I had a 5 night stay at the end of June/begin July period - this was just before the high summer season. The rate I had was reasonable before as the week after, it was much higher - I assume it's...
I had a 5 night stay at the end of June/begin July period - this was just before the high summer season. The rate I had was reasonable before as the week after, it was much higher - I assume it's because of the start of the summer holiday peak period. This was my first time to this property and country.
The property is located in what I believe is a fairly new development area of St. Julians with a luxurious yacht harbour next to the property and some luxurious apartment/condominium complex. Next to the hotel is quite a big casino. There is supposed to a smaller shopping mall too, but it seems to be closed/not ready.
Walking down the hill, there are lots of different shops, restaurants and transportation. Basically I found the location to be very convenient for both business and leisure purposes. For those looking for the night scene, the famous bar/nightclub street is just round the corner, about 5-10 mins walk away from the hotel.
For those wanting to take the bus from the airport, the direct X2 bus will stop at the bus stop just about 5 mins from the hotel - although maybe with large bags/trolleys it would be incovenient due to the limited space in the bus and the slight uphill climb. Other than that, a taxi/share-ride from the airport should around 20??? (for the trip back, did see some cheaper rates offered by the different tourist agency close by the hotel, 10???).
One best thing about the property is the free parking - so if renting a car, this is super convenient.
Arrived at the hotel just slightly after 1530. The front desk was on the busy side with all agents occupied. As you enter the hotel, they do take your temperature (and you have to wear masks - during my visit). Since no agent was free I was ushered to take a seat and as soon as an associate became free I was directed to the desk. (There was a Priority line, but as in so many hotels, it was unmanned). I had already seen on the Hilton app that I was assigned a twin-bed with seaview on the Executive floor.
I was assisted by a friendly Front Desk supervisor and was given a run down of the different amenities and changes in service in current times. Since I had wanted a King bed room, I enquired about this and also possibility of a further upgrade to possibly a suite. Sadly, it was just a switch to a King room still with view of the sea after some discussion with the back office.
As I completed the registration process, I was told to wait and take a seat as I was told that I would be greeted by the Duty Manager. After just a short while, the Duty manager, Mohammed was there to extend his welcome and greeting as a Diamond member and at the same time offered a pre-arival glass of Processco.
Was very impressed with the welcome especially at a Hilton and outside of Asia. If just more hotels were do this - a small (and not expensive) gesture, yet a nice lasting impact to the guest.
The room was situated on the 9th floor - the same floor as the Executive Lounge. The property seems to have an extended wing - identified by the different colour of the door. I am not sure where the differences are between these 2 sections of the property. The room was located quite close to the end of the extended wing.
The room was actually very spacious (I have been given such sized room before - and the hotel categorizes it as a Jr Suite) with lots of natural light. The view was towards the sea and the adult-pool and the pool of what seems to be another accommodation complex. There was a small balcony (all rooms do come with a balcony - just different sized).
There was a nice seating area with a coffee table and working desk. The minibar was filled and electronically controlled. Coffee/tea making facilities were still provided and very well stocked. There was a bottle of water already provided in the room - but later I did get an additional 2 bottles (1 still and 1 sparkling) with a small packet of local cookies and welcome note from the GM - most probably as an elite member. Furthermore, not sure based on which criteria, I did get close to daily (except 2nd and last day) an additional bottle of sparkling water (not sure if it was coincidence or they knew I preferred sparkling) with a packet of the cookies. Another small but good service point.
The air-condition in the room did work well, however for the first day and night - after having it switched on for some time, it started to rattle like crazy - switiching it off and on again, it would be ok for about 30 mins before it started to make loud noises. The next day I did report this and by the time I returned it was fixed - although the noise level was still on the higher side at low fan setting. It did however do it's work to cool down the room (it was > 35 deg outside). Wifi was the other problem which I found at the property - no matter where you were except in the lobby/restaurant area - the signal kept dropping or it was slow (sending/receiving item for example via chats were even difficult at times). I did not bother to bring this up - but indeed when pointing this out to one of the lounge associate, this was verified that this was the case.
Bed quality was good and comfortable - most of the nights the sleep quality was good (except the 1st due to the airconditioning issue). The bathroom was also large with a 2 washbasin, walk-in shower and a bathtub. Water control and pressure was good (I did had to fix myself one when the shower head was leaking water at the connection point everywhere - after removing and reattaching it back, it was fixed).
They also had evening turndown service - although I am not quite sure what the prupose was exactly - I had expected that they would swap used towels and some small touch up to the room - only once was it done. Other days, they were either early and they only asked if an additional towels were needed or additional bottles of water. Although the daily housekeeping service was very good - only 1 day where you did see a big difference in quality when the usual housekeeping associate was not working that day. [I hope that he, Marlon and Erik did get voted as employee of the day/week with the recognition card]
Other than that, both outside and inside noise were minimal - from this aspect which I am grateful that I did not get a full pool facing room as there were on a number of nights wedding reception and music was quite hard - and with this room, it was blocked by the other wing which helped. Also the daylight blinding curtains were very good - kept the room sufficiently dark in the early summer sun.
All in all, I found the room to be comfortable and ticked most of my boxes - despite not getting the upgrade.
The executive lounge was located at the other end of the property (from my room), it had 2 entrance - depending on where your room is located. The lounge area was large - but with current distancing ruling, it did not always manage to accommomdate everyone's desired seating preferrence. Due to the current situation, service was adapted and what I believe was normally a buffett style service, food are brought to your table during the different specific hours - breakfast, high-tea and evening hors d'oeuvres, Outside of these hours, you can always get some soft drinks and tea/coffee.
Even with the reduced/adapted service I did find the offerings to be sufficient and well executed. For me the highligh was the high-tea service - with quite some delicious offerings.
Breakfast service was very limited - especially on the hot items. If a simple breakfast is sufficient, than it is much better to have breakfast in the lounge due to it being less crowded (especially in weekends) compared to the main restaurant. (there is an option between the lounge and the main restaurant for breakfast).
Afternoon tea - you'll get a 3 tiered selection of savory and sweet offerings including the expected scones and in case here, whipped cream.
Evening offerings - this mainly a couple of hot finger food, and than always olives and cheese. Alcoholic selection included some local wine and a few simple cocktails including Kinnie Spritz (similar to Aperol Spritz).
Service was very good - especially since most of the staff were always the same. It was quite obvious that there were some returning guests (they do get extra attention). Although one small improvement would be maybe if someone is staying > 2 nights, you would expect that they can remember their room number as this is asked every time you enter the lounge. (In Asia for sure they would have known you by name already).
A big shout goes out to Silvia (which was the lounge manager/supervisor), John, Margo, Anastasia and Innocent - they were a great team - managing to keep a balance between service and engaging with the guests.
Breakfast in the main restaurant was adapated to the current situation - still buffet style, but everything is plated for you as you point towards it. I would recommend especially during the weekend to go early as lines during the weekend when I was there were crazy long.
They do have an area sectioned off for elite members - but that area is really too small on busy days. For Elite members, they do have a separate menu, consisting mainly of differen poached/egg benedict dishes. Here again - I only recevied this additional menu on the 3rd day.
Other than that, it was clear that staff was streched during this adapted service - and they did work hard. All in all, impressed with the service which was quite flawless (a few incident of mixed up orders) and efficient.
Food quality and variation was good.
The pool area was large - but is istill very crowded especially during the weekends. On the not so busy days, it was indeed a very area to relax and cool down from the heat. I was quite surprised that prices were very reasonable for a hotel - much more reasonable compared to what you get charge in lots of other summer destination and Asia for this level of hotel.
They do have an adult-only pool area - which can also get crowded on busy days. All in all, the lack of a true beach (which is not that many on the main island) did not really matter much as the pool area was sufficient.
All in all, was very impressed with the service here at this property. Lots of the (international) staff were friendly and did their best to make your stay as comfortable and unforgettable. I was quite impressed with the diferent managers at this property - you do seem them going around and checking on things. The duty manager which I met, Mohammed - he seemed to be really enjoying and making sure that guests are taken care of and checking on them whenever he's around. They seem to be working quite long hours from early morning till late in the evening. It's great to see a property in Europe with such great service.
All in all, a great and memorable stay. I will certainly return to this property when I next visit the country. This has to be one of the best Hilton in Europe region on my experience.
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