The Skirvin Hilton Oklahoma City
What We Love
- 24-hour room service
- The hotel’s guest list includes U.S. presidents such as Harry S. Truman, whose assistant and society hostess, Pearl Mesta, grew up in the hotel
- Signature cocktails at the Red Piano Bar pay homage to the hotel’s 1911 roots
What To Know
- Valet parking is available for $26 per day
- Pets are welcome for a $50 fee; there is a 75-pound weight limit
- Check-out is at 12 p.m.
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
Skirvin Hilton Oklahoma City is a 14-story, historic hotel in the heart of downtown with a brick and mortar exterior that was refinished to look as ravishing as it did when it first opened in 1911. After nearly 20 years of abandonment, the property underwent a $55 million revamp in 2007 that left the 225 rooms with beige- and cream-colored interiors, playfully printed furnishings and spacious seating areas with flat-screen TVs. Displayed throughout the hotel are works by the artist in residence, Romy Owens, a local mosaicist rooted in the Paseo Arts District. The Park Avenue Grill specializes in Southern classics such as chicken pot pie and calf’s liver and onions. Live jazz is offered five nights a week at the Red Piano Bar, where signature cocktails include the red piano cosmo (belvedere orange, gran marnier, créme de cassis and cranberry). And for recreation, there’s an indoor heated pool as well as a fitness center.
In the Area
Oklahoma City is much more than just a solitary town located in the “dead center of nowhere,” but for what it’s worth, its eccentric locals embrace the tagline with a sense of humor. Join them for regional and international films at the annual deadCENTER Film Fest or explore the city’s art scene by stopping to see the world’s most comprehensive collection of works by American glass sculptor Dale Chihuly at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. Then, tap into Oklahoma’s western roots with a walk through the “Faces of Bettina Steinke,” a display of more than 60 years of work by the renowned portraitist, at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. And at the Oklahoma Native Art and Jewelry, intricately designed pottery pieces are as ornate as the silver animal jewelry. For entertainment and suds, kick back to live jazz and blues at the music venue Bricktown, down on the banks of the Oklahoma River, or two-step while sipping cheap brews at Club Rodeo. When hunger strikes, make a beeline to Cattleman’s Steakhouse for soul food and Route 66 classic Ann’s Chicken Fry House (4106 NW 39th St.) for the chicken fried steak or okra and cream gravy.
How to Get There
I was in room 1122, a nice quiet room overlooking a parking garage. It was very comfortable, lovely furnishings and good linens. A small refrigerator was on the floor. It would have been nicer on a table but it worked well and silently. Toiletries were luxurious. The fitness center has decent equipment with good spacing, not crowded. The Park Avenue restaurant menu has delicious offerings at reasonable prices and there is a great breakfast buffet. Service at the Park Avenue depended heavily on the individual server. One was quite grouchy, imposed upon, and had no time for questions or any requests (butter, beverage refill, ketchup, etc) beyond what she thought the order was (walked away after I ordered a waffle and did not wait for me to ask for a cup of hot tea.) A different server was very apologetic and brought the additional things I wanted.
When I arrived at 10:30 pm on the date of my reservation there were no rooms available but the Scurvin had arranged for me to have a very nice room at the Sheraton, just a block away. I was annoyed at the inconvenience but the Scurvin was very apologetic and comped me for several extras. They genuinely cared about my comfort and satisfaction.
We checked in for our 29th anniversary on a certificate. We parked via valet and were asked at check-in if we used the valet. We said we did. There was an issue with the computer system which caused some delay in the check-in process. Nothing was ever mentioned about the $30 valet fee until I checked out and saw it on my bill, not once but twice, even though we stayed one night. They did remove both charges, however, it would have been a much better experience to have been told up-front about the charge. We had brought our electric car and made sure the valet knew it needed to be charged. He said he would put it straight on the charger. When we left the next morning, the valet didn't think it had been charged. That was quite frustrating. However, it actually had been charged, just moved off of the charger. It was just an unpleasant scare. The bar was nice, however on a Saturday night, the Piano entertainment didn't even start until 10:00 PM. Booking the room in first place was a painful experience. I called about 10:00 AM to book the room and I was transferred to a specific person to process the certificate. It went to his email. I never received a call back, so I called back the next day in the afternoon. I was transferred to him again, though this time he was available to take my call. He didn't seem to care that he hadn't called me back, but was miraculously available to take my call the next day. I felt his customer service needed some serious work. I mentioned it being my 29th anniversary that I was scheduling for. He just said "OK". There was no note made on my reservation about it. I mention that because after checking in and visiting the bar once. I mentioned to the bar staff our anniversary. They were really pleasant and congratulated us. In addition, they must have made a note on our file as the next crew knew that it was our anniversary, even though we hadn't met them. Anyway, we expected better based on all we had previously heard about the Skirvin.
A lovely historic hotel, but the little things matter. After a long day, I arrived and had to go back downstairs twice to get the room key to work. The room was a good size, once I got in. The sheets felt like they had been triple starched and they were really uncomfortable most of the night. The pillows had seen better days.