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Old Sep 20, 08, 9:58 am   #1
 
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Hilton vs Starwoods in Europe for Top Tier

I'm a long time Plat Starwood who recently made Hilton Diamond (via lots of stays at dreary CT Hiltons ). I'm looking for advice as to the best Hiltons (vs Starwoods) in Europe. I'm interested more in city locations for paid weekend stays of one or two nights, preferably at properties with lounges (I don't care about spas, gyms etc), and offer good upgrades (suites, views) to Diamonds. Right now it seems (from postings) that the Rome Hilton beats out the Starwoods-- although Starwoods do have good locations, I generally don't get more than an upgraded room with a quasi view of the city). As I'm not all that familar with Europe Hiltons, and will make travel plans based on a good hotel-- looking for new locations to try out. My travel usually involves leaving the US on a Thurs or Fri with a return on Sun (VERY SHORT TRIPS-- and I'm a female who travels solo).
PS- My only experience with Hiltons in Europe is the Sorrento Hilton, which I found to be a great experience-- as I tend to like more modern hotels with great views and this property came up tops in both

Last edited by mauld; Sep 20, 08 at 10:33 am.
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Old Sep 20, 08, 10:31 am   #2
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mauld, I keep a running list of top properties for both chains in hopes of sparking my thinking when I prepare for travel. There are more Starwood properties than Hilton listed as worth a visit in Europe. Starwood has picked up some very interesting hotels of great character in Europe. Still, there are some strong Hilton properties. Here is my list. Note that some of the remarks are copied from FT posts, and are dated.

Cairo Conrad - excellent property with a good lounge

Athens Hilton

Rhodes Hilton


Bucharest Hilton

Cavalieri Hilton, Rome


Sorrento Hilton

Hilton resort in Portorosa in Sicily


Budapest Hilton
Fantastic view overlooking the Danube and St Stephens cathedral..

Budapest Westend
Hiton Budapest-Westend is reported to have a better lounge than Budapest Hilton and has free internet ( by Ethernet connection)

Hilton Prague
which has one the best Hilton lounges in Europe

Copenhagen Airport Hilton - brand spanking new and stylish with Bang & Olufsen electronics

Conrad Mount Juliet, Williamstown, Ireland - one of the best Hiltons worldwide. particularly if you are staying in the main house.

Hilton Dubrovnik someone found the best Hilton they had ever stayed in. The location is great and everything is very new. The staff are fantastic, everyone is very friendly and the ladies in the Executive Club lounge are happy to give advice as well as pour lots of drinks The view from the lounge balcony are superb, a great place to have breakfast. There's good leisure facilities that are open 24 hours.

Dresden Hilton
In the heart of the old town, staff goes out of its way to provide service. Some of the rooms overlook the cathedral, recently rebuilt for its 600th anniversary.

Hilton Berlin.

Not only will you most likely get a room overlooking a marvelous cathedral, the rooms are fantastic, the beds super-comfortable, the lounge / piano bar cozy and inviting, and the hotel is right on top of a subway station. You can't beat the location for convenience to shopping, restaurants and nightlife

London – Waldorf Hilton - the Art + Tech rooms are very cool with nontraditional art and lighting, plasma TV, and showers with 6 vertical shower heads in a translucent enclosure.

London - Trafalgar Hilton - a W-esque hotel in the heart of London

Hilton London Canary Wharf
- a very pleasant surprise compared to the let-down of most London Hiltons

I reread your criteria again, and suggest the Lyon Hilton as well. While it is not a glamorous property, it is solid with a respectable lounge. Diamonds are given junior suites, albeit to interior courtyards. I chose a spacious room overlooking the garden instead. Lyon is know for its haute cuisine and is what draws me back to the city.

Last edited by SanDiego1K; Sep 20, 08 at 10:41 am.
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Old Sep 20, 08, 12:19 pm   #3
 
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Originally Posted by SanDiego1K View Post
mauld, I keep a running list of top properties for both chains in hopes of sparking my thinking when I prepare for travel. ...
Still, there are some strong Hilton properties. Here is my list.

Hilton resort in Portorosa in Sicily
You have provided a great list. Evian may also be worth considering from a location perspective.

The resort at Portorosa should be considered with care. It does/did not have a club lounge and is very isolated. Maybe a great place if you have a yacht.
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Old Sep 20, 08, 12:22 pm   #4
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You have provided a great list. Evian may also be worth considering from a location perspective.
Is this a pleasant property? I need to go search for the thread on it. I remember folks planning to go, but I missed the reports once they went.

Quote:
The resort at Portorosa should be considered with care. It does/did not have a club lounge and is very isolated. Maybe a great place if you have a yacht.
My notes actually said you would be going in 4/07, so I'll likely delete this property given your feedback.

mauld, the new Hilton in Venice gets strong reports on FT. It has a good lounge. However, Starwood's properties are more centrally located.
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Old Sep 20, 08, 12:58 pm   #5
 
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I would also think about the Hilton Munich City. V. convenient location, good lounge, v modern rooms - but most importantly, the city is one of the best in Europe IMHO. Also, I much prefer it to the Starwoods there (of which there are several).
Vienna may also be worth a look.
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Old Sep 20, 08, 1:04 pm   #6
 
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Originally Posted by mauld View Post
Right now it seems (from postings) that the Rome Hilton beats out the Starwoods-- although Starwoods do have good locations, I generally don't get more than an upgraded room with a quasi view of the city).
This used to be true with the Rome Cavalieri Hilton. The hotel has a great lounge, one of the best I'm been in of any hotel chain. However, this hotel has just been rebadged to a Waldorf-Astoria and has changed the rules. Diamonds no longer are provided free access to the lounge. Lounge access is only for guest staying in suites and Imperial (Executive level) rooms. You may have to book an Imperial room for lounge access. The hotel used to value lounge access at 50 euros when it was a Hilton, it's now 120 euros.

The only other Rome Hilton is at the FCO Airport, so does not qualify.

Hilton Arc de Triomphe in Paris is worth considering. Decor is Art Deco, not modern, but very nice. Lounge is quite good, and Diamonds are offered upgrade to Executive level with lounge access. Location is OK. Not many hotels in Paris have great views, even fancy hotels like Bristol or George V.
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Old Sep 20, 08, 1:38 pm   #7
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I would also add the Hilton Warsaw, which is quite similar to the Hilton Canary Wharf in London, and the Hilton Istanbul.

I would rate the Hilton Vienna, the Hilton Vienna Plaza and the Hilton Helsinki Strand just slightly below, on the same level as the Hilton Munich City. I personally prefer the Le Meridien to the Hilton City in Munich.

Last edited by JOUY31; Sep 21, 08 at 2:35 am.
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Old Sep 20, 08, 1:43 pm   #8
 
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Originally Posted by SanDiego1K View Post

Rhodes Hilton
Unfortunately Hilton Rhodes will apparently not remain a Hilton when they reopen next spring after annual winter closure. It also had no lounge although the views towards the sea were great.
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Old Sep 23, 08, 10:50 am   #9
 
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I saw this thread this morning as I was looking for some info about a Homewood Suites piece I plan to write. I love SanDiego1K's list of best Hiltons in Europe. I linked to it in my blog post today and then went off on a tangent all about Dresden, Germany.

So if you are thinking about visiting Dresden you might be interested in reading my Loyalty Traveler blog post.

http://boardingarea.com/blogs/loyalt...els-in-europe/
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Old Sep 27, 08, 8:07 am   #10
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The Hilton Vienna is not quite centrally located, but as a Diamond you should be treated very well. The lounge is outstanding. This thread reminds me that I need to get back!
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Old Sep 27, 08, 7:20 pm   #11
 
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Originally Posted by CIT85 View Post
This used to be true with the Rome Cavalieri Hilton. The hotel has a great lounge, one of the best I'm been in of any hotel chain. However, this hotel has just been rebadged to a Waldorf-Astoria and has changed the rules. Diamonds no longer are provided free access to the lounge. Lounge access is only for guest staying in suites and Imperial (Executive level) rooms. You may have to book an Imperial room for lounge access. The hotel used to value lounge access at 50 euros when it was a Hilton, it's now 120 euros.

The only other Rome Hilton is at the FCO Airport, so does not qualify.

Hilton Arc de Triomphe in Paris is worth considering. Decor is Art Deco, not modern, but very nice. Lounge is quite good, and Diamonds are offered upgrade to Executive level with lounge access. Location is OK. Not many hotels in Paris have great views, even fancy hotels like Bristol or George V.
I checked out of the Cavalieri on the 18th. I was lucky enough to get in under the wire, so I was upgraded to the exec level and enjoyed the fantastic lounge. It is true things have changed, but there is a new lounge on the lobby level for Diamonds and Golds. I don't know what it is like, but with the way the rest of the hotel is, I'd bet it will be very nice.

I went from there to the Arc de Triomphe. No upgrade to exec level, but lounge access after I fought for it. The lounge there is nice, but coming from the Cavalieri, it was a disappointment. The rooms at ADT are TINY - quite possibly the smallest hotel room I have ever been in.

I know the rooms at the Paris Hilton (by the Eiffle Tower) are smaller, but I was upgraded to a Jr. Suite there, so it was quite nice - and with a much nicer view.
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Old Sep 29, 08, 5:39 am   #12
 
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Originally Posted by JOUY31 View Post
I would also add the Hilton Warsaw, which is quite similar to the Hilton Canary Wharf in London, and the Hilton Istanbul.

I would rate the Hilton Vienna, the Hilton Vienna Plaza and the Hilton Helsinki Strand just slightly below, on the same level as the Hilton Munich City. I personally prefer the Le Meridien to the Hilton City in Munich.
Now I would rate the Hilton Vienna above the Munich City and the Vienna Plaza well below both of them. Sufficently so that I would avoid the Plaza.

I haven't been for a couple of years and the location is a bit of a pain, but I always enjoyed the Hilton Brussels. Good lounge, excellent restaurant, very good bathrooms.
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Old Sep 29, 08, 6:50 am   #13
 
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Sad to hear the Cavalieri is becoming a Ritz. I can understand why though. Was staying there on points when the Pope was selected. Had a room on the executive floor, private elevator club access and double doors looking at the back of the Sistene Chapel. The club room is exquisite.

I might mentiopn a few others where we have had good experiences.

Hilton Amsterdam, great executive rooms with good views of suburban Amsterdam Rooftop Club Lounge is great!

Hilton Park Lane, London after complaining got a great big executive room. The club lounge was very good.

Hilton Charles DeGaul (SP?) Airport has great executive rooms and a very nice club lounge for an airport hotel. People very friendly.
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Old Sep 29, 08, 9:14 am   #14
 
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Sad to hear the Cavalieri is becoming a Ritz.

It isn't becoming a Ritz. It is becoming a W=A, still part of Hilton.
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Old Feb 18, 09, 3:26 pm   #15
 
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mauld, There are more Starwood properties than Hilton listed as worth a visit in Europe. Starwood has picked up some very interesting hotels of great character in Europe.
As someone that can't maintain status at two chains, would you advise someone that was leaving Hilton (just had enough) to go with Starwood? I'm looking at Hyatt, Marriott and Starwood....so far Starwood looks best, but I'd sure like opinions from those that have experienced both, I've always been a Hilton loyalist but they did finally break me. I have Diamond through April of next year but would move now with a status match.
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