What is it like to stay at a Hilton Hotel after lockdown?
Earlier this month I wrote about my experience of staying at the Rosewood Mayakoba, where my article, collectively on different platforms got over 3000 views.
I think people are curious about what the new normal is like, maybe they have a trip planned and are a little nervous about what to expect. Because of this, here is a new article in my series – What Is It Like to Stay at Hilton After Lockdown?
Last week I was travelling on business and due to not wanting to drive at nighttime I checked myself into the Hilton Midtown Guadalajara for a quick one-night stay.
This hotel had a comprehensive check-in process which was all very self-explanatory and took no time at all. Firstly, the moment I entered the hotel my temperature was taken, soles of the shoes cleaned and alcohol gel applied to hands.
The check-in desk now has a clear partition, you could say similar to a bank that was between the member of staff and myself. There were floor stickers in key gathering areas, such as entrances to lifts reminding people to keep to the 2-metre rule. All the communal seating, areas were sealed off – you weren’t allowed to sit anywhere in the foyer. Mask use was mandatory in all areas of the hotel.
There was an area where one could take a complimentary care bag that the hotel had put together – each bag consisted of face masks and gloves - perfect if you accidentally left your mask at home.
What was interesting is that when I arrived at my room, the door was sealed with a tamper sticker that the cleaner puts on after they have cleaned the room. This was to prevent contamination of the room after cleaning. One might think this is a bit over the top. However, at the end of the day, Hilton, like any other hotel brand, needs to do everything they can to prevent a guest from getting infected while staying of their properties. This would not be good for the brand or the industry.
The room was clean but that is no surprise. I have never had a problem with cleanliness with this brand during all my years of using them. A few notes from my walk around the room:
- Tea and coffee sachets were packed in an enclosed bag and no longer were loose. I guess this was to prevent cross-contamination between guests
- Wet wipes were placed next to the bed to clean your phone and the remote
- There was no alcohol gel. I feel a little bottle of this would have been a nice touch to help maintain hygiene – but I guess most people carry this now.
I looked at the Hilton website where they detail the ‘Hilton Clean Stay Policy’. They talk about their 10-step cleaning programme which looks quite comprehensive.
There Was One Thing That Bothered Me
I arrived late at night, around 10:30pm just after the restaurant and bar closed. I went to my room with the aim of just having a snack and drink from the minibar but this was fully empty. I looked all through the room and there was no room service menu. Strange.
I called the front desk and explained I had been travelling for some hours and would like something to drink and eat. The staff member I spoke to informed me that they are no longer doing 24-hour room service. She said to me this was due to Covid-19 and they were not allowed to keep a full set of staff on property. She suggested I used Uber Eats which I personally find this idea far more of a hygiene risk than actually keeping someone on site who could heat up a night menu. Uber Eats were offering nothing but sloppy junk food getting at that time of night.“no thank you”.
After dismissing the Uber Eats idea, the only other choice I was I was offered was to walk to, in the middle of the night to a convenience store down the road. While I found this uncomfortable enough, imagine how a solo female guest would have felt. After a little bit of back and forth. the front desk agent at least agreed to send water to my room.
Now, this is not the Hiltons fault, if the Government is not letting them have the staff to do room service then what could they do. However. I do feel they should put some snack bags together for those who would find themselves in the same position as me. I am am sure this situation happens to other guests that arrive outside of the hours the restaurant is closed. Also, in the hotel's defense, they do say on the front page of their website that the room service has limited availability.
Due to my short stay, I didn’t visit the common areas. I do know the executive lounge was closed. I am not sure about the gym and the pool.
The breakfast in the morning was just fantastic and all the staff were very efficient. So much so that I requested to speak to the manager to leave a compliment. Tables in the restaurant were spaced at a good two metres apart. Menus were photocopied which makes me think that they are thrown out after each guest, to prevent cross-contamination. Of course, you are allowed to remove your face mask for eating.
The hotel felt a bit sterile due to the number of visible Covid-19 measures throughout. Because a mask needs to be worn it might not be a good idea to travel to this hotel for leisure at the moment, unless you don't mind that. However, if you have urgent business, family or other reasons to travel then the Hilton brand would be a good choice for you to stay at. It is very apparent they are trying extremely hard to make their properties safe, This is what we currently expect from hotels when traveling at the moment. I felt very safe during my time staying at Hilton Midtown Guadalajara and would return again.