This is a marginally indulgent article 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:
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
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.
How to earn Hilton Honors points and status from UK credit cards (September 2022)
There are various ways of earning Hilton Honors points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.
Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Hilton Honors Gold status for as long as they hold the card? It also comes with Marriott Bonvoy Gold, Radisson Rewards Gold and MeliaRewards Gold status. We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.
EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.
Did you know that the Virgin Atlantic credit cards are a great way of earning Hilton Honors points? Two Virgin Points can be converted into three Hilton Honors points. The Virgin Atlantic cards are the only Visa or Mastercard products in the UK which can indirectly earn Hilton Honors points. You can apply here.
You can also earn Hilton Honors points indirectly with:
- American Express Gold (20,000 bonus Amex points)
- American Express Rewards Credit Card (10,000 bonus Amex points)
and for small business owners:
- American Express Business Gold (20,000 bonus Amex points)
- American Express Business Platinum (40,000 bonus Amex points)
The conversion rate from American Express to Hilton points is 1:2.
(Want to earn more hotel points? Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)