The Hilton Garden Inn is located inside an architecturally very attractive building some 5-7 minutes or so by shuttle bus from the main airport terminal. (Remember to factor in the journey time, plus the wait for the bus, when catching your flight.) Both the mainline railway and S-Bahn stations are situated underneath the hotel and its sister establishment, the Hilton, which is right next door to the Garden Inn. This is a new premises, having opened in December 2011. As a consequence, reception, public areas and rooms are still in nice condition.
Rooms are ranged across several floors, and half of them look out into the central lobby area of the building. I asked specifically for a room facing onto the street and, although there was no view other than of the Sheraton across the road, windows to the outside allowed for bright sunshine to stream in (even on a freezing cold day). I sat having a drink with friends in their room that gave onto the interior lobby and we were actually waved and grinned at by other hotel guests walking through the foyer downstairs. Advice: ask for a room that gives onto the street to ensure natural light and privacy.
Rooms are fairly small, but perfectly ok for one or two people as long as you're not planning on spending much time in them. The ones I saw were equipped with a large bed, easy chair and small table, desk and office chair, and a small space for hanging clothes. They also contain the requisite flat-screen TV, clock-radio (on which the classical music station was not available) and kettle. The bathroom is modern and, while not large, is again perfectly serviceable.
The hotel falls down on a number of irksome points. First of all, the wait to speak to a member of the reception staff at both check-in and check-out was very, very lengthy and extremely annoying. The reception desk seems to comprise only 3 work stations, and when I arrived only two employees were available to deal with quite a queue of customers (ditto at check-out).
Secondly, the room is rather scantily equipped with toiletries and bathroom amenities and other 'extras'; e.g. only one teabag for black tea is on offer, and in order to get hold of a shower cap I had to ask for one! Toiletries are from Neutrogena, a reliable brand, but bottles are very tiny and only one of each is provided; again, if the room is to be used by more than one person then more toiletries could be provided -- it's annoying to have to nip down to reception or telephone housekeeping to ask that they be brought to the room. Indeed, I was surprised to see in a country like Germany that has such an eco conscience that so many tiny plastic bottles are being used in this hotel. One can only assume that they are not recycled as they are thrown by guests into the general trash. The bottles did not indicate that they are fully biodegradable, although they may be.
The breakfast here was also poor. There's quite a bit of selection, but it's all really rather rubbishy quality: turkey 'breast' made from pressed offcuts; ditto for the ham from which the fat hasn't even been cut; bacon running in oil as it hasn't been drained off; lots of sugary cereals... There's really nothing to recommend the breakfast, and the price of it certainly isn't worth the money. The dining room itself is really uber-naff and not a pleasant environment in which to sit; it looks like some tacky Spanish 3-star dive from the 1970s. I can't imagine who was responsible for the interior decoration here! The really ghastly thing about the breakfast, though, is the way in which tables are left uncleared for ages and ages. Hotel guests depart the dining area leaving their used crockery and cutlery, remains of food and crumbs behind them, and tables remain in this state for a long, long time. This is not only distinctly aesthetically distasteful for those eating their breakfast, but also means that newcomers cannot find a place at which to sit. Many items of food and drink ran out while I was having my breakfast and staff simply didn't seem to pick up on the fact that these needed replacing and replenishing.
By far the most horrible thing about my stay, however, was the dirty toilet in my room. The key test of cleanliness in any hotel is the state of the toilet. The one here had obviously been used by some male who had stood up to urinate, thus leaving evidence of his presence on the rim of the lavatory. This had most emphatically not been scrubbed with bleach as it should have been; it was absolutely clear that it had received no more than a desultory wipe, for the previous user's urine splashes were still plainly visible on the porcelain. A toilet has to be bleached and scrubbed across its entire surface before it is clean. This one failed the test badly.
Another annoyance in this hotel is the erratic air conditioning. A dial in the room suggests that the guest can regulate this, but I found that at night the room heated up and then cooled down to extreme temperatures, despite the fact that I did not turn the dial. It seems that the air con must be controlled centrally and there was nothing I could do to control the swings in temperature. It is also impossible to open the windows of the room to let in fresh air as these are locked shut.
Having checked out of the establishment I realised that I had left a small item in the room. I called the hotel immediately, and the young woman to whom I spoke on the 'phone advised me that she would speak to housekeeping and get back to me. No return call has been received.
The one positive thing about this hotel is that it has free Internet access and also a small (2 computers) business centre at which guests can access the Web and also print off e.g. boarding cards free of charge.
All in all, despite the fact that this hotel bears the name of the famous Hilton brand, it is really akin in terms of overall quality and what's on offer to one of the chains that sells itself on being cheap and cheerful. I can only assume that the hotel gives itself or is awarded 4* based on residents' access to facilities at the Hilton next door, because elsewhere in Europe this sort of joint would merit 2 or 3 stars at most based on the very pared-down service and facilities. It is very, very, very expensive for what's on offer, although if you need to stay overnight at Frankfurt airport, your options are somewhat limited. A captive audience has to pay up or trundle into the city on the S-Bahn or by taxi.
Ask for a room facing onto the street, not one that looks out onto the lobby.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
14 February 2012
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Thank you very much for taking the time to write your review on your recent stay in our hotel.
I am truly sorry to hear that your experience was only "average" as the aim of our team is to make you feel welcome, succesful and especially: exceed your expectations!
I have carefully checked with our duty managers if they maybe recognised your feedback in the past days however I was unable to trace your findings. I would like to ask you to please ask for a Duty Manager in our hotel on your next stay so that we can immediately action any concern. Our ultimate aim is to make every guest come back, I am truly sorry if we are unable to achieve that on this occassion.
Thank you very much for your kind comments on the rooms and public areas Quentin1. All these areas are in a nice condition indeed!
Please Quentin1 kindly note that we do not offer a hotel shuttle bus service from the hotel directly. We can best be reached by pedestrian walkway as we are linked by "Skywalk" to Frankfurt Airport's main terminal, T1. I am not sure exactly what shuttle service you have taken to reach the hotel.
While some of our guests enjoy the look into the atrium very much, others prefer a view towards the outside areas. We try as much as possible to accomodate our guests' requests and I am happy to see that you were given a room facing the outside, as you wished.
Although at times a lay-over of many passengers due to an entire plane not departing can delay the check-in of guests in an airport hotel, this is a rather exceptional occurence in our hotel since most of our guests are individual travelers arriving in the hotel at different times. Although I am not sure exactly when you were at the reception desk I assume this was the reason for your long wait, I certainly apologise for this. Also, I will pass your comments on your room on to our rooms division team to ensure that this does not happen again.
Quentin1, for safety reasons as well as to ensure the cleanest air circulation possible the windows in none of our guestrooms can be opened. Together with technical experts we decided to avoid as much as possible immediate outside polluted air from entering, and so exhaust humes from planes and cars. Instead the air inside the building is constantly cleaned, creating a healthier atmosphere for our guests and team members, including myself.
I am very suprised to note your comment on the breakfast as our open kitchen with "live cooking" station, also for breakfast, is very well received by guests in general. I have immediately expressed your concerns though to our restaurant supervisor who will monitor the buffet even more frequently to avoid this from happening.
Quentin1, regarding the prices of the hotel, these usually depend on the business levels or city wide demand. Over the past days there was indeed a very large event taking place in the city of Frankfurt (in the "Messe") which usually increases prices throughout the city. In general the price value is very well perceived in the hotel. In order to get the best rates I would recommend to use the website: HGI.com . This way you can be assured that you pay the lowest rate possible for your stay on a particular date.
Quentin1, I hope you will give us the opportunity to welcome you again. I am certainly looking forward to convince you to become our regular guest in the future!
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC