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The Hilton Hotel, In East Croydon, England

Hits 4665 | Created 2007-09-27 | Modified 2007-09-27

My idea was to return to the hotel and sip a Martini and smoke a cigarette before retiring. I was dismayed to find that there was a large Xmas party occurring, and so the bar was rather busy, the staff looked harassed.

'Do you do cocktails?' I ask the barmaid.

She looks uncertain and consults the barman. He shakes his head.

'What, none at all?'

'No, sorry.'

So I order a bottle of Becks beer. 'Oh, and a box of matches please, or a lighter.'

'Sorry, we don't have any matches or lighters.'

'Oh.' I say.

I wander over to reception and ask for some matches. There is then a lengthy search of drawers. None are found. The receptionist lights my cigarette with her lighter. However, a little later I need another light and so return and ask if any matches have turned up yet, as I don't want to bother her every time I need a light.

She says, 'Please go and take a seat, I'll find you some matches or a lighter and bring them over to you.'

I thank her and sit down. Twenty minutes later, and I'm still waiting. She forgot about me. I go and complain. The bar manager turns up.

'What's the problem?' He asks.

I tell him about the matches, the promise of a light and then being ignored / forgotten. I also tell him that I think it's pretty shoddy that his bar doesn't do cocktails.

'What can I do to make you happy?' He asks.

'Well, you could get me a Martini and a box of matches?'

'So, if I get you a martini and a box of matches, then you'll be happy?' He says.

'Yes, I will.'

I wait. He turns up some time later with a wine glass filled with an odd-coloured liquid. And an old box of matches that have already seen some use.

I stare at the glass. It doesn't look like a Martini.

It isn't.

It's tequila and lemonade.

'Are you having a laugh?' I ask. 'This is tequila.'

The bar manager goes away and talks to the barman. He returns with this spectacular news:

'It is a Martini. That's the way the barman makes it.'

'What? With tequila?'


Fairly angry, I leave the drink and go to bed. I'm looking forward to chilling out in my room. This is from the Hilton website, and one of the reasons I booked the room:

"Feel at home in this modern 24m room with Internet access and Sony PlayStation. The bright and airy room, decorated in rich, warm tones, has floor-to-ceiling windows. Work in comfort at the desk with ergonomic chair or pamper yourself in the marble bathroom. Some rooms have high-speed Internet."

Nice eh?

There is indeed a Sony Playstation controller, but it isn't attached to anything.

I call reception.

'Hi there, I can't find my playstation.'


'Sorry sir, there is no playstation in that room.'

'Well, can I change rooms to one that has then?'

'No, sorry sir, we don't have any rooms with playstations.'

Right. Great.

I decide to have a look in the mini bar to calm myself down. The mini bar is empty. I don't even bother to call down this time. I go to sleep instead, miserable.

In the morning I can't turn on the lights in the bathroom. I call down and am told that I have to insert some card near the door. Small point, but why not mention this at check in?

There's no toothpaste. I call reception again.

'Hi, there's no toothpaste in my room.'

'Sorry sir, we don't supply toothpaste.'

'Right. I'll suck a mint then shall I?'


I go down for breakfast, which I'm chirpily informed isn't included and would I like to pay 16 for it?

It isn't exactly stated clearly when you book your room that it isn't included. Generally, this sort of thing is, isn't it?

I refuse to pay for breakfast and instead check out and ask for a taxi, which arrives promptly.

The taxi arrives at East Croydon station and the drivers says, 'Ten pounds please.'

I say, 'Can you explain why last night a black cab in heavy traffic cost 7, and today, in light traffic in a private taxi, it costs ten?'

Silence. He whitters on about rates until he realises that I'm not buying it, and finally admits, 'We just charge everyone 10 that comes from the Hilton to the station.'

Just imagine, one ride a day, pocketing the extra 3 each trip, would give a nice bonus of over a grand a year. Not bad.

The worst hotel I've had the misfortune to stay in for many, many years, and a disgrace to the Hilton name.

Review on Trip Advisor.com - Take that, Hilton!

Comment The Hilton Hotel, In East Croydon, England comment by Ralpharama Hits | Last Modified 2007-09-27
I later had a full refund from Mr Hilton.

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