This weekend my wife and I decided at very late notice to try and get away for a night. Given that this weekend was also the tail end of school half-term many hotels were at maximum capacity and not accepting reservations.
As I was browsing various options I remembered the Hilton at St George’s Park. At roughly 140 miles from London it fit the bill as being not too far considering the limited time we had, while still feeling like we were ‘getting away’.
This hotel is part of St. George’s Park; the FA’s National Football Centre. It is located on the edge of the National Forest, 6 miles from Burton upon Trent. It is intended to serve the considerable flow of people who visit the Centre and the rates are extremely reasonable for what is an impressive property.
As I always do when staying at a hotel with a rewards program I then needed to weigh up whether to redeem points for my stay or pay the cash rate.
I had a look at the hotel’s website and saw that it was a Category 5 hotel. Hilton places its hotels in categories from 1-10 with Category 1 properties costing 5,000 Hilton Honors (HHonors) points for a free night. A category 10 hotel would cost between 70,000-95,000 points per night.
A basic Double Compact Guest Room at this hotel was either £106 or I could have redeemed 40,000 HHonours points for a free night. There was also Cash + Points availability at £52 + 16,000 HHonors points which would offer marginally better value for my points but on balance I decided to book a King Executive Room which was available at a reasonable £155 for the one night.
The photos included in this review are a mix of my own photos and hotel stock images. I have used images from the hotel where it wasn’t possible to get a good picture myself such as the pool area which was packed throughout our visit.
We arrived shortly after 10 p.m. and made our way into the spacious and airy lobby area.
Given the time of night, check-in was processed quickly and efficiently and we were given the keys to our room on the 2nd floor. The hotel’s guest rooms are contained over 2 floors. The 2nd floor houses the Executive Rooms and Suites as well as the Executive Lounge (more on that later).
I had hoped for an upgrade to a suite as a result of my Hilton Gold status which offers a space-available upgrade to a preferred room. Unfortunately, the hotel was completely sold out in all room categories above ours.
The room felt modern and well-equipped. It featured a comfortable king-sized bed and immediately earned brownie points for having conveniently located plug sockets on both sides of the bed and within easy reach of the desk. How often do you visit a hotel room where they seem to have decided that only one of you might want to charge their phone! Or they don’t seem to have considered the possibility that people might want to plug in a laptop while working at the desk.
(Click on any of the images below to enlarge)
The bathroom was a little on the small side but utilized the available space well. It included a stand-alone shower which had good pressure, a separate bathtub as well as a single wash basin. The toiletries were from the Peter Thomas Roth brand as is standard at Hilton hotels.
WiFi was complimentary for all guests although performance was patchy. I had no issues connecting and using my phone as normal, my wife on the other hand wasn’t able to connect to the network at all despite repeated attempts.
There was a minibar as well as tea and coffee facilities tucked away in cupboards under the TV. My only minor complaint would be that given the otherwise impressive quality of the room and furnishings in general, they have simply made do with a kettle and some tea bags rather than a dedicated coffee machine of some description.
Booking any of the hotel’s Executive Rooms or Suites will gain you access to the Executive Lounge. This is open between 6 and 8 p.m. daily and offers drinks in addition to hot and cold canapés. Unfortunately we only arrived at the hotel after the lounge had already closed so I wasn’t able to take any photos of exactly what was on offer.
As breakfast is not served in the lounge, if you book an Executive Room or a Suite you are entitled to free breakfast in the restaurant.
Breakfast is served at the imaginatively named; “The Restaurant” every day. As a Hilton Gold member I was entitled to complimentary continental breakfast for two guests.
I have to say I was very impressed by the varied selection and number of options available. I’ll let the pictures do the talking for the most part but worthy of a mention was the selection of gluten-free cereals in addition to the regular cereal offering. There was a station where you could order a large variety of different omelettes. There is also a menu with cooked to order dishes that Hilton Gold and Diamond members can choose from on a complimentary basis.
Despite it being 10 a.m on a Sunday all of the dishes were being constantly refilled and everything was indeed topped up shortly after I took my photos (!).
The hotel also offers the ‘Health Club and Spa at St George’s Park’. As well as a spa and swimming pool there is a well-equipped gym which I used during our stay. Despite what the picture below suggests though, it isn’t the largest of spaces and you get the feeling it could feel quite crowded if it was more than half full.
Remembering this is only a Category 5 Hilton property I was hugely impressed. In my mind this may even trump the Hilton London Syon Park as the best Hilton in the UK, and Syon Park is a former Waldorf-Astoria property! Staff were friendly and welcoming throughout and I certainly feel as if I enjoyed value for money.
You can find more information about the Hilton at St George’s Park and check availability on the Hilton website here