Waldorf-Astoria Syon Park to become a Hilton (or, how to have a 5-star child-friendly break for £90 a night)

This is a marginally indulgent post, but if you live in London – especially if you’ve got kids – it is of interest.

I wouldn’t normally write about a hotel changing brands, especially when it is a brand within the same family of hotels.  However, I do occasionally focus on good child-friendly properties for Londoners who fancy a weekend away (see my Crowne Plaza Marlow posts as well).  The Waldorf-Astoria Syon Park is ideal for this.

The hotel has just announced on the Hilton website – although not yet on its own website – that it is rebranding as (downgrading to) a Hilton from March 2013.  It will be known as Hilton London Syon Park.

Opening a couple of years ago, it was always an odd property.  Built on the Duke of Northumberland’s estate, the hotel is in the grounds of Syon Park.  The large country house is still there, and you can tour it in season.  The Duke, keen to generate income, has heavily commercialised his grounds and they now include a huge garden centre as well as the hotel.

Being close to Heathrow, it was probably felt that the hotel would appeal to the luxury conference and weddings market.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to be working too well.  Possibly because the back of the hotel overlooks a council estate and the front overlooks a car park (although if you have Hilton status you get a room on the side overlooking the gardens!).

A ludicrous amount of money was spent on the hotel, hence the Waldorf-Astoria branding.  Here are a few images:

Syon Park 1Syon Park 2Syon Park 3Syon Park 4Syon Park 5

Picture 4 is the main house, the bottom picture is the amazing conservatory at the house.

For an easy break with kids, the hotel has a lot going for it.

a) big grounds

b) the pool (top photo) although children hours are restricted

c) the garden centre next door has a huge cafe which makes it easy to have casual snacks if the hotel restaurant is too formal

d) literally 2 minutes walk from the hotel is a huge soft play centre (see here)

And if you don’t have kids, you can tour Syon Park House, enjoy the very plush rooms (see photo above) and eat in the very well regarded restaurant.

The hotel seems to be failing, unfortunately.  Converting it to a Hilton may be a way of cutting costs by reducing service levels, or it may just be a reflection of the room rates they can get.  But this works to your advantage!

At the time of writing, on Friday April 12th – a date I picked at random – you can get a room here for £90 including VAT.  Since it will be a Hilton by then, a Hilton Gold will also get free breakfast and free internet.  Frankly, it is almost cheaper than staying at home and paying to go to the local pool – and your garden probably isn’t as big as the Duke of Northumberlands.

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  1. nogoingback says:

    Ooh exciting! Thanks. Will the £90 rate room sleep 2 adults and 2 children (6 and 3)? We normally take our own travel cot for the 3 year old…

    • It should be OK, although we were always upgraded to the rooms overlooking the conservatory which are a little bigger. If the room description says Max 3 People then you would be OK. Otherwise it depends if fire restrictions limit the number per room. They have decent cots, by the way, no need to take one!

  2. whiskerxx says:

    Forgive me, but I rolled around laughing at the thought that “Londoners” consider Brentford a suitable destination for a “weekend away”!
    It must be about halfway to Heathrow from Kensington. 8 miles?
    If I didn’t know better, I’d suggest you should get out more!!! :-)

    (always enjoy the blog, by the way)

    • Yes, about right! But I consider myself lucky I can do this! It would make no difference to the trip if it had required a 3 hour drive, except the kids would have gone mad. And we don’t even take a car here, we get a cab.

      If the InterContinental on Park Lane – which is walkable from my house – had a pool and gave free breakfast, I would probably be burning my PC points and staying there on the odd weekend as well!

      My kids spend enough time on planes as it is without making them endure even more travelling!

  3. How much does your local pool cost??

  4. Interesting news- I was thinking of using the Hilton Visa card free night voucher at Syon Park- not that this is a reason not to do so any more, however I would hope to get more than £90 worth of value out of it.

    Not sure if it’s worth a separate thread but but would it be worthwhile detailing the “best” ways of redeeming vouchers such as this highlighting a few hotels that offer best value- could also be useful for things like the Intercontinental £20.12 offer where I stumbled across the Crowne Plaza Chipping Norton which seemed to be a good choice.

  5. I’ve also burned points to stay here, and at £90 will be doing so again. My needs are reverse: a weekend trip to London with free parking and a really nice pool. The restaurant was also excellent but I guess that may be affected by the change; on the other hand the free breakfast is a nice offset.

    It’s not right if you just want to visit central London, but we drove in after the CC hours for a show and for dinner, and drove to Westfield so for a weekend away in the south it has a lot of appeal. The grounds are great too, and massive: we spent an hour looking round before going to Kew, and I’m not sure it was worth going to Kew (depending on the season).

  6. If you were looking to book this, there is a rate on some days called Best of Waldorf Astoria which has a £50 per night credit against food etc. The rate itself is more than the Advance Purchase rate, but it is cancellable. If you knew you would definitely spend the £50 per night in the hotel then it is effectively £90 with no cancel penalty.

  7. trickster says:

    I can only see the £90 rate on the night you suggest by doing a booking for 2 adults, no kids. Is this what you did too?

    On previous stays with our little one in Marriott or IC properties, I’ve normally booked for 2 adults only, and asked for a travel cot in notes. However, I think I’d need the booking to include a child as he’s now in a bed.

    • I can’t remember how we did it now. I think, because we had Hilton Gold status, we booked without putting a kid in knowing they would upgrade us to the larger room that does allow a kid OK, and put in the notes we needed a rollaway bed.

      That said, there is only 3 sq metres of difference between the rooms which is hardly a lot!

      If you don’t have Hilton status then you might need to call them to check the situation will getting a rollaway in the basic room.