These past two weeks, I've been staying at the Doubletree Hotel Denver - North in Westminster, Co for work. The primary reason for this is that it was close to the work site, and the only other close options were a Hampton Inn, and other properties which are not a part of a program that I am placing any effort into. Generally, I have found the Doubletree chain to be completely inconsistent, as until recently Hilton did not force any requirements on the brand so many properties are former Hilton's that did not want to invest in required renovations. While there are some gems, there are also many Doubletree properties that are horrible. I'm not including many pictures, as the hotel room and facility pictures on the hotel website are accurate.
Fair warning, I'm pretty easy to keep happy with a hotel room. I want a clean and comfortable bed, place to charge my electronic devices, room to work, and a good clean bathroom with a tall enough shower. The bedding was good solid Doubletree, and the room clean (at least as clean as you can expect a hotel room. I know better than to go around with a UV light.) The hotel did provide enough power outlets by providing a power strip somewhere near the desk, though unfortunately my first week there, the strip did not extend far enough for me to really be able to use my iPad keyboard while charging it. The TV is a nice new HD screen, with a custom hotel lineup. Fortunately it does not turn onto the hotel OnDemand channel, but instead to general hotel advertising with a message from the General Manager. Also, as an additional Diamond benefit, they provided two bottles of water for each of my stays (I did go home for the weekend.) The one thing I did not like, but is standard for this class of hotels, was the lack of free refrigerator. They offer refrigerators that you can have delivered to the room before check-in, however it is a $10 a night fee.
The Executive Lounge (The Summit Club)
The executive lounge is one area where a mediocre hotel can easily become a must stay property for any regular length of time. This was one such lounge. The furnishings were modest, but the staff was nothing but helpful, and a pleasure to chat with. Kathleen works most evenings, and is really the one who runs the entire lounge. She is a retired school teacher, who wrote a children's book that she is more than happy to talk about (but does not do so in a pushy way or try to get you to buy a copy.) She knows the area and is good for making dining recommendations, as well as good activities to do with your time in the Denver area. Renee used to manage restaurants but now works breakfast and some evenings when Kathleen is off or Friday nights.
The food in the lounge was wonderful, and this is a lounge that you could easily have a good dinner at.
There are two features of this lounge that really stand out compared to comparable lounges at properties that I have visited. First, the lounge is open on Friday nights. Usually the lounges cater to the business travelers who leave Thursday evening or Friday morning, and thus are not around to visit Friday nights. Renee usually works Fridays, and this was when he gave me a great recommendation for Hoffbrah, a good local bar with great food and good music Friday and Saturday nights. The second feature is gaming in the lounge. When the lounge empties out enough, they open the cabinet and pull out the Wii so everyone can socialize, drink, and bowl. The night it was pulled out during my stay, we had enough company alignment to have corporate teams. Also be advised that the hotel imposes a 3 drink limit on alcoholic beverages (I know for some travelers, this is an important warning.)
I am one who loves to unwind at the end of the day in the hotel whirlpool just to relax the muscles. The whirlpool and pool area is nice, though it is a bit dark. The whirlpool is kept nice and hot, and the jets are of moderate power. What really stood out to me about the area was the pool towels. This is a rare property that actually gives full sized bath sheets to dry off, instead of the tiny towels that usually do not get you completely dry.
While there is a lot to keep you occupied in the hotel, the surrounding area is just as important. For food and shopping, immediately around the hotel is surrounded by chain stores. While there is a mall across the highway, it is dying, and the Dillards is a Clearance Center. Right next door to the hotel is a RTD park and ride for taking a bus downtown, and Pepsi Center is only a 20 minute drive.
A decent property, but a great value. This is my preferred hotel whenever I have to do anything in Northwest Denver.