We learned a valuable lesson on our UK trip...
Not all Hiltons are created equal.
Most Hiltons look nice from the outside, but inside you might be met with scummy rooms and rude staff or you may be treated to a first rate hotel experience. The price you're paying doesn't seem to be the deciding factor. We stayed at a lot of Hiltons and it was a mixed experience.
The Hilton Newport in Wales was middle of the road.
We arrived late at night and the employee working the front desk was very friendly and chatty. Initially, we had a very positive impression of the hotel, even after getting lost trying to find it. There is a maddening traffic circle that you must navigate and if you take the wrong turn-off, you will drive miles in the wrong direction. Beware.
The lobby was nice and although Costa Coffee was closed, the hotel bar (not seen) was in full swing.
We walked down a long hallway to our room.
The room was large, but in desperate need of a refurbishment. A refurbishment does not mean a flat screen TV, although that was appreciated. The decor reminded me of my grandparent's house. It was musty and dingy. The worst part of the room was the bed. The mattress was thin and springy. We did not get a good nights sleep.
Like the room, the bathroom was spacious. The lighting level was really low, making it difficult to see while getting ready in the morning. They also had a funny old-fashioned hairdryer still mounted to the wall, even though it was in disuse.
Despite my complaints, this was far from the worst hotel (or worst Hilton) that we encountered on our trip. In fact, some of the hotels made me long for our stay at Hilton Newport!
Driving around Wales, near our hotel, I took some pictures of the Welsh road signs. This was my first time encountering the Welsh language.