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Thursday, October 3, 2013

South Bend, Indiana - SBN / DoubleTree by Hilton

September 2013, Weekday - Weekend, King guestroom #742

Status perks and check-in
Before my arrival, I was not sure what kind of room I was going to receive at this DoubleTree. I had originally planned to stay at this hotel for only one night, and when I changed my stay to two nights, I noticed that my original confirmation email had been for an executive room, even though the reservation details on the Hilton site were for a standard guestroom. I would not have booked an executive floor room, unless the cost was the same. My assumption, is that the confirmation email was somehow incorrect. At any rate, I had printed a copy of it before my arrival, just in case I did not receive a good quality guestroom.

HHonors room on the executive floor
At check-in, the agent assigned me a corner guestroom, which is slightly larger than a regular guestroom. I received access to the executive lounge, although the guestroom I received is not on the executive floor. The agent knew that I preferred a higher floor room in a quiet area. The HHonors floor at this hotel is on the 3rd floor, which is also where the executive lounge is located. Usually, the executive floors are on the top floors at hotels, although this is the second hotel I have stayed in recently, that has the priority floor and lounge on a lower floor. The other hotel was a new Marriott, and this hotel had been recently remodeled. This made me wonder if this is a new hotel trend. I also received a breakfast coupon for Saturday morning since the executive lounge was not open that day. Unfortunately, I left before breakfast, so I was not able to use the coupon.

view from guestroom
Guestroom 742
This spacious guestroom is located on the 7th floor at the end of the hall. It has large windows on two sides, and there is a decent view of the river. This hotel has 9 floors; however, the front desk agent had told me that this was the highest available corner guestroom. 

The bathroom was located across from the guestroom entrance. The bathing area contained a large walk-in shower, and the toilet. The vanity was located outside of the bathing area, across from a closet with mirrored doors. Bath amenities and a hairdryer were provided in the vanity area. The towels were good quality.

The closet contained a large safe, several hangers, a folding luggage rack, and an iron and ironing board. There was not a bathrobe in this guestroom; however, the front desk agent had told me I could get one when I asked about this during check-in. I called after I got settled in, and an employee delivered a plush robe within 10 minutes.

A full length mirror was mounted on the wall in the entry/hallway area between the guestroom door and the bedroom area. 

The bedroom area contained a flatscreen TV on an armoire, a good size desk with chair, a soft chair, footstool, end table, lamps, a king size bed, and nightstands with a telephone and lighted alarm clock. 

A telephone, ice bucket, two glass glasses, and two bottles of water were on the desk. The water must have been complimentary. There was no price on the water, and I was not charged after I drank the two bottles and they were replaced on stayover. A double single-serve coffee machine with supplies was on the armoire, and a small fridge was located inside the armoire. Lamps and electrical outlets were positioned at the head of the bed. 

desk chair
The guestroom was comfortable, and great for working. The bed was superb--silky soft sheets and super comfy mattress and pillows. The room was well soundproofed, and I did not hear hardly any noise from outside the guestroom. 

guestroom diagram
The desk chair was quite dirty/dusty, and I needed to wipe it off. The dust was thick enough that I noticed it before I sat down without specifically looking for it. Other than that, the guestroom was clean and well maintained. The HVAC unit ran quietly, and it could also be turned off, if desired. 

Transtar Flatbread
Food & Beverage
I had the Transtar Baker's Flatbread from room service one evening. The flavor was excellent, and the service was very fast. In fact, my food arrived a couple of minutes before I expected it. The photo looks kind of pizza; however, this food item did not taste like pizza to me. Probably because it had been prepared with better quality ingredients, and the crust was thin.

Executive lounge
Chicken tenders, a few fresh veggies, and cheese and crackers were served the first evening of my stay. The lounge host offered a complimentary glass of wine or beer. It looked like there were charge slips out for the beverages, so I am not sure if only the first one was on the house. I should have asked what brand of wine was served, because it was very good. I did not think the food served in the lounge was very good. The lounge was closed the second night of my stay.

Scrambled eggs, cold cereal, oatmeal, coffee, tea, milk, and juices were served for breakfast the next morning. I do not recall what type of breads or pastries were available.

Fitness center
This hotel has a fabulous fitness center. There must have been 10 or more cardio machines with cardio theater, and a good number of weight machines too. Additionally, there were hand weights, exercise benches and balls, towels, sani-wipes, and a water cooler.

lobby view from the 7th floor
facing Washington St
Misc. and shuttle
This hotel has a spacious open lobby area. Starbucks and 1st Source Bank are located within the hotel at the street level. Covered parking is adjacent to the hotel and the cost was $9 a night. The hotel is located on the edge of a 2 to 4 block area with dining and businesses. I did not think the area looked very safe heading northwest of the hotel, and the shuttle driver said as much when he picked me up at the airport.

The shuttle ride to the airport took about 10 minutes. 

I had a great stay at this hotel, and I would definitely choose it again.