Hilton Évian = Subpar Hotel and Disappointing Stay

1   Not Recommended

Executive Room
February 4, 2019 by
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Executive Room

Liked:
Location
Service
Food
Amenities
Room

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Room
Executive Room

I had a subpar 3-night stay at Hilton Evian-les-Bains, more so because of a combination of several negatives rather than because of a single major downfall.  In addition, in my experience many hotels with weaknesses also have some obvious strengths to balance things out, but this one does not stand out positively in any significant way which is also unusual.  I will not return and I do not recommend this property.  

 

Room

I booked a cash rate for the entry level room in low season and all room types were available by the time I checked in.  I was upgraded to an executive room which I understand is the same room as the basic room except that it has better lake views.  I asked if they normally upgrade Diamond members to junior suites and I got a BS answer from the receptionist that I was upgraded to an exec room which was better than the family suite which is only suitable for families.  I agree that the family suite is suitable for families, but I asked about junior suites (which is a different category than family suites) and the lady at check-in indicated that my room was better than the junior suite, making me think that perhaps I had been upgraded to the exec suite rather than the exec room.  It was not the case.  I prefer hotels to be honest about a lack of suite upgrades rather than try to give rubbish excuses.  

The room is ok although nothing special.  The views of the lake from a high floor are nice and the bathroom was redone recently – those are the strong points.  However water pressure in the shower was very weak and the rest of the room is nothing to write home about.  The room is neither old / beat up nor is it new and modern. There are no power plugs near the bedside and you have to unplug the small lamps from under the night table to recharge electronics, and the power outlets are not international style.  There is a small terrace outside the room to enjoy the views.  However you have a wide open view of all your neighbors on the terrace and they are so close to each other that you could almost jump on someone else’s terrace.  In February I did not want to use the terrace anyway so it was non-consequential to me, but guests going in the summer should be aware.  

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Dining

I was disappointed to find out that the executive lounge remains closed for renovations.  I do not think there was any note about this on Hilton.com when I booked.  Hotel staff told me that the renovations won’t be finished until April 2019.  The make-shift lounge is actually the hotel bar so anybody could just walk in there and mingle with lounge guests so the environment is not particularly private, although the hotel bar was fairly empty so we had a decent quiet time nonetheless.  Alcohol offered was a choice of wine, Prosecco, beer, and some liquor.  Snacks were good quality but not plentiful: quinoa salad, mushroom risotto, chicken, rice salad, desserts, etc., all in small portions.  Overall it was an ok substitute to a lounge but nothing very impressive.  It was not the first time I was in a hotel with a temporary lounge; most other lounge replacements were better than this one.  

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Breakfast was only offered in the restaurant due to the lounge closure.  Breakfast was average and offered standard items such as fruits, vegetables, bakeries, yogurt, scrambled eggs, sausages, etc.  Many hotels will have at least one thing that stands out for example they might offer berries in addition to standard hotel fruits, or they might have a breakfast wrap or a special warm dish, etc.  I did not find that it was the case here.  The one good thing I can say is for foreigners who want to enjoy delicious French bakeries for breakfast, then the large chocolate croissants were very good. 

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One morning I found a hair in the mushrooms.  We were in the restaurant quite late for breakfast on a Sunday morning and there were several guests so I could not be sure if it was from kitchen staff or from a guest so I did not complain, I did not say anything, and I gave the hotel the benefit of the doubt.  However the next morning, once again: hair in the mushrooms! That was on Monday morning around 8am and there was only another couple in the restaurant at that time so I no longer gave the hotel the benefit of the doubt – my conclusion is that kitchen staff is careless.  After that I stopped my breakfast completely.  I informed the server that it happened two mornings in a row and they apologized.  They asked me if I wanted something special and I said no, I did not want anything else from the kitchen.  As an alternative they offered me champagne but I also declined because I was checking out later that morning and I was going to drive.  

Service

Like a lot of the rest of the hotel, service was ok but just average.  Staff was polite, housekeeping was acceptable and the room was clean, but on one day I specifically called at 1pm to request housekeeping as I was leaving the room for about an hour and I wanted it done before my return at 2pm.  When I came back nobody had come to the room at all and I had to call again and leave a second time which was not what I intended. A minor issue only, but a slip-up nonetheless.  

Gym

I like to go to the fitness gym early morning, and sometimes with jet lag I even like to go during the night (local time) so a gym open 24/7 is useful to me.  At Hilton Evian the gym is not inside the hotel’s building – it is inside the spa in the building next to the hotel.  Consequently you cannot access the gym until the spa opens which is at 8am.  This does not meet my needs and it’s the latest opening gym I have ever seen for a Hilton.

Overall

Overall the negatives of this hotel add up : the so-so upgrade and making excuses instead of being truthful, the executive lounge under renovation, the breakfast where I would not want to eat again for sanitary reasons, the inconvenient gym hours, minor service issues, etc.  Because of the collection of negatives and because of the lack of strong points, Hilton Evian is without any doubt in the bottom 10% of hotels of that caliber where I have stayed before.

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