This guy just blew me off, nope we never have them to bad.
Food, atrocious. Our group had a private dinner at the hotel 2 nights and the food was beyond terrible. It was so bad that I walked over to the gas station next door and bought a sandwich and a bag of chips. The service was also horrible. There was maybe 20 of us, with 3 waiters. Yet they could not keep people drinks filled up. Mainly because they spent all their time trying to push overpriced wine on us, for which they got a commision.
Basically all the help was either hard working but none too bright easter europeans that spoke no English, or punk ass wannabe 20 year old Brits that got their jollies getting to exercise a bit of power over people luckless enough to be staying at the hotel. Avoid at all cost.
Once bitten, twice savaged
Stayed in this hotel in 2003 and had some problems with mould etc which the Hilton were not very bothered about but they did offer me a discount if I stayed again.
Decided to try again in summer of 2004 but did not pursue the discount offer instead booked online through WorldRes (first big mistake) and paid extra for a room with climate control as the previous visit had been plagued with a choice between listening to the swimming pool ventilation system or sweltering with a closed window. When we got to the hotel there was no climate control and reception told us none of the rooms at that hotel had the facility. The choice this time was a busy road or sweltering. Wrote a letter of complaint to WorldRes who promptly ignored it, the Hilton blamed WorldRes and I got no satisfaction. The only thing in this hotel favour is it's location, close to main roads (possibly too close) and that is that. Would I stay there again - no way Jose'
Hilton has lost it's way!
We had tickets for the Goodwood Revial this year and decided it would be a treat to stay locally instead of commuting back and forth to London every day. I had booked the Hilton based on the standards Hilton Hotels had when I was a child. My, my how things have changed! I booked deluxe rooms based on their description on the Hilton website. When we arrived I wondered what made them so special. No special amenity packs, no bathrobes, no ironing facilities, no mini bar and beds as hard as the floor! Dinner in the restaurant was one of the worst meals I have ever encountered. The staff's excuse for poor service was that they were very busy in the kitchen with room service. My brother requested awake-up call for 7:15 am the following morning. The wake-up call arrived at 2:30 am. So much for a good nights sleep. We probably should have stayed at the Travel Lodge. At least they guarantee a good nights sleep or you don't pay.
Hilton's gesture - they didn't charge us their 20% service charge. Would I go there again? Somehow- I don't think so!
Ok but not best Hilton we've stayed at
Stayed here on Hilton break for second time.Had family room which had 2 double beds. Room was clean and well maintained. Evening meal in restaurant was carvery ok but nothing special. Drinks as always very expensive bottle of wine which costs max. £3 in shops cost £16. Breakfast good but not best we've had at Hilton. Both mornings they ran out of cutlery and crockery.On Monday had to wait for table for breakfast didnt mind when we thought it was because hotel full but when got table and saw half restaurant empty and tables not cleared due to lack of staff wasnt pleased .Disappointed Leisure club closed all weekend due to light failure. wouldnt stay again at this Hilton.
Not good at all
I had the misfortune to stay here a few times in late 2003, always against my wishes after the first time. After stay #3 I refused to go back and insisted on the Marriott (which is much better and not much more expensive).
I've stayed a lot of Hilton hotels, and this is by far the worst. How they can charge the prices they do for such shabby accommodation is beyond me. If it was my own money I would be livid. I would not stay here again.
I stayed there for a night. It was a terribly managed hotel. The rooms are so bad that the tubs had mould. The most disgusting part was the sofas in the room were stained and we neither sat or put anything on them. This was one of the best rooms in the hotel. We saw at least 4 rooms. One room was so small that I laughed when I saw it! I thought it was a prank! I cannot understand how HILTON would put their name on this hotel. I have not yet stayed in another Hilton hotel since staying here.