This is not a Hilton hotel. None of the consistency and quality on which this brand is built is present here. I am a Diamond member and have stayed in Hiltons across the world, but this is undoubtedly the worst.
Hygiene standards are unacceptable. We arrived several days after a volcanic episode from nearby Etna, and throughout our stay, the volcanic dust in the communal areas and at the bottom of the pool was not cleaned away, which, while not dangerous in itself, made the hotel look very uncared for, and highlighted the fact that the communal areas (including the gardens, the pool, the pool showers, and the pool toilets) were not being cleaned. To say they were disgusting is an understatement. They had clearly not been cleaned all season and the smell was truly disgusting. I took photos on the first day and the last day of our stay – it is clear that no attempt had been made to clean them in any way during the 6 days we were there. The changing room for the pool was filled with pool cleaning equipment and therefore not available for its designated use. I can only assume that the pool cleaning equipment was not being used at all, due to the filthy state of the pool. To fail to clean a swimming pool with large quantities of visible dirt in it in 6 days is not acceptable.
One of the things I like about Hilton is that all their hotels are different but retain consistency. However, the Hilton Giardini Naxos takes different to a whole new level. I appreciate that hotel refits are expensive, but I suggest that if the hotel is to remain in the portfolio, it needs this investment. The décor is from 60 years ago – my husband described it as akin to ‘The Shining’. During one of our long waits to be served at the bar, we witnessed groups of people coming in to laugh at the lobby area and leave again. Bizarre doesn't even cover it - and frankly words fail me to describe the mural in the breakfast room.
All of this, however, could and would have been forgiven had the service not been so lamentable. It is only possible to describe it as inconsistent due to the solo efforts of Salvatore, who seemed to be keeping the bar, the restaurant and the breakfast room going single handedly when he was on duty. Every other member of staff we had the misfortune to deal with was unhelpful, rude, neglectful or all three at once. There is no customer care or service of any kind here. On arrival, we were told that the Executive Lounge was closed for refurbishment until the end of the year, and to compensate for this, I would get free wi-fi for the duration of the stay and a token for 2 free drinks per night. We managed to use the drinks token on 3 nights – one of those nights we had to sit at the bar for more than 40 minutes before anyone arrived to take our order – this despite the bar being 20m from Reception where a bored Receptionist stood doing nothing, watching but not assisting us. We went to her twice to ask for some service, to be greeted with a shrug. Luckily, Salvatore was on hand another night, and tended bar as well as he could while he was also serving in the restaurant.
Reception were equally unhelpful when I asked for water in the room – something which I have received in every other Hilton as a given and without request. When I asked for some water to be left in the room, I was told I could pay the minibar fee for it, and when I asked why it wasn’t complementary (especially given the total lack of Executive Lounge facilities), I was told if I didn’t want to pay the minibar price, I could get some from the supermarket up the street! (which incidently is recommended)
The free wifi I received as a Diamond member did not connect either in the room or the communal areas – when this was raised with Reception I received another shrug and no assistance.
I was also given a voucher to use for a free treatment in the newly opened spa – having seen the cleanliness of the pool and toilet facilities, I was reluctant to use the voucher, but eventually did so to give it a chance – only to find the doors to it locked from the garden entrance and the indoor pool in total darkness and clearly not in use during the day. I tried to access it from the hotel side later that day, and found the doors locked here too (all within the stated opening hours). Needless to say, my query at Reception as to opening hours and how to use my voucher was met with more shrugs.
We were so appalled by the hotel that we visited several other hotels in the vicinity to attempt to establish whether the standard of accommodation was the same everywhere in the location – but instead found appealing, welcoming hotels for a fraction of the price just metres away. Little wonder the Hilton Giardini Naxos was so empty.
We visited the Hilton Giardini Naxos in April, and this may account for the seeming lack of staff to man the bar, the spa and perform basic cleaning in communal areas – but if the hotel is open, surely there should be enough staff to provide adequate service in these fundamental services? Hilton are losing customers due to this – one night as we sat waiting at the bar for someone (anyone!) to come and serve us, a group came in off the street to have drinks. After 20 minutes waiting and 2 requests to Reception for service, they left again. I wished we could have.
It’s taken months for me to post this review – I wrote to Hilton to put my issues to them and give them a chance to rectify my impressions before I posted this review, but only received a pitiful response which addressed none of my concerns – so here is the full review. I won’t hold my breath that the issues will be noted now, either. My feeling is that they just don't care enough to respond. I will upload photos as well – some are not for the fainthearted, I’m afraid.
I’ve seen lots of positive reviews posted up since our stay – perhaps this is reflective of off/on season and you just need to avoid this place out of high season. One thing’s for sure – I won’t be going back to check.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.