My epic journey started up in Manchester. Given I live in London, I flew up on British Airways and jumped on the train from Manchester Airport to the city centre arriving at Piccadilly station. Trains are pretty frequent and if you get one of the non-stop services is very quick – around fifteen minutes.
Arriving at Piccadilly station (which is also where the Virgin Trains from London terminate), almost the first building in front of the station is the Hilton Doubletree. It’s a matter of a 30 second walk outside the front, and over the little footbridge.
The hotel is also perfectly located for the gay village, which is centred around Canal Street. It’s literally a 30 second stumble from the end of the street which particularly around Pride weekend makes it one of the best places to stay.
I wandered into reception and the very charming Benjamin checked me in. I’m a Diamond member and he mentioned that they’d very kindly upgraded my room. He handed me the keys and I wandered up to the room.
Entering the room, immediately on the left was the work area and TV. There was also a Nespresso machine with a number of capsules.
The bathroom which was fairly small, was on the right as I came in.
It was small but functional, with a decent shower and the Hilton standard toiletries.
The room itself was pretty large and had a nice corner area with some views over the surrounding area.
However that’s where the problems started. The curtains in the room were either broken or there was one missing, which meant that it was physically impossible to close them.
I called down to reception and they kindly sent someone from the engineering team to verify that I wasn’t missing something obvious (which was entirely possible)! A few minutes later and they verified that the curtains couldn’t close and they moved me to the same room, but two floors down.
I headed down to reception to pick up the keys and onto the new room. I got in and the room smelt strongly of cigarette smoke. At this point it was gone 23.15 and didn’t want to switch room for a third time, so just tolerated it and went to sleep.
The bed itself was fine, but definitely on the firmer side, which isn’t hugely to my taste.
Anyway in the morning I went down and the lovely Benjamin was there again, who had checked me in the previous night. He asked how my stay was and so I mentioned the fact about the second room smelling of smoke; he was genuinely mortified about the whole experience, especially as the intention from the outset was to provide a better room through an upgrade. He very happily credited me some Hilton Honors points as service recovery, which was a very nice gesture given the circumstances.
The staff at the hotel really tried their best – everyone was as friendly and helpful as they possibly could be. However there are clearly some issues with maintenance and housekeeping that they need to address.
I’d certainly return to the hotel again, it’s in an unbeatable location and the staff couldn’t be nicer.