A last minute and unexpected travel to Paris led me into the Hilton Waldorf Astoria Trianon Palace.
Location Waldorf Astoria Trianon Palace
Location is somewhat problematic since the hotel is located outside Paris just next to Versailles palace, Chateau de Versailles.
There is a direct train from St. Lazaer to a station located 15 minutes’ walk from the hotel. If you are looking for a centrally located hotel, this one would not be your first choice. The problem is not so much the distance which is about 35 min ride from St. Lazar, it is mostly the connection between a tram, train and the bus (two, to be exact) or taxi you would need to reach the hotel.
Wldorf Astoria Trianon Palace rooms
The standard rooms are spacious and well equipped. The room is designed and has most amenities you would expect from a five star hotel. The iPhone docking station is a nice surprise enabling you to charge your device, listen to its music and tell the device to play your music at a selected wake up time.
In my specific room there were some minor technical problems that surely would be fixed upon informing the reception, however, I have no idea if that actually happened since I left that specific room.
HHonors friendly: Not!
If you are a HHonors VIP gold or diamond level, you are advised that against any expectations or reasonability, this hotel is not HHONORS VIP friendly. First, they do not have a VIP lounge that is essential to most business travelers. Second and that is a problematic by itself, VIP gold or diamond are not entitled for breakfast. In my case there was no upgrade due to no availability. It is rare but happens. You do receive a free Internet connection and offers to choose of a free movie or 1000 points though.
All in all, the whole VIP benefit plan loses its meaning in such circumstances and if you are a business traveler, you better be aware of that.
Spa at Hilton Waldorf Astoria Trianon Palace hotel
The spa area is nice and is nicely designed. Recommended for relaxation.
While the rooms is up to Hilton standards, but not more than that, the elevators and corridors in the secondary building could use a face lift to bring them to the standards of the main building.
Breakfast is being served in a very nice high ceiling room designed in one of the Luis iv, v, vi (take your pick) style. I am not an expert on baroque style but this must be the idea.
Surprisingly, No turn down service was available and the coffee kit that became essential somehow as there was no lounge, was not refreshed two days in a row. Miserable ( Le miserable, if you like) coincidence...
Against the preferences written in my HHonors profile, the room given to me was the closest to the elevators. Due to the morning noise around that area, I have requested to move to a remote room. Later on, have found out that beside the constant noise at that hotel section, the room doors are having one or two centimeter gap from the wooden floor, enabling noise to travel freely to and from the room. You are cordially warned.
It is only right to give here a complement to the two receptionists I was served by and the helpful concierge. If it wasn't for them, I would have probably left the hotel after the first night. I had no reason to remain in any Hilton hotel that does not offer the promised VIP benefits. However the lady checking me in and her colleague following her were very nice and helpful.
The hotel did have a chance to upgrade me when they moved me to another room as there was plenty of availability; however, the new room was surprisingly a bit smaller...
I would highly recommend any hotel that handled a problem related to a guest, to follow up or even sample that guest later on or make sure he is satisfied. Many people would simply not complain but will never return to a problematic hotel. If they already addressed the crew with a problem, the hotel should take the opportunity to make sure their complain was handled and they are satisfied.
The upgrade issue
It depends whom you ask. The receptionist that checked me in mentioned I was not upgraded due to lake of availability. The receptionist I talked after switching rooms, claimed I was upgraded... At that time, I understood the hotel had far more serious problems to solve before one could expect an upgrade.
Thinking of it and especially after asking the reception about the VIP gold conditions that were not met, i believe I needed to appear on their screen as a guest that is not entirely happy and therefore escalate that to management as there will be very little to correct or fix once I have left the hotel. That unfortunately, did not happen.
The breakfast issue: Checking the HHonors T&C, it is clear to me there is no situation in which a gold member will not be offered a complimentary breakfast either at the executive lounge or at the dining room. Most Hilton hotels would let the guest choose. I guess it is for them to answer.
As one of our readers has remarked: HHonors T&C for Waldorf Astoria hotels do not include complimentary breakfast for Gold or Diamond members. The general T&C of HHonors are including upgrade to the Executive lounge when one can have breakfast. The question is: what would be the case where no executive lounge is available. We of course offer the Hilton Waldorf Astoria Trianon Palace hotel to reconsider its current approach on the breakfast issue.
However, in principal, any loyalty program, HHonors included, should be very minded to its VIP level. At Hilton hotels these are the frequent guests that stay at the network more than 16 nights a year, these guests are the ones to visit over and over, bring their business in shapes of meetings and conferences and function as ambassadors for the network.
Ignoring their status or declining their benefits is certainly not recommended. It is nothing shorter than a marketing shoot in the hotel’s own leg. This hotel however, does not seems to care too much about it.
Hotel Welcome factor
Although the service level at reception was high, the overall feeling after three night’s stay at Waldorf Astoria Trianon Palace is not actually welcomed and that factor there was considerably low. The somewhat high expectation from the Waldorf Astoria brand met by relatively poor performances creates a disappointment feelings and hence leading to low level of Welcome factor.