Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Caboose

Otakon 2012: Problems with theHilton

Recommended Posts

Caboose    0

Did anyone else have problems with the Baltimore Hilton staff treating them like second class citizens or otherwise have problems with the service (e.g. gouged on wifi, no refrigerator for the room even with a request in advance, extreme rudeness by front desk staff, etc.)? If you did, how would you feel about organizing some form of group response to this?

The Hilton chain uses its reputation as a quality hotel in order to charge the prices it does for only slightly-above-average accommodations and I for one simply did not receive the quality of service that I paid for.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Micalas    0

The ammenities do need to be a little bit better for the price that is paid. I think wi-fi and continental breakfast should be a given. A mini-fridge in the room wouldn't hurt either.

Luckily though, I did get free wi-fi all weekend. When I asked how much it was per night the dude at the desk wrote a code down on the key card holder.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Brand    1

I didn't stay at the Hilton this year but last year I had the same feeling. Especially with having stayed at other hotels of similar calibur. Maybe it's because Otakon skews younger then most other cons I go to but ageism really isn't a good excuse.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I honestly didn't have a problem with the Hilton. I never get internet when I stay at hotels because I've never been to a hotel that HAD free internet so I don't bring my laptop or anything from the start. I also knew there wouldn't be a fridge so I didn't bring anything perishable as well. And I personally didn't speak to a single employee of the Hilton the entire time I was there because I thankfully had my dad there to check in and out of the hotel room for me, so I never had an encounter with any employees. AND I had a ballpark view right into the Orioles stadium, which was glorious, especially for those two games going on. I never had to wait for an elevator cause there was never a crowd, which was nice. I dunno, I personally had a good time there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Eddie 2    11

I stayed at the Hilton the first year they opened for Otakon in 2009 and it was a nightmare. The staff was SUPER rude and then they locked all the fire exits. Which was a big controversy that year and someone staying in the hotel apparently called the Fire Department about it. Then they love to overcharge for everything, but that's another story for another time.

I will never stay there again, and frankly it doesn't surprise me that they are still rude and I had another encounter with said rudeness this year. I have no idea what their problem is though, I remember this year waiting around for the Metal Gear panel and they had breakfast stations and the workers there were making remarks how "the freaks sure do spend a lot of money". Whatever, they need to grow up and look in the mirror.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dian    0

I stayed at the Hilton the first year they opened for Otakon in 2009 and it was a nightmare. The staff was SUPER rude and then they locked all the fire exits. Which was a big controversy that year and someone staying in the hotel apparently called the Fire Department about it. Then they love to overcharge for everything, but that's another story for another time.

I will never stay there again, and frankly it doesn't surprise me that they are still rude and I had another encounter with said rudeness this year. I have no idea what their problem is though, I remember this year waiting around for the Metal Gear panel and they had breakfast stations and the workers there were making remarks how "the freaks sure do spend a lot of money". Whatever, they need to grow up and look in the mirror.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
poshul    0

I had very good interactions with the Hilton staff. The guy checking us in upgraded us to a suite for half of the list price, gave us 8 keys, and provided us with extra bedding. I do agree that locking the fire doors in unacceptable, and am writing a letter to the Baltimore fire marshal to that effect.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dallas    13

I didn't run into any locked stairwell doors this year. I stayed on the 4th floor and frequently used the stairs near the Pool to get to levels 1/2 all weekend.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
KyoKyo    14

I didn't run into any locked stairwell doors this year. I stayed on the 4th floor and frequently used the stairs near the Pool to get to levels 1/2 all weekend.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Eddie 2    11

I had very good interactions with the Hilton staff. The guy checking us in upgraded us to a suite for half of the list price, gave us 8 keys, and provided us with extra bedding. I do agree that locking the fire doors in unacceptable, and am writing a letter to the Baltimore fire marshal to that effect.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dallas    13

I had very good interactions with the Hilton staff. The guy checking us in upgraded us to a suite for half of the list price, gave us 8 keys, and provided us with extra bedding. I do agree that locking the fire doors in unacceptable, and am writing a letter to the Baltimore fire marshal to that effect.

That happen back in 2009, no need to write a letter about it now. It was taken care of, I was just talking about my experence of staying there back in 2009.

Yeah, I believe that was their first year open for Otakon, and it was the only time they've made that mistake.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
nanagrl    0

I had an incredibly disappointing time in the Hilton this year. The last time I had stayed there was in 2009, which seemed to be very pleasant with really no issues other then the usual lack of free Wi-Fi. Having not been there in 2 years I thought the service would be even better, but I was greatly mislead. Upon arrival, things were an issue: Me and my group of two friends arrived around 8:30PM and checked in to what we thought would be a 2 Double Bed Room to then instead only be offered a 1 King Bed. Then also apparently the information I made put into PassKey never got to Hilton's system and asked for the two names of my other guests, even when their information is on my PassKey reservation.

Now, as thought, since they screwed up on our hotel room, I had thought that maybe they would offer us some sort of extra bed or towels or anything - but no. Instead we only had a set of two towels, no extra beds, no extra bathroom items, etc. Also to add any of the other misfires of the room (aka the lack of a TV Guide, no fridge or microwave, etc.) and we have a mess of fail.

Then comes the staff/management. Since they failed to offer us any extra items when they checked us in at the start (Protip: Make up for your mistakes, overly priced hotel with big name in front of it), I went to the front desk and asked for extra items, to which that night were never delivered. Next day, I ask for the same thing, but the extra items delivered were very slim in amount (aka, when we mean extra hangers, we mean more then 3 hangers to add to the all ready present 3 hanging in the closet before.) Also, when asked if they could send us an extra bed they told us they had none left. Another ProTip: Never be out of something, when you are the hotel connected to the convention of the second largest anime convention on the east coast and one of the highlight events that brings a huge income to your city. Especially when you have screwed up on hotel reservations.

To add further, our room was only cleaned once out of our 4 night stay. I am not gonna even really defend that. The staff must have rushed to realize their mistake, especially since the morning we were leaving they rudely knocked on our door asking if we needed anything when we were still asleep and hadn't even called down to ask for anything. Someone was hoping that we would over look these aspects, but no.

There was also issues with the Diamond Tavern, who was slow and had some staff members with attitudes, which was disappointing since I had really enjoyed eating there in the past.

My last complaint is of course, the elevators. Listen, I get its a huge convention and the elevators are going to be constantly busy, but they need to either build more or come up with a new system. The main reason we stayed in the Hilton was to make it easier on my best friend who has a heart condition, and when she is tired she legit is TIRED, and would like to get to her hotel room and oh I dunno, not feel worse then she all ready does? But when she needs to lay down, making her wait almost over 30 minutes for an elevator is ridiculous.

In general, Hilton and Passkey need to step up their game badly, or else if they didn't have the Skywalk there would be a giant F mark on their grade completely. My friend with the condition would like us to stay again at the Hilton next year, but its hard for me to even want to step in there again to endure the problems I have just experienced. Maybe its because I come from New York, where our hotels are generally up to their standards (not perfect but much better then this to say the least), and as mentioned, when you are the prime hotel next to the big highlight event of your city, you need to be perfect or better yet flawless, especially with that price tag.

Get your stuff together, Hilton!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Litwolf    0

Personally, based on everything I've heard about the Hilton these past two or three years, I will never be booking a room there. From rude staff and expensive wi-fi to tiny rooms and a confusing layout, it's not worth it for us to pay extra just be to connected to the convention center. We'd rather save $100 or more a night and walk a couple of blocks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And with this thread, I'm now very demotivated to reserve at the Hilton near the convention center.

Also aren't there other hotels that are connected to the conventer center?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
nanagrl    0

You are right, there are, but they are outdoor walkways aka not air conditioned, which with my friends condition we try to keep her out of the heat if we can. For me, as a New Yorker, I could walk even from the farthest hotel if I needed to but since she doesn't ask for much and is a good sport, if this is her only request for going to the con I don't mind adhering to it. Just wish there were more options Skywalk wise :/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
legalesey    0

Luckily, my group of friends who go with my to Otakon have been lucky in being able to walk/not needing the sky walk. It seems like lots of people have had bad experiences because it gets so swamped.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tabris    0

You are right, there are, but they are outdoor walkways aka not air conditioned, which with my friends condition we try to keep her out of the heat if we can. For me, as a New Yorker, I could walk even from the farthest hotel if I needed to but since she doesn't ask for much and is a good sport, if this is her only request for going to the con I don't mind adhering to it. Just wish there were more options Skywalk wise :/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
youjik33    0

I haven't stayed at the Hilton so I can't really give much feedback, but expensive hotels rarely have free wifi or mini-fridges. I have no idea WHY budget hotels are more likely to, but this has been my experience just about everywhere. It's strange but true.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
KyoKyo    14

I haven't stayed at the Hilton so I can't really give much feedback, but expensive hotels rarely have free wifi or mini-fridges. I have no idea WHY budget hotels are more likely to, but this has been my experience just about everywhere. It's strange but true.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a wonderful experience at the Hilton this year. I've stayed there every Otakon since they opened, and prefer them to many other Ota hotels (Days Inn, Holiday Inn, Sheraton, Renaissance). Their staff was very professional during check-in. The bellhop I had was great, and very accomodating of all my group's extra artist alley and costume luggage. I appreciated the check-in staff wearing Hello Kitty "Welcome Otakon" buttons. I've been in hotels where the staff actually yells at people in costume (Zenkaikon 2 years ago, yikes), the Hilton staff I saw are not like that. Yes, a friend of mine got stuck with the "overbooked" and got a king bed room instead of a double. That happens at lots of cons, sadly. They provided him with a roll-away cot, and it worked out since people dropped out of the room last minute anyways. Did you pay the extra $15 fee for the 3rd person when you booked? When I do that they've never pulled the "overbooked". They were also great about putting me in the same floor and wing as a friend's room.

The Hilton never has fridges, bring a cooler and avail yourself of the ice machines. Even if they do, they're typically a pricey extra. The staff at the bar is hit or miss.

My big complaint is that their parking lot fills too quickly, but the bellhop directed us to a cheaper lot only 1.5 blocks away, so hey, extra cash saved. The other thing, which I think was more Otakon staff and less them, was security telling people not to use the stairs on Sunday morning. We don't check out til Monday, and after failing to catch an elevator with space opted to take the stairs to the second floor skywalk to get to artist alley in time to open. The security guy was standing at the door telling us to go down to the first floor, then take the escalator back up. Um, what? Luckily our artist badges got us through, but that seemed silly to me. I didn't personally experience the hotel -> con skywalk closure on Saturday, but was relieved that it was short lived, since that skywalk is really why I prefer this hotel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Cyanna    5

I haven't stayed at the Hilton so I can't really give much feedback, but expensive hotels rarely have free wifi or mini-fridges. I have no idea WHY budget hotels are more likely to, but this has been my experience just about everywhere. It's strange but true.

Apparently so. I couldn't understand why the 40 dollar a night Econo Lodge in Historic Williamsburg had a mini fridge in it while the $195 a night Hilton didn't....

That was my only major complaint.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Honestly even with the walkway, it's not even worth it. Parts of Saturday they used the skywalk as an exit only - not as an entrance into the con.

Thankfully, we stayed at the Holiday Inn with free wifi, microwave and mini-fridge. The staff was super friendly and even took pictures of cosplays to display on the tv's in the reception area.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
alabaster    0

I believe that was done to relieve congestion in the walkway itself; there's a real pinch point where it joins with the BCC and it was crazy crowded.

Most of the complaints I've heard about the Hilton, or other hotels, boil down to people who don't regularly travel to large cities and don't understand what to expect, or they fail to read the hotel amenities lists. But here's a quick rundown, speaking as someone who travels a fair amount and has done so for 20 years:

1. Inner city hotels rarely offer free internet access. Notable exceptions are Holiday Inn Select and Courtyard Marriott, if you can find them. Nicer hotels tend to be pricey for even basic service, though those rates HAVE come down in recent years. (This year, Hyatt offered it for $10/day, whereas in previous years it's been $12-$15/day.) These hotels cater primarily to business travelers who can write off such expenses.

2. It is VERY rare for downtown hotels to offer fridges. I'm *shocked* that the Days Inn still does. This is at least partly because catering and restaurant business is critical to keeping hotels afloat.

3. Downtown parking garages are always more expensive than you want them to be. SF and NYC garages start at about $30-$40 per day. By contrast, you can often get deals with hotels to get cheaper parking. But this year, with three huge events within six blocks on top of normal tourist traffic, there are few deals to be found.

4. You almost certainly clicked through standard disclaimers that ALWAYS appear on hotel reservation forms, warning you that they cannot guarantee requested room type or specific items.

5. You paid the lowest rate it was possible to get for the weekend if you booked through Otakon & Passkey. That's guaranteed (with minor exceptions like military discount or government stays) and it is enforced, because our booking partners work with the headquarters of these hotels to get the preferred rates for us.

Honestly, I found all of the hotel staff to be much better across the board this year, and Hilton staff that I dealt with were very happy to see us and quite accommodating on site.

If there are specific people or incidents, we want to know about them -- time and place, description, and what happened.

Did you guys realize that there was an Experien Hotel Service Desk in Registration at the convention center? If you ran into rude staff or other problems, that's the place to take it as they coordinate all the bookings.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lum1n3s    49

Did anyone else have problems with the Baltimore Hilton staff treating them like second class citizens or otherwise have problems with the service (e.g. gouged on wifi, no refrigerator for the room even with a request in advance, extreme rudeness by front desk staff, etc.)? If you did, how would you feel about organizing some form of group response to this?

The Hilton chain uses its reputation as a quality hotel in order to charge the prices it does for only slightly-above-average accommodations and I for one simply did not receive the quality of service that I paid for.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Eddie 2    11

Quick question about the Hilton (and this is just ask purely for curiosity sake) but do they still guard the elevators after a certain time and ask for proof of you staying there? I remember they did that back when I stayed there and it clogged up the traffic and caused a lot of panic for people. Just wondering because when I was leaving the Hilton after a late night panel, I didn't notice any guards on the second floor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sassadri    0

We stayed at the Hilton. The only issue we had was on the second morning they took our towels and didn't bring any back right away. When they did, it wasn't enough. Luckily, we had hung a towel up to dry on the back of the bathroom door and they did not see it. The staff were helpful and polite. The only real problem I experienced was trying to get up and down on the elevators. It was inconvenient at best. The lack of amenities didn't surprise me as we had read the list online before booking. Because I brought my little daughter for the first time this year, we decided to try the Hilton for its direct connection to the convention center.

Next year we are going back to The Holiday Inn. It isn't because of anything the Hilton did wrong. It is because of all the things that The Holiday Inn does right. We have stayed there most years. It is reasonably priced and conveniently located.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As alabaster explained, certain hotels are more likely to offer amenities. The larger hotels like the hilton have event rooms, restaurants, pools, and other amenities on the grounds which they believe justify the price: if you're already paying for the privilege to be there it's expected you can afford a bit more for wifi and eating out.

If you're on a budget, every hotel chain has business hotel subsidiaries that are way more likely to offer fridge, wifi, microwave, without price gouging. these are the hotels where you have a lobby, hotel rooms, and not much more. Hilton has hampton inn and hilton garden inn, marriott had courtyard and fairfield inn, sheraton has aloft and 4 points, Intercontinental has holiday inn.

Suite and extended stay hotels may be a bit more, but are still comparable to the signature hotels like the hilton and offer a WAY better value in terms of the room. Residence Inn and Springhill suites are 2 marriotts located very close. I stayed at the springhill, and had free wifi, fridge, microwave, 2 tvs, 0 wait for an elevator all weekend, and as an added bonus: less rooms, less congoers overall, more QUIET. very easy walk to the con.

For otakon, when you're spending minimal time in the room these are going to be a better value of hotel to look for.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
KSweeley    44

For people who had problems at the Hilton Baltimore this year, I would suggest leaving a review for the Hilton Baltimore at a site called Trip Advisor, I left a review and the front office manager of the Hilton Baltimore actually responded to my review: http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g60811-d1147514-r135941940-Hilton_Baltimore-Baltimore_Maryland.html

Winsett Roye, Front Office Manager at Hilton Baltimore, responded to this review

August 8, 2012

Dear Valued Guest,

Thank you for choosing the Hilton Baltimore hotel during your recent trip to attend the Otakon convention in the Baltimore area. I am glad to see you enjoyed our hotel guestrooms, as well as a few events held in our facilities.

We appreciate you sharing this positive feedback with our hotel team, as well as prospective guests. We hope to serve you again in the future if your travel plans bring you back to our beautiful city.

So I would suggest leaving a review on this site called Trip Advisor and seeing if the Front Office Manager would respond to your complaints with your stay.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×