Wembley Stadium & The Hilton
North London Event
Nothing beats a good sporting event especially your first time to a rugby match! A brilliant weekend away for a spot of shopping and a night in a great hotel.
Growing up as a football fan I was never into Rugby and the only match I had ever watched all the way through was when England won the World Cup in 2003 when Jonny Wilkinson stole it in the dying seconds.... which still wasn't enough to force me to watch it regularly! Until... I got married... to a South African :)
He is mad about rugby and wasn't too keen on football (I fixed that pretty quickly!) so when the opportunity came about to go and see The Barbarians v South Africa at Wembley Stadium there was no contest. It had to be done! We had an absolute blast, in such contrast to football crowds I was surprised to see fans mingling, laughing, talking, cheering each other it was rather bizarre!
The tickets were booked along with a night at the Hilton Wembley, a bustling hotel centrally located with a great selection of shops nearby in the London Designer Outlet along with fab restaurants. We were surprised to learn when we checked in that we had been upgraded to a kind room with stadium view (I had emailed the hotel previously requesting it and luckily it worked!) A short walk from the hotel is the underground with fast links into London for a spot of further exploring. It was great to be staying so close to the stadium, it made the journey back so much easier after the event instead of fighting with 54,000 people to get onto the trains!
Overall it was a brilliant experience at my first every rugby match and I would defiantly be going again when they return. We only stayed one night and had a Costa Coffe breakfast in the morning which we preferred rather than staying and having breakfast at the hotel. It was also a cheaper option for us and more convenient.
- Staying at the hotel made the whole experience worth it. It added an extra bit of luxury to something we wouldn't normally do and was nice to do something a bit different.
- Close links to London. We did do a spot of shopping as it was so close and easily accessible.
- Requesting seats actually worked. I understand this doesn't always work and no one is hardly ever guaranteed requests but we did request seats close to the front of our block and row 5 wasn't bad so you do get lucky sometimes!
- Hotel was very clean and staff were pleasant. This can make all the difference when you are in a busy place. We were also able to drop our bags off early and wonder around and have lunch while we waiting to go into the stadium and check into our room after the match.
- The view was amazing. We had a king room with a stadium view and at night time it was just the most amazing view with the stadium all lit up.
- You may see a celeb or two! Always a perk! The South African rugby team were staying in the same hotel and we saw some in the lobby when we arrived so you may get lucky if you stay there when an event is on.
- The TV system in the hotel wasn't great. We didn't pay too much attention to this as we were way too tired after our day, but I can see how this could be frustrating for some. You had to pay for some extra movie channels, and the whole system was a bit outdated and clunky.
- The check in time is quite late in the day. We had quite a long drive down (parked the car at family's house and got the tube there) so we had to lug around our suitcase. Due to the time of check in (after 3pm) and the match kicking off at 3:30 we were unable to get in our room when we got there so we couldn't change or freshen up. The staff were however very accommodating, took our bags and we had no issues checking in after the match.