Last weekend was my nieces first birthday, so the other half and myself decided that we would be packing the kids up and travelling to Basingstoke to visit. Having to travel from Essex we thought even though it's only about and hour or 2 away (depending on the traffic) that we would stop over for the night and go to a gig. So armed with the knowledge that we would be staying on Thursday we decided to book a hotel in Basingstoke. Due to the lateness of our plans we seemed to be out of luck with travel inn and Premier Lodge as being a family of 5 we needed a family room. So this is where the Hilton came into the picture as there is one not to far from where we wanted to be as the hotel is also in Blackdam not as close to the location os the Travel Inn but it would do. Booking. After visiting the website for the Hilton, I wasn't to sure still if we could book a family room as we even though the site was easy to navigate and user friendly, due to the fact that there was 5 of use I like to book via the phone and speak to staff to make sure there is no confusion, as some hotels only allow 4 to a room. This is where I was greeted by a lovely American lady, who ensured me that we could all stay in the same room which was great, without asking for any other detail (I had already gotten them from the website) I gave her my card number and booked the room. Getting There. Okay I'm going to be totally honest with you. I am so lame at giving directions it's unbelievable, Plus seeing as we all live all over the country I'm going to give you the address at the end of the review. This way if you wish to stay at this hotel you can stick the postcode in to your Sat Nav, or Google the location. This way I won't feel so bad when you end up in Scotland. .... Right now we have that cleared up I can go back to the review with a clear conscious. The Hotel. My first impression was okay were at the hotel, nothing to glam unless you go by cigarette butts put out on the featured outer wall light nice. Parking was ample as there only seemed to be a few cars in the car park (about 15) so after parking up we left the kids in the car with my brother (he was staying with family in Blackdam) and went to see if we could check in early (the Hilton say's on the site that if you wish to check in early and the room is available the would be happy to accommodate you). So at reception, I gave my name and a few details as I had forgotten to take my reservation / booking number, but this was not a problem and the found me straight away. But due to getting there 2 hours early we were told we would have to wait a while as the room was being cleaned. Not a problem as this gave me a few hours to pop into town and do a bit of cloths shopping and we could be back in time for the actual checking time of 03.00 pm. Arriving back at the hotel is were I started to feel a little let down and annoyed, as when I tried to check in I was told there was no room .... What I was here 2 hours ago and it was being cleaned???? Now I'm being stared at by a member of staff, finally we suggest she makes a phone call and check on what is happening, so a phone call later and with member of staff checking the room and a manager standing next to me. I find out that they let the person already in the room stay on longer opt for a late check out. Now I'm totally gob smacked I was here 2 hours ago and told the room was being cleared. And even more so at the fact that they have a wedding fare this weekend and have no other rooms. In the time that I was standing there I don't think that I see a light bulb switch on and I certainly didn't hear any sound of mouse wheels churning in the brain departments, this is where I found the staff to be a bit lacking. Okay the ordeal only lasted for about 15 minutes due to the fact that I wasn't prepared to wait another few hours and asked if there was a late arrival for another family room and suggested we swapped rooms. But I will give credit where it's due, the staff did take to this idea and within a few minutes and a couple of clicks on the computer, the rooms had been swapped and we were given our room key. So with no idea where we were going as we was not told what direction the room was in we set of to locate the room and take the luggage up leaving my brother still trapped in the car with the 3 kids and on the verge of a nervous brake down. Finding the room was simple as they are clearly marked with wall signs, the only thing I found was the lack of ease getting to the rooms which I am going to point out now. At the Hilton n Basingstoke, there are no lifts so if you are disabled or have a wheelchair, lots of children or are unable to carry lots of luggage make sure you point this out when booking, so you can get a room on the ground floor. The door don't open in uniform, so it's a case of pull one push one, which can be tricky if you have a lot of luggage. (Only a minor fault but when I walked into the second door thinking that it would go in the same direction as the last, I was a left rosy cheeked). When I opened the door to room 271 I was relieved as the room was laid out nicely with all the usual guff, tea, coffee, kettle, the beds were made fresh and the sofa bed was laid out and dresses they had also set up the travel cot. Inside the room also was an iron, ironing board and trouser press, towels and 2 sets of complimentary shower gel, shampoo and conditioner and television. After settling the kids into the room and switching on the tv, I stepped into the very clean bathroom for a shower. Which I must add was very disappointing due to the lack of pressure (it would have been quicker to wash in the rain), at one point I was tempted to fill the bath up and dunk my head in to the water to get the bubbles out of my hair, but there was no way I was going to rinse my hair in dirty water. So we decided to skip washing the kid hair and just give them a quick shower. The hair dryer supplied in the bath room was a bit pants too, so with me packing up half the house I reached into my case and used my own, finding a plug for it was not a problem. But when it came to putting my makeup on was a different story with no main light that I could fine in the room, and one of the bulbs out in the bathroom I had to get by with using the light from the 3 lamps provided in the room which wasn't to bad. So we've now been out for the night and ready for a good nights sleep, and that's exactly what we got, I do have to say that the beds were very comfortable. Breakfast. This as good, you can choose pretty much what you want, from fried breakfast, fruit, toast, and much more they also have a good variety of drinks and juices. Other Stuff. On the website I looked at www1.Hilton.com they advertised a swimming pool, it is also in the description for the Hilton Basingstoke on Dooyoo. But I will inform you that the Hilton Basingstoke does not have a pool, as we found out after packing our swim wear, I'm just glad that we didn't put it on and walk round looking for a pool and used our noddles and asked. But they do have a small gym. There was also a modem in our room, which we didn't use. But I do believe that the lable on it stated that the cost of use was £15. I'm not sure if this is for a week but seeing as I was trying to get ready, you may want to ask about this if you plan on using it. If you are on a long stay you can also rent a games console, we only stayed one night so we had no us for this, but again you might want to check prices before booking this item. We had a car and being 2 miles from town, seems a bit out of the way for a main hotel, i cannot comment on the public transport options as i didn't need them. This hotel hosts, funtions like wedding fares and meetings so could get busy. So What Did It Cost Me? Family room for 5, one night stay 18th October - 19h October 2008 including breakfast £64.00 With the hidden charge of £1, as a customer voluntary donation, which I wasn't told about, but soon noticed when I woke up to the bill on the door mat in the morning. I did pay the donation though as it was only £1 and not £100. Overall Opinion. I personally wouldn't call this a 4 star rated hotel, but I does the job intended. It's somewhere to stay, and for £64.00 per night including breakfast I didn't consider it too bad for a one off occasion. However if I was staying for a week I would look elsewhere first as for a week it could be expensive, especially if you want to use the internet or other extra's such as room service or games consoles. I have given the Hilton in Basingstoke 3 out of 5 stars, due to the booking confusion and lack of shower power. Somehow I don't think for one minute that Paris would be begging daddy to fly her to Basingstoke for a holiday! Hilton Info. Hilton Hotel Old Common Road, Blackdam, Basingstoke, RG21 3PR Tele: 01256 460 460. Fax : 01256 840 441. If outside the Uk, International code + 44 then number. Thanks for reading.
Stayed here in February 2004. Nice chain hotel with staff who are trained to provide service. Have you been to those reception desks where you just know that your presence at the desk is just an annoyance to the receptionist. - Definitely one of the more easily discernable differences between.. a very cheap hotel.. and a hotel where you are paying for the service. The hotel itself is everything you mgiht expect from price range. Clean with that touch of laura ashely pseudo cottage character chain chic. (as Cottage charater chic goes in a multi-million pound hotel). Nice pool and leisure facilities, nice room, nice bathroom, ... its all.. nice. The most outstanding thing is the very good service. We had an unfortunate chance to call upon out of hours service to help with a minor medical emergency. The subsequent service, attention and consideration was highly commendable. If you want a comfortable, non-hassle place to stay, I would recommend this chain. (on my experience). If your looking for a holiday destination.... Im not sureeee Basingstoke is it! But someones Basingstoke may be another persons Taj Mahall. !! ???? (Perhaps if it is your Taj Mahall, you ought to seek some advice from a close friend for signs of delusion of grandeur. )
Hampshire is a lovely county and Basingstoke sounded nice. And there's a Hilton there. The chance to earn a few "Hhonors" points and write a review about a previously un-rated hotel was irresistible. An old school friend of mine lives in nearby Winchester. It all added up. We booked the hotel on-line and let Simon know that we were coming. Things started to go terribly wrong. We were staying 15 miles away from Simon. And he had decided to spend the weekend with his family - you guessed it - 15 miles away from us. This was communicated in an e-mail in which he demanded to know why we were staying in such a "Godforsaken" town (I won't use his precise terminology) as Basingstoke. I back-tracked a little. Basingstoke is two things. It's certainly a complete dive - and I apologise to residents and fans - but it is. It's also - on a more positive note - very convenient for visiting delightful Hampshire towns such as Winchester, Wiltshire towns such as Salisbury and is not too far from Heathrow airport. Basingstoke is a commercial town and if you need to be here on business, then this is fine. As a leisure destination - fine - just get out of town. Just don't attempt it on a Bank Holiday. The World and his wife will also be joining the mass exodus, as we soon discovered when we attempted to visit the New Forest. Booking / Reception... ...Was simple, if typically inaccurate. I'd booked on-line through the Hilton site and was recognised on arrival. I was offered a free newspaper (they got it wrong on the first day) and was offered a wake-up call. Travelling with baby Josh means that a wake-up call was totally unnecessary, but other people might appreciate one. The whole process was friendly and comprehensive. I'm a smoker and had requested a smoking room. Room 111 was non-smoking and I couldn't open the door with the supplied keycard. We returned to reception and were quickly re-allocated to room 243 and told how to use the keycard. Apparently, you need to really push it in. I followed the advice and it worked. We entered... Our Room... ...and were vaguely disappointed, to be honest. Firstly, I had clearly not been upgraded to a "Plaza" room, which, as a Gold VIP Hhonors member, is something to which I ought to be entitled. More importantly the room was - well - dull. Hotels used to excite me. I used to be jealous of those who stayed in them regularly through business. I, however, stay in hotels for a "treat". And I was acutely aware that I was staying in a room at a chain hotel. Nothing wrong with that, but it was just so predictable. Many Hilton hotels make an effort to be something special. I just didn't get that impression here. Door opens. Bathroom on the right - standard stuff. Clean and presentable. Standard toiletries which - surprisingly - were not replaced on day 2 of our stay. Not exactly a problem, but not exactly "superb" either. Move forward and find the rest of a fairly cramped room, which featured a double bed, two chairs and a table, a working desk and chair, ample storage space and - of course - the ubiquitous trouser press. Clean, green carpet and somewhat tired cream wallpaper that was showing signs of wear. Nothing wrong whatsoever. But nothing out of the ordinary, either. This is a modern, brick-built chain hotel and, looking out of the window onto the courtyard I could not help but wonder if I was on the set of the Aussie Soap, "Prisoner Cell Block H". A contemporary, purpose-built two-story building, it screams "Chain Hotel" At the top of its voice. As a newbie Hotel guest, I would have been impressed. There's nothing wrong with this place. There's just nothing, either, to make it stand out. Apart, of course, from the wonderful... Staff... ...Who are superb. Without an y shadow of doubt - particularly in the lovely restaurant. We were staying on a package that included table d'hote dinner and breakfast. The main restaurant is called the "Britisserie" and serves decent portions of good quality British food. I enjoyed a lovely steak and Amanda opted for a delicious salmon dish. Baby Josh was well catered for from the "Planet Hilton" menu and only chucked a few of his fish fingers from his high chair. We need to work on his table manners. To say that the attention he received from our friendly waiter, Sadiq, was comprehensive, friendly and far beyond the call of duty would be making something of an understatement. The food was good, the service was superb and the environment was divine - we ate in a conservatory with views over well-maintained gardens; the ambience was pretty well perfect and Josh was very well looked after. But, of course, he's gorgeous! Amanda and Josh returned to the room. In the interests of research, you understand, I decided to pay a visit to the... Bar... ...Which was very pleasant. In fact it's one of the first things you encounter at the hotel. Reception is pretty open-plan and tasteful. The reception desk is on your left and straight ahead of you is the bar, the "Caffe Cino" and the Restaurant. Search hard enough and you'll also find the swimming pool and "Living Well" Health Centre. The bar, however, was where I found my niche and I enjoyed a few beers, at very reasonable prices, served by extremely friendly staff. The seating was comfortable and the opportunity to engage in a spot of discreet people watching (one of my favourite activities) was excellent. In Summary... ...A great hotel if you're on business in Basingstoke. I'd totally misinterpreted the raison d'etre of this town - Holiday destination it ain't! That said, it's well located for beautiful Winchester and S alisbury and wouldn't be a bad base for visits to the New Forest. The staff are fantastic and make the very best of what is essentially a functional chain hotel. And that's what it is. A chain hotel. I remain a fan of the Hilton group. I just think that this particular venue is, despite having absolutely superb staff, almost totally devoid of character. And that's a shame. Andrew