Alitalia | Airbus A321 | LHR-FCO | Economy

This Trip

Alitalia | Airbus A321 | LHR-FCO | Economy
Hilton Garden Inn, Rome Fiumicino
Alitalia | Airbus A319 | FCO-FLR | Economy
Hilton Florence Metropole
Alitalia | Airbus A319 | FLR-FCO | Economy
Alitalia | Airbus A321 | FCO-LHR | Economy

Airline: Alitalia
Aircraft: Airbus A321
Route: London Heathrow – Rome
Flight number: AZ207
Seat number: 34F
Cabin: Economy
Flight date: May 2016

Check In / Security

The check in desks were relatively quiet this afternoon – I was able to walk straight up to the Business Class desk, grab a boarding pass and be on my way within a minute or so.

IMG_7261

Next up was security. Unlike my last time at Heathrow T4, this again was very quiet – I was the only person there. In fact I made it from kerbside to the lounge in just seven minutes.

Lounge

As a top tier Alitalia status holder, I was entitled to use the Etihad lounge, due to the tie up between the two airlines.

IMG_7293

When I first arrived, it was a little on the busy side, however due to the fact the Etihad flight departed shortly after my arrival, it emptied out considerably to just a few people.

IMG_7289

IMG_7284

The only minor issue was that once the Etihad flight did depart, the lounge staff cleared away a lot of the buffet and started hoovering, dusting etc. Its great that they take such pride in their lounge, however it did make the remaining few Alitalia customers feel a little in the way. I was still able to order from the menu however in the restaurant area.

IMG_7268

IMG_7286

IMG_7270

IMG_7278

Boarding / Onboard

Boarding was made around 40 minutes late, due to the late inbound arrival of the aircraft from Rome. When it did get underway, it wasn’t the best I’d experienced. Whilst priority boarding was called, it wasn’t enforced all that well – I overheard the gate agent say more than a few times “bear that in mind for next time…”

IMG_7302

Even once on board, it still took an absolute age to complete the boarding process. And once it was complete, a load of bags then had to be taken downstairs to be loaded into the hold. This meant pushback was eventually 1h15 behind schedule – not what I needed with a 1h25 connection time in Rome…

IMG_7304

Service

Service didn’t get underway all that quickly, mainly due to the aisle being blocked with people waiting to use the wash room. Once it did get underway, the standard Alitalia on board offerings of soft drinks and a sandwich was distributed.

IMG_7321

IMG_7323

Arrival

Arrival was made around an hour later than scheduled. Being put on to a bus gate didn’t help matters with my connection either, and despite my best efforts I missed my connection by a matter of minutes.

IMG_7328

IMG_7333

Conclusions

Once again, Alitalia providing a good enough flight for a decent price. Yes, the flight was delayed, but this was down to ATC issues at LHR – I had tracked the incoming plane on flightradar24.com for most of the afternoon and everything had been running to schedule until it ended up in a holding pattern. It then took an age to cross runway 09R at LHR to get over to T4 and finally it took a good 45 minutes to get everybody on board. Once we did get going, again, LHR was very busy and it took a good while to finally get airborne. So I really can’t fault the airline for the late running. If anything, they handled everything perfectly with regards to my misconnection – apologetic, proactive and well organised. By the tim I had turned up to the gate, I’d already been rebooked on to the next flight, and as it was the following morning a hotel and meals had been arranged too, so all that was needed was a new boarding pass.

Questions? Comments? Come and Say Hi on Twitter!

Look out for the YouTube video soon!

Hilton, Rome FCO

This Trip
KLM Cityhopper | Fokker F70 | LHR-AMS | Economy

KLM | Boeing 737-800 | AMS-FCO | Business
Hilton, Rome FCO
Alitalia | Airbus A320 | FCO-LHR | Economy

Stayed in: March 2016

Introduction

Normally when staying for somewhere for more than just a stopover, I’d go for a city hotel. However on this occasion as I’d be arriving at 11:30pm, I didn’t much fancy making the journey into town at that time.

 photo 12719474_10153277027825882_742481195773287363_o.jpg

As it turned out, the hotel offered free transportation into town anyway, so worked out well. Upon checking in my HHonours Gold status was confirmed and I was upgraded to a room on the executive floor.

Main Room

Standard room really. Like most airport Hiltons, it was a litte rough around the edges but clean and tidy enough. There was a decent sized work desk. And a TV with a whole load of Arabic channels on, but two English channels – both news channels.

 photo 12440717_10153277017395882_3001148358170255801_o.jpg

 photo 12891039_10153277018115882_4429581644529230688_o.jpg

 photo 12377592_10153277022490882_296833881677240984_o.jpg

 photo 12473537_10153277021805882_6959249654077806457_o.jpg

Bathroom

The bathroom included a bath/shower combo and the usual furniture.

 photo 12440594_10153277025020882_2366640958283600004_o.jpg

Amenities

Usual Hilton amenities in the bathroom, as well as the tea/coffee making facilities. Also of note were the two bottles of complimentary water ready and waiting in the room. During 2015 I’d have a 50/50 hit rate with this, but its been such more consistent lately.

 photo 12888507_10153277027250882_4353296458009595732_o.jpg

 photo 12898296_10153277024575882_6366153204488637779_o.jpg

Lounge

Pretty small lounge here, that didn’t open until 11:30 so no use for breakfast. I popped by for a couple of drinks on my return from town, but didn’t bother with any of the evening snacks.

 photo IMG_4642.jpg

In Conclusion

One of two Hilton Group hotels at FCO, although I chose this one due to the fact it offered a free hourly shuttle into town, plus the fact it was within walking distance from the terminals – the other involved catching a shuttle. It was good enough, but could do with a lick of paint. Also of note was that despite the stay posing on my HHonours account, no points came with it.

 photo 12885842_10153277027505882_2135606559098168243_o.jpg

Questions? Comments? Come and Say Hi on Twitter!

MGM Grand, Las Vegas

Stayed in: December 2015

Introduction

Having visited “Sin City” just over a year previously and staying in the Tropicana, I decided to try out somewhere different on this occasion. The MGM fit the bill, being just across the road from the Tropicana.

 photo IMG_1733.jpg

Annoyingly at check in, they wanted a whopping $200/night extra for security… I tried to argue it, but the check in guy just kept saying “it’s for security”. To add insult to this, it wasn’t a pre-authorisation either – they actually took the money from my account. It was eventually refunded a week after check out.

Main Room

The room itself was pretty decent. Big bed, as is standard in the USA, complete with a very decent sized working desk and a large sofa.

 photo IMG_1544.jpg

 photo IMG_1548.jpg

 photo IMG_1546.jpg

 photo IMG_1547.jpg

Bathroom

In keeping with the rest of the room, the bathroom was large and clean.

 photo IMG_1550.jpg

Amenities

There were the standard amenities dotted around in convenient locations in the bathroom, however there was nothing in the way of tea or coffee in the room. There was however an expensive mini bar.

 photo IMG_1551.jpg

 photo IMG_1552.jpg

In Conclusion

The MGM grand is a very good hotel to stay in at the South End of The Strip. Although I didn’t like their security deposit policy. Not only was the amount higher than anything I’ve experienced before, but also the fact they took the money from my account rather than just taking a pre authorisation was a little harsh too. I eventually ended up losing money due to differences in the exchange rate.

 photo IMG_1555.jpg

Questions? Comments? Come and Say Hi on Twitter!

Hilton Midtown, New York

Stayed in: November 2015

Introduction

The last time I was in NYC, I discovered that hotels were pretty pricey. I ended up staying in a Super 8 over in Brooklyn, which wasn’t too bad but a little far from the action. This time around I decided to spend a little more and be a bit closer to the action. The tried and tested Hilton came up with a decent location between Times Square and Central Park and at a (somewhat) reasonable price. I also used 30,000 HHonours points to upgrade my room.

 photo 11235462_10153046451025882_2254686270647466056_o.jpg

First impressions were good. Although the guy at check in couldn’t decide whether I had pre paid or not – I hadn’t so no major issue other than taking a little time, which wasn’t what I really wanted after doing a day at work and then taking a Trans Atlantic flight.

 photo 11223568_10153046451030882_6430053804259207048_o.jpg

Main Room

The room itself was of a decent size – although most are in the USA. There was the standard Hilton bed, along with a comfortable enough chair and footstool.

 photo 12238473_10153046450735882_4375101902733341713_o.jpg

 photo 12265552_10153046450730882_291691702241311404_o.jpg

 photo 12273759_10153046450745882_8174736163499488957_o.jpg

Bathroom

The bathroom was a little on the small side, but perfectly adequate. There was the standard bath/shower combo.

 photo 12240994_10153046450880882_5623743197114416161_o.jpg

Amenities

Standard bath and shower amenities were present here, but no tea, coffee or in room fridge was offered.

 photo 12232740_10153046450895882_2203449187423613988_o.jpg

Breakfast was available in the onsite restaurant – good enough due to the fact it was included due to my HHonours Gold status, but for $27 it seemed poor value otherwise. There was also a cooked option for $45.

 photo 12244351_10153046450905882_7505061693218770416_o.jpg

 photo IMG_0658.jpg

In Conclusion

The Hilton New York Midtown was a great hotel, with an almost perfect location between Central Park and Times Square and also a sort walk from the Rockefeller Centre and Fifth Avenue. There was also a subway station nearby to get you downtown. The Hotel itself was somewhat busy during my stay – Thanksgiving week, although I only really noticed this in the lobby. I’d have no issues staying here again.

Questions? Comments? Come and Say Hi on Twitter!

Radisson Blu, Manchester Airport

Stayed in: October 2015

Introduction

An old favourite. Needing somewhere onsite, and having stayed at the Hilton earlier in the year, I turned to the Radisson this time around. I’d not stayed here since it had its much needed refurb so was interested to see what it was like these days.

 photo 12185231_10153006890170882_7307411485710129071_o.jpg

Upon check in, there was no mention made of my newly acquired Club Carson status. In fact they couldn’t be any less interested if they tried…

Main Room

First impressions of the room were pretty good – a bit of a shame they had got rid of the themed rooms – but they were getting a bit long in the tooth the last time I stayed here in 2013.

 photo 12185233_10153006890175882_9028949199943716302_o.jpg

 photo 12045803_10153006890675882_1319690343249704080_o.jpg

As it turns out, I had been upgraded to a business class room.

 photo 12031508_10153006891350882_6658629211649651110_o.jpg

The standard Radisson welcome gift was present.

 photo 12184994_10153006890670882_2519749362009532897_o.jpg

Bathroom

Like the rest of the room, the bathroom had also been given a refurb since my last stay, although I wouldn’t say it was brand new. There were a few signs of wear. This was also another room that featured only a shower but no bath. Being a shower person, I much prefer this set up anyway.

 photo 12029828_10153006891785882_1515472099992051300_o.jpg

Amenities

Standard Radisson amenities present in the bathroom, as well as a Nespresso coffee maker and kettle.

 photo 12034294_10153006891825882_6854152697205366172_o.jpg

 photo 12182849_10153006890925882_7032138076841293387_o.jpg

 photo 12183814_10153006890980882_7236099176098006099_o.jpg

In Conclusion

A great refurbishment in the last couple of years and by far and away the best location at Manchester Airport, being directly connected to all the terminals. I arrived at Terminal 3 (the furthest terminal from the hotel) and it was no more than a ten minute walk. The major downside of this though, is that it comes at a cost – and that cost has increased since the refurbishment.

 photo 905567_10153006892230882_2277943857799379896_o.jpg

Questions? Comments? Come and Say Hi on Twitter!

Conrad, Dubai.

Stayed in:September 2015

Introduction

 photo 12017646_10152967322990882_6757192446732938336_o.jpg

Hotels are pretty plentiful in Dubai. I was going to stay in the Hilton up by the creek, but as the Conrad was less than £100 more, I figured why not. Especially as it was a little further into town. Due to my status, upon reaching the check in desk, I was whisked up to the lounge to check in. It was a case of sitting down with a drink whilst everybody else did the work. Then my key was brought over to me and I was on my way.

 photo 12034439_10152967323000882_2919086980668563051_o.jpg

Main Room

Into the room itself, and it was your standard cookie cutter room. Fist impressions were good though. Very spacious, very clean and a decent work desk.

 photo 12022571_10152967321970882_5543151857887465252_o.jpg

 photo 12028728_10152967321980882_7941305724430388434_o.jpg

 photo 11879055_10152967322005882_3905939358549791661_o.jpg

Bathroom

Quite a large bathroom here, with dual sinks, a separate shower and bath.

 photo 12027351_10152967322285882_3505306437947938256_o.jpg

 photo 12017554_10152967322280882_7318718364193640955_o.jpg

 photo 12027254_10152967321405882_5263586495256729533_o.jpg

 photo 12068869_10152967322590882_7053089466538587549_o.jpg

An added bonus was the TV in the bathroom. First time I had experienced this.

Amenities

Standard bathroom and room amenities. Of note was that the bathroom amenities were upgraded over the standard Hilton fare.

 photo 11907164_10152967322585882_6199139637837878619_o.jpg

 photo 12006665_10152967322115882_7628414124666446783_o.jpg

 photo 12045439_10152967322610882_5801187241683884038_o.jpg

 photo 12006665_10152967322115882_7628414124666446783_o.jpg

Also of note was a remote control next to the bed which controlled the curtains and lighting.

 photo 11958101_10152967322090882_8604305876707644693_o.jpg

In Conclusion

One of the newer hotels in Dubai, and I’ll certainly be back. The room was great, as was the lounge (sorry, no pictures of that) and all the staff were extremely friendly and accommodating. The only downside was that the pool area was a little busy in the afternoon.

Questions? Comments? Come and Say Hi on Twitter!

Best Western, Krakow Old Town

Stayed in: June 2015

Introduction

For a late arrival in Krakow, a room in the Old Town area seemed the best bet. Most were guesthouses, and there was a Radisson. The best middle of the road bet was the Best Western. When checking in, I was told I was given an upgraded room. The upgraded rooms were immediately noticeable from the outside, as well as the fact they were in a separate part of the building.

 photo IMG_4615.jpg

Main Room

I made my way into the annex part of the building and wow, this has to be the snazziest room I’ve ever stayed in. Size wise, it wasn’t brilliant, but after arriving at around 02:00am local this wasn’t too much of an issue. The main windows were a little on the small side, but there were windows in the ceiling – which the curtains didn’t cover completely, and seeing that I stayed on the longest day of the year, this meant an early wake up call.

 photo 11334285_10152783722800882_7607736233700397785_o.jpg

 photo 11406239_10152783722480882_8858757585141770029_o_1.jpg

 photo 10583035_10152783722915882_7322336598131985687_o.jpg

 photo 11402355_10152783720370882_5542032514514353278_o_1.jpg

 photo 10481132_10152783721440882_8231236366875784517_o_1.jpg

Bathroom

The bathroom was more conventional, featuring a shower stall, but no bath. It was all quite basic really.

 photo 11406133_10152783721280882_2616662695475478347_o_1.jpg

 photo 10582856_10152783721630882_4115813640983871550_o_1.jpg

Amenities

No bathroom amenities here, just the soap bottles on the wall. There was the standard tea tray though, and even a telescope!

 photo 11411604_10152783722615882_4551682821717570240_o_1.jpg

 photo 10255590_10152783722165882_4126085805252752534_o_1.jpg

 photo 11062151_10152783720325882_5142062178709803_o_1.jpg

 photo 11536475_10152783720345882_6432582497757098226_o_1.jpg

In Conclusion

For a middle of the road type hotel, this place was fine. No doubt more luxurious than the guest houses in town, but I’d imagine the Radisson would have been better. Top marks for the room being completely different to anything I’ve seen before though.

Questions? Comments? Come and Say Hi on Twitter!