Trini Staycation 2018: How Things Have Changed!

 I am excited to share this with you!

In March, we had a staycation in the Hilton Trinidad and Tobago as a birthday treat, and it was an experience.

First a little history!

History Lesson #1: The hotel is known as the “Upside Down Hotel” because the reception is at the  top and the rooms are below.

History Lesson # 2: I adore the Hilton Trinidad because it holds amazing family memories! Growing up we would brunch as a family on a weekend, and spend the afternoons at the pool eating delicious club sandwiches and milkshakes. Bonus back then they had a kiddies’ pool, which as a child was amazing to lay around in, until you were ready to go on a deep sea adventure into the real pool which sadly no longer exists and has been replaced with an updated and safer pool.

Hilton Poolside
Sunday Afternoons Poolside

History Lesson #3: They have some pretty cool suites. The Presidential Suites have seen the likes of Obama and Michael Jackson (to name a few).

So fast forward to 2018, “staycation” time. A lot has changed, yet a lot stays the same.

Customer service was pretty regular for Trinidad or lack thereof rather. Disappointed at the level of  customer service  at the reception desk by one person, whose assumed familiarity bred contempt. Definitely not the most pleasant experience. Aside from that situation, it was standard. Pleasant enough staff. Felt a bit sorry for the pool bartender though because he was working the entire bar for most of the afternoon alone, which meant a considerable wait for drinks.

On the issue of waiting, I waited almost an hour for my room.  Something that may have been overlooked if the service had not been so subpar in the beginning, but a great inconvenience when you have been on the go for almost 24 hours straight. So if you’re coming, even at your scheduled check in time, it would be a good idea to call and confirm whether the room is available (If you have the time?) Let me point out checking in online does not make a difference, as we checked in online before and still had the same issue.

Fun tip, never put your room key next to your mobile. It resets the key and then you have to go through the ups and downs of getting a new one. This always happens to me! On this particular occasion, I was particularly frazzled as I had gone straight from work, to a photo shoot, then walked up the savannah walkway because the road was blocked and I had been up most of the night before baking, so I was not in the mood for a walk back and forth. So if you know you are not a walker, don’t book a Sundeck Suite or “Panoramic Terrace” as indicated on their website, though in my opinion it is very much worth the walk.

Hilton Trinidad
Walkway to Suite. Breathtaking view!

Room:

Our suite was nice and cosy, yet gave us enough room to move around. The kitchenette was standard and the half bathroom was a decent size. The couches were a bit distressed, but we kept in mind it was right after carnival, and that poor suite had probably been through absolute hell!

The BEST PART OF THE ROOM WAS THE SUNDECK! Yes I needed to capitalize it! Because the view was beautiful! The furniture was not what was shown on the website, which was a slight disappointment as I was looking forward to sunbathing , but the wicker sofa did the job.

Truth be told, I prefer the Sundeck Suite over the Presidential Suite, mainly because of the balcony space.

Sundeck Suite
Beautiful view of the Northern Range, President’s Grounds, Diplomatic Centre, Prime Minister’s Residence, Queen’s Hall, Queens Park Savannah.

Room Service:

Pretty good, the selection of food has not changed much, and well expect a pretty high price because well, it is a hotel! Safest bet, Cornish hen, burgers, fries, salad etc.

No time for photos when you are hungry!

Sundry:

Sundry has pretty much everything you need, but you can also go out and get it at more than half the price ( Viva Water and Cigarettes cost TTD $100.00 , street total would be TTD $47.00 ). I think, No I did choke on air when I got the total.

 

Pool:

In my opinion the new pool is suited to the hotel. The colours at night are fascinating to watch, also the pool closes at a decent hour, which is customer friendly.

I miss the old pool, because it was easy to get a good bit of cardio in, but hey this one works well to lounge about in!

Hilton Trinidad Poolside
Evening setting in.
Hilton Trinidad Poolside
Hilton Poolside just before Sunset

There is also a jacuzzi, 1,000,000 points awarded to Hilton Trinidad.

The towels were laundered and fresh, which was a plus, only downfall was having to move other guests used towels from the sun beds.

If you are coming, walk with insect repellent, you will need it!

Pool Bar of course!

Hilton Trinidad Pool Bar
Pool Bar

Food:

Heyyyyyy! We got breakfast! And it was good.  Fair juice selection, Trinidadian breakfast options, omelette station etc. Pretty standard and very welcomed as we only found out after check in we were not entitled to the Executive Lounge ( the website indicated this was included).

Breakfast
Pool Terrace Breakfast

Lastly, the response rate of the hotel: I privately messaged the Hotel’s Facebook page with details of the subpar check in experience, to which they responded, which was appreciated but by that time made absolutely no difference.

Pros:

  1. Nice view
  2. Ease of access to city
  3. Breakfast
  4. Majority of staff friendly
  5. Gym
  6. Tennis Court
  7. Pool

Cons:

  1. Lack of customer service training with some staff to the point of  disrespect. I cannot emphasize enough how disappointing check- in was.
  2. Long wait for room
  3. Pool understaffed

I cannot really add it as a con, but the hotel is in need of some general housekeeping in some places, but in some ways it gives it a homelier feeling.

There is no better feeling for me, than sitting in the Pool Terrace and looking up to the ceiling, it transports me back to being a child, yet and adult at the same time.

family
Sunday Brunch with family at the hotel restaurant in the 90’s.

 

In closing, we had a wonderful time.

Natalake xx

staycation (2)

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. Barbara Lake says:

    I think, given your horrendous check in experience which you failed to go into detail here, you have been over generous with your ‘critique

    Like

  2. Barbara Lake says:

    I think, given your horrendous check in experience which you failed to go into detail here, you have been over generous with your critique.

    Like

  3. Barbara Lake says:

    Not sure why my comment came up twice! Sorry! The photos are terrific.

    Like

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