Thursday, January 03, 2008

Review on Hilton New Orleans Riverside

Overall it's an unpleasant three-night stay at the hotel. My room (#4020) has: no kettle or coffee maker (but with ground coffee beans and tea bags), an alarm clock one hour ahead without any buttons for adjusting time (so I woke up one hour earlier than necessary), ants hiding beneath the alarm clock and strolling on the washing basin, a shower head fixed to the wall, a wireless Internet connection costing as much as 11.95 dollars per 24 hour. The only good thing is three mirrors surrounding the washing basin so I can easily look at the back of my head when I set my hair.

Restaurants downstairs are unpleasant, too. A breakfast buffet tastes horrible (bad coffee, bad bacon, bad smoked salmon, bad pan cake) except for spiced potato cubes sauteed with peppers and onions, but it still costs more than 20 dollars (including VAT and tips). A dinner and another breakfast at this same restaurant takes unnecessarily long before the waiter serves a light meal that I order, because I want to eat quickly. The hotel's cafe "proudly serves" Starbucks Coffee (that's what they put on the cup label).

The hotel effectively monopolizes eating and drinking options: we need to take an at least 10 minute walk to eat/drink outside the hotel. Plus the breakfast restaurant 10 minutes away is uninspiring (cheaper though).

For the sake of fairness, there are some good things. Checking out without queuing at the reception is a good thing. Another restaurant, Drago's, serves an excellent Crescent City Shrimp, grilled in rosemary-filled butter sauce.

I stay at the hotel for the business purpose (our Institute interviews newly-minted PhDs at the hotel from 10am on Friday till 1pm on Sunday). Ideally, then the hotel should provide excellent food options and comfy bed rooms. It spectacularly fails to do so. Even if I was in New Orleans for tourism, the location is not good at all as it takes at least 15 minute walk to the French Quater.

If you go to New Orleans, this Hilton hotel should certainly be out of question.

No comments: