We recently stayed at the Hilton Airport Oakland California due to an overnight layover in Oakland on our return trip from Honolulu. Our plane was due in just ahead of midnight and we didn’t depart until 1:30 pm the next day. It made sense to us to book a hotel room that included an airport shuttle and breakfast. We really only planned to sleep, shower, eat and go.
I checked the rates and amenities for all the chains I have loyalty with. There was also a Holiday Inn Express nearby that was slightly cheaper but no guaranteed shuttle service. My husband got a Hilton credit card a few months ago that we were very close to finishing our sign up bonus on. You also earn 12x points for Hilton stays when paying for that card. Since it provided a shuttle and breakfast (if you are a member), I decided to stay there.
I had called before our trip to see if I could book the pick up time from the airport, but the Desk Agent said that the shuttle just circled every 20 minutes or so. It was a long flight from Honolulu and after collecting our one checked bag, we headed out to the Shuttle stop. There was quite a crowd out there waiting for various hotel shuttles to pick them up.
We waited the full 20 minutes before a shuttle from the Hilton appeared. People started swarming the little van which we found out could only accomodate around 15 people. We were left behind with 2 other couples. The Driver assured us he would be right back for us. Ugh. It was now 12:30am. True to his word, the Driver came flying back to the loading area about 15 minutes later.
I apologize for my sketchy photos, but I was literally a zombie at that point.
Once we checked in and got to our room it was now 1 a.m. Don’t forget to factor in we had just crossed backward through 3 time zones. We were deliriously tired. I opened the door and was immediately hit by a terrible odor. The room smelled mustier than an antique book store. Not even just musty, but kind of rancid. It was overwhelming. Mark had already crawled into the bed and gone to sleep as I tried to move past the smell. Eventually, I drifted off to sleep.
When we got up the next morning, I felt like I had a hangover from the jet lag. Mark was pressing me to hurry and get around because breakfast wasn’t served very late. So even though I could have slept in, I had to get up and hurry to breakfast before it closed.
In the meantime, Mark went to the window to see what the view was like. Unbeknownst to us, one of the windows was actually open. They were old windows with lots of sections and it was well hidden behind the drapes. Not to mention we had arrived in the middle of the night.
Breakfast was what you expect from a hotel, so fine. I was glad that it was included because the bill would have been $41 for the 2 of us for a mediocre meal. We still had quite a bit of time before we needed to check out and shuttle back to the airport. We went back to our room to finish getting ready and repack. Now that I was awake, I could see how dated the room and the facility really were. Everything was clean, but very old and worn.
The bathroom was small but had a tub with shower, toilet and single sink vanity with a fair amount of counter space. I had to have Mark come in and show me how to operate the shower control in order to get the spray to turn on. I would definitely not describe the towels as plush. I kept telling myself that we would only be here a few hours.
There was a dresser with a tv and a desk desk area if you needed to do any work. I am not sure how anyone could with that smell. It was so gross. At 10:30 we headed down to check out. We had booked the room as a prepay at a rate of $135 so there was no bill to settle on the way out. About 10 minutes later we were able to board a shuttle back to the airport and put this hotel out of our minds.
I don’t make it a practice of writing bad reviews, but I would NOT stay here again. It is a large facility that seems to offer just what travelers in our situation need, but the rate we paid was too high based on the condition of the property and the quality of our stay. I didn’t even leave feeling rested.
My expectation for this stay was 1) A timely pickup from the airport by the shuttle, 2) a clean and well maintained room, 3) breakfast in the morning and 4) an accurate bill. I feel like I got about 1/2 of that.
We are just beginning our relationship with Hilton hotels, and so far they are 0 and 2. In September, we stayed at the Hotel Review: Embassy Suites Dallas Market Center
I filled out my post stay survey including these issues and just got a stock response from the hotel Manager who closed her reply with “Hope you come back and stay with us again soon.”
Not a chance!