On a recent trip to Cincinnati (my daughter had an appointment to see a specialist at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital), I stayed at this hotel with my family. I had stayed there several years ago at a conference and (being a Hilton Rewards Member), wanted to stay there again. I was not impressed. As my daughter will be needing to go to Cincinnati 3x a year for treatments, we will be staying from now on at the Westin.
Here are our thoughts:
1. It took several phone calls to ensure we would have a crib for our room. The first gentleman kept saying, "we can't guarantee a crib." I (and later my wife) asked questions like, "What if we get there super early?" We kept getting the stock answer of "We can't guarantee a crib." Finally my wife was able to speak to a manager who said that she would do her best to see that we would get one. We did in fact get a crib, but it had no bedding whatsoever, just a rubber mattress. We had to use a towel.
2. The attendants in the parking garage (we had valet service) seemed out of it. I was struggling with the baby's carseat and my suitcase. I had to ask very loudly for one of the attendants to open the door.
3. The room was average. We stayed on the 28th floor in a double room. Not great or bad. Just average, which is remarkable considering the star rating of this hotel. The bathroom is tiny. The mini-bar was not stocked (I really needed a beer). I asked the desk about the mini-bar and they didn't say "I'm sorry," but simply "we don't offer minibar service." The wi-fi was also an additional charge.
4. As it was late, we ate dinner at the Bar at Palm Court. We sat at a table. Perhaps the Hilton does not cater to families as it was very obvious from the get go that our server (Samantha) didn't want to wait on us. My wife asked her very politely for a high chair. Samantha brought one back and set it about five feet away (with an accompanying eye roll). No offer or help to move the empty chair out of the way. When Samantha came back she lazily asked us what we would like to have. I (having a stressed out 10 year old with me) asked he if there was anything else (such as a kid's menu). Samantha said "no." After we ordered, she did inform us that my daughter could get an order of fries. Why didn't she say this up front?
My wife asked if some baby food we had could be heated for 10 seconds or so in the microwave. Samantha said, "We don't have a microwave." I said, "I realize you may not have one behind the bar, but since the food all comes from the same kitchen, could you send it to the kitchen?" Samantha robotically replied, "We don't a microwave." I laughed and said, "Do you mean to tell me that in this ENTIRE $100 million hotel you don't have any microwaves?" Samantha (sticking to her talking points said, "No..we don't have any microwaves." I have had better service at the Waffle House down the street from my house.
The food was average. Kind of the overpriced, pretentious chic that goes for haute cuisine in the midwest. Things like bone marrow with toast points and onion spread on sliders. Obviously designed to stick it to captive conference attendees on an expense account.
5. We ordered room service for breakfast. The room service arrived with a THUNDEROUS knock on the door! I raced to the door and said, "Dude..lighten up on the knocking...I thought it was the cops!" Not a smile..not a simple, "I'm sorry," nothing. This was par for the course. The staff seems unhappy.
Our room service order was wrong. No toast was sent. Wrong meats, etc. About 30 minutes later the phone in the room rang. With our 9 month old sleeping my wife sprang to get it. Their question was, "Was the room service meal right?" My wife told them that the meal was in fact wrong and that we did not appreciate the call since one look at our registration info would have told anyone that there was a crib in the room. This threw them for a loop. The woman on the phone was unapologetic and said that they always call to find out if the order was right. Once again instead of a ton of explanations and excuses, a simple, "I am sorry" would have been great. At a minimum, some of the charges were removed from our bill for the order being wrong.
In summation, for a top dollar hotel, the Hilton left a lot to be desired. Sure the architecture is pretty, but SERVICE and FRIENDLINESS would go a long way. As I said earlier, we will be making a thrice yearly trip to Cincinnati for medical appointments at the Children's Hospital. We will be staying at the Westin as my wife made the comment, "Doesn't the service at the Westin Detroit Airport blow this away?"
The double beds were small for two adults. I would make sure that I got a larger bed.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
March 11, 2013
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Dear Mr. D.:
Thank you for taking the time to write a survey of your recent stay at our hotel on TripAdvisor. We appreciate the opportunity that this provides us to respond directly to you.
Let me begin by thanking you for choosing our hotel in conjunction with your visit to Cincinnati and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital through Expedia. As a traveler, your comments are especially important to us.
Please accept my apologies for the concerns that you have raised in your report. I was both surprised and deeply disappointed by your recount of your experience with us. I assure you that it’s contrary to what our customers typically see from us. You may be sure that we will review the matter carefully with the team members who handled your advance request for a crib; with our server in the Palm Court Grill and with our Room Service staff. Thank you for sharing this with me.
In reviewing your account I noted that our team had removed the charge from the Room Service order than you cited. We will reverse the charge from the bar from your American Express card in recognition of your dissatisfaction there. In addition, we will remove the charge for valet parking from your folio. Should you decide that you want to stay with us in the future for your returns to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, please contact my Assistant Julie Heink at Julie.Heink@Hilton.com and reference this letter. We will be happy to oversee your reservations and insure that your stay is a comfortable one. I hope and trust that these actions help to convey our sincere interest in responding to you in this matter.
Mr. D., many thanks for your valuable feedback. We hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you back.
Michel A. Sheer
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.