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Published September 23rd 2013
Tired but tasty overnight treat in the city
I want a weekend to re-charge and take time out, but have no time to getaway. A weekend away, at home, is my plan.
I want to stay at Crowne Plaza or Clarion Soho, but with a $199 Hilton Flaming Deal that included valet parking, bottle of sparkling wine, breakfast and late check-out of 1pm, I couldn't resist. Having stayed at the Hilton a few years back, I knew it was a bit boring and bland, in terms of decor, but didn't remember it quite like this.
Staff are friendly enough, but not overjoyed. That's ok. I don't expect them to be. And hiding behind the big wooden reception desk, it would feel like you are imprisoned.
We are upgraded to a deluxe room, so I'm a bit excited to see it. Opening up the door, I walk into a room of dark grey and neutral walls. Let down. What catches my attention is the print that sits on a wall shelf, seemingly a last thought with no time to actually hang it from the wall. The bathroom is small, squeezy, but nice. The bed is huge, and mattress so soft it feels like I am sleeping on a bed made of soft quilts. I sleep well.
Dark hallways, no decorations or wall hangings, it seems as if staff have taken everything away for replacing floor coverings and not had a chance to put it back. But the carpet on level two, heading to the dated 'university campus' style pool and sauna area, shows otherwise. Big patches of discolouration is amplified in the morning light streaming through the glass doors.
The food works at redemption for the Hilton. We order room service for dinner, and enjoy every bite of the chick pea curry and grilled veggies with hummus. It's delivered quickly, and is still hot from the kitchen. Great.
And in the morning, the buffet breakfast tries hard to match the breakfasts served at resorts overseas. It doesn't hit the same standard, but it's much better than many others I've eaten at in Australia. Eggs, pancakes and waffles to order served with a variety of breads, bacon, sausages, cold meats, cheeses and tomatoes. Bircher muesli, yoghurt, fresh fruit, cereals, nuts and seeds, and fresh squeezed juices are yummy as a lighter option. There is a coffee machine, but the barista made coffee is much nicer, and more like a 'proper' coffee. It's a busy area, and a great start to my Sunday.