So where do I start? I am a loyal Hilton fan and have stayed in properties all around the world. This is possibly the worst Hilton I have ever stayed in, in terms of accommodation, service and benefits/service you expect when being Gold or Diamond with Hilton.
Upon Booking: Used points to book 2 King Deluxe Plus Sea View rooms. Now I see why the redemption rate was so low (12,500 points per night plus taxes of around AUD $60)
Location: The resort is located in the very run down and tired area of Karon. My guess is that in the 80's this would have been a very good place to stay..unfortunately now Management nor Hilton seem to care about the property.
Check in: There are 2 lobbies. One is called the Welcome Lobby where you get driven in and bags unloaded...from there you catch the Hilton shuttle which run every 10 mins to the main lobby where they unload your bags. Security is very tight and they don't allow outside taxis, buses etc to go past the 1st.
Upon arrival we were ushered to the Hhonors desk and given cold towels and a pink cocktail...quite nice.
Agent explained we were "upgraded" to a better room type and given the details for the buffet breakfast each day.
Room: Agent escorted us to the rooms which were adjoining. I knew from previous reviews that the Lotus Wing had the renovated rooms, so the block we were in definitely wasn't that (Saitong wing 5th floor). Here is where the problems begun. Both rooms were just the standard room and one of the them had twin beds, when my reservation clearly had 2 King's booked. The agent expected me to be happy with this arrangement and made no attempt to fix the situation. She said the hotel was fully booked (it wasn't) and that this is what they could only offer. Not good enough.
I explained to her the reservation was made 5 months in advance, had confirmation in front of me for the bedding config (which is in the my Hhonors profile also) and that it definitely wasn't "upgraded" as she had mentioned. Over an hour went by before a room with a King was available in the Andaman wing (3rd Floor), looking over a dumpster, with a foul smell outside the balcony and definitely no sea view. In fact, this room looked like it hadn't been used in years. Very disappointing to have booked a certain room type, to then receive something below what you've booked.
After travelling and in the hot weather, we took the room for that night and I then emailed Hhonors and asked to speak to Management on 3 separate occasions to get something else sorted.
The Room Itself: Don't expect the usual soft Hilton bed to be in use here at this resort. The bed was rock hard with the springs being able to be felt when lying on it normally. It wasn't also a true King, with me being only 5 foot tall and my feet hanging out of it!
2 complimentary bottles of water (but you wouldn't know which ones, as they are all mixed within the fridge, so be careful when choosing them)
Small Peter Roth amenities (not full size) in a dangerous bathroom that has a step that you could quite miss if not looking where you walk.
32 inch LCD TV with a variety of channels including News, Sports, English language etc
No area to put up your suitcases. Balcony with small table and lounge chair outside.
Inside, tiny table and one very hard ottoman.
The bathroom flooded twice and we couldn't understand why. The bathroom is separate to the bedroom, however using the shower ended up having the main room tiles all seep of water in massive puddles with stretched at one point half of the room. It took 4 towels to cover the water (and there was a lot of water!!) The room wasn't clean. There was mould in the corners and shower had lots of grime on it.
The next evening I finally managed to get a Manager to speak to me and expressed my disappointment thus far. We were then shown a suite and given it for the next 2 nights. It was admitted that this should have been the room both bookings should have been given on check in, so quite annoyed it didn't happen in the first place.
The Hilton Suite was in the same wing on the 10th Floor. Fantastic 90 degree views across the resort and looking at the sea.
Separate lounge/dining and bedroom/bathroom. Tired and dirty furniture in good need of steam cleaning, and the floors needed a good mop (very sticky to walk on).
Bathroom however was large with 2 sinks, full size Peter Roth Amenities, more towels and very clean.
Overall Resort: The pools are quite good, lots of different areas and never very crowded. The water falls make a nice feature and the water was warm. You need to collect pool towels to use the pool, so remember to return them to the pool desks or else you will be charged 600 baht per towel.
Lifts: Goodness knows what would happen if you got stuck in a lift here. They are tiny, slow and you literally cannot breathe in them. I'm not one who gets claustrophobic, however I felt like I would pass out every time I got in one of them due to how hot they were inside.
Food: We ate at the following during our stay
Main Lobby: Snacks and Appetisers
Room Service: (overpriced on all menu items)
Buon Appetito: Italian (all you can Pasta or Pizza)
Cafe Cino: (Coffee, Sandwiches)
The food in all the areas was fresh and quite tasty. Reasonably priced (except for Room Service) as well as the cocktails and drinks on offer.
Entertainment: The Main Lobby has 3 female singers and male singer every night performing the latest songs and also doing requests. As hard as they tried it was like watching bad Karaoke, and the Hilton really should hire from a better agency than to have this act appear there for the next 3 months. Not only were they out of tune in most of the songs, 1 of the singers stood there and mimed most of it, and the entire act was not of a professional hotel standard.
Service: All hotel employees need to undergo better training in learning English. Not many of them spoke it, and those that did really struggled with the most basic of conversations. Not good enough for a property of this size that caters for the majority of tourists that would speak English.
DaySpa: Very overpriced day spa within the resort. Nice ladies and in a nice setting (all separate tiny villa treatment rooms). Great if you need a quick or basic treatment and don't want to venture out of the resort.
Transport: The hotel will overcharge you for any Taxi's or Tuk Tuk's, or even airport transfers. Organise yourself and do not pay their prices. They quoted 1900 baht for one way airport transport, where we paid 800 baht through a travel agency outside the hotel (very nice air conditioned van and friendly/safe driver)
Electricity Issues: On 4 occasions the hotel lost complete power. Once it happened while we were dining in a restaurant and the complete place went into darkness, you literally couldn't see a thing.
Be wary of Credit Card Fraud: So far nothing has happened to my CC, however on dining in one of the restaurants and wanting to pay by card rather than room charge, I watched the lady very closely who wanted to take it to the other end of the restaurant (instead of the machine right in front of me). I followed her, watched her closely and after it had been approved she wanted to write down the full CC numbers on her receipt. I asked her why (as it had been approved already) and she couldn't give me an answer. I explained I wasn't letting that happen, that she didn't need my card numbers and got it back from her. Be careful...you just never know.
Check out: I am guessing the man behind the main desk at check out was one of the lead Managers as he was friendly and spoke English well. He asked how our stay was, of which I said there were some issues.
All in all, I would never recommend for anyone to stay here, especially if you are used to some of the better Hilton properties. This really should be a Holiday Inn or lower end resort that caters to a low budget family crowd, as certainly didn't meet my expectations and has left a sour taste in my mouth.
Prior to the stay I also emailed the hotel 3 times asking various questions and confirming things. I didn't get one reply back, so I should have seen all the mistakes coming before then (other Hiltons normally reply back within 24 hours).
A waste of points and a waste of 3 days. Never again. I hope that Management do in fact read these reviews and take up the issues, as they certainly didn't during our stay.
Photos taken are of the suite only. Too embarrassed to post any of the terrible room we first had
Book a Suite. Don't even think about booking a lower room than this.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.