Hilton Whistler = Improved with Renovations

100   Recommended

Premier Studio
July 19, 2018 by
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Premier Studio

Liked:
Location
Service
Food
Amenities
Room

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Room
Premier Studio

I had a quick one-night stay in Hilton Whistler before moving to Delta and Westin, in order to compare the three hotels.  I stayed in Hilton last year and similar to comments from other FTers, last year I thought the room was nothing to write home about, but that I could come back for the right price.  This year I secured a BRG for $159 CAD which is a decent price for the summer, plus the fact that I wanted to see the result of renovations. The flexible rate I originally booked was $282 CAD and it had come down to $204 CAD by the time I checked in, so my BRG started off being a large discount but ended up being more moderate savings.  

Room

I booked a King Studio and got upgraded to a Premier Studio as a Diamond, which had a rate about $40 CAD higher.  So it was an upgrade, but a modest one and there were suites available on Hilton.com at time of check-in so be aware that Hilton is not the most generous with upgrades.  In my opinion Hilton did a decent job with the refresh of the room.  The premier studio is spacious with 56 sq meters which is more than the suites I got at Delta and Westin, so comparing suites vs suites then I suspect the contrast would be even greater and Hilton would come out way ahead.  The sitting area between the bed and the kitchen has a sofa bed so you can comfortably sleep 4 people in that room.  The bathroom is ok but still has a bathtub instead of a shower and the bath is older so no renovations there.  One weakness of the premier studio room remains that lighting is weaker in the kitchen area because you are quite far from the patio windows which are near the bed. The terrace is quite small and barely enough space to sit.  There is no dining table in the room but there are three high stool chairs which allow to eat dinner on the kitchen counter; also the Hilton has the most counter space to cook of all three hotels I visited, in line with my overall comment that that room at Hilton is just larger all around.  There is a fireplace which gives a nice feel to the room.  Another feature of the room which renovations could not help is the air conditioning unit which is not central, it’s an AC unit on the wall near the patio.  It was quite noisy during the night and it’s too close to the bed so you get blown over if you sleep on that side of the bed.  Overall the room has definitely improved compared to last year due to the renovations but some drawbacks remain.

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Location

As others mentioned the location of the hotel is hard to beat.  You are right at the base of the gondolas.  In the summer it also has the advantage of being at the end of the village so it tends to be more quiet than other hotels which are more centrally located with lots of restaurants and bars.  At the same time, since Whistler is small, Hilton is not out of the way so easy walk to pretty much everywhere.

 

Dining

As a Diamond I could get free breakfast in the restaurant.  It is nothing special and as others commented on, it is quite crowded.  The restaurant is a bit dark and not nearly as inviting a setting as the Westin restaurant.  Given that Westin now offers full breakfast to Platinums (it was limited to continental last year) then Westin is way ahead of Hilton for elite breakfast.  But at least you get something at Hilton, unlike Delta which provides no breakfast at all to Platinums. 

Gym

The Hilton gym is fairly small but it has recent equipment and a view of the swimming pool.  The gym was empty when I visited but I can imagine that on cold winter days when weather is not nice outside, it could get full quickly.  But for me it was a pleasant place for a workout. 

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Service

I found service to be mixed.  The chap at reception upon check-in was helpful with recommendations for what to do in Whistler.  However things got worse the next day when it was time to check out; it was different staff than when I arrived the day before.  We got a call at 12:30pm asking us to check out ASAP. Then three different people came knocking at the door in the subsequent hour before we checked out at 1:30pm. The surly woman at reception advised that check-out time is normally 11am but that they would make an exception for this time and not charge us extra.  They told me that I had to leave the room because they were sold out for the upcoming night.  I checked on Hilton.com and it was not entirely true.  My room type was sold out indeed, but there were plenty of other room types available the next night.  I could not help but think that if Hilton was more liberal with upgrades, it would have been less of an issue.  Hilton check-out times for Diamonds have been discussed at length on FT; I do not get rushed out the door that way at Marriott, Starwood, or Hyatt hotels.  

Overall

Overall I am more positive about the Hilton than I was last year, in large part due to the renovations so once again my conclusion is that I could return for the right price.  However Hilton remains a notch below Westin so I would be willing to pay a bit more to stay at Westin than Hilton.  Hilton has narrowed the gap in terms of the state of the room, but Westin has improved its breakfast so it still beats Hilton in both aspects.  Between Hilton and Delta, then I think the choice is less clear cut.  The basic room at Delta is very small so if all hotels were full and I knew I would not get upgraded, then Hilton would be a good choice due to space because I would want to avoid the tiny room at Delta.  However those are not the rooms I have seen so I cannot directly compare. All I can say is that if upgrades are possible I would rather get a proper suite at Delta (which is what I had booked there) without breakfast than the studio at Hilton.  But to be fair to Hilton, I did not book the basic room at Delta so they might not have upgraded me to a suite if I did, in that case I would rather stay at Hilton.  In any case, we are talking about minor differences; I would not hesitate to book one or the other and I would be confident I would have a nice stay.  

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