My standard hotel reviews include a breakdown by the following topics. Feel free to skip to whichever section you find most interesting.
- Lobby & Check-in
- Hotel Space / Ambiance
- Food & Drink
HIGHLIGHTS: DoubleTree by Hilton Austin Northwest Arboretum
For the most part, this DoubleTree was a very pleasant experience. The hotel is close to the Domain, a nice outdoor shopping area (which I didn’t partake in) and a Dave and Busters (which I did – smaller than expected!). Breakfast was adequate, with a decent selection, and highlights include the beautiful Mercedes shuttle van, for travel of up to five miles away from the hotel. I used this service liberally – much better than Lyft or Uber. One criticism is the actual location however – it is a pain to get to, as it is next to a highway intersection but exits are much farther away, resulting in lots of looping around.
LOBBY & CHECK-IN
Directly to the left of the DoubleTree entrance, check-in had several hiccups, from the front desk agent not being able to find my or my coworker’s reservations, and our initial keys not working. Slightly frustrating at 2 in the morning. Across from check-in is a pantry with various snacks and drinks, as well as cutlery and a microwave for your leftovers. Next to the pantry is a display table of “signed” sports memorabilia for charity. However, two major problems – only 20% of the prices goes to charity, and the signatures are facsimiles. It seemed super greedy and definitely a knock on the Hilton for allowing this shameless self-promotion.
They upgraded me to a king suite room – decent size, with extra table and sofa. Also, the round table where I parked my luggage had a large grey stain, which wasn’t appealing, but the bathroom sink area looked nice and remodeled. Note that it was hot that week so in order to lower the temperature you’ll have to run the fan continuously. Internet was abysmal – it limits you to three devices per room. Also, even though it says you’re signed in until tomorrow, I had to constantly reset and log in to my diamond account, which was very frustrating. Their basic internet tops out at 3-4mb, and their premium at 15mb – well below what I expect for business internet in a tech/millennial city! Additionally, their premium would often slow to ~4-5mb making it very difficult to do anything.
HOTEL SPACE / AMBIANCE
I saw mostly business travelers in suits, as there was some sort of insurance/worker’s compensation business meeting from a nearby credit union going on at the time. However, their house shuttle – a beautiful, leather-seat, comfortable Mercedes van – made this experience much better, as we took it everywhere we could. Also, they operate on tips so don’t forget your cash!
FOOD & DRINK
Note, this Doubletree breakfast was average, either a $10 credit towards the menu (note all entrees were $12 and up) or access to the breakfast buffet. Buffet included hot selections, fresh eggs, and fruit. Unfortunately, toasters are not designed for croissants. I found it unappealing that they gave you a $10 credit towards the menu – which only could be enough for sides and drinks, not any entrees. Felt scummy.
The gym was interesting – a very long hallway on the first floor to the left of the hotel bar, with several cardio machines, one weight rack and bench, and a few medicine balls. It has a nice view of the pool, but I didn’t use that amenity.
Overall, it was a “meh” experience – I would have them fix up their internet at this DoubleTree Austin and check-in issues to make the process seamless. Note they did not give me any credit or points for the troubles I experienced. There is also plenty of food options available – Austin is known for beer and barbeque, however I found both lacking. Their thai food isn’t half bad (Titaya Thai, within 5m of hotel), and their Kung Fu Tea is a staple I always partake in.
Lastly – I noticed on my receipt that I was only billed for two nights – I arrived very very early on a Wednesday morning, and checked out Friday, and expected to be billed for three nights so I’m not sure what’s going on there. Perhaps they took a deposit that I’m not aware of, but I expect to settle this with my expenses later. It’s not a “win” necessarily, although I would save my company a couple hundred bucks. But also, I don’t get the points for that third stay, and right now it’s a whopping 30 hilton points per dollar (20 for Diamond, 10 for promotion) that I am missing out on.
Featured Image is the barbeque at Stiles Switch. Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links which, should you click through and/or make a purchase, grant me a commission. Also, I only post in the best interest of my readers. Lastly, thank you for supporting my blog and my travels.
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