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Thursday, May 30, 2013

DSM airport - Des Moines, Iowa / DoubleTree Hotel

May 2013, Weekend/weekday, 2-nights, king fireplace suite, #301

Status perks and check-in
I reserved a king sofa bed non-smoking guestroom online. Hilton perks say Gold members receive complimentary upgrades to an executive floor guestroom and the lounge in hotels with an executive floor. It did not look like there was an executive floor or executive guestrooms in this hotel, so in the comments box, I wrote that I would prefer a top floor guestroom, and a fireplace suite upgrade, if available. 

En route, my flight was delayed a couple of hours, which was going to make my arrival time well after 8:00 p.m. It looked like this hotel was sold out when I checked the room availability online, so I decided to call the hotel from the airport. I said that I was going to be arriving late, and that I wanted to confirm my reservation. The front desk agent read my comments while I was on the telephone, and said that she could give me an upgrade to a suite. She told me that this would be on the 3rd floor instead of the 4th/top floor, and I said that would be fine.

When I arrived to check-in, I also received a coupon good for one beverage in the lounge, and coupons for breakfast both mornings.

Guestroom #301
This guestroom was clean and comfortable. The bed was one of the most comfortable hotel beds I have had recently. The entire guestroom comfort was great.

The bathroom was located near the entrance. The bath towels were good quality, and a plush robe was hanging on the back of the bathroom door. The water was hot right out of the faucet. A good quality Conair hairdryer with a cool setting and a diffuser was provided.

The closet across from the bathroom contained a large safe, and an iron and ironing board.

The countertop next to the closet contained a single serve coffee maker and two bottles of water. Coffee supplies had been provided, although there was only one packet of regular coffee. I drank both bottles of water, and they both were replenished on stayover. Coffee supplies had also been restocked with two packets of regular coffee.

The spacious bedroom and sitting area included a king size bed, desk and chair, microwave, fridge, flatscreen TV on an armoire, night stands with lamps and a lighted alarm clock, and a folding luggage rack.

The living area between the bedroom and bathroom contained a large sofa, flatscreen TV, fireplace, lamps, wall table, and footstool. The sofa and footstool were very comfortable.

There were plenty of electrical outlets in the guestroom, and the noise level was good. Even though this hotel is located next to the airport, I did not hear any airplane noise. I heard only occasional noise from other guests. Sometimes, I heard the water running from other guestrooms, although it was not so loud that it was disturbing.

The HVAC unit was decent. It did not make much noise, and the airflow was consistent. Even though some of the furnishings were older in this guestroom, everything was well maintained and clean.

Food & Beverage
The breakfast coupon I received could be used for the full breakfast buffet, or toward the purchase of an a la carte item on the menu. Usually, I order from the menu when I have this option; however, at this hotel, the buffet breakfast was better than the menu items.

A la carte breakfast items available were just the basics and eggs Benedict. The breakfast buffet was fresh, and the items were good quality. Real scrambled eggs were on the buffet, and special order eggs could be fulfilled from the server as well. The breads included whole grain, white, and sourdough breads, as well as muffins, and bagels. Hot food items included oatmeal, bacon, and cheesy potatoes. There were several fresh fruit choices, including strawberries and melon slices. Yogurt, milk, and cold cereal were available as well.

Johnny's Italian Steakhouse is located in the hotel. I had the lobster bisque and Shrimp Frangelico salad in the dining room the second evening. The lobster bisque was excellent--probably the best I have ever had! The shrimp salad was good too, although it was not as exquisite as the bisque. The beverage coupon I had received was good for one house beverage. I asked my server if I could use the coupon value toward the purchase of better quality wine, and she said yes. Not only did she let me use it toward the wine, she accepted the coupon for the entire charge; I was not charged anything for the wine.

Fitness center
The fitness center contained three cardio machines with cardio theater, and only one of the machines was a treadmill. It looked like some guests who came to the room while I was using the treadmill, had hoped to use it. I got lucky both times that I visited.

The fitness center hours said that the center opens at 6 a.m. I decided to try at 5:45 a.m., and my key worked. Another guest was also arriving at the same time that I was. There are not any guestrooms near the fitness center, so I did not understand why it would not be open 24 hours. The second morning, I decided to check it out at 5:30 a.m. The center was open, and another guest was already using the equipment.

The temperature in the fitness center was very warm, and I thought it was difficult to be in there for more than 30 minutes. The room also contained hand weights, a water cooler, sani-wipes, a scale, and towels.

Business center
The business center consisted of two computers and printers in the hallway by the elevators. The only supplies present were notepads and pens.

This hotel is located very close to the airport and also provides shuttle service. I was very happy with my stay, and I would definitely choose this hotel again.