Next door to a castle and the beautiful Civic Centre, the Hilton is an ideal location for those looking for instant city attractions and wide, open green space.
The hotel took advantage of the building’s gutted state when they acquired it and made sure both the suites and the regular rooms are identical size respectively. This does hint at a boring uniformity, but there’s certainly no quibble over who has the biggest room.
I found the rooms airy and spacious. If you can, try and get a room on the west side of the hotel as the castle views definitely beat the views of Greyfriars Road. Whatever side of the hotel you're on, the big, well sprung beds are naturally the main focus and the bathrooms are grand enough for the biggest make-up bags. I was especially impressed with the cosy settee in the suite.
The Metropolitan Lounge bar has just been renovated into a welcoming contemporary spot that makes great use of the day light. The often live, and always laid back, acoustic music played in the evenings was never an interference.
My favourite public area in The Hilton, however, is the main hall behind the lifts; it’s a feast for the eyes as it peels away each floor to reveal a striking sunroof and an abundance of natural light. You might miss this as it’s used primarily for the hotel’s conference and function section, but it’s worth the mini exploration. Another great eye-feast comes your way if you pay the executive supplement of £40... Head on up to the top floor and you can enjoy the incredible views of the city from the executive lounge. On a good day you’ll get two castles and two stadiums in one magnificent view.
Eating and drinking
Champagne and afternoon teas are the ace in the lounge bar’s sleeve, and the hotel’s Razzi restaurant doesn’t just serve a well chosen menu of local and traditional meals, it also offers floor to ceiling windows that provide an immaculate castle-side view. The Steam Bar, just beyond the reception is worth investigation, its bustling atmosphere makes it a favourite for nearby city workers with a penchant for a post-work cocktail or two.
Plenty... A 20m stainless steel pool, a beauty salon, fitness centre, steam room and health spa are all situated on the premises. If retail is your idea of leisure, I dare say their shopping package is rather attractive too.
There always seems to be more concierges than necessary but they’re attentive and quick to assist. All staff members are happy, helpful and respect you by never being too over-chirpy.
Who stays there
A busy mix of business, international tourists and shopaholics. Two minutes away from the City Hall, it’s often home to newlyweds and civil partners.
Watch out for national promotions as they regularly offer 50 per cent off for mid week breaks.
- Business Centre
- Fitness Centre
- High-Speed Internet
- Room Service
- Swimming Pool
- Business travellers
- Mature travellers
- Sporty types
- Great views / scenery
- People watching
Pros & Cons
- Eye-catching interior architecture
- An array of leisure facilities
- Ideal city centre location
- The best views cost more!
- The smell of chlorine from the pool makes the lobby smell a tiny bit like a leisure centre