Hilton Bogota Review
For my time in Bogota I wanted to try out the Hilton Bogota. Last time I was in town in sampled the coffee shop (which produces surprisingly good espresso) and the hotel is in a good area with lots of food options. Before arrival I had emailed back and forth with the concierge about where to get malaria pills and to my amazement the concierge ordered them for me and they were ready on arrival waiting for me and I was able to put the charge on my credit card - wow! The check staff was super friendly and even at 2.30 AM explained me the Diamond benefits. After just a few minutes things were all set and we were on our way to our room. The room was stylish and modern but also small. The bathroom did not have a door - instead there would be a closet door that closed up the area somewhat. That wasn't my favorite setup. There was a rain shower inside the bath tub but it had low water pressure and still leaked into the bathroom. The sink wasn't closed up at the wall - so more room for spilling. The two beds were small - just a twin - not a US queen size. The mattresses were extremely soft - I prefer harder mattress (I often choose to sleep on the floor voluntarily) and these mattresses were terrible. Adding to our sleep issues was the fact that the room would be hot despite the chill Bogota night time temperatures. The AC worked but was slow to cool down the room and on 'low' setting the fan was still so loud you can't sleep without ear plugs. Combined with the high elevation (and resulting dry and thin air and the headaches) this was not a great night. The good news was the windows shades kept the room dark despite the bright, direct morning sunlight. There also was no Premium WiFi and while the regular WiFi was stable it wasn't super fast (about 3Mbit). As a HHonors Diamond both breakfast in the lounge and the full service breakfast are complimentary. The spread at the main restaurant was much more extensive and we settled down there. The area has almost no natural light (that's also true for the Executive Lounge) and the lighting is just off giving the area an extra cold feel. The spread had a number of high quality options with fruit, fresh egg dishes, custom made waffles and lots of little pastries. Yo can also order as many espresso drinks as you wish and the quality was excellent. This was the first time that I was in a hotel that doubles as very competitive stand alone coffee shop and includes espresso drinks on a complimentary basis in the breakfast. Yes I was in heaven :) Later that day we made our way to the Executive Lounge for appetizers - I wasn't sure what to make of the spread with lots of vegetarian options - but most seemed stale and cold. Red and white wines were served as well as beer including the artisan Bogota Beer Company. The hotel has a small pool in the back of the building - but Bogota usually stays cold thanks to the 9,000 feet of elevation. At check-out the agent would ran my card right away in US Dollars, bagging a 3.5% commission. I pointed out that I want to be charged in Colombian Peso and that it's bad customer service to not even ask. She replied that charges in 'dollar' would be 'better for me' and everybody does it that way (at the hotel). She did NOT offer to refund and charge in Peso. I insisted and asked for a supervisor to come help us out. After a quick conversation between them she gave me the same arguments which I did not agree with. Eventually another call was made and the transaction was refunded and I was charged again in Peso. The difference isn't big but still it's the completely wrong way of customer service. The hotel usually has rates around $99 for weekend nights and $229 for weekday nights. I wasn't NOT happy with the room but I liked how friendly, helpful (besides the DCC incident) the staff was. I also liked the breakfast and especially the awesome all you can drink espressos in the morning. Still without and improvement in rooms I would not want to come back. You can book the Hilton Bogota, Colombia here.