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30 April 2012

Apathy at the Hilton Hotel Liverpool One

What is it with the Liverpool Hilton? The restaurant waiting staff are without doubt the most dozy hotel staff I have ever had the misfortune to come across in a long time.  At breakfast most of them looked as though they were going to fall asleep standing up. The exception being the "greeting" orange juice girl who was extremely efficient … at serving orange juice. So what were my main gripes:

  • the lack of coffee at breakfast
  • the tables laden with dirty plates, and … wait for it …
  • the girls who constantly touched their faces/wiped their noses with their hands and then … touched the “business” end of the “clean” spoon, the fork and the knife. Infection control? Hmmm. I was so shocked by this practice that I spoke to the duty manager immediately. However 2 days later they were back to their old habits again.  One girl in particular on my last morning constant touched her nose, her hand only leaving her nose alone every few seconds to lethargically lift up the odd dirty plate from the table.

I can accept tables laden with dirty crockery if a restaurant is very busy and all the staff are occupied but it is not acceptable if a group of four staff have time to gossip in a huddle around the entrance till. And then there was the egg station. At breakfast the freshly cooked egg station was unmanned more often than it was manned.

Hilton Hotel Liverpool restaurant
Missing staff at the "egg station"

I could understand this if enough pre-cooked eggs were available. But no, the whole egg section next to the range was EMPTY. On telling the girl when she eventually turned up that there were no poached or fried eggs available and that several people had gone away disappointed she said to me “well there’s scrambled egg over there” waving her hand to some far flung corner of the room. Not much use if you want a poached egg!
 
Now the coffee …  the lack of coffee at breakfast seriously got to me. What I want at breakfast are several cups of coffee. I don’t want coffee 15 minutes after I sit down and I don’t want to have to get up and walk to where it is “hidden” behind some till at the other side of the room.

Hilton Hotel Liverpool
My empty Coffee Cup
Hilton Hotel Liverpool
Yes … it’s empty again!

Why does the hotel employ a gormless dozy individual to walk round the tables in a daze asking the odd person or two if they want coffee. Why don’t the staff ask everyone if they want coffee and walk round the room with a purpose and do the job properly. Alternatively a much better idea is to have coffee available for guests to help themselves to, but alas no … not in keeping with Hilton policy for the guests to help themselves. The coffee rationing at breakfast was insane.

Late check out? Yes please, thank you very much. It would be rather interesting to know what happens when a guest asks for and is granted a late check out. Do the Reception staff just blindly say “yes” and then tap, tap, tap the information into thin air ???  Do they share the information with other employees? Not a chance. I had housekeeping trying to chase me out of the room (very politely though!) 2 hours before my check out saying they “hadn’t been told”. Then I had Reception ringing me telling me that it was past the check out time … she also “hadn’t been told”.  On actual check out I found out it was on the computer all along. Not much good if you don’t look at it!

And the god-awful noise from the thumping music in reception in the evening had to be heard to be believed. Six bouncers on duty on Friday  and Saturday night. I suppose they were needed to keep all the girls and boys under control that the thumping music attracted. I have never before stayed at a hotel that required six burly bouncers on the door in the evening. The difference between the hotel during the sedate "midweek" part of my stay to the insane noise during the "weekend" part of my stay  was well … not on the same planet. I couldn’t quite work out why the Trip Advisor reports were either fantastic or terrible. I know why now. If you stay during the week it’s fine. If you stay at weekends it most definitely is not fine!

On a positive note, the beds were exceptionally comfortable and the duvets and pillows unbelievably fab. And the hotel was incredibly convenient for the Albert Dock museums and next door to a John Lewis … shopping and culture heaven. Not much else to commend the Hilton Liverpool One though. The employees I found worthy of very special mention … well there were only a couple … and they were concierge (Bill, Darren and Gerald) … and housekeeping (fantastically polite). And oh nearly forgot Room Service who were helpful, friendly and efficient.

In summary, fab during the week … unless you want coffee at breakfast … And then of course there are the poor infection control practices to contend with. But don’t touch the Liverpool Hilton with a barge pole at the weekend . Not sure it warrants its 5 stars from Scores on the Doors http://www.scoresonthedoors.org.uk/business/hilton-liverpool-merseyside-459504.html

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