I am a Hilton Honors member so it pains me to use my points and have such a rocky start to my stay. I drove up to the front of the Hilton near Union Square and the Bellman accepted my bags. Then I walked across a giant ugly lobby doing a great imitation of 1970s SFO to a 4 person deep line at the HHonors counter–a large group of airline employees queued with one woman handling all the requests at 10:30 p.m. I had checked in on-line but that apparently does not speed the process. I actually do not know what the advantage this option is to me.
Then I had to drive around the block to the parking garage in Tower 3 and spent 20 minutes winding my way up to the 10th level to park. Then find my way back to Tower 2 through the Lobby Level, then go up to level 14 to my room. By now it is 11:00 p.m.
As I enter my room the phone is ringing but the light next to the door does little to illuminate the interior. However, I am in a room equipped for the hearing impaired so a bright light is flashing in tandem with every ring of my phone and it is blinding. I fumble to turn on the light and the switch on the side nearest the door does not work. I simultaneously try to answer the phone and neither of the 2 lines connects me. I call the front desk because I suspect it was the Bellman calling. The first attempt lands me on hold hell. In the second attempt the front desk clerk says he will check and call me back. “No, no I will wait on hold! I do not want to experience that light flashing in my face again.” It was that disorienting.
While I wait for the Bellman to bring up my bags I grab a glass and collect some tap water. There seems to be a film on the water, so I rinse the glass and try again. The water is almost milky white. I show the Bellman when he arrives and he agrees that it is strange. He offers to send up some water and I decline since I want to go to bed. There are two bottles of water, which I generally prefer not to use for ecological reasons, but tonight I am thankful to have as a back up. I send him off with a glass of water to show his supervisor.
I lose the back to my earring down the sink and I take out the plug and I can see the back of the earring but cannot reach it. This is not on Hilton Hotel–it is just how my night is going. My other back to my earring also falls onto the carpet and this draws attention to how old and worn the furnishings are–circa 1980. The beds look naked. I always thought the Hilton chain had a pecking order: Hampton Inn, then Garden Inns, and so on to the top HILTON. Alas all of the Hampton Inns I have stayed from San Diego to Des Moines have been more elegantly appointed than this hotel.
Finally I decide at least I can watch the Tonight Show since I am rarely up this late. Hah! Either the television or the remote is broken. I called the desk and again demurred at the idea of someone coming up right now to fix it. I wanted to get in my jammies and get in bed.
I can hear two men having a conversation next door and there is consistent traffic noise even on the 14th floor. I thought I was so clever using my points for a 2 night stay while I am in San Francisco for training. This is an inauspicious beginning.