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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Stockton, California / Hilton

September 2016, Weekday, 1-night, King executive guestroom 544

Arrival and check-in experience

I had reserved a king guestroom at this Hilton. When I viewed online check-in, I saw that my room had been upgraded to an executive room before my arrival. I thought about checking in online and using the Hilton digital key; however, the Hilton check-in site had changed somewhat, and I did not figure out how to view the entire floor plan until after I had arrived at the hotel. When I had looked at it that morning, the only portion of the building that was visible was the corner where the guestroom that was pre-assigned to me is located. I could not tell if this was a top floor guestroom, or where it was located. Later, I realized the entire floors can be viewed as follows: hoover over the diagram, and then click "choose your room" when it shows. You can then view the entire floor and change floors to view all of the floors.

When I arrived, the front desk agent made my keys for the guestroom that had been pre-assigned to me. I did not understand why my keys were not ready, because I observed 10 or more prepared packets on the front desk for guests checking in that day. She did not recognize my Diamond status, and I did not receive a bag with two water bottles, like I observed other guests receiving later that evening.

View of courtyard from elevator foyer; guestrooms on north and south sides

Guestroom 544

This guestroom is on the top floor at the end of the hall. It is located in the worst possible area of the hotel; on the side of the building facing traffic, rather than the courtyard or canal. Usually, hotel staff members assign top-tier guests guestrooms in prime locations (not just Hilton; Marriott, and other chains, too). I do not recall ever being assigned a guestroom in a location like this before, and I wish I had realized the hotel layout and guestroom location details before unpacking. If I had been staying more than one night, I would have returned to the front desk, and requested a different guestroom.

The guestroom was spacious. The bathroom and a closet were located near the entrance. The bathroom contained the usual Hilton bath amenities and good quality towels. The shower head was very low. I am only 5' 2" tall, and I had to crouch to get my head under the spray. The closet contained an iron, ironing board, summer robe, hangers, and a safe.

A small fridge was located outside the bathroom. The countertop over the fridge contained a coffeemaker with coffee and condiments. I prefer liquid creamer, and always like it when this is provided instead of powder. I have never seen a date on the little packets though, and one of them in this guestroom was rancid. I did not notice until I added it to my coffee, which I then had to dump. I will be sure and smell the product after opening in the future!  A full length mirror was hanging on the wall across from the counter and bathroom.

View from entrance

A folding luggage rack was set up against the wall across from the foot of the king size bed. The guestroom also contained two nightstands, telephones, lighted alarm clock, flatscreen TV on an armoire, desk and chair, sofa, coffee table, ice bucket, glass glasses, and two bottles of water. The note holder next to the bed contained a previous guest's notes. There were not any empty note sheets in the holder. The bed was comfortable; however, the sofa and carpet were tired and worn looking.

Bottled water not included in this executive guestroom
Initially, I thought the two bottles of water were for me, as I had not received any when I checked in, and my room assignment said this is an executive guestroom. Upon closer inspection, I saw that the bottles of water had a price tag of $2.50 each. Apparently, this executive guestroom merely included a robe and lounge access.

View from guestroom 544
The sliding glass door opened to a small balcony overlooking the parking lot and noisy street. The screen was dirty, as were the balcony and glass doors. There was not any furniture on the balcony, like shown in some of the photos on the Hilton website.

Labeled diagram from back of 
guestroom door; click to enlarge
Gap at the bottom of guestroom door

There was a large gap at the bottom of the guestroom door, and it was not soundproof. I easily heard doors opening and closing, as well as guest conversation in the hall, in the evening and early morning hours. The wireless Internet connection speed was good.

Business center and open areas

The business center was located in an open area near the front desk and lobby sitting area. I observed four computer screens, a printer, sticky notes, and paperclips. I did not see tape or envelopes.

Print-on-demand sign in business center
The computers and printing from the business center computers all functioned properly; however, "print-on-demand" did not work. I tried this several times. Every time, the message said that the document had printed; however, it never printed. I asked an employee at the front desk if the documents printed in a different location. No one I spoke with knew anything about how this works. An employee checked the other hotel printer, and told me there was not anything printed.

Atrium view from floor 5

The lobby/atrium sitting area near the business center looked comfortable, and I observed people using this area. I also observed a nice business working room with glass doors next to the lobby.

Executive lounge

The executive lounge was located in the lobby near the front desk. It was accessible by key 24 hours. Bottled water was stocked in the cooler, so I was able to get water and take it back to my guestroom. Other items available during the day included: soda, cookies, trail-type mix, mixed nuts, fresh whole fruit, and granola bars.

Evening social food items included pizza, Caesar salad, and fresh fruit. Food items in the morning included Italian eggs, cold cereals, oatmeal, breads, and fruit. There were no bowls for the cereal when I had breakfast, so I had my oatmeal in a paper coffee cup. Coffee was available, although the cappucino machine was not working.

It was not comfortable to eat in the lounge, as the chair seats were too low for the table height. I thought the food and beverages provided in the executive lounge were great, other than the cappuccino machine not working.

Fitness center

The fitness center was located near the elevators on the lobby level. It was open 24 hours. It was spacious and contained just about anything you would need: hand weights, weight machines, cardio machines with cardio theater, benches, balls, water cooler, towels, sani-wipes, and TV on the wall. I had forgotten to bring my earphones with me, and they were not available in the workout room. A sign said they were available at the front desk.

Misc. and overall

I did not use the stairways in this hotel because they looked scary - dingy/dirty and gloomy. I observed profanity scratched in the metal of the elevator wall plate on floor 5. I took a photo of this; however, I decided not to post it, as I am sure many people would find it offensive.

The hotel bed cleanliness, comfort, and quality lived up to Hilton standards, and the food in the executive lounge was good quality. If I stay in this area again, I will be sure and request a room away from traffic.

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