Review: Hilton Frankfurt Airport

Introduction
Executive Club Houston Airport
Lufthansa First Class Houston to Frankfurt
Getting paid $150/hour to sit in the First Class Lounge
Sheraton Salzburg
InterContinental Berchtesgaden
The Hotel Brussels
Hilton Frankfurt Airport
Lufthansa First Class Frankfurt to Miami
Dad’s Thoughts


To be honest I had a really hard time justifying staying at the Hilton Frankfurt Airport, given the number of great options that Starwood has in Frankfurt. There’s the Sheraton Frankfurt Airport, which is ridiculously convenient for a quick overnight given that it’s directly connected to the terminal. But for a slightly longer overnight it’s tough to beat a hotel in the city, which is just a 20 minute train ride from the airport. I like both the Westin Frankfurt and Le Meridien Frankfurt, so wouldn’t hesitate to return to any of those three Starwood properties in Frankfurt.

That being said, the Hilton and Hilton Garden Inn opened at Frankfurt Airport just under two years ago, so I figured it was time to finally check it out for the purposes of writing a review.

Our flight from Brussels landed in the late afternoon and we were connecting to Miami on a pre-10AM flight, so the plan was to stay at the Hilton Frankfurt Airport and go into the city for the evening.

I have 500,000+ Hilton HHonors points (unfortunately), and since the March HHonors devaluation, redeeming them at properties like the Conrad Koh Samui is no longer lucrative.

So in this case I had the choice between redeeming 50,000 HHonors points or spending 179 Euros (~247USD). In this case redeeming points seemed like the better option, even if I wasn’t thrilled with the redemption.

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The Hilton is located in the SQUAIRE complex, which is where the long distance trains leave from. You walk past the Sheraton on the way there, and it’s maybe an additional 10-12 minute walk. The signage is clear, though a 12 minute walk in each direction adds up, especially if you’re checking into the hotel, then walking to the local train station, then walking back to the hotel, and then checking out of the hotel. So in the case of our overnight staying at the Hilton vs. the Sheraton cost us about an hour of time.

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Hilton Frankfurt Airport signage

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Walkway to SQUAIRE

The SQUAIRE itself is a really impressive, futuristic looking building.

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The SQUAIRE

A crew for a major Middle Eastern airline was arriving at the same time as us, and interestingly the flight attendants turned left towards the Hilton Garden Inn, while the pilots and purser turned right towards the Hilton.

I did find it rather amusing that the entrances to the hotels are literally right next to one another, and that the Hilton Garden Inn has much bigger signage than the Hilton.

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Entrance to Hilton Garden Inn and Hilton Frankfurt Airport

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Hilton Frankfurt Airport entrance

The lobby has an impressive open air feel to it, with tons of glass and a large atrium. The check-in desk was located to the left, while a lobby bar was located to the right.

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Hilton Frankfurt Airport lobby

The check-in process was efficient. I asked about the possibility of an upgrade (after all, the rules for suite upgrades at Hilton aren’t especially straightforward), and the agent said “yes, of course you have been upgraded.” I didn’t push it further since we were ultimately just there for a quick overnight.

We took the elevator up to our room on the ninth floor.

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Hilton Frankfurt Airport atrium

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Hilton Frankfurt Airport elevators

Our room, 9101, was located at the far end of the hallway.

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Hilton Frankfurt Airport hallway

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Hilton Frankfurt Airport room door

The room had a small entryway with a mirror to the left and bathroom to the right.

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Hilton Frankfurt Airport twin room entrance

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Hilton Frankfurt Airport floorplan

The room itself featured two comfortable twin beds, a desk, and a lounge chair with accompanying coffee table.

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Hilton Frankfurt Airport twin room

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Hilton Frankfurt Airport twin beds

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Hilton Frankfurt Airport twin room desk and TV

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Hilton Frankfurt Airport twin room lounge chair

The room didn’t feature a view of the airport, which I realize to most people is a selling point, but I sure do love having views of a bunch of heavy aircraft when staying at the Sheraton.

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Hilton Frankfurt Airport twin room view

Back near the entrance was the closet and bathroom.

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Hilton Frankfurt Airport twin room closet

The bathroom was large and modern, with a sink, toilet, and separate bathtub and shower.

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Hilton Frankfurt Airport twin room bathroom

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Hilton Frankfurt Airport twin room bathtub

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Hilton Frankfurt Airport twin room toilet

The toiletries were Peter Thomas Roth branded, as is standard at Hilton properties. Meh.

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Hilton Frankfurt Airport twin room toiletries

So on the whole the room wasn’t huge, though was nicely designed and felt fresh. I’m not sure exactly what kind of upgrade we received, but for a quick overnight the room was more than sufficient. There were a few things about the room that clearly weren’t thought through. For example, there were no outlets near the bed. Also, there wasn’t really a barrier between the shower and the rest of the bathroom, so by the time I was done showering the floor looked as if all seating areas of Noah’s Ark had boarded through the bathroom.

Wifi (which is complimentary for HHonors Diamond and Gold members) was reasonably fast.

The hotel also has an executive lounge, which offers an evening happy hour from 6PM till 8:30PM, which we received access to due to my HHonors Diamond status.

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Hilton Frankfurt Airport executive lounge entrance

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Hilton Frankfurt Airport executive lounge entrance

Physically the lounge is beautiful, with tons of seating. There are tables with chairs, lounge chairs, etc.

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Hilton Frankfurt Airport executive lounge

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Hilton Frankfurt Airport executive lounge

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Hilton Frankfurt Airport executive lounge

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Hilton Frankfurt Airport executive lounge

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Hilton Frankfurt Airport executive lounge

There’s also a business center with some PCs.

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Hilton Frankfurt Airport executive lounge business center

I thought the evening spread itself was pretty weak, at least in comparison to the Sheraton. There was a self serve bar, but in terms of food there were just finger sandwiches, chips, nuts, veggies, cheese, and two pretty lackluster hot options. Don’t get me wrong, compared to a US property that’s impressive, but for Europe I certainly wasn’t blown away.

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Hilton Frankfurt Airport executive lounge self serve bar

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Hilton Frankfurt Airport executive lounge self serve drinks

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Hilton Frankfurt Airport executive lounge evening spread

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Hilton Frankfurt Airport executive lounge evening spread

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Hilton Frankfurt Airport executive lounge evening spread

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Hilton Frankfurt Airport executive lounge evening spread

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Hilton Frankfurt Airport executive lounge evening spread

The breakfast spread wasn’t much more impressive. It had fruit, yogurt, cheese, bread, cereal, and two hot options.

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Hilton Frankfurt Airport executive lounge breakfast spread

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Hilton Frankfurt Airport executive lounge breakfast spread

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Hilton Frankfurt Airport executive lounge breakfast spread

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Hilton Frankfurt Airport executive lounge breakfast spread

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Hilton Frankfurt Airport executive lounge breakfast spread

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Hilton Frankfurt Airport executive lounge breakfast spread

Again, physically it’s a really nice lounge and the spread is certainly fine, though I prefer the Sheraton’s spread.

The hotel also has a nice gym with one of the biggest entryways I’ve seen for what’s a fairly small space.

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Hilton Frankfurt Airport gym entrance

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Hilton Frankfurt Airport gym entrance

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Hilton Frankfurt Airport gym

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Hilton Frankfurt Airport gym

The gym had modern equipment as you’d expect for a new hotel, and I used it at 6AM before our flight to Miami.

My dad and I had a lovely time wandering around Frankfurt for a few hours. Even though my family is from there and I’ve been visiting since I was a toddler, the city really hasn’t grown on me till the past few visits. It’s incredibly industrial and to some degree lacks charm, but at the same time there’s something really great about it. I dunno, maybe I’m just going crazy.

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Frankfurt

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Frankfurt

On the whole the Hilton Frankfurt Airport is a solid choice near the airport. The hotel is modern, though it is considerably more inconvenient than the Sheraton, especially if you’re not only going roundtrip to the airport, but also planning on going roundtrip into the city by train.

As a Starwood Platinum and Hilton Diamond I’d return to the Sheraton all else being equal, due to the convenient location and excellent club lounge. But if I were Hilton Diamond/Gold and didn’t have status with Starwood I’d stay here again in a heartbeat.

At the price point, though, I think you’re generally better off staying in the city if your layover is long enough.

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Comments

  1. Lucky, they gave you the same room I had when I stayed there in April, ha! I agree the view was not great, but they mentioned I could have asked for a room with a view of the airport. The evening spread seemed a bit better when I was there…they might have downgraded it recently or something.

  2. Great review – thanks Ben. I was torn between Hilton, 50k points (Diamond) and Sheraton, 5k points + $75 (Gold) for an overnight in Jan (in around 5pm, out 7am the following morning).

    I’ll stick with my Hilton reservation after reading your review.

  3. That looks nice. I have stayed at the Sheraton several times–the most recently in May 2013. I am an SPG Gold. We got nothing in the way of amenities, club access, room upgrade, etc. And the room was very tired looking with beat-up furniture. I’ll definitely look at the Hilton next time.

  4. Lucky, thanks for the detailed report! I was intrigued by the separation of the Mid East crew. Do you think it was a status thing, or a gender thing? Or, I suppose it could have been just an availability thing…..

  5. My family and stayed at the Sheraton in Sept. 2013 as Gold. Upgraded both of our rooms. Rooms we were in were in great shape. Ultimately, we spent most of the time in the City before our early morning departure from Frankfurt. So being close to the train into the city was important. Also it was how we arrived at the airport as we came in by train from Paris.

  6. @ Denise. I agree. In the past, when SPG Gold, i’ve stayed at the Sheraton FRA because of the convenient location and always received some drab looking room at the end of a long corridor. That all changed when i stayed there this spring – Great lounge, nice modern room etc.
    Hilton in Europe treat their Golds much better than SPG their mid-tier elites. I walked from the Sheraton through the Squaire to the Hilton properties and it will add 12-15 minutes each way from the terminal.

  7. In my above post, I should have said that everything changed for the better when i became Platinum with SPG.

  8. @ Mairi — Has nothing to do with gender but rather rank. At Middle Eastern airlines pilots and pursers have much better contracts than cabin crew. For example, for a major Middle Eastern airline I have friends at, pursers get their own apartment while cabin crew have roommates.

  9. @ Denise — Great point, I should’ve made a distinction between the renovated and non-renovated rooms at the Sheraton. The non-renovated rooms are pretty awful indeed, and I wouldn’t stay in them regardless of status if I could avoid it.

  10. @Lucky, interesting that you opted to spend 50,000 points rather than pay 179 Euros. My husband has 650,000 HHonors points, having never spent any! Sigh.

    Anyway, are you saying that you would spend 30,000 points on a room that would otherwise cost you $187 plus tax? Do you know if when spending points do you need to pay hotel taxes or is everything included? Thanks.

  11. The HGI is a decent choice for a short stopover. Cost is significantly less than the Hilton and they both share the same gym. Main difference is the exec lounge. But even then the HGI gives gold/diamonds brekkie in the restaurant which is better than the hilton lounges spread.

  12. Have to agree with Tom. I have stayed at the HGI several times and seeing these pictures I don’t think Hilton is worth it. The value of HGI is much higher relative to what I pay.

    I have seen the same ME crew around the hotels and I hear that airline likes airport hotels. It’s much more difficult for cabin crew to leave the hotel(to go clubbing or meet unrelated males) that way even if HGI isn’t isolated in any way.

  13. We stayed there last summer after it opened and it is pretty nice overall. Gym was packed when we were there and lounge had similar food offerings (mediocre) and was unfortunately taken over by three loud businessmen who proceeded to pretty well empty the liquor cabinet! We were facing the airport and views were not that good – very distant across the Sheraton etc. – so you didn’t miss much. I found the best aspect of the hotel was actually watching the planes landing on 25R (the new north runway), as they fly directly over the Squaire on approach.

  14. Have to agree with some other posters. Stayed twice at the hilton and once at the HGI. For a one night stay the HGI is good enough and the more economical choice.

    Also not sure how it was at your stay but the gym was hot as hell when I worked out in the afternoon once.

    Location works well if you come in late by train and leave next morning by plane (like I did the last times).

  15. Ben – what’s the “closest” hotel to the LH FCT; and/or are both Hiltons are within walking distance?

  16. @ Simon — The Sheraton is the closest hotel to the FCT, and maybe a 10 minute walk. The Hilton is also walkable, though an extra 10-15 minutes.

  17. Thanks Ben – I switched from Hilton to Sheraton; an extra 15 mins in the FCT!! I plan to arrive 5.30am, as I have a flight to ZRH at 8.50am (connecting to LAX on LX F).

    I will score a tarmac transfer to my LX flight FRA-ZRH correct?

  18. @ Denise – FWIW, club/lounge access is only for SPG Platinums / HHonoros Diamond. Golds (either with Starwood or with Hilton) don’t get that.

  19. Hi Lucky,

    I have a similar flight, flying LH business NAP-FRA on May 10th in the evening and then flying LH first FRA-YYZ on the 11th in the afternoon. Would be within the 24hrs period so still considered a connection,… Do you have any idea if LH would hold the bags overnight and allow me into the FCL in FRA on the 10th?

    When you arrived into FRA from brussels, did you try getting into the FCL? I know you’ve previously mentioned it has to be the same day, but I’ve also heard from a few that a 24hrs rule cam also apply.

    Thanks for any tips,
    Matthew šŸ™‚

  20. @ Matthew — They won’t hold your bags overnight unfortunately, and I wouldn’t want to do that anyway since there’s a high chance of it getting lost. You can only use the FCL/FCT same day as your international first class flight. Sometimes they’ll accidentally let people in previous day if they’re connecting to international first class, though they’re not supposed to.

    Enjoy your trip!

  21. I stayed at FRA HGI last month and HGI seems like a better deal. The HGI rooms look to be about the same size and have almost the same furniture.

    I found it strange the breakfast looked worst than HGI also. HGI had the same things + Ruhr Ei (scrambled eggs) + omelettes (or eggs to order) + american style make your own waffle.

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