My niece and I stayed here a couple of weeks ago. This hotel's biggest asset is its location in the Paddington train station (for the Tube, trains in/out of London, and the Heathrow Express to Heathrow airport). Paddington station is a major transportation hub and therefore has several dining options (a Starbucks is connected to the lobby of the hotel) and a number of other shopping venues (the Paddington Bear store is really cute!). There is a Marks & Spencer food store as well as a grocery store. This makes shopping for snacks, meals, and small souvenirs quite convenient.
The Hilton at Paddington station is, as best I can describe it, a BIG OLD dinosaur. The building is very old but the public areas are nicely refurbished in an attempt for old world elegance. We had access to the Executive Club (on the 1st floor) for snacks and drinks and I have no complaints about the Executive Club. There were a variety of snacks (hot and cold), the coffee was actually good, and the staff was friendly and professional.
I had reservations for one of the smaller terrace suites. The Hilton has several categories of terrace suites and our initial room, #642, was a single room with a terrace and bath. Do not choose this room if you are claustrophobic or if there are two of you. The problem is this: There is a large flat screen TV that is mounted on a pole at the foot of the bed. This forces you to lie in bed if you want to watch TV. We also thought that the TV placement could pose a hazard if you get out of bed quickly in the middle of the night (the room is so small that the area between the bed and the walls is very, very narrow). Placing the TV on a pole like this makes the room feel even smaller than it really is. For approximately $500/US dollars a night, I wanted to be more comfortable.
After expressing my concerns to the gentleman at the front desk (who was very helpful) I was offered other terrace suites (for a significant additional cost, of course) and I was allowed to visit the rooms before I made my decision (accompanied by a bell captain). We moved next door to #643 (the Muirgold Suite). This is a two room suite with living room area, bedroom, and bath with a very large terrace and for my troubles we were given complimentary hot breakfast each day. The breakfast selection in the hotel restaurant was very nice and varied with a wonderful self-service pancake machine!
Caution #1: The room rates at the Hilton include all taxes. However, if you upgrade to a more expensive room you will have to pay the tax on the cost differential. I thought this was sneaky. And, if you plan to claim VAT refund at the airport you can only claim taxes on hotels if you are traveling on business (make sure you book a business package rate so that this is listed on your receipt).
Caution #2: The Muirgold Suite is on the 6th floor of the hotel and you will wind through several corridors to get there as well as a set of steps. This could be tough depending how much luggage you have.
Next, I will rate the Muirgold Suite by its pros, cons, & oddities:
• Lots of room to spread out
• Flat screen TVs in both living room and bedroom
• Nice views from the terrace
• Comfortable bed (firm mattress)
• Mini bar (which means you have a refrigerator in the room. If you take things out to make room to store your own snacks you will get charged for the items – even if they are sitting on top of the Minibar. I took a picture of the items to show the front desk that I had not consumed anything and the charges were removed from my bill).
• The suite is showing lots of wear and tear. There was a big rip in the wall paper behind one chair. You really don't expect this level of shabbiness in a room where you are paying almost $800/US dollars a night.
• The water pressure in the bathroom is iffy and neither of us could figure out how to turn on the shower head.
• The central AC/Heating unit is unique from all of the other rooms in the building (so I was told) and we could never figure out how to regulate the heat. That is, the problem was either the heat was on (full blast) which meant that the room got so hot it was unbearable (we cooled the room by opening the terrace doors) or it was completely off. We could not find a happy medium. I asked for maintenance. I tip my hat off to Michael, who tried very hard, several times to fix the heating unit, but was unsuccessful. He did try, but he also left dirty, sooty, fingerprints all over the ceiling where the access panel is located. Housekeeping did not bother to clean these off. Note to Hilton: I understand that there is only have one engineering/maintenance person on duty from 6:00pm to 6:00am. In a hotel with hundreds of rooms….really?
• In the Muirgold Suite you will hear construction noises coming from Paddington station. The first night we thought the loud banging noise was coming from a headboard in one of the adjacent rooms but after awhile we figured out that this was not the cause of the noise. One of the staff at the front desk later told me that work/construction happens at Paddington station during the night when train service has stopped and that the sound echoes through the pipes, etc. of the Hilton. Be forewarned, the banging noise is very, very loud and it will disturb your sleep.
• No free Wifi in the guest rooms.
• The large terrace had only 1 table with 4 chairs, two lounge chairs, and two small cube tables. The dimensions of the terrace furniture were off. That is, they were much too small for the size of the terrace. I think it could be a lovely space if proper terrace furniture was placed there. Granted, it was November and we weren't planning on lounging on the terrace in cold weather but it seemed to be a waste of space.
• The ceilings of the suite (in both the living room and the bedroom) have skylights with louvered blinds. The blinds do close, but light comes in around the blinds between the blinds and the molding. This means that if you want complete darkness you will not get it in this room.
• There is a control panel for the lights and it is very confusing. Instead of "on" and "off" switches there are confusing buttons that say "Scene 1", "Scene 2", "Master off", "Room On", etc. I think we figured out that Scene 1 would dim the lights but nothing else made any sense and there were no instructions in the room.
In conclusion, I would stay at the Hilton Paddington station again mainly because of the fact that it is such a great strategic point to operate from while visiting the city. The location is so convenient this outweighs anything that irritated me. However, I will not shell out the money for a terrace suite again and will choose one of the smaller, less expensive rooms.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hilton London Paddington has the luxury of being located 15 minutes from Heathrow Airport and is only a footbridge walk away from Paddington station. From the West End to the theatre District in London, nothing is too far away from this hotel. There is a fitness center and a business center with 18 meeting rooms that can accommodate up to 350 guests. Hilton London Paddington also has Wi-Fi in each of the hotel rooms and throughout the rest of the hotel. When it comes to dining, choose from the Brasserie Restaurant or the late night chic Steam Bar, both of which provide excellent quality cuisine to suit everyone. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hilton London Paddington Hotel London
- London Hilton
- Hilton Paddington