Lodging Review: Hilton Bonn

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Lodging Review: Hilton Bonn
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One of my co-workers and I took a taxi from the Cologne/Bonn airport to the Hilton Bonn. It’s a lovely yellow building located right on the Rhine River. The Viking River Cruise we took on the Rhine a few years ago would have sailed right by this hotel after we spent the day in Cologne, just a few miles away. It’s in an area very convenient to a pedestrian-only section of shops and even the train station is not a far walk away. I liked the hotel itself, with one GIANT caveat about my stay.

Hilton Bonn

We had to wait just a very few minutes to check in and I let my colleague go first. Despite the hotel being rather full she nicely asked for a river view room and the clerk found one for her. After she left I stepped right up and my Gold status was recognized right away. I was also told I’d been upgraded, which was nice to hear. I was given the information about breakfast and was reminded it was complimentary with my Gold status. I was also given three drink chits. Considering the average price of drinks in the bar was about 15 EUR, this was no small prize. As I don’t drink alcohol they weren’t worth as much to me but I gave them to my co-workers who made swift use of them.

The hotel is in a U-shape with the entrance on the “bottom” of the U. The courtyard between the “arms” of the U faces the river.  Here’s the view of the courtyard from the street between the hotel and the river.

Summer view of the courtyard
(Photo courtesy Hilton.com)

The lobby had two seating areas, one on either side of the front entrance. The bar was at the far left upon entering.

Lobby Seating to the left of the front desk with the bar against the back wall

Lobby seating to the right of the front desk

The front desk was straight ahead and just beside it was a small store with snacks and beverages.

Mini-store with snacks and beverages

As I took my key and headed toward the bank of elevators on the left, I happened to see this sign which I thought was quite funny.

Decisions, decisions….

My room was on the fourth floor and when I stepped out of the elevator (still on the bottom crossbar of the U) I turned left and then immediately turned right. I walked all the way down the hall (the length of one “arm” of the U) to the end.

Longer hallway

There was a short hallway crossing the end of the long hall, almost like a serif on a U when using Times Roman font. I turned right and walked to the end of that hall to find my room, right where the curve meets the wall.

Shorter hallway. My room was at the end by the windows.

The Room

This was not a typical hotel room and it’s one time I feel like my hotel status really got me something besides breakfast. I stepped into the room and, like many hotel rooms found the bathroom immediately on my right and a full-length mirror on my left but that’s where the similarity to regular hotel rooms ended.

Entry hall, bathroom door on the left from this angle

Instead of the room opening up into the bed area, this junior suite opened up to a full-scale living room. It did have a connecting door but I never heard a peep out of anyone in that room.

Hilton Bonn Jr. Suite Entry and Living Area

Hilton Bonn Jr. Suite Living Area

While I was thrilled to have such a large suite, it still needed some refreshing as they reminded me of my grandmother’s furniture from the 1970s. The living room sofa and chairs could definitely use a refresh and were rather low to the ground. The sofa did pull out into a bed if needed. Across from the sofa was a TV credenza that housed the mini-bar and held the coffee/tea machines as well as the ice bucket.

This room had a balcony that overlooked the Rhine.

View through the window of the Living Area. It did open up to allow fresh air.

Stepping through the door into the next room, to the left was what might be called the workspace. There wasn’t a formal desk but there was a table with three chairs and another credenza with a TV. There were easily-accessible audio/video jacks so if you wanted to work on a presentation that could easily be accomplished. Of course you could also broadcast from your computer and have it display on the TV as well. A small loveseat sat against the wall opposite the TV.  It needed refreshing as well.

Hilton Bonn Jr. Suite Work Area

Straight ahead upon entering was a low bench in front of another window with a small balcony. This one opened up to the courtyard with a side view of the Rhine.

Courtyard view from bedroom balcony

The wardrobe was the dominant piece in the center of the room and divided the work space from the bed. With two sets of double doors there was plenty of space to hang clothes on ones side and the other side had shelves. Robes and slippers were provided and this is where the safe resided.

The wardrobe served as a room divider

Left side of the wardrobe was for hanging clothes. Lots of extra hangers.

Right side of the wardrobe had shelves, the robes and slippers and was where the hairdryer was stored, since there was no shelf for it in the bathroom.

The bed was king-sized and very comfortable. Each side had two electrical outlets, so kudos for that!

Hilton Bonn Jr. Suite King Bed

There was another TV (that’s 3, in case you were counting) mounted in the back of the wardrobe so you could watch it while in bed. I didn’t turn any of them on so can’t comment on the quality of the pictures.

Hilton Bonn Jr. Suite Bedroom TV

The bathroom was fairly standard with a shower/tub on one side (and that darn glass partition that’s only 1/3rd the length of the tub!), the toilet in the center and the sink on the other side of the room.

Hilton Bonn Tub and Shower

Hilton Bonn Toilet

The sink’s counter stretched the whole length of the space but really didn’t have that much storage space. When this room gets refreshed I’d like to see some shelves underneath where items could be stored without having to sit out on the sink. And the hair dryer could be kept in the bathroom instead of the wardrobe! (And please, upgrade to a hair dryer that actually has an on/off switch so I can leave it plugged in while I’m visiting!)

Hilton Bonn Bathroom Sink

Toiletries were by Crabtree & Evelyn. Not my favorite but they did the trick.

Hilton Bonn Toiletries by Crabtree & Evelyn

Hallelujah, this hotel actually let me turn the AC on. It does baffle me though that there’s no automatic setting where I just pick a temperature and the room keeps it that cool. Instead the fan had Low/Med/High settings and the a switch to go between cool and heat. I tried leaving it on Low Cool one day and it was quite stuffy when I returned so it generally stayed at Med Cool while I was out.

Common Areas

I didn’t take photos of the breakfast buffet but there was lots of food and plenty to choose from no matter your nationality.

The gym was large and it was fairly well laid out. It took me to the end of the trip but I did get a workout in.

Hilton Bonn Gyn

Hilton Bonn Gym

Beyond the gym were these cabanas and in the next room was a small indoor pool. As the pool was in use I didn’t take any photos of it.

Hilton Bonn Pool Cabanas

The Big Caveat

So far, what’s not to like about this hotel? It’s not the most modern but they scored high on recognizing status and rewarding it appropriately (even if I “earned” my status by holding a certain credit card). The burn came when I returned home and kept checking my account to be sure my points had posted. I kept looking and I noticed an entry for the Hilton Bonn but no points associated with it. After doing a little digging I found out that this is one of the very few Hiltons that does not participate in the points program! As this is the only Hilton in Bonn, that’s very disappointing. A co-worker who had signed up for a promotion did manage to get some points out of the stay and, of course, since I paid with my Hilton credit card I earned those points but I was extremely disappointed that hotels are allowed to opt out of the loyalty program.

In the end

So would I return? Well, if we come back here on a business trip I may have to stay here again. It’s a super-convenient when you don’t have a car and it’s a nice hotel. But the whole “no points” thing has just left a bad taste in my mouth for this place. I’d try to find another place first and if I were traveling on my own I’d definitely look elsewhere.

Categories: Europe, Germany, Hilton, Hotel, Lodging Review | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Lodging Review: Hilton Bonn

  1. Stijn

    The hotel does give points, just contact Hilton Honors and they will add them to your account 🙂

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