This is my review of the Hilton London Syon Park hotel where we spent a weekend earlier in the Summer.
As far as weekend breaks from London go, Hilton London Syon Park is not very ambitious. It is just seven miles from Kensington High Street where we jumped in an Uber. It is roughly parallel to the Sky TV headquarters building that you see when you drive down the M4 towards Heathrow.
This hotel opened in 2011 as the five-star Waldorf-Astoria Syon Park. This was rather ambitious – I don’t think there are any other Waldorf-Astoria hotels which overlook social housing and are next to a Wyvale Garden Centre. If your view isn’t housing, you overlook the garden centre car park. It was an outstanding example of boom era hubris on the part of the developer and the banks that funded it.
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. As well as the hotel and garden centre, there is a kids soft play centre and the surrounding fields are often rented out for commercial events.
Being close to Heathrow, it was probably felt that the hotel would appeal to the luxury conference and weddings market. Unfortunately, it didn’t work too well.
A ludicrous amount of money was spent on the Hilton at Syon Park. Whilst the hotel was downgraded from a Waldorf-Astoria to a Hilton in 2013 (one wing of the property was also closed for a time due to minimal occupancy), the ‘hardware’ is obviously still the same as it was.
Here are a few promotional shots from the Waldorf-Astoria days, but nothing has changed:
Picture 4 is the main house, the bottom picture is the amazing conservatory at the house. As a hotel guest, you can access the gardens at Syon House via a private gate using your hotel door key. The grounds are STUNNING.
For an easy break with kids, the hotel has a lot going for it.
big grounds – and empty grounds, because the public cannot get into the garden area unless they pay
the pool (top photo) although children hours are restricted
the Wyvale garden centre next door has a huge cafe which makes it easy to have casual snacks if the hotel restaurant is too formal – we ate lunch there on both days
it is literally 2 minutes walk from the soft play centre
And if you don’t have kids, you can tour Syon Park House and enjoy the very plush rooms (see photo above).
Very little has changed since we stayed there in the Waldorf-Astoria days. The butterfly house in the lobby has gone. The smart restaurant has been replaced by a Marco Pierre White steakhouse. That was about it.
As for the rest of it, I would imagine that:
the hotels has the smartest bedrooms of ANY Hilton hotel in the world
the hotel has the smartest pool, fitness room and spa of any Hilton globally
There are also upsides to it being downgraded. Hilton HHonors Gold and Diamond members now receive free breakfast – this is not a benefit at Waldorf-Astoria hotels.
Here are a few of my photos:
Plane noise from Heathrow is VERY apparent outside but the hotel has amazing soundproofing:
If you stay here, you need to be clear about a few things. This is NOT a country house hotel. You can’t do clay pigeon shooting, go horse riding or do any of the things that are possible at, say, Four Seasons Hampshire. Oddly, though, it does beat Four Seasons Hampshire in terms of the spectacular grounds and gardens. The rooms are also on a par. Service isn’t the same but you aren’t paying Four Season prices either.
More importantly, this is an easy place to reach. If you can get to Heathrow easily, you can get here easily. It won’t become our regular weekend break haunt, but I think we will try to visit Hilton at Syon Park once a year.
In terms of pricing, it is all over the place. In November, a Saturday night was as low as £145. The hotel is cheaper during the week much of time, testament to its failure to attract business travellers. Hilton HHonors redemptions are a rip-off 60,000 points per night which is a terrible deal except at peak times.
You can also book it on some dates using Tesco Clubcard vouchers at 3 x face value. You can see how to check availability in this article.
How to earn Hilton Honors points and status from UK credit cards (September 2021)
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.
The Platinum Card comes with a limited time bonus of 60,000 Amex points (converts to 120,000 Hilton Honors points) until 2nd November 2021.
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 (30,000 bonus points – special offer to 9th November 2021), the American Express Rewards Credit Card (5,000 bonus points) and – for small business owners – American Express Business Gold (20,000 bonus points) and Business Platinum (40,000 bonus points).
(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.)