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Hilton Paris La Defense {FRA} (France)

Hilton Paris La Defense {FRA} (France)

Old Mar 6, 04, 7:42 am
  #16  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 971
Hilton Paris La Defense

Has anyone stayed here recently? Will I be well treated and upgraded as a Diamond HH if I book the cheapest room? How easy is it to get from La Defense to the Arc de Triomphe? Is there a lounge for breakfast and for p.m. snacks and rinks? Any advice and info would be appreciated.
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Old Mar 6, 04, 8:39 am
  #17  
 
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http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/Forum57/HTML/007713.html
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/Forum57/HTML/008250.html
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Old Mar 7, 04, 6:17 am
  #18  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
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RutDog,

Thanks for the reference threads. They have great info. That's why I like this board.
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Old Jun 16, 04, 7:36 pm
  #19  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: san jose, CA
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Hilton La Defense/Paris -- suboptimal stay for Gold

I just got back from France, which included a 3-night stay at the Hilton Paris (near Eifel Tower) and later a 2-night stay at the Hilton La Defense. At the Eifel Tower facility as a gold I was treated relatively well -- upgrade to good-sized Eifel tower view room with balcony, lounge access, basic continental breakfast for two included for free, helpful front desk and concierges. I would return there if coming to Paris, though it did not rate as highly as my stays at Hilton Prague or Hilton Frankfurt. Unfortunately my La Defense stay did not inspire me to return, though I did get upgraded to a "comfort" or tranquility room.

1. NO BREAKFAST INCLUDED FOR GOLDS, NO LOUNGE, NO WELCOMING AMENITY. At check-in I asked about breakfast coupons, was told they have no coupons but I could have breakfast on the 5th floor, all I needed to do was show up. Just to be sure, I asked "That's included for Hilton Gold members, correct?" First the clerk said yes, then stuttered a bit and corrected herself and said she wasn't sure it was included but would call me.

She did not call, so the next AM before going to breakfast, not wanting to get stuck with a surpise bill for 26 euro/person for croissants etc and coffee, I called the desk and was told it HAD been included last year and then it was discontinued for golds.

I asked about lounge access, she said "no lounge" to that too.

There was no welcome letter or water or mint or anything else in the room thanking me for staying with them as an honors member. I even get a welcome letter at Hampton Inns!

2. MISINFORMATION I checked in on a Sunday, the hotel and area looked a bit deserted and I asked about any casual cafes or brasseries for lunch within walking distance in the area, the clerk said everything was closed except the hotel restaurant and McDonalds across the way. When I then walked around outside to look at the big Arch, I noticed right across the way next to McDonalds a brasserie (Arc) was indeed open with outside tables, saving me a trip on the Metro.

3. BROKEN STUFF AND FORM NOT FOLLOWING FUNCTION, COMICAL SERVICE. The first upgraded room I was escorted to was ceremoniously checked over when we got there by the guy carrying the luggage when I came in. He noted the TV in the bathroom wasn't working and the room smelled of some chemical, so he moved me down the hall (I was tired and didn't care about a bathroom TV, but he seemed determined to move me -- as the hotel was slow that day, query why they didn't check out the rooms in advance?). The bathroom TV worked the first evening, then broke the next day in the second room too. When it did work, it was hard to lie in the "tranquility" tub and see it unless you were at a particularly untranquil angle, given the high-tech screen. Also the jets on the tubs were industrially loud, so no point in turning them on if you want "tranquility" especially since a sign on the wall reminded you that sound carries to the next rooms.

There was also no CNN, only English language channel I got was BBC. I could not view my bill on screen, or check out on the TV. In-room movie offerings were very limited.

There was no newspaper delivery in the AM to the room, as many Hiltons have even if you don't ask for it. There were some magazines in the hallway lounge on my floor, but the hallway was not air conditioned so I had no desire to sit there and swelter while reading. The rooms themselves were nicely air conditioned, as was the bar, quiet, good sound insulation.


There were two cups and a water boiler for in-room coffee, but no coffee or coffee supplies. I asked for these by phone, did not receive them. The next day I positioned the cups as if used, hoping the maid would clean them and add supplies, instead she just washed the cups, but again her service provided no coffee or supplies. It wasn't worth fighting over, might have disrupted the tranquility.

The design of the room and hotel, though visually modern and pretty, was in some ways impractical. The desk area blocked access to the closet by the second person while one person worked at the desk, and the closet was the only area to put bulky clothing in, no dresser drawers. The elegant bathroom sink, a kind of bowl sitting on top of the countertop, had faucets I could not turn when my hands were wet, had to use a towel, too slick.

The bed had only a thick and very hot down comforter, so the first AM I called the front desk to ask for a light blanket and sheet to replace it as there was none in the closet. Reception (picking up after about 12 rings, which was not atypical), transferred me to housekeeping, where the woman who answered (and who claimed to speak English) clearly could not comprehend what I wanted but did offer to come up to the room to clarify. She came up and between her broken English, my broken French, and a pantomime I engaged in showing how the down comforter was too hot, she stated she understood I wanted a "petit quilt." I left the room and when I came back I indeed had a thin blanket -- though the maid had made up the bed with it UNDER the sheet instead of over it, so I had to redo the whole thing.

Turn-down service consisted of putting a little weather information sheet at bedside, nothing else.

On the first day, I noticed there was only one bathrobe. Well, I figured if they were saving on breakfast for golds, they were likely saving on bathrobes too, or that most of the time only one person would occupy the room. Then to my surprise the next afternoon, without any request or comment from me, a maid knocked at the door and presented us with two more bathrobes -- now we had three!

Trying to follow the environmentally correct suggestions to hang up towels that would be reused, we hung up all but one towel when we left the room. The maid replaced all towels anyway.

When coming back to the hotel I wanted to run in to the lobby, use the restroom, then go out and take a quick picture of the Arch before the light changed, but found you needed a security code to get into the lobby restroom. I had not been offered this code at check-in as something I might need, and at that point it was easier to just go to my room.

The doorknobs on the rooms on my floor are designed in such a way that it is hard to hang up a "do not disturb" sign without if falling off. When I arrived I noticed 2-3 of them on the ground outside rooms, it wasn't clear to me why this was until the same thing happened to me. Unless you precisely wedge the sign into the doorknob opening, it easily falls off with the slightest breeze, e.g., someone walking by (though it looks real sleek).

GOOD THINGS:

1. Visually impressive design of lobby, restaurant, rooms.
2. Good AC and sound insulation in the room.
3. Good Metro/RER access to the rest of Paris, it's not as far away from the "action" in Paris as it looks on the map.
4. Interesting contrast of the La Defense area to the rest of "old" Paris -- the big Arch is definitely worth seeing (go up if you have time to the top and check out the art exhibit and view of the old Arch), there's also a big shopping mall and grocery market Auchon across the square if you don't want to pay exorbitant hotel prices for bottled water etc. -- and the McDonalds, of course.

But if I go back to Paris and stay at a Hilton, it'll either be the one ner the Eifel Tower or the new one near the Arch of Triumph.

ermdjdsj is offline  
Old Jun 16, 04, 11:56 pm
  #20  
 
Join Date: May 2002
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Sorry but...

ermdjdsj, sorry to hear about the poor stay/service at La Defense. Although you had me laughing at several points...

It wasn't worth fighting over, might have disrupted the tranquility.


a maid knocked at the door and presented us with two more bathrobes -- now we had three!
Reminded me of the oft forwarded email about the traveller to a different country and his problem with the maid delivering soap to his room.

Again, sorry your second stay was not as enjoyable as the first but wanted to know that you helped me to rememebr to always see the humor in the not so good situation(s).
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Old Jun 17, 04, 3:50 am
  #21  
 
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Last April we were scheduled for a Reward stay at the Hilton La Defense, which was the only one available in Paris. We decided to stay in the UK (London was our base) and stayed at the Hilton Cardiff instead. I think it was a good decision! The lounge had a magnificent view of the Castle and the lady in charge (Wendy) took very good care of us, including getting us a late check-out on the last day.

Sorry you had such a bad stay. I had to laugh at your observation that the lobby was impressive. Aren't they all? It's the room that's the real test of a hotel!
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Old Jul 12, 04, 3:13 pm
  #22  
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
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Originally Posted by ermdjdsj
1. NO BREAKFAST INCLUDED FOR GOLDS, NO LOUNGE, NO WELCOMING AMENITY.
So I have an upcoming stay booked there later this summer - and if the hotel still adheres to its "No breakfast for Golds" policy, I plan to just cancel the reservation. I tried to find an email address of someone at the hotel (so that I could email for confirmation/denial of this policy) from the web site, but could not.
Any advise on how to proceed - should I call the hhonors customer service number (but they may be naware of local hotel policy)? Or should I call the hotel (but there may be a language problem).

Thanks
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Old Jul 12, 04, 6:37 pm
  #23  
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
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Originally Posted by arodin
tried to find an email address of someone at the hotel (so that I could email for confirmation/denial of this policy) from the web site, but could not.
Any advise on how to proceed - should I call the hhonors customer service number (but they may be naware of local hotel policy)? Or should I call the hotel (but there may be a language problem).

Thanks
Call and ask for an email address.

When it comes to usurious european breakfast charges, you MUST have your 'waiver' in writing or you face the possibility of an unexpected surprise that will have you on the wrong side of a he said-she said game that you will lose or at least be bitter about for a long time.

Just as the OP said, first was told yes, then a hesitation, then no. Don't take a chance on a phone call to alay your fears only to get charged 50 euros a day extra later.

Last edited by Boston Elite; Aug 9, 04 at 7:02 pm
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Old Jul 12, 04, 11:09 pm
  #24  
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Reno, Nevada
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The easy way to deal with this, IMO, is to not expect free breakfast. After all, Golds aren't entitled to free breakfast if they receive an upgraded room (as the original poster noted he did).

Mike
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Old Jul 13, 04, 12:04 am
  #25  
 
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ermdjdsj, much good information about the hotel, and the quality of "service" here. Thank you for posting.

Most talked about so far, though, is the issue of breakfast, such as...

Originally Posted by nako
Golds aren't entitled to free breakfast if they receive an upgraded room (as the original poster noted he did).
Let's be clear: Golds & Diamonds outside of the US and Canada are entitled to room upgrades. And while breakfast is not an entitlement, a room upgrade doesn't preclude breakfast.

http://www.hilton.com/en/hhonors/benefits/levels.jhtml

At Hilton Family hotels outside the U.S. and Canada that have upgraded accommodation, Gold and Diamond VIPs will be upgraded to Executive Level or to the next best available room type. Upgraded rooms are subject to availability. At hotels that do not have upgraded types of accommodation, Gold and Diamond VIPs will receive additional amenities and/or services, which vary by property.
Expectations are easily confused with these geographical variations and wordy descriptions.

But heres the bottom line as I see it...

Gold OR Diamond

In US/Canada: you get breakfast by HHonors policy; many hotels choose to upgrade your room as well (frequently suites), but they are not required to do so by HHonors.

Outside of US/Canada: you get upgraded accomodations by HHonors policy (Executive or less -- not suites by HH policy) which may include breakfast as part of the room upgrade; if your room doesn't include breakfast, the hotel may choose to comp you breakfast, but they are not required to do so by HHonors.

Expectations are closely tied to first impressions, and first impressions can greatly affect one's overall experience. nako was correct in getting at that: sometimes I need to adjust my expectations for an enjoyable experience.

Last edited by Rut Dog; Jul 13, 04 at 12:25 am
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Old Jul 13, 04, 12:56 am
  #26  
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
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Let me get this straight...you're going to cancel your reservation because you don't get free breakfast?? My advice to you....book a few more stays and obtain Diamond status if "breakfast" is so important.... That's freakin' ludicrous.


some people.....
IMStill4Travel is offline  
Old Jul 13, 04, 5:40 am
  #27  
 
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I agree with IMStill4Travel: if a free breakfast is enough of a big deal to be a deciding factor, then your priorities are on a planet far, far removed from the one on which I dwell.

This goes triple in Paris, where a fantastic breakfast is available at any bar: a coffee (or a grand café crème if you like it that way) and a croissant, which is far better than any hotel breakfast.

P.S. to Boston Elite: usurious is a wonderful word. It's a shame that you misuse it totally.
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Old Dec 22, 04, 11:50 am
  #28  
JAP
 
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Latest on Hilton La Defence, Paris ?

Hi all,

As there doesn't appear to be much new info here on the Hilton La Defence, Paris, I thought I'd ask the experts

My wife and I will be staying there on a €140 per night rate in late Jan, and wondered of any recent experiences / email addys / recommendations etc. ?

We would particularly be interested on dining options in the hotel or close by, and any info on the shopping centre or cinema local to the hotel.

I appreciate your inputs ...

Thanks,

John P.
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Old Dec 22, 04, 5:35 pm
  #29  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
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Originally Posted by JAP
Hi all,

As there doesn't appear to be much new info here on the Hilton La Defence, Paris, I thought I'd ask the experts

My wife and I will be staying there on a €140 per night rate in late Jan, and wondered of any recent experiences / email addys / recommendations etc. ?

We would particularly be interested on dining options in the hotel or close by, and any info on the shopping centre or cinema local to the hotel.

I appreciate your inputs ...

Thanks,

John P.
JohnAA48 is offline  
Old Dec 22, 04, 5:47 pm
  #30  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
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Posts: 6
I just stayed at the Hilton La Defense inParis two weeks ago. It is quite nice, not far (via metro) to L'Etoile, les Champs Elysee, and other notable Paris sites. Room I was given as a Diamond was nice, newly renovated as a "Relaxation room," though it was simply a clean room with a nice work area and large bathroom. It is an odd place, located WITHIN another building (CNIT) which is a kind of office building, limited mall area. Very unusual, but the double walls, windows provided by this arrangement made the hotel exceptionally quiet. I had some problems (not an unfrequent complaint in most Hiltons anywhere these days) with making contact with the promised wi-fi Internet connection, but they graciously fixed things for me and it worked fine. No Executive Lounge (surprising for the rates and location), but a great breakfast buffet on tghe top (5th) floor. My biggest hassle was the late room clean up. I was out from early onemorning until about 4 and the room had yet to be serviced. Gave me a glass of wine but it didn't allow me to get the nap I needed before a dinner meeting.

This is an odd part of Paris not known to tourists. It's a bit like the Denver Tech Center or staying out in Schaumburg near Chicago, but it is very quick and close to the tourist stuff. The shopping mall across the plaza from the CNIT complex is, by European standards, very big and busy. Restaurants, lots of typical mall stores, movie houses, etc. Don't expect to see any big department store, however. Those are found about four or five subway stops away.

In general, the hotel is more like one of the suburban Hiltons in the US. It is quite nice, but you really don't realize that you are in Paris, France (as opposed to Paris, Texas) when you are there. Good place to stay, but don't expect postcard memories. Best Hilton in Paris is still the Paris Hilton (the place, not the kid).
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