We are Hilton Diamond members and stay so often that we know the standards of each brand in the Hilton arsenal. Sad to say, we wanted to like this one, as this was our first Pensacola Beach trip and we loved the area, and got upgraded to a nice junior suite, but this hotel just didn't cut it for us, for several reasons.
First, my primary beef is with the complete lack of oversight of the fact that anyone and EVERYONE is using their pool deck. There is a very large kiddie pool with the splash fountains and such. This is a blessing and a curse. Halfway through our first day at the pool and annoyance at the constant screeching, running around and basically monopolizing the kid pool, main pool AND hot tub, I thought, "hmmm funny, there isn't a soul over at the Hampton Inn next door." Umm THAT'S BECAUSE THEY WERE ALL OVER HERE. HECK, THERE'S A WALKWAY INVITING THEM OVER!!! (Oh SURE, there's a sign saying something cheesy like "Remember, the Hilton pool deck is for Hilton guests only." Yeah I'm sure all the unsupervised kids from the Hampton read it carefully on their way over.) When I started paying attention, I saw multiple groups of kids, with and without adults, coming back and forth from Hampton Inn. I guess I should have gone over there to use their quiet pools, but oh yeah I PAID FOR THE HILTON.
Oh, you're not staying at the Hampton Inn either? No problem! You can access the pool deck from the front parking lot without even going through the lobby too! There's an unlocked gate - let yourself in, heck, everyone else was!
I'm sorry, but when I pay to stay somewhere I don't expect the whole non-paying, disrespectful, unsupervised neighborhood to be playing there. And this was OFF SEASON. I'd hate to see the place in the summer. The only staff I EVER saw near the pool deck was the bartender. No one EVER made any sweep of the pool deck to even give the impression that they cared who used it. Contrast this with Daytona Beach for example. The hotels there have gone to great lengths to keep their private areas "guests only," going so far as to have every gate be one that can only be accessed with a room key, and going to people on the deck and asking for their name and room number, and kicking out people who didn't belong there.
Oh, and from first thing in the morning until the next morning, no one ever removed any piles of wet towels from the ground or chairs, never picked up trash, never emptied ashtrays, nothing. I went out at 11pm two nights and saw the same trash from early in the day. The next morning they would be removed, but all day and night is a long time to leave your pool deck trashed up.
That brings me to the second reason why I probably wouldn't choose this place again. The housekeeping was pretty unacceptable. Let me make a list, in no particular order of pettiness:
1. When we first got there, our toilet seat was so loose it was threatening to break off the back, and our sink drained very slowly. Sorry but these are things housekeeping should be making a note of and telling maintenance themselves, not expecting guests to come in and report it for you. You can't tell me you cleaned a toilet and didn't notice the seat sliding back and forth. (The sink really wasn't fixed the whole time we were there. Maybe a very small improvement but the water still stayed in the sink long after you shut off the tap.)
2. Housekeeping was clearly not using the checklists that I KNOW are used religiously in most places. Every day they would clean in a different way and leave some small thing undone.
3. Coffee and drink rings were not wiped off of surfaces for the two days that they laid there.
4. One day there was no liner for the ice bucket, despite the fact that I used the bucket every day. Yes, I said it was petty. But do you want to wait for someone to show up at your door with ice bucket liners when you want to get some ice and settle down for the evening? (I offered to pick them up at the desk but they did not know where they were kept and said they would deliver them to the room.)
5. One day they forgot to remove the trash after they bagged it up. It was just lying in our room. And when they bagged it, they took all the trash and bagged it inside the one used for recyclables. So basically you're providing a recycle bin and separate trash bag, then putting it all in the same place? What's the point? Why did I bother?
6. One day there were no washcloths put in the room. Oddly, it was also the first day that hand towels made an appearance. Were they wanting me to use hand towels for washcloths because they had none? Weird.
7. One day they left two folded flat sheets lying half in and half out of our open suitcase.
8. Each day something would be left in the very small alcove with the ice machine, like a laundry cart, or a baby crib, making it difficult to access the ice machine. (Yes I like ice.)
The last thing that annoyed me, in conjunction with these other things, was that our key cards were accidentally programmed to lock us out the day before our checkout date. Our checkout date was never changed or called into question; just an oversight by whoever coded them. You know how much fun it is to drag your pool crap back up to the room and have to schlep back to the desk to get new keys - don't you?
Oh, and our mattress was seriously uncomfortable. Kind of broke down. My back still hurts.
So, before returning here I will probably try to find a nice quiet condo in the area with a pool, where I do my own housekeeping. I feel like I paid too much to share my accommodations with non-paying guests and unsupervised kids, and to not have my room taken care of.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Thank you so much for taking the time to write this review. I am just as disappointed about your "not so pleasant" experience at the Hilton Pensacola Beach as you are, if not more. We focus a lot of energy and time in training our team members to provide you, our guest, the best experience ever.
As far as the pool and the pool deck, we try to control the amount of traffic and limit it to just our Hilton guests. Unfortunately, as the season winds down, the number of times we patrol and monitor our pool area is scaled back. However, we realize that the weather is still warm enough where we need to continue to manage our pool deck, making periodic checks on usage, pool towels, etc.
Housekeeping service is absolutely our immediate focus. You hit each point on the nose. I assure you we will be address each point and working with our Housekeeping staff to improve how we service our rooms and our guests.
We value our Diamond members and realize that we need to stress importance of providing our guests with a clean and fresh room. Hassle free, in working order, and clean.
I would love to talk to you more about your stay. If you find some time, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Have a wonderful day!
Gina O. Dudley, General Manager
Hilton Pensacola Beach Gulf Front
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.