Salt Lake City – Hot as Hades at the Hilton

We have departed Salt Lake City.

I hereby issue a caution for lodgers in SLC when the temperatures are high (above 90°). Do not expect that because the Hilton is a 4-star rated hotel that they will have adequate air conditioning in the rooms. Silly us, for having such lofty expectations.

We checked in nice and early at about 6pm. The room a little on the warm side (about 75°). I checked the thermostat and it was set for 68° but the A/C wasn’t on. Strange. So I adjusted the thermostat down to 60° and we went out for dinner. We got back around 10 and the room was cooled to about 72°. I was not ideal but it was good enough. We went to sleep.

At 2:30AM Jen and I both awoke sweating and with parched mouths. The room was around 80° and the A/C was not running. We called the front desk who sent up a maintenance man. He checked the thermostat, pulled the little A/C vent off, peered inside, reset the thermostat, and when the little unit began spitting out cool (not cold, cool) air, declared all to be well.

A half hour after he left the room was no cooler than before so I walked down to the front desk and asked for another room. We moved down the hall from room 514 to 517. Upon entering the room I noticed that it too was about 75° in the room and the temp setting on the thermometer was at 68°. Being an engineer with a mimimum of moderate intelligence, I began putting the pieces of the puzzle together.

The thermostats were mounted on a short wall in the corner of the room. That short wall coincidentally houses the A/C vent and was thus being affected by it. The A/C would kick on, cool the wall to the temp the thermostat was set to and then kick off. If would remain off until the wall warmed up to the temperature of the room and then cycle back on.

Because the unit was underpowered in the first place, this made a bad problem worse by not letting the A/C unit run constantly. Once into the second room, and slightly more alert from the move, I patched together the clues. I fixed the cycling problem by setting the thermostat to 60°, a temperature below that of the cool air dumping into the room.

I could not solve the problem of an inadequate A/C system to cool the room but with the little unit running constantly, the temperature eventually got down to around 72° and we were able to resume sleeping.

If this were our only issue with the Hilton SLC, I probably wouldn’t have bothered writing about it. However, there is also their nickel and diming approach to lodging. We paid a little more for a 4-star hotel and expected a little more than the 3 or 3.5-stars we normally stay in. However, we ended up getting a fair bit less.

Parking was $10 extra. This is somewhat understandable because the hotel is downtown. Many downtown hotels do charge for parking so I paid it without concern. However, I got into the room and found they also charge another $10 for internet access. Come now Mr. Hilton. This is the 21st century. Even the rinky dink $30/night motels typically provide high speed internet to their guests. Every 3-star I can remember does.

The room was nice and clean. The furnishings were nice. The staff was curteous and friendly. The beds were as good (but no better) than any other decent hotel. Calling their pool a “lap pool” was stretching the facts by any swimmers standards. There was no fridge, kitchenette, or anything else “extra” that you often find at nicer hotels such as a Marriott or Omni.

It is time for AAA to review their ratings of this hotel.

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