This past weekend, I jetted off to London with some friends for a little insanity. I mean, really. Who flies to London for a weekend? Yep, that’s me. Okay, enough of that. On to the story.
So, I of course needed a hotel for the weekend, and London being the place that it is, there really was no good options, especially with a last minute booking. The best options I could find taking into account location and brand were around $400 USD a night – way too pricey for me. I looked at Hyatt and SPG, my two preferred brands, and couldn’t find any cash and points rates, and didn’t feel like killing all my points there, since I value Hyatt and SPG points a lot.
So, I settled on the Hilton Green Park. Located just a few blocks away from Picaddily Circus, it’s in a good area, but standard rooms start at 60,000 Hilton points a night – a bit crazy. With rates soaring in the $400’s, I decided to just do it and book a regular room at 60,000 a night. Making the sting a little less painful, I transferred 60,000 Citi ThankYou points to Hilton, because right now they’re running a bonus that for every 1,000 ThankYou points you transfer, you get 2,000 points.
The Hilton Green Park really seemed my best option, despite it being 60,000 points a night:
- The hotel is located within a 10 minute walk of Picaddilly Circus, and all of the theaters there (I planned on seeing a show).
- The hotel was located 1 block off of the Underground, which was the same line that went to Heathrow.
- The hotel was central to walking around, Hyde Park, Buckingham Palace and required the least amount of Ubering. Considering I was really only in town for a day, location seemed essential.
- I didn’t care about the room type. Being a Hilton Gold via my Amex Platinum card, I’d get free breakfast, which was really the only benefit I cared about.
I checked into the hotel, and from the moment I stepped in, I could tell it really wasn’t something special. It was on the low end of a nice hotel, but “oh, well” I thought.
I went to the room and discovered a room that was not only the size of my closet, but had many faults as well:
- The carpet was as dirty as could be. The room just felt old and outdated, but with a filthy carpet, I really felt as if I was overpaying for my room.
- The bed was downright not comfortable. Now, I know comfort of a mattress can be a very opinionated question, but this mattress was similar to a prison mattress in comfort (and, for the record, I haven’t been to prison… ha!).
This picture probably doesn’t do it justice, but there were black stains and dirt throughout the room.
There really wasn’t much I could do other than suck it up for the weekend. I later contacted hotel management, and they were kind enough to compensate me by returning 60,000 Hilton points to my account, which I thought was very generous.
How I Let the Hotel Know of My Concerns
I followed some of my own tips to complain to hotels. First, I wrote to Hilton on Twitter asking for resolution, and they kindly contacted hotel management, which, much to their credit, replied within just a few hours. They didn’t question any of the complaints I made and immediately refunded the points without issue.
Was this fair?
More than fair, in my opinion. 60,000 covers a full free night at the property, which I thought was very very generous. No complaints here.
I don’t like to put fault on hotels, because there’s almost always issues of some sort. But, when paying a premium of a ton of points a night, I really expect a clean room and a comfortable bed, two requests that shouldn’t be so hard. I very much appreciate them being proactive in returning my points.
Would I stay here again?
It depends. It really depends on the rate, I think. The property is in a good location, but really dated. It needs a major renovation. If it wasn’t 60,000 points a night or $400, I’d consider it.
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