Craig’s review… You can generally tell whether you’re going to like a hotel within the first two minutes, and it took me even less than that for the Trafalgar Hilton – I loved it as soon as I saw where it was located. It’s situated on one corner of Trafalgar Square, sixty seconds from the National Gallery and five minutes from Big Ben. If you want a great location then you can’t get any better than that – it’s absolutely perfect.
I was under the impression that Hilton hotels were 5-star, but this one is only a four. It still feels like a 5-star when you step inside, though. I was staying at a Mercure last week (another 4-star hotel) and the difference is like night and day. That place was a 3-star masquerading as a four, whereas this one is a 4-star that should be a five. The Mercure was overlooking the traffic in Paddington whilst this one is two minutes from Downing Street, and the price I paid was practically identical! So it just goes to show you that you shouldn’t put too much faith in the star-ratings because they don’t tell you the whole story.
The bedroom is nice and big with a separate sitting area and a desk, plus a big bathroom with a bath. You even get a set of scales to stand on (I stood on it, but I’m not telling you how much I weigh – I think they must be broken anyway). You also get a widescreen TV with a DVD player, minibar and safe, plus an ironing board and an iron, and something called a shoe mitt (I haven’t got a clue what this is).
But most importantly, how many teabags do you get? Well, I’m happy to report that they’ve been super generous – they’ve given me more tea than I can drink in a day. I’ve got eight teabags (but two of them are peppermint, so they don’t count), plus three coffees, two hot chocolates and six milks. And two biscuits. But one of the biscuits is banana flavour, and you can’t dip a banana in your cup of tea, can you? Because that’s just weird. So that doesn’t count either.
I always like to price up the minibar so you can see how expensive it is. Every hotel minibar is expensive, of course – that’s just the way of the world. Anybody who drinks the minibar dry is a total mug because the hoteliers know they’ll always be someone sitting here at midnight listening to the clock ticking quicker than the raindrops on the window. That’s when you break open the minibar and try and speed up time. But you’d have to be loaded to get drunk in here, because it’s £7 quid for just one tiny shot of vodka. Another £7 quid for rum and £3.75 for Coke. Even the water costs three quid.
I’ve just noticed a tiny sign on the minibar which says (and I quote): “Please be aware that any items moved will be charged using motion sensor technology.” Now they tell me! I’ve just been shifting the whole lot around to see what was on offer – I’ll probably get billed an extra fifty quid now. Ah well. I may as well drink the whole lot now.
They don’t have a proper restaurant in this place, only a breakfast room (which is basically the same as the downstairs bar). But they do have a rooftop bar that overlooks Trafalgar Square. And when I say a rooftop bar that is exactly what I mean: it is literally on the roof. If it’s raining then you will get wet. Apparently they only open it during the seasonal months (the sunny months), so if you visit during the winter then expect it to be closed. It really is rather special, though. It has a totally unique view that looks straight down onto Trafalgar Square towards the National Gallery, Nelson’s Column and St. Martin’s church. Unfortunately you have to reserve a table and they won’t let you have a simple coffee on its own – you have to actually sit down to eat or drink (it’s not like a pub bar). But it’s well worth popping along just to have a peer over the edge – the guy said he didn’t mind me doing it.
I’m not too fussed about their breakfast. I’d much rather they just put out a big pan of baked beans and hashed browns and sausages and eggs, but it was just a lot of cold hams and bread rolls. Then you have to sit there and wait for ten minutes while the egg chef makes you an omelette. That is the only hot thing that they have on offer: an omelette. But this is no ordinary omelette – he doesn’t just crack an egg into a pan and flip it over a few times. This omelette is a work of art, with mushrooms and peppers and meat and all the trimmings, all coloured like a folded pillow of gold. It was perfectly nice to eat, but where are the beans? Where are the sausages? There are none. And you’ll get bored of having an omelette every day.
So that is my only tiny criticism. The location = great. The room = great. The rooftop bar = great. The breakfast = not so great.
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