Hilton, Cape Town – 2 Star Stay at 5 Star Hotel

Twin Room
Twin Room
Twin Room


Location: ,
Atmosphere: ,
Quality of Room

Quality of Service

Comfort Level


Value for Money

Total Score
2.5/ 5

User Rating
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Centrally located

Bad service

Posted 08/01/2013 by


We were greatly looking forward to our stay at the Hilton and had obvious 5 star expectations.

We were running early and phoned the hotel to see if it would be possible to check in earlier than 2pm. We spoke to Monica. She said she did not know. She said she would find out and phone us back. 2 hours later we had still not heard from her, so we went to the hotel. When we pulled into the parking, it said the parking was full. I rung for assistance several times but no one came to help. Someone pulled in behind me and we were stuck there for 10 minutes. My friend went looking for someone to help. There was no doorman available, the concierge was busy and there was no one at reception. When the receptionist came back she also said the parking was full but then took my friend over to the concierge who by this time was free. The concierge said that the parking was not full, the parking machine was faulty. The receptionist asked the concierge if he had the keys to open the boom, he said he could not find them. At this time the doorman appeared and said he would open the boom.

About 15 minutes after arrival the boom opened and there was plenty parking available.

By this stage I was really not happy. When we arrived at reception to complain there was no one there to help us. Eventually someone arrived back at reception, I explained to him what happened and told him I was not happy – he looked at me blankly.

I told him we had not heard back from Monica and need to know what time we could check in. He looked at us blankly yet again and told us what we already knew, that check in was at 2pm. I asked him if he could please phone housekeeping to find out what time the room would be ready. Simple question, but it seemed like I was asking too much.

He finally did phone housekeeping and apparently was told the room would only be ready at 2pm. Thats all I needed to know. I just wished Monica had told us that over 2 hours earlier. Surely we’re not the first people to ever ask for an early check-in.

We waited in the lounge until 2pm.

When we eventually checked in (different person), we found the reception less than friendly or professional. We did not receive any kind of welcome.

We were given our room keys (Room 509) and not even asked if we needed assistance with our bags.

We ordered some ice which took 15 minutes to arrive. After we had ordered the ice, we noticed that one of the glasses supplied in the room was dirty. When the ice eventually arrived, we apologised and told the lady about the dirty glass and asked her if she could bring us some clean glasses. She said yes but we never received the glasses. So after waiting 20 more minutes my friend went down to speak to a manager to complain about the service. She spoke to Grant. He apologised and said he would sort it out. 15 minutes later we received our glasses. (And the welcome letter we were supposed to get when checking in). By this time it was over an hour since we first needed something to drink. Ridiculous. On the other hand, I can’t believe a 5 star hotel can’t offer it’s guests a small bottle of complimentary water. R32 for a bottle of water means you have to earn dollars to be able to afford it.

By that time we were getting hungry and wanted to order from room service but the room service menu was nowhere to be found. So again we had to make a call to receive the menu. That took 10 minutes to arrive. By this time we were so fed up with the bad service that we decided not to order anything else, as we would have died of starvation before receiving our meal.

We were both tired, so we went to bed at 8.30pm. At 9.10pm we were woken up by knocking on the door – housekeeping offering a turn-down service. At 9.10pm??? Of course we refused. Why so late?

I didn’t have a very good sleep because of the rock hard bed. My friend (who likes firm beds) even said it was too hard for her.

The bathroom was lovely but the glass sliding door didn’t have a handle and it sticks and we found it a strain getting the door to close and then open. Also, I was rather shocked to see mold on the ceiling – surely this is not right at a 5 star hotel. Something else in the bathroom – there was only one bathrobe even though there were two of us.

Our room rate included breakfast. Besides offering some biltong and a few nuts, etc, the breakfast was no better than anything a decent 3 star hotel would serve. (Review here).

After a very disappointing breakfast, we’d really had enough of the Hilton and could not wait to check out.

When we checked out we were not asked if we had enjoyed our stay, we were not asked if we needed help with our bags or anything like that. I asked for the GM’s contact details and several times he refused. Only when I absolutely insisted did he ask someone else if he could give them to me.

Overall, we are quite disgusted with the service (or the lack thereof) we received at the Hilton.

This kind of service would not be acceptable at any hotel, let alone a 5 star. We arrived with 5 star expectations and left after having a 2 star experience.

There are absolutely no nice little extras at the hotel. You have to pay for everything.

Parking is an expensive R90.00. The excuse is that this is the cost of parking in Cape Town. Not exactly true. The Taj Hotel down the road offers it’s guests free secure valet parking.




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