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Travel Blogs from Hartford
This is Jen starting Emma's travel blog for her. I'm hoping that by doing the work for her and purchasing a camera with apps built in will encourage her to keep a journal on her exciting upcoming trip to Nepal! I know...a little over the top but ...
Bruce, Sandy and I left Ellington at 11 a.m. to start our long awaited journey together in our 2007 Fleetwood Bounder (36 ft). We had a great send-off with our family (did shed a few tears, of course). It's a beautiful day/sun is shining as we headed for I-91 North to the Mass. Pike. We travelled through Massachusetts and into NY state en-route to our first major destination of Niagra Falls (Canadian side). Tonight we will spend the night ...
... played family soccer and the Hartford Cup was won by Eshaan & Rohan...and so VV & Shruti had a delicious Tandoori chicken BBQ in their honor. Shruti got an excellent fruit cake for Adhya's birthday, being celebrated for the 2nd time with the family :-).
Thanks to Shruti, Rohan & Vasisht for an excellent visit.....that allowed us to relax and enjoy the West Hartford area. ...
After a wet Amherst, we drove to Glastonbury to see Anuj and family, a friend from UMASS. They live SE of Hartford,a green, beautiful suburb and in a wonderful (big!) house. It was good to see them after a long time and see how the kids have grown up. Shankar, another friend from UMASS, ...
Breakfast at the hotel --hot breakfast.
Read local paper by the pool.
Took taxi to the airport--$20 dollars.
Snack at the airport---pizza empanada and quisito (white sweet cheese inside a pastry).It is
typical pastry for breakfast.
Flew to Atlanta by Delta ...
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Historical Traveler Reviews Hilton Hartford
Hilton Total Renovation Reopening March 2005
this Hilton Hotel was closed for renovation all of 2004 and reopened with a totally new look, feel, ownership and management in March of 2005. Disregard any of the ratings or letters in 2003, this is now the new hot place to stay in Hartford. It has a great location walking distance (in blocks not miles) from all the restaurants and office buildings in town.
Pretty Darn Good for Hartford
This is a fine hotel, but it cannot overcome Hartford's sad decline. All is neat and clean. Design is beautiful. Especially loved the evening lounge bar in the lobby that converted into a coffee shop in the morning. Lots of attention to detail and excellent taste in the design of the small space. That carries over into the rooms that are also small but tastefully designed. Breakfast at Mort and Mindy's restaurant was better than dinner, but dinner was not bad. Restaurant staff and hotel staff are wonderful. Check in was a slight hassle, but check out was a breeze. The garage is kind of cramped. Hartford was to the insurance industry what Detroit was to the auto industry. The insurance industry has moved on and Hartford has not found a new life.
Located right in downtown Hartford....whether that's a good thing or a bad thing is up for debate. This place offers a steep parking rate (15 dollars a night, billed to your room...just make sure you validate it at the front desk, or else they'll charge you by the hour), a shiney-sparkely-yet-kinda-cramped lobby, and an absolutely BORED front desk staff that borders on attitude.
Got a king-bed corner room on the (almost) top floor, so can't complain about that. Can complain about one of the most anti-climactic views for a downtown hotel room 21 stories above the sidewalk I've ever seen. But I suppose that's Hartford. The room is nicely designed, albeit on the "cozy" side (read: small), and everything from the elevators to the bathroom sink feels pretty new. The gym also gets points...open 24 hours a day with new cardio equipment complete with TV screens, but you need your own headphones. Some doable weight machines, also pretty new, but no free weights.
The hotel has an odd restaurant in it called "Mort and Mindy's", a fusion of Jewish deli/Chinese restaurant. Cute concept, although I can't quite figure the connection. They actually have a surprisingly good breakfast. As far as Hartford itself, the place shuts down like Wall Street on Christmas on the weekend, so be warned. Sudays most of the restaurants won't open until 4 or 5...some don't open at all. So it's Mort and Mindy's or it's McDonalds and Wendys.
Strangely enough, this is a city that teeters periously on being seedy. REAL seedy. Take an evening or even a daytime stroll with your head on a swivel. Better yet, just stay in your king bed (gotta give the place credit for their "suite dreams" mattresses) and watch TV instead.
I would come back if I had to.
6 Reasons this hotel failed
Here is a copy of what I sent to the hotel management:
Dear Customer Service-
I must say that I have just completed the most dissapoting stay at the Hilton Hartford. Granted it was a very reasonable rate for a last minute booking, but that hardly excsues the level of service I received. The new decor and ambiance hardly justify the poor customer service and staffing that I received. It's a good thing that my reservation was only for one night or I would have gladly paid the early departure fee that was displayed on my keypacket. Fortunetely there are other hotels in the area with an adeqate level of service.
First, it took nearly 30 minutes to check in. My colleague and I waited in line in the lobby for about 25 minutes untill someone could check us in. Apparently there was a jazz festival in town. Yet, wouldn't it be wise to have more than one front desk person on a busy weekend?
Secondly, during checkin my reservation details were not confirmed. I had to ask the rate, number of days, etc... it seemed to be an inconvenience to him. When he issued me the keys to my room he said my room number out loud. With all the security measures in place, why on earth would he say my room number outloud? That is completely unacceptable. I have never traveled anywhere that would do that.
Thirdly, when I arrived to my room it was hardly clean. The bathroom had hair on the toliet with some yellow stains on the seat. Obviously the bathroom toliet was not on the list of things to clean. I went back down to the desk to switch rooms as the room was not clean, and there was the same line. I was not willing to wait another 25 minutes or so to switch rooms. When I went back to my room (1618) I realized that it was directly accross from the elevator. It was the absolute closest room to the elevators. If the front desk person had even bothered to check my profile, it would see that my only request is away from the elevators. Obviously Hilton Honors is hardly worth the time if the receiptionists won't even bother to confirm the details. Needless to say, I hardly slept that night. Many people were coming and going at all hours from the elevators. (I'm sure this is expected at a busy hotel, that's why I ask to be away from them.)
Fourth, I joined my friend at your restaurant for dinner. This was the absolute icing on the cake. My friend and I ordered drinks first. The waiter brough my drink back (correctly as ordered) and brought a root-beer for my friend... despite her asking for a "root-beer float." When the waiter brought it to the table and began to pour the root-beer, I reminded him that she had asked for a root-beer float. He took the drink away and returned moments later with the same glass of ice and soda and placed it down and quickly walked away. The drink was the same as before - no changes - not as ordered. He returned to take our dinner order and I asked him firmly for a root-beer float, not a root-beer soda. He again, took the soda away and returned with a fresh soda and again poured the root-beer soda. I simply let it go at this point, becuase it was quite embarrassing. My appetizer of crab-rangoons arrived ice-cold. The fruit salad my friend had was fine. Much can be same of the sandiwches we ordered. I asked for no relish on my sandwich but asked for russian dressing to remain as it came. My sandwich was very dry and had no dressings of any kind. The BLT my friend ordered came dry as well, with no mayo as asked. I was gravely dissapointed, and was shocked when the nearly $70 bill came.
Fifth, housekeeping knocked on my door at eight or nine in tbe morning despite my do not disturb sign. I asked if she could come back later because I wanted to sleep late. She obliged, and then started vacumming outside my door.
Sixth, I decided to avoid the restaurant and order room service. Since I could not sleep becuase of the vacumming, I decided this was best. I ordered at 9:30 AM and was told it would arrive in 25 minutes. My order arrived shortly after 10:30 - The only reason I caught my food was becuase the gentleman delivering it arrived in the elevator I was going to use to leave. Again, the food was ice cold. I ordered an omlette and eggs bennedict for my friend. Both dishes, very cold.
I have no problem paying for service or goods - however, I expect them to be satisfactory. I expect someone to deliver food in a time-frame that they provide. I expect my requests to be followed as best as possible. I expect a clean hotel room upon arrival. I expect to be checked in within a timely manner. I, quite frankly, expected more from a Hilton.
Nicely redone. great city hotel
This hotel was recently redone, with new everything. It is neat, smart, and feels very European. Small rooms, but very functional. Great beds that rival the Westin and "W" chains. For HHonors premier members, the HHonors lounge is nice, and a good deal for breakfast. I found the rates to be very reasonable for business travel, but a little put-off by the $15.00 parking fees.
Dining onsite is marginial, but there is a nice resturaunt row a little walk from the hotel with great seafood and an Irish pub.
My choice for the greater Hartford area, especially on business travel.
My husband and I were a bit skeptical after reading the reviews, but...to our pleasant surprise, this hotel was fantastic!! The front desk was friendly, the hotel lobby was chic and classy. and the room was wonderful!!! The bed was beyond comfy!!! It was like sleeping on a cloud!! The rooms were newly renovated and they are beautiful and have a very relaxing atmosphere.....Also, we had breakfast downstairs in the hotel restaurant and it was great..I highly recommend the blueberry pancakes! I would stay here again in a heartbeat...
Renovated, now a Good Hilton
This was a return visit shortly after the big remodel, and I was curious to see whether Hilton has succeeded in resurrecting this big downtown Hartford hotel. From what I can see, the remodel worked and this is now one of the Good Hiltons, very good indeed.
After parking in the garage behind the hotel ($15/day for self park, caveat emptor) the elevator foyer I entered to go up to the lobby had that just-painted, new hotel smell. The lobby area is totally fresh, clean and cool, completely updated and stylish. Remember the shabby, worn-out lobby at the old Hilton? It's much nicer now.
At check-in there was a problem with my Web reservation. I rarely have problems with online reservations, but the front desk clerk saw that it was Hilton's mistake and fixed it immediately, with an apology and with good cheer. Excellent save!
My room was on the west side of the hotel, and with the June afternoon sun hitting it the inside temp was over 80 degrees when I entered. The poor in-room HVAC unit wasn't keeping up and I had to open the room door for a while to borrow some of the crisp hallway air. (Tip: even-numbered rooms face east toward downtown and don't get the hot afternoon sun.) But after 5PM and a less intense sun, the room cooled nicely.
Honors floor king room had been completely redone in cool green and blue pastels and honey-toned woods. All brand-new furnishings, good lighting throughout and big windows (and that afternoon sun!). Bed had a nice duvet, lots of new pillows, and a honkin' big pillowtop on the mattress which made the bed exceeding soft...firm mattress lovers, you are warned. Bathroom small but had new solid fixtures, a granite-like pressed stone vanity, and good lighting. Both room and bath looked and smelled so completely clean I wondered if I were the very first guest to stay in the room since the remodel. Unfortunately, wired broadband cost $9.95 per day and was definitely flaky---had to give up on it and use Blackberry instead for email.
Main dining room is a wierd concept...Jewish deli meets American Chinese? But strangely enough, it sorta works. Deli sandwiches almost a foot high, Chinese takeout favorites served in an airport-sleek space with touches of humor. Wait staff very good and informal ("Are you lovin' the sandwich?"). Breakfast portions are huge. The lobby cocktail lounge is very mod and posh, and a lot of suits were in attendance at the bar during my stay.
I would stay here again on business despite the issues I had, which were minor. Very successful renovation!
Decent room, good location and very nice gym. Service was a bit lacking and parking was outrageous. Good for what it was.
Avoid this hotel!
- Front desk staff didnt smile or make any effort to make guests feel welcome. - In general, staff members appeared to have a morale problem, lacking any sense of pride in their jobs. - Our reservation for a kind-size bed was never honored - despite a 5-day stay. - There were numerous problems with our room including burned out light bulbs, no TV remote, no hairdryer, and most disgusting of all, what appeared to be ejaculate was stuck on the inside of the window! - Restaurant selection was poor. Only one (1) restaurant was open during busy meal times, and the food was cold when it arrived. - Several floors reeked of mildew. - The $1.00 charge per local call is usury and not competitive with other hotel chains that have eliminated such charges.Best advice - wait until the Marriott is completed in 2004!
Location great. Price was fine. Room ok. Front desk a little like the Soup Nazi-Stand in line, step forward, state name, state why you are here. This leaves a very bad taste. Management needs to train staff that even customers are people except that management probably does not believe it either and employees are simply reflecting mangement attitude.