I first stayed at this property five years ago for several days on a business trip. It was a rather strange experience. My wife and I recently stayed there again, and it is still a rather strange and somewhat unsettling bordering on just plain weird experience.
This is not a typical Hampton Inn property, either in construction or management. It is apparently a rather old, somewhat charming, but sadly run-down and somewhat seedy hotel from the 1930s, judging from the architecture and decor, which Hilton at some recent point in time has acquired. Renovation and improvement have apparently proceeded at a snail's pace, since little progress seems to have been made in the past five years. To say that this property is not up to the usual high Hilton corporate standards would be an understatement.
The staff is polite but rather distant, probably because English is not their first language; they are somewhat disorganized and not exactly friendly or welcoming. A few tasteless attempts at folksy decorative touches, such as tacky novelty lighting in the breakfast area, have gone badly awry. On my previous stay, I was given a large and relatively luxurious if very dated room, marred only by a noisy refrigerator which I had to turn off each night so I could get some sleep. This time I got a room less than half that size, even though the hotel was largely empty. Apparently I no longer rate a free Hilton Honors customer upgrade.
While some common areas and hallways have had new carpeting recently installed and a coat of white paint sloppily applied to woodwork and trim (including the handle and lock to my room), much of the distressed original furniture looks even shabbier than it was five years ago and badly needs to be replaced. The bathroom sinks and counters were new, but the old tub had been poorly caulked and was in dire need of replacement. The beds are also not as comfortable as in most Hilton properties; the one in my room was both hard and sagged in the middle, so I didn't get a decent night's sleep. The Wi-Fi signal in the room was so weak as to be totally useless, even for basic E-mail.
Given that the surrounding area is still rather seedy, the unsecured and unpatrolled parking garage does not exactly inspire confidence. The disconnected security camera is the lower level mentioned by a previous reviewer remains clearly still out of service with dangling cords, a clear advertisement to any miscreants that security is not a priority.
The attached restaurant, apparently under the same management as the hotel, also provided a strange experience. The dining room had apparently been rented out for a large and VERY LOUD private party. Other people such as ourselves arriving for dinner had to fend for themselves in the bar, which is in two separate small rooms adjoining the dining room. The music from the dining room was simply deafening, making conversation with one's dinner companions almost impossible. Our waitress was very pleasant, clearly overworked, and tried to make the uncomfortable situation as pleasant as possible, not easy given the circumstances.
The food was reasonably priced and rather creative: not so much Asian fusion as Asian confusion. In addition to a somewhat expanded version of the menu to be found on-line at the hotel's website, there was a full page of "small plates" which were apparently the Indian equivalent of tapas. We ordered a number of these in lieu of a formal dinner, given the less than optimal dining conditions. They were each easily double the size of a standard tapas serving, although the quantity did not exactly make up for the variable quality. Tarragon seems to be the cook's favorite herb, as it turned up in several of the dishes. One plate of steamed al dente vegetables was heavily laced with tarragon and nothing else, apparently. The ancient bottle of beer I was served had gone stale months ago. Like the hotel stay, the dinner was also a strange and somewhat unsatisfactory experience. I don't think I will be returning for another stay.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Inn at Mill River, located on the waterfront, is a hotel with peerless elegance, modern comforts & exceptional privacy. When the hotel opened in Year 1985 it had no parallel in the city and around. Although the hotel has seen much change, it has retained all of its original charm. For business or pleasure, hotel's spacious guest rooms & suites surrounded with residential ambiance offer an enclave of luxury in convenient downtown Stamford. Located on Mill River Street, easily accessible from I-95, I-287, Route 15, Route 1. Walking distance from downtown Stamford and local corporate offices. Five minutes from Stamford train station offering link to New York City. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hampton Inn And Suites Stamford
- Hampton Inn & Suites Stamford Hotel Stamford