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Another UK Hilton hotel adds a pool charge

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As we’ve covered in other articles recently, there seems to be a co-ordinated move by many Hilton hotels in the UK to add charges for their swimming pools.

We recently called out Hilton Nottingham which added a fee from 1st February. Hilton Glasgow is amongst others to have jumped in over the last 12 months. Hilton Puckrup Hall in Tewkesbury added a charge from 1st January and is even insisting on advance booking.

DoubleTree by Hilton Newbury North pool charge

The latest reader report comes from DoubleTree by Hilton Newbury North which seems to have added a fee in recent weeks.

Hotel guests now pay £5 per person or £10 per ‘2+2’ family group to use the pool, pictured above. There is an additional charge of £1 for towels.

The entry and towel fee is waived for Diamond members of Hilton Honors and, bizarrely, anyone who books via Booking.com.

The gym remains free to all hotel guests.

I am typing this article at Hilton Newcastle Gateshead – review to follow – where the pool still appears to be free …..


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How to earn Hilton Honors points and status from UK credit cards (June 2024)

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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 and they come with generous sign-up bonuses. You can apply here.

You can also earn Hilton Honors points indirectly with:

and for small business owners:

The conversion rate from American Express to Hilton points is 1:2.

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which can be used to earn Hilton Honors 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.)

Comments (67)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Shanghaiguizi says:

    Said it time and again the hotel managers who are implementing these charges are mostly thick as mince. As a business traveler I don’t care if the hotel pool charge is £50. Add it on to something I can actually expense and I couldn’t care less.

    I hardly ever have time to use a pool, but if I do I don’t want to have to explain why I have £5 for pool use on my expenses. Bury the cost and the majority of the business traveler demographic will just sign the bill at the end of the stay and move on to the next hotel.

    Not sure why there’s no love for puckrup hall on this forum. They had the right idea when I stayed there in Feb; ask on check in if you’d like to use the pool and issue you a free voucher if you indicate in the affirmative. Contrasted with Birmingham metropole that simply didn’t want to know when I called to ask them, which resulted in me cancelling the reservation and moving it to another hotel.

    • Michael C says:

      Also had a great stay at Puckrup – loved the location, too.

    • Grant says:

      Puckrup could be fantasic given the opportunity that it has got. It desperately needs some money spending on a refresh though – very tired looking now.

    • will-h says:

      Indeed, our expense policy explicitly excludes the charges for leisure/spa from hotel bills, which is really designed to stop someone expensing a £200 massage not this sort of death-by-a-thousand addons which Ryanair pioneered.

      • Lady London says:

        So you’ll just find a place that issues a dinner receipt for massage instead? seen that

    • Chris W says:

      I doubt many business travellers would have time to use a swimming pool in a hotel. If they did it would be outside of the busiest periods (during the day), and I suspect they either wouldn’t care about the surcharge or would decide it was too much faff, not bother to use it, and not book the hotel again.

      These pool fees are surely targeting families who want to allow their kids to splash about in the hotel pool for hours if they don’t have a pool at home.

      • Rob says:

        I suspect most business travellers are back in the hotel at 6pm twiddling their thumbs and might fancy a dip.

        • krys_k says:

          Am permanently travelling for business and I love to use the pool, gym and sauna /steam room etc. Even if it means that I need to go at 5am or 11pm. Lucky also that I don’t have any restrictions in expenses policy. And I’m not a fan of Puckruck, very tired, dreadful breakfast, to the extent that I’ll drive much further and hit next location just to stay elsewhere, despite a long days work.

  • Chris says:

    Useful to see the Virgin credit card vouchers online (although would have been so much better if you could actually use them online also).

    I discovered I have a voucher which shows “Partially used”. I used it for a one-way upgrade for 1 person. Booking is already flown, but it looks like I could potentially use it again for another 1way upgrade. Not sure if they’ll insist on it being the return flight for the originally taken flight though, or any new 1way.

    • Alastair says:

      My understanding was that this is exactly how the voucher can be used – one return upgrade on a single booking, or two one-way upgrades on separate bookings.

  • Simon says:

    What would also be useful with virgin vouchers is if the credit card app would also show how much more you needed to spend and by what date to earn the voucher. Both Amex and Barclaycard do this – come on Virgin.

    • Jonathan says:

      This is Virgin Money you’re talking about here…

    • Blair Waldorf Salad says:

      My Virgin app is so bad it defaults to showing me the zero balance on a card I closed in 2017. I have to manually swap over to see my current VS+ card.

      • Roosit says:

        I have this same issue on my AMEX app

        • SammyJ says:

          You can change the default card on the Amex app, but I don’t think it’s possible with Virgin. Their app is terrible.

    • Duncan R says:

      Totally agree Simon.
      Had really expected this time for Virgin website upgrade that it was also going to show spend towards next voucher similar to my Amex and BC!
      Hopefully SOMEDAY in future they will realise how beneficial it could be to Virgin themselves!
      Customers like myself have to source the information and keep my own log toward £10K spend and actively ensure where extra spend is directed closer to anniversary end date.
      But as many do not then Virgin miss out on possible ‘extra’ spend from customers as they approach anniversary and then customers decide is not worth effort to keep track and shut their account!
      But, good to see voucher has been addressed at last after many feedback/ complaints to Virgin by many (informed by Virgin CS in past) including myself.
      Fingers crossed for next web upgrade?

  • Dave says:

    Newcastle Hilton – good as we use this for Newcastle home games including this Saturday 🖤🤍

  • David says:

    Mnagement will soon be charging a ‘per loo flush’.

  • Sam says:

    So someone booking on booking.com enjoys the same perk as a Hilton Diamond member.
    What’s next – bundled lounge access packages?
    Diamond is going down the pan.

    • Andy says:

      You can already buy ‘bundled’ lounge access packages on Booking.com and indeed, Hilton’s own website – book an “executive” room.

  • Pj says:

    At long last, like BA, companion vouchers that can be viewed online!

  • Greg says:

    “You still can’t use a credit card voucher online though ….”

    Looks like the Virgin tech guys haven’t been as productive as they should have been.

    I can see my vouchers on a note I have in my desk drawer. The pain is phoning to use them.

    • Thegasman says:

      Careful what you wish for as lots of people have reported flexibility with vouchers that doesn’t feature in T&C’s & would certainly disappear if they switched to an automated rather than completely manual process.

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