by Fiona Duncan-Steer

The Hilton Nottingham

The Hilton Nottingham

Nottingham Hilton Hotel (formally the prestigious Victoria Hotel) for those of the generation to remember was my recent ‘home for the night ‘as I visited to experience what facilities they had to offer and I was not disappointed…

I decided to take along my mum who actually used to work at the hairdressers within The Victoria Hotel as an apprentice in her younger days, alongside my auntie who was their head stylist.  We were also joined by mum’s Jack Russel Billy because yes – Hilton Hotels are dog friendly hotels!

Check-in was efficient and quick and the room (we were on the fifth out of six floors) was a good size with a super large bed as we were pleased to have been given a king deluxe room.

All mod cons were accounted for, a shower over the bath and included double the number of usual toiletries, with loofahs’ something you don’t usually see.  There were also robes and slippers provided in the wardrobe- these would come in handy later for our visit to the hotel spa.  I was also pleased to see an iron and board provided – again a small thing but something you take for granted when not already provided in the hotel room, meaning you have to go to the trouble of requesting it from reception or even worse- paying an additional charge to have your clothes ironed, which is often the norm in European hotels.

Hilton Nottingham is located on Milton Street in the heart of the city centre, less than a minutes’ walk from The Victoria/Intu Shopping Centre and a whole array of restaurants offering every cuisine imaginable.  Parking can be provided at the hotel on a first come first served basis for the cost of £14 per night or there is a multi-story carpark just opposite at a cost of £15 overnight.

Next stop were the spa facilities, as we hit ‘basement’ in the lift and were greeted by the friendly and efficient Jaimal on reception.   We enjoyed a few lengths in the pool, jacuzzi, steam room and sauna before getting ready for dinner, bypassing the gym, though this is possible to use during your stay.  The changing room facilities are sufficient in size with hairdryers, swim wear dryers and plenty of shower cubicles.

Dinner was at 7pm and we were greeted by friendly staff who allowed us to choose our table- we opted for a private booth next to the front window- great for people watching on a Saturday night and the seats were super comfy  The menu was large with plenty of choice and a good selection of vegetarian dishes for us both.  We decided to share a Greek platter to start with of warm flatbreads, hummus and baba ganoush with olives- a great ‘social dish’ I always find and not too heavy to begin a three-course meal with.

Main course offered us superfood salads, pasta, risotto, chilli and flatbread options for veggie’s and so I went for one of my favourite treats- Penne Arabiata which arrived in large bowl, enough of a portion size for two and lots of melted cheese on top!  Mum went for the bean and rice crockpot served with naan bread and arrived in an attractive stew pot.

We decided to share a dessert so as not to over do it and went for a lighter option of lemon tart which was served with meringue and gin and tonic sorbet!

The wine/ drinks list was pretty extensive, and the bar was beautifully designed lit up with twinkling fairy lights which added to a cosy ambience, as we sipped on Prosecco, rose wine and finished off with  gin and tonic at the end of the night.

There was a real buzz in the restaurant throughout the evening, as we saw guests come and go – unlike many hotel restaurants  I often find can be rather sparse with diners and  have somewhat of a flat atmosphere, this was quite the opposite.

Highlight

Breakfast was for me the highlight of the stay, buzzing with the residents who you forget are staying in the same hotel as you and suddenly all emerge at once for what I can only describe as a banquet and breakfast for kings.  The choice was fantastic, and they had left nothing out.

The breakfast staff were great too, offering us hot drinks on arrival and then it was a case of help yourself from there… everything was presented very nicely and labelled, so for vegetarians/vegans you had no issue in selecting your options.  I went for cereal first which I was pleased to see came with a choice of cows, almond or soya milk.  There was the usual continental of cheeses, meats, fresh fruit, yogurts, pastries but with the addition of freshly baked muffins, smoothie shots and a pancake machine to ‘make your own’ with your choice of toppings; American style maple syrup/fruit/honey etc. and then there was the cooked section where a full English awaited if you were so inclined- of course we headed straight there after our entre of cereal and enjoyed scrambled egg, baked beans and hash browns on toast with real butter.  It was there we met ‘the egg man’ who cooked your eggs any way you wanted them freshly in front of you on his griddle – fantastic!

To summarise

All in all, The Hilton Nottingham offers everything you need from a city central hotel, conference facilities for events and business meetings, spa facilities, comfort, good food at a good price, excellent service and a cracking breakfast, plus an added bonus that they are dog friendly just opens themselves up to every demographic leaving no one out.

Fiona Duncan-Steer