Thursday, March 6, 2008

Hilton Anaheim

I don't get Hilton Hotels. I can't characterize them in any meaningful way. Nice? Luxurious? Modern? Old fashioned? Good value? Nicer than a Marriott? Not as nice as a Marriott? They're all over the place. Hilton's new slogan doesn't help much. Here it is:

Nothing like a vapid phrase to help focus that brand, Mr. Hilton. "Travel should take you places" is as meaningless as "walking should take you forward or backward", or "a shower should make you wet". Or "furnaces should heat your house". Or "rakes should gather leaves". Maybe I should start my own ad agency.

To give you an idea how flimsy the Hilton brand is, the sign outside the hotel had two logos of equal size. One, of course, was Hilton. The other, Starbucks. I guess that's a pretty good way to tell how weak the Hilton brand is, and how powerful the Starbucks brand continues to be.

The Hilton Anaheim is big. Big big. That makes sense, because it's right next to Disneyland. (The original, not that parvenu Disney "world" in Florida.) The parking structure is monstrous, and almost impossible to navigate. I tried following the arrows pointing to the elevators, but wound up going the wrong way and nearly t-boning an elderly driver. Once I found a space, the path to the elevators themselves was blocked by a neatly stacked block of about 3,000 chairs. Once you get to the lobby, stand back and look at 70's architecture in all its glory.

The halls are big, too. Or, rather, long. No surprise here.

But in the spirit of the maze-like parking lot, the signage to your room is quite perplexing. What the heck happened to room 5.528? Is it haunted?

You'll have plenty of time to admire the flowing movement of the hallway carpet. At least it's a new twist on the puke resisitant patterns to which I've grown so accustomed.

I was assigned a newly-redecorated room. Hilton paid an advertising agency to come up with a snazzy way of saying this, and they responded with this little embarrassment. "New'd". That way, they could put a sign up in the elevators telling you that you can "sleep in the New'd". HAHAHAHA. What a bunch of cards!

The room carpet seemed kind of old-skool to me. I haven't seen sculpted gray/green carpet in a long time. Truth be told, I hadn't missed it.

I also didn't miss the mis-applied wallpaper, though I did neglect to take a good photo of it. The faulty part is over by the thermostat.

All typical, I guess, of modern-giant-chain-hotel-by-a-big-tourist-attraction-lodging.

The water, however, was not. I made a cup of coffee in the morning, and noticed it tasted kind of funky. So I filled the glass in the bathroom, and was horrified to see that it looked like milk.

Now you might say "hang on, Misterarthur, that's because of an aerator in the faucet." Sorry, sharp-eyed reader, it's not. I know this because there was no aerator on the faucet, because the water ran clear if you let it run long enough, and because no one at the meeting I was attending could drink the ice water they served at lunch.

Oh, and they charged for internet access, too.