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“Worst Hotel I've EVER Stayed In” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Hilton Pensacola Beach Gulf Front

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Hilton Pensacola Beach Gulf Front
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   12 Via de Luna Dr, Pensacola Beach, FL 32561   |  
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Ranked #5 of 10 Hotels in Pensacola Beach
GreenLeadersSilver level
Cleveland, Ohio, United States
2 reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Worst Hotel I've EVER Stayed In”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2012

This review has taken me a long time to write. My boyfriend and I had such a horrible experience at this hotel that we can barely even talk about this vacation without first highlighting for everyone how terrible this place is.
My boyfriend and I were sitting around one dreary February day and decided we really needed a vacation. He told me about Pensacola and how beautiful it is. With all of the good memories he had of his last visit, it was hard to say no. We promptly booked our flights and gave the Hilton call.
We booked a Gulf View Room for 4 nights and ordered the Romance Package which we were told includes a bottle of Champagne, Roses and a full American breakfast. While we were on the phone I made certain to tell them that our flight would land at 11:30 and we would be at the hotel by 12:30 at the latest. I explained that we would be coming from Cleveland, Ohio and our trip would be long and asked that our room be ready when we got there. We were assured that there would be no problem with this and that our room would certainly be ready upon our arrival. With everything good to go, we were incredibly excited.
One day prior to our trip, I called again to make certain our room would be ready as soon as we got there. I was once again assured there would be nothing to worry about and that we would be taken good care of during our stay. Feeling confident, we rested easy, popped out of bed and headed to the airport.
Upon arrival in Florida we were thrilled. The trip was stressful (we had been travelling since 5am) and we couldn't wait to relax and have some fun. We hailed a cab and headed to the Hilton. Our ride there was awesome and the driver we had was 5 star.
When we got to the hotel there was no one outside to greet us. It was a bit chilly and windy, but still no help with our bags at all? In Cleveland our hotel staff stands outside in -10 degree weather to help guests with their cars and bags, I can't imagine the staff in FLORIDA was so freezing they couldn't say hello.
At this point we were incredibly exhausted but still very excited and headed inside.
We approached the front desk to check in. It was 12:05 pm. We were told that our room wasn't quite ready and that we would have to wait, but that it wouldn't be more than 30 min. Neither of us are very demanding people and we understand the stress of working in the service industry so we thanked them and sat down. After an hour of waiting I politely approached the woman at the front desk and asked if our room was ready. She coldly replied that the room was still being cleaned and we would have to wait. "It shouldn't be more than 30 min" we were once again told. I explained that we had informed the hotel on 2 ocassions that we were arriving at noon and that we had been told our room would be ready. Her response? "We never have allow guests to check in before 3pm, but your room should be ready soon. About 30 min actually."
I went and sat down with my boyfriend and told him what was said. We were both very upset. After another half hour of waiting, he went up to the front desk and asked to know what was going on. We had been waiting for 2 hours (or 4 sets of "Just 30 min") and the hotel was not busy at all. We had seen maybe 3 other people who were guests since we got there. They offered to take our bags and have them waiting in out room for us whenever it was ready. He got yet another estimate of 30 min. He asked to speak to a manager but was assured that this time we would get our room soon.
At this point we knew we were going to be waiting for a while so we went to the bar that was next to the lobby. We sat down and my boyfriend ordered a drink. I asked the bartender to make me something fruity, and that she did. Our bartender was absolutely amazing. Her name was Erin Black and she is the only reason I gave this hotel one star. She made excellent drinks, gave awesome food recommendations, great advice on where to go in town and was all around warm, kind and awesome. She was one of two people we met the entire stay we had there who knew what good customer service is and applied it while at work. The time started passing more quickly once we sat down with Erin and the next thing we knew, it was 5:00pm!!!
My boyfriend and I went up to the front desk again and demanded to speak to a supervisor. We had been waiting for our room for FIVE HOURS. After insisting and arguing with one of the front desk girls that she go get her manager, he magically appeared. He informed both of us that they were "incredibly busy" (they could not have been and that our room had been in the process of being cleaned (for 5 hours???). He told us that he would call housekeeping and have them clean our room right then (I thought it had been cleaned already???) and then we could go up to it. We finished our drinks and closed out our tab at the bar and waited another half hour for our room.
Just to recap: weeks before our vacation we called and told the Hilton we would arrive at 12:30 at the latest and they told us we wouldn't have any issues. One day before we arrived I called again to remind them we would be there at 12:30 at the latest and they again said we could have our room as soon as we got there. Then, on the day we got there we arrived at 12:05 and waited FIVE AND A HALF HOURS just to get our room.
When we finally got to our room we noticed something was missing. There was no Champagne to be found nor were there any flowers. My boyfriend called the front desk and they apologized and then basically hung up.
The rest of our stay was characterized by the same disorganization and rudeness. Every time we ordered room service we were treated like we were inconveniencing the Hilton staff. We would wait about an hour and then answer the door for someone who definitely hated their job. The portions of food were incredibly small. Even the night we ordered ice cream to our room it took over 30 min and it was less than one scoop.
During our stay in Pensacola, I somehow got an eye infection. I called my doctor and he asked where the closest pharmacy was to our hotel so he could send my prescription there. Not being from the area, I called the front desk and asked if they knew where the closest pharmacy was. They gave me the address and I had my prescription sent there. I also asked them if they could order a cab. They told me they had a great driver that could take us to the pharmacy and they would call our room when he arrived. He was there promptly and seemed really nice at first. He was incredibly chatty and we connected with him in that we were all from Ohio. As we continued down the road, our driver pointed out to us that the pharmacy we had chosen was about an hour away. To pass the time he started telling jokes. They were innocent at first and then 25 min into our drive he started with sexual jokes and then moved on to the racist ones. I'm not sure about anyone else, but as far as I'm concerned, I never want to hear the words "darkie" and "n*gg*r" from my cab driver. Not just because it's not something you should never say while you're at work but also because I'm black. I'm not sure he noticed that as my skin tone is relatively light and my hair was straight at the time, but either way it made both myself and my boyfriend incredibly uncomfortable. And don't forget, we still had about an hour and a half to go. By the time we got to the pharmacy we were so uncomfortable that we considered calling a different cab to take us back to the hotel. Ultimately, we decided that our game plan was going to be to just not respond to a word this guy said to us the entire way back. You would think he would have gotten the hint, but no luck. He talked the entire way back about everything from politics to religion. I have never been more thankful in my life to get out of a cab. When we got inside we told the person at the front desk about the last two hours. Their response? "Oh, really?" That's right Hilton. I asked you where the closest pharmacy was and you sent me to one that was an HOUR away from the hotel- with a racist cab driver whom you call one of your best. That cab ride by the way, $70!
The last slap in the face from Hilton came when we were checking out. They made sure to mention that they had taken the Romance Package off of our bill. Ya know, we were there for 4 days and we really would have liked to have had our Romace Package. We never asked them to not do it. We even called to mention that they hadn't. They asked how our stay was and we told them that we were both incredibly disappointed. They didn't ask if there was anything they could do for us and quite frankly they didn't even act as if they cared. They just responded with a "We hope to see you again" Why? So you can take our money and try to ruin another vacation of ours?
All in all our vacation was good - not because of the Hilton, but IN SPITE of it.
We plan on vacationing on Pensacola Beach again, but there's a hotel next door that looks pretty nice--Oh wait, they're owned by Hilton too. Never-mind.

Rachel Hemphill

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GinaDudley, General Manager at Hilton Pensacola Beach Gulf Front, responded to this review, October 3, 2012
Dear Ms. Hemphill:

Please accept my apologies, I have tried accessing your information but unable to locate any reservations with your name in our system. Please contact me directly.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,009 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (238)
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English first
Dallas, Texas
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2012

We stayed 2 nights and wished we had booked our other nights at this hotel unstead of going on to Destin. We got upgraded to bunk bed suite, the girls started screaming when they saw the suite. Wonderful clean rooms.. Loved our stay, will be going back for sure...

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
1 review
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2012

Overpriced (we paid $497 for one night) room. There was no parking spots available so we had to let the valet park our car so the next day when we had to leave for the airport, we couldn't find the valet to retrieve our car so my husband went in after waiting 10 minutes to complain we needed to leave for the airport so someone needed to find the valet to get us our car. The walls were paper thin and we had to endure listening to a very loud and obnoxious concert outside til after 11pm. I had to take sleeping pills to sleep because I was exhausted from travelling but the loud music kept me from sleeping. There was nothing nice about our room other than it had a balcony overlooking the ocean. Sure was not worth what we paid. If you go to Pensacola, find somewhere else to stay. People who worked at the desk were very nice to us otherwise.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GinaDudley, General Manager at Hilton Pensacola Beach Gulf Front, responded to this review, September 25, 2012
I have just read your review from the past weekend. I apologize you and your husband did not have a relaxing stay with us. It sounds like you were here during the "De Luna Music Fest" that was being held down the street. All of area beach hotels were completely full and had challenges with parking during this event. Please contact me directly so I may help with your return visit.
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Maple Grove, Minnesota
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2012

Went for a Company sales meeting. Initially put in a room facing the parking lot but I had them move me so I could have a view of the water. Beach was beautiful, food was good, employees very helpful. Pool bar was fun the bartenders were always friendly.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greenville, South Carolina
Top Contributor
86 reviews 86 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2012

Wife and I spent 1 SAT night here. Spent most of the time at the pool and on the beach. Pool bar is very nice, friendly bartender. Room very clean - was upgraded to a junior suite since I was Hilton Honors Gold level. The breakfast SUN morning was very good. For $3 per person you can upgrade from the free Continental breakfast to the "hot bar" portion" of the food (made to order omelettes, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, gravy, etc) - well worth it.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paragould, Arkansas
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2012

My husband and I stayed 7 days at this hotel. The staff played a big part in making our vacation a success. Though we did not have any children, one of the pools at this hotel is erfect for couples with small children. The hotel beach was kept very clean. This hotel is a must stay when planning vacations.

Room Tip: Beach side with balcony view is well worth it.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2012

While doing our research for where to stay in Pensacola, we found mixed results for this hotel. We did see that the location was great but you want to stay in the new tower. We called the Hilton Corporate main phone number for 3 things we wanted at the Pensacola Hilton: King bed, Ocean view, and new tower. We were promised and then paid upfront for these 3 requirements. When we arrived at Hilton Pensacola on August 13, 2012, we checked in and we were given a King, ocean view in old building. I asked to speak with the manager.
I spoke with Robert who upgraded us to a 2 bedroom condo with a king bed, ocean view, and in the new tower. He made things right. We then enjoyed the great access to the beach with chairs, pool, and numerous eating establishments within walking distance.
It was the romantic stay we were looking for. Nothing beat a great view of the Gulf from our bed.
Thank you Hilton and Robert.

Room Tip: Call the hotel directly to ask for specific room amenities, since the corporate phone number associa...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GinaDudley, General Manager at Hilton Pensacola Beach Gulf Front, responded to this review, September 12, 2012
Thank you so much for your comments, especially about Robert with our Front Office staff. So glad you enjoyed your stay with us, look forward to seeing you again soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hilton Pensacola Beach Gulf Front

Address: 12 Via de Luna Dr, Pensacola Beach, FL 32561
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Florida Panhandle > Pensacola Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Green Hotel in Pensacola Beach
#3 Business Hotel in Pensacola Beach
#5 Romantic Hotel in Pensacola Beach
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Pensacola Beach
#5 Family Hotel in Pensacola Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hilton Pensacola Beach Gulf Front 3.5*
Number of rooms: 275
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located beachfront in the center of everything on Pensacola Beach, Florida.  Enjoy captivating views of the emerald waters of the Gulf of Mexico and 52 miles of snow white sand beaches. Our hotel is within walking distance from restaurants, vibrant nightlife and recreational activities such as charter fishing, paddle boarding, sailing, kayaking, biking, and miniature golf. (100% Non-Smoking Hilton Hotel) ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hilton Pensacola Beach Gulf Front Hotel Pensacola Beach
Pensacola Hilton
Hilton Garden Inn Beach Pensacola

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