Photo of the Week!
F 8; 1/500; ISO 100; 37mm.
Shot near Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
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.
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.