A recent review on the The Higher Flyer has prompted a few to ask: “what’s wrong with DoubleTree hotels?” and as a follow up: “why do you hate them?” Well, despite what my review of the DoubleTree in Madrid may imply, the answer is a resounding “nothing.” Nothing is wrong with Hilton’s business-traveler-centric brand and I’d gladly stay in one if presented the opportunity. That said though, these hotels don’t really lend themselves well to scenes of higher flying; they don’t evoke visions of luxury like Waldorf Astorias do, nor do they offer the incredible value that Hampton Inns do. DoubleTrees instead are synonymous with bland-yet-practical accommodations for the well-paid road warriors of the world.
A Hilton DoubleTree masquerading as a quaint boutique hotel in the heart of Madrid
Hilton as a brand doesn’t have a particularly aspirational reputation. Sure, its hotels are mostly comfortable and are more than serviceable, but the average Hilton usually lacks the glamour or pizzazz or charm that a mid-level Hyatt or a legacy Starwood property (RIP) might have. Hilton’s DoubleTrees are some of the worst offenders when it comes to generic corporateness — they’re typically marketed to business travelers, and utilitarian design doesn’t lend itself well to pleasing aesthetics — but the brand’s sole property in Spain is an obvious outlier. While “DoubleTree” might not evoke images of boutique luxury, the one in Madrid should very well challenge your assumptions.
Former President Obama recently professed his preference/appreciation for Hampton Inns. While they’re far cries from the penthouse suites he enjoyed during his time in office, there’s a certain comfort in the consistency. As Obama put it (as quoted by The Washington Post), “In the Hampton Inn, there’s like one light switch, one bathroom door, and the bed, and the TV remote; I’m good.” But there are thousands of locations (2,500 or so to be specific), and naturally, not all of them are created equally. In the spirit of the former president’s comments, here are some of the top Hampton Inns for him to visit on his future trips.
Higher flying doesn’t necessarily refer to the top tier, most-luxurious accommodations. If something presents a good value for your money and makes sense for you and your travel goals, indeed, that option can be just as valuable as one that costs significantly more. If you don’t believe me, ask Barack Obama instead! The Washington Post recently quoted the former president singing the praises of Hampton Inns, one of Hilton’s budget-friendly brands and not one that you would associate with some/one of the most powerful people in the world. They’re far from glamorous, but if they’re good enough for Obama, certainly they can suffice for everyone else.