Cheers, N, I know the Cardiff property too and it is good – it was just an additional few miles away down the M4, which I didn’t want to drive, as I’d chosen Newport as the nearest chain hotel to Monmouth, where I was at a concert on Sat night. Ironically, when I was in Monmouth, I saw there was a Wetherspoon’s hotel and pub, with doubles for 50 quid; frankly, it couldn’t have been worse than the Hilton Newport.
Some more details on last night’s abysmal stay. We checked in at 23.30 and were offered complimentary breakfast and a newspaper. When we got to the room, the bedside lights didn’t work and nor did the main light on the bathroom (we were told that maintenance weren’t available at that time of night) – the bulbs had expired; it wasn’t a question of not having switched the master switch on (before VK suggests that). The complimentary newspaper didn’t arrive in the morning. Sleep was difficult due to the slamming of the noisy firedoors in the corridor and someone re-arranging the furniture, seemingly, in the room directly above.
At breakfast, our room number wasn’t registered for complimentary breakfast. We were seated by a waiter and then no-one came back for a long time to take tea/coffee/toast orders. In the end we had to go up to a waiter and ask. When the coffee came it was some awful cheap brand and totally undrinkable. The buffet itself was very tired, few choices and just truly awful. It made me nostalgic for the days of Little Chef.
To cap it all, when we checked out we were told that breakfast was not included in the rate.
This illustrates the differences one can find even between chain hotels. I stayed in the Hilton Antwerp a couple of weeks ago and it was truly wonderful, with the best Executive Lounge of any Hilton I’ve visited in Europe. The difference between Newport and Antwerp was like between Formule 1 and Four Seasons (I exaggerate, but not much).
I wish now, in retrospect, that I’d taken a chance on a ‘local’ hotel in Monmouth or Ross, after all (even Wetherspoons), rather than stick with my trusty and favourite chain. I’ve got the Hilton Olympia and Trafalgar Hilton in the next week, so I hope these are better!