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The HfP chat thread – Sunday 27th June

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Comments (267)

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  • HH says:

    Interesting that the majority of green list countries are moving to the green watchlist on 30 June. What’s the rationale for this? https://www.gov.uk/guidance/red-amber-and-green-list-rules-for-entering-england#green-list

    • Anna says:

      I think mainly because there was so much criticism when Portugal went from green to Amber with so little notice, and also an attempt at a further deterrent to people actually booking holidays.

    • Harry T says:

      The government doesn’t have a rationale. They want to discourage people from making international travel plans so that they spend their money in Cornwall instead.

      • Aaron C says:

        If only Billy Butlin were still alive he could re-invent U.K. holidays!

      • Rob says:

        But Cornwall is full, so that isn’t possible.

        • Pete M says:

          I am not sure how much it is actually to do with holidays abroad. But if they can make “abroad” seem dangerous, risky and full of variants we can all live happily here, without questioning our own government’s failings and rest assured we are the best country in the world under the masterful tutelage of our Great Leader!

  • VP says:

    Hi,

    Made use of the Hilton £50 of £200 Amex promo for a staycation at the Conrad St. James.Quick recap:

    Conclusion: We enjoyed it despite the window issue!! Great lounge and breakfast. But if paying pre-covid full prices w/o any status, chances of being disappointed with room are more.

    Status Recognition – Ok. I am Diamond and got upgraded to King Executive but we were also there for a landmark anniversary celebration (which the hotel knew and acknowledged beforehand) and we got a tray with 4 choclate pieces acknowledging the special ocassion. Better than nothing, but considering the current occupancy, maybe upgrade could have been better.

    Room – Didn’t find the room very spacious but wasn’t claustrophic either so fine for a central London location. The bathroom was way more spacious than what I expected. It’s so irritating when hotels keep just 1 set of everything even when they know the room is booked for 2!!
    You have choice of two types of views from the hotel, bad (with building across the street in front of the window) or worse (wall of another wing right in front of window blocking out any natural light!!). While the hotel can’t control the views, it was inexcusable that the windows had no double glazing and you could hear every passing car on the street (my wife preferred that to the room with no natural light !!). Luckily, being a weekend, the street was very quiet.

    Executive Lounge – Very spacious. Nice place to hang out. Canapes and drinks were served 5.30 – 7.30 pm. We had 3 canapes (2 cold , 1 hot) and plate of 3 cheeses brought to the table. The staff was happy to serve additional portions as well as prepare and serve drinks at the table. The service was good as the staff was proactively asking people if they wanted more canapes or drinks throughout.

    Breakfast – In the Blue Boar Bar/Pub. Again no complaints. A small buffet style continental spread but you have an extensive a la carte menu and you can order as much as you want and we genuinely liked what we ordered (Salmon Omlette, Eggs Benedict, Pancakes, bits of English breakfast). The Bar has an interesting decor as well with political cartoons.

    Restaurants – Except for the pub, all other restaurants were closed. The Afternoon Tea one was supposed to open from the next day Nice choice of restaurants within walking distance though.

    There is no Spa or Swimming pool in the hotel though they do have a perfectly acceptable gym.

    Staff – Fine. Good service.

    • Algor says:

      Accurate review, have the same feeling about the place.

      Suites are very limited IIRC it’s is 15 out of 250 something so not likely to get upgraded all the way through.

      You can negotiate a very cheap cash upgrade in advance if you are a Diamond, paid few times £95 per night while booked standard room on points.

    • Doc says:

      Thank you VP. We will there in a few weeks for similar celebration. Not expecting much from the hotel in view of upgrades etc from what you have written.

      • VP says:

        If it is your thing then you can also start your breakfast with a glass of bubbly. There is a bottle (a bit hidden) when you enter the break fast room but we also saw a couple having a glass to toast some ocassion and the server was happy to oblige.

      • John says:

        Can only say stayed here 3 times as diamond in last 4 weeks (never stayed at hotel before) – been upgraded from base room to a junior suite twice and a one bedroom suite once!
        No special celebration advised by me.

    • Harry T says:

      Thanks for the review. Lack of double glazing doesn’t sound very luxury. How was the air conditioning?

      • VP says:

        The air con functioned perfectly and was noiseless. We like things on the cooler side and we were able to regulate the temperature as per our preference (which is quite rare!)

    • Memesweeper says:

      Thanks for the write up VP — I’m considering a stay in a few weeks time.

      • BLT says:

        This week I booked a Hilton impresario rate through Emyr as ir was a 3 for 2 offer at the Conrad st James

    • Super Secret Stuff says:

      Thanks for the write up, I’m looking forward to my stay in September now!

    • Babyg says:

      thanks for the mini review… was looking at some London stay cation options.. wonder why John got upgraded lots and you didnt… maybe they have closed off the suites?

    • Phatbear says:

      Most importantly did you get the conrad bulldog, im finding conrad soft toys are getting harder to acquire and i’ve got a nights stay in aug with the better half.

  • meta says:

    This is a rant and a mini review, so you can skip the first and last bit if you don’t want to read the rant.

    Hotel Indigo Bath

    All form, no substance. Everything looks pretty and beatiful, but it is falling apart.

    Still here after a sleepless night where a night manager was unable to make a group of totally drunk guest stop banging around the hotel with chairs, doors, good knows what.

    My partner and I arrived at the hotel around 1:30pm after lovely first stroll around Bath. It is not like I didn’t pre-notify them of our early arrival so they could make the room ready, but yes they are full, so we understood and were planning anyway to try the Elder for lunch. They said they’re going to call us when the room was ready, but it is guaranteed for 3pm. My only suggestion is to eat elsewhere. The menu consists of small plates and is very limited , the food is absolutely bland (we tried couple of dishes). There are three desserts on the menu which is an Eton mess with cherries instead of strawberries, but the menu doesn’t mention that) and cherry crumble which is more of an apple crumble as there was only a few pieces of cherries that presumably were put in there to colour the apples. And not to mention the service either. We waited for 30 minutes for desserts…

    So at 3pm, I went to collect the keys. The room wasn’t ready as they are inspecting it still. It will be another 5 minutes. That was fine as I could just go and settle the bill at The Elder.

    Then the receptionist came
    out to the outdoor terrace to tell us that room won’t be ready another 5-10 minutes and offered the drink. We already had enough, so declined. Then the waiter comes after another few minutes and asks us if we want another drink on the house. We instantly commented this is not a good sign, so we took another drink. In the end our room wasn’t ready till 3:40. We can to the room and the key wasn’t working. Small
    hotel, so no biggy and we are on the first floor. So the receptionist issues a new key, but comes with us to check. It doesn’t work. She lets us in with her master key and promises to come back with the key.

    The room itself was stunning on first look. Over two floors, it was more like a suite. But the bed was not king and there was no bath. I booked Superior Premium King which is described as all Premium rooms have baths. We weren’t fussed, but some might want it.

    • meta says:

      Rest of the review of Indigo Bath

      We came to the room around 8:30pm after dinner and had a drink or two in the room. The whole evening we could hear loud bangs above us. We didn’t think about it much and they stopped for an hour or two briefly. We went to bed around 11:30 and after half an hour bangs continued. We managed to somehow fall asleep for an hour at which point the whole room started shaking and the chandelier in the room swinging and making noise. And this continue for a while and finally at 2am we decided to go down to the reception to report the issue. The night manager said that he can’t make them stop so offered to move us to a different room (fully booked so it the basement). This one had a super king sizes bed and a rolltop bath, but much smaller in size. In any case, it seemed quieter. But were we wrong! After maybe another hour, the bangs continued and have started to spill around the rooms around us as they were coming and going and banging with doors… This is still ongoing as I write.

      I am going to ask them to comp this as this is far from normal use of room. I could understand small movements, but this was really loud. Anyway, rant over. But yeah, it’s one to be avoided as it seems they accept hens and stag dos on weekends?

      • Anna says:

        Aren’t there still rules in place about how many people/households can share holiday accommodation?! I would have been tempted to mention this to the night manager if all the stag/hen guests were partying in the same room.
        Bath sounds a very odd location for this kind of event anyway!

        • Anna says:

          Unless it’s the new Ibiza/Vegas 😂

        • meta says:

          Good to know and yes, just checked rules are still in place. However, I can’t really tell whether there were more than 2 household groups as we didn’t see them, just heard them.

          • meta says:

            I also don’t know if it was hen/stag do hence a question mark at the end.

        • Andrew says:

          Been to a few Stag (and a “Hen with her Men”) dos in Bath over the years.

          It’s a pretty good location for organised outdoor events nearby followed by a good meal then drinkies session.

          • Anna says:

            There’s a hen do here at the Clocktower this weekend but we wouldn’t even have known if we hadn’t seen them posing for photos in the foyer! It’s very quiet indeed given how many shoppers were out in force yesterday.

      • MarcB says:

        It sounds very much like you stopped in the same room as us last year – it’s an incredibly noisy part of the hotel & we had to change rooms as I simply couldn’t get any sleep on night 1. I put it down to a fire door slamming on the floor above, but your experience sounds much worse…

    • Eric the Half a Bee says:

      @meta – am at the hotel now writing this after a sleepless night due to the aforementioned rowdy guests keeping me awake most of the night. Agree about the beds bring too small (when is the last time you experienced a standard double bed in any hotel?!), but have to say the staff have been fantastic throughout the weekend. Round from outside (no double glazing) and from VERY loud slamming bedroom doors is an issue.

      • Eric the Half a Bee says:

        *sound

        • meta says:

          We were moved to another room in the middle of the night, but didn’t help as it can be heard even in the basement. Our initial room had a chandelier too which was shaking. Regarding staff – I mean I was probably harsh, but night manager probably tried his best. I would have called police and kick them out, but as they are still getting to grips with things they probably don’t have protocols in place. I also meant more restaurant staff, reception was good.

          Bath was great yesterday as the weather was glorious. So will probably head back home after breakfast earlier than planned to get some rest.

          • meta says:

            Oh just to add, the only thing that night manager offered was complimentary late check out till 1pm which I would get anyway as Spire Elite.

          • Jill ( Kinkell) says:

            Oh dear, sounds awful. I can’t bear noise and always ask for a quiet room. Comes from living in the country miles from anywhere, I suppose. We are heading to Indigo, Bath in a few weeks. I am warned!

          • Lady London says:

            I would have called police too. First mentioning to the party they had 5 minutes to vacate the premises or disperse to their separate rooms and remain quiet otherwise police would be called.

          • meta says:

            @Lady London I wish we had. When my partner suggested to the night manager he looked at us like we were crazy. Spoke to the AGM and then GM this morning, they were apologetic, but don’t think they realise properly gravity of situation either. All I heard were lame excuses.

      • Degsy says:

        Very poor form. Knowing how many HFPers have stayed there these last few months, can you imagine if the ‘culprit’ being one of our own!?
        (I’d hope we’re all too polite and respectful to do so though.)

    • Harry T says:

      This sounds bloody awful. The behaviour of your fellow quests is inexcusable, especially during covid restrictions, but the hotel manager should really have dealt with them. Poor sound proofing is also the antithesis of luxury!

      • meta says:

        Agreed. It was really poor. He tried talking to them, but obvioisly he was unable and probably wasn’t trained properly either.

        • Lady London says:

          I think I’d want the night comped. I’d accept less if they agreed to put a noise surcharge into their std ts and cs going forward

      • Jonathan says:

        The behaviour of the noisy guests is completely unacceptable but I do have some sympathy for the night manager. The sort of person who marauds round a hotel at 2AM slamming doors probably won’t care when told to shut up & I’m sure the police would be completely uninterested in attending to deal with a noise issue.

        Bath & Cheltenham are very popular stag/hen destinations. I’d want to know if the hotel knowingly accepted a booking from a large party (they clearly shouldn’t) but if the rooms were booked individually they are somewhat stumped.

        It should be fairly obvious when they check in what is going on though so perhaps they should amend their T&C’s to include a £100 per room fee if noise complaints after midnight (similar to smoking charge). This would act as a deterrent to rowdy parties & also cover some service recovery for other guests.

        • meta says:

          I actually have a little bit of sympathy, but only because the management haven’t trained him. What person who works in hospitality suggests to a guest at 2:30am that they can have a late check out till 1pm when all the guests want to do is go to sleep as quickly as possible? This isn’t the time to deal with service recovery.

          • meta says:

            @Jonathan and just to add this wasn’t the normal type of noise from rowdy guests. It was as if they were smashing the place as the whole room was shaking. I put ear plugs, but couldn’t sleep.

          • Benilyn says:

            Would love to see a video of it but probably the last thing in your mind at night

          • meta says:

            @Benilyn I only recorded sound at one point. But it was like torture as it stops then again after 2 minutes. I am going to deal with IHG corporate now then see how it goes. Will report back.

          • Fivebobbill says:

            You have my utmost sympathy meta, nothing worse, and more frustrating, than not being allowed to sleep and worse still unable to do anything about it! Im just back from Albufeira and had a similar problem, night manager was unable to resolve, so myself and a pal took matters into our own hands. Its amazing what a few seconds hung over a balcony rail does to focus some minds, they even came and apologised at the pool next day. Not advocating that as a route for everyone, horses for courses i guess, but certainly done the trick that night.
            Maybe its a Northern Ireland thing…

        • Matthew says:

          Once staying in San Francisco on Halloween, a few years ago, noisy party in room opposite. Just arrived after 20+ hours travelling so tired. Woken up and kept awake. Eventually night manager called who sorted issues, and apologised. In the morning I insisted o a 50% reduction for the night due to half night sleep. It was convention time so $500 night,not worth it, so the manager obliged, and cross charged the noisy room the $250, which i thought was just spot on.

  • Graeme says:

    Is anyone else having issues with Amex updating on Award Wallet? Every day for probably the last two months Amex have blocked my morning update and e-mailed me a ‘one time re-authentication key’ which I’m not there to use. I haven’t seen anyone mention it on here, so could that mean it’s just me?

    • Louie says:

      Not only Amex. I’m changing my AW settings to “don’t update” for more and more companies because of this. There’s supposed to be a way round it, but I’ve never worked out what it is!

    • the_real_a says:

      If you update via your desktop computer the “transaction” appears from your own PC and internet connection. This will prevent the 2Factor mails. Hilton still requires you to pass Captcha. The award wallet servers are in Vegas i think and appear as an apple mac with a US IP address.

      • Fivebobbill says:

        No it doesn’t real a, happens to me with amex using my own pc every time

  • YC says:

    Yesterday’s comments mentioned potentially triggering the hawksmoor amex off with a GC. Anyone successfully done this?

    • Alan S says:

      If it’s the same offer from ages ago then yes a GC will work.

  • VP says:

    This may be very niche but if you have Amex Plat, you also get Taj InnerCircle Gold via Shangri La status match. Currently, Taj is having a 50% off Flexible Rate flash sale. You need to book by 30th June for stays upto 30th Sep. Seems to be genuine 50% off as the discount rate is also flexible and cancellable 1-2 days before arrival.

    The London location is divided into a Hotel (starting from £150 after 50% off) and Suites and Residences (approx. £200-300 for 40-80m2 suites !!). Suites and residence part – Taj Buckinghamgate is ranked 21st on TA in London and the complex also has a Michelin Starred Indian restaurant.

    I believe you can check the pricing on the link below without any faff of registering and login

    https://www.tajhotels.com/en-in/tajinnercircle/taj-offer/

    • Doc says:

      Haven’t stayed at the hotel but have eaten in the Michelin star Indian restaurant. Half the dishes were a miss, so wouldn’t recommend it.

    • LS says:

      The Taj websites is one of the worst I have ever seen. I have abandoned trying to link my membership. Saving not worth the effort.

      • BuildBackBetter says:

        Ask Amex. They have a detailed guide step by step on how to link.

  • Lou says:

    As we’re doing reviews, I can reveal I’m staying at the HGI Abingdon. This is my first stay at a HGI, do didn’t know what to expect. The staff are absolutely amazing, you get the feeling they enjoy what they do and are happy to see you. I feel like we got the best room in the hotel, top floor, overlooking their lovely outdoor space. Breakfast reminds me of what we’ve been served at the HH, but all is forgiven when you can sit outside and escape into holiday mode. Dinner is standard hotel fare, but again, did I mention the eating outside bit.

    All in all a good experience – great staff and easily accessible outdoor space makes a huge difference.

    • Lou says:

      I should mention that they are a bit short-staffed, which makes the whole thing even more impressive

      • Tariq says:

        Thanks, got a stay booked there later in the summer. Looks a smart hotel from the photos.

  • Anna says:

    https://english.elpais.com/society/2021-06-25/mass-coronavirus-outbreak-nearly-400-people-test-positive-after-student-vacations-in-mallorca.html
    There’s a real risk that the Balearics won’t stay on the green list for long. Also interesting that the article mentions that thousands of cases in Spain have gone undiagnosed.

    • Yuff says:

      They’ve already been quarantined in a local hotel.
      Cases including the figures are 32 per 100k

      • Yuff says:

        The Balearic health ministry has identified 268 Spanish students who were close contacts of other students who have tested positive since returning to the mainland.

        On Saturday, the Guardia Civil were put in charge of the transfer of these students to a Covid hotel, which is specifically for accommodating tourists who have to isolate.

        The government says that authorisation for the transfer for some of the students has been given by tutors. Other authorisations are being sought from parents.

        During the afternoon, students were being taken by bus or ambulance to the Hotel Palma Bellver from their hotels in Arenal. Police were stationed at the hotel. Thirty-three of the students are known to have so far been taken to the Palma Bellver.

        The students are from Andalusia, the Basque Country, Galicia and Madrid. The Balearic government pays for the cost of the accommodation.

    • TimM says:

      Test & trace is a public health measure for the individuals concerned. Only random sampling reveals the prevalence across a population. That is why in the UK, the Government figures are unreliable while their independent Office for National Statistics and the related Imperial College figures are far more accurate. So in Spain and in any other country, the actual number of cases reported is a gross undercount. Only statisticians’ inferences based on random sampling give a reasonable indication of the real numbers.

      • Lady London says:

        Sounds like Europe has Wave 3 really bad coming then between August and October

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