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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Grand Rapids, Michigan - GRR airport / Hilton - DoubleTree

February 2015, Weekend, 1-night, King guestroom with mini-fridge, #411

I did not realize when I made this reservation that the hotel was changing from a Hilton to a DoubleTree. We stayed at this hotel a few times when the property was a Hilton, and here are links to reviews for two of those stays: March 2011 and April 2011. At the time of this stay, the hotel was still classified as a Hilton, and some remodeling was still in process.

Status perks and check-in

I received the 1,000 bonus points I have chosen for my Hilton Honors "my way" benefit, and I received two beverage coupons. This hotel does not have an executive floor, and I was told that they could not give out a suite upgrade unless it is authorized by the sales department (I may have the department name slightly incorrect), because the suite cost is so much higher.

Guestroom 411

This guestroom is located on the top floor near the center of the west wing. The window faces the courtyard. It had been nicely remodeled; however, there was a strong scent in the hallway and in our room that smelled like glue or urethane. Since the windows in the guestroom do not open, and there was no exhaust vent in the bathroom, I returned to the front desk to inquire about a different guestroom. The only other remodeled guestroom like the type we had reserved was on the first floor in a high traffic area. The front desk agent gave me a key so I could look at the room, and see if we wanted to switch. The odor in the second guestroom was much fainter than it was in guestroom 411; however, I decided not to take it since the first floor room was located by the elevator and corner to both halls where guests would be passing by on the way to and from the lobby or lounge.

I inquired about different guestroom types at this time, which is when I learned they could not offer me a suite upgrade. The front desk agent apologized for the odor, and he offered me two breakfast vouchers. We had an early flight the next day and would not be able to use them, so he gave me two more beverage coupons instead.

Back in the guestroom, we turned the HVAC fan on so that it was blowing continually, rather than in "auto" mode. After we returned from dinner and the lounge that evening, the smell had dissipated enough that we were able to sleep without a problem.

The bartender had told us that when she delivered a room service order earlier in the day, another guest had the AC on in her room with the fan blowing for the same reason. She said it was cold in that guest's room, and that the smell was not as strong as in the hallways.

The bathroom in the guestroom was located near the entrance. There was fresh tile on the floor, and a new shower curtain hung on a curved shower rod for the tub/shower. Thick bath towels were provided along with bathing amenities. Although the bathroom was quite small, there was plenty of counter space on the long vanity.

The bathroom door was damaged. It looked like this guestroom had been fully remodeled, although I do not know for sure if the damaged door was an oversight or if it had just not been repaired or replaced yet.

A closet and the beverage center were located outside of the bathroom next to the entrance door. The closet contained hangers, an iron, ironing bard, and a large safe.

The mini-fridge was located across from the closet under the counter. A single/dual coffeemaker with supplies was on the counter above the fridge. We liked the beverage area; however, the outlet on the wall did not work, so we had to move everything into the bathroom the next morning. I made front desk staff aware of this when we checked out, so I expect this has been corrected by now.

A steel ice bucket, glass glasses, and two bottles of water had been placed on the coffee table in front of the sofa. One of the perks for Hilton Honors Gold members is two bottles of water at check-in. It is possible that the water was in the guestroom because of the room type rather than my status though, because I observed two bottles of water on the coffee table in the guestroom I had looked in on the first floor, too. We moved the ice bucket to the beverage center/coffee area after filling it.

This guestroom has a connecting room door, and a long luggage bench along the wall at the foot of the bed. I forgot to take a picture of this area.

The king size bed was comfortable. A nightstand with an alarm clock and lamps were located on each side of the bed. A flatscreen TV was located on an armoire at the foot of the bed next to the desk. I wish I had gotten a photo of the items along this wall because the TV was not very big. I would guess  it was 32" at most. It is partially visible in the beverage center photo.

The guestroom also contained a sofa, coffee table, lamps, two telephones, and a desk and chair.

The diagram on the back of the door did not show the location for this rguestoom, and the plaque needed to be cleaned. It is located near the middle of the hallway; either where I have placed the green star on the diagram, or where the large dirt smudge is located.

Food & Beverage

The restaurant was being renovated at the time of our stay. One of the banquet rooms had been setup with a bar and tables. I thought the food items on the menu looked good; however, we already had plans to eat elsewhere. We used our beverage coupons in the lounge, and they were a great value. We were able to get better quality beverages, and have the house brand value of each deducted from the cost. Buffet tables were also setup in the corner of this room for breakfast in the morning.

Pool and Fitness Center

The pool area was under construction during our stay, which was very disappointing for us. When I learned the hotel was being remodeled about six weeks before our stay, I inquired about pool area renovations, and received the following reply, "Some areas will still be under construction. But by mid-Feb the main lobby, and pool/fitness room should be back. The guestrooms renovations will be nearly complete and only on isolated areas. Our restaurant will most likely still be in its temporary location." Our stay was at the end of February, two weeks after mid-February, so I did not think to inquire about this again before our stay.

The fitness center was also still being renovated, and some exercise equipment was setup in a guestroom near the pool area.


The shuttle runs every half hour, and it took us only about five minutes to get to the airport the morning we departed. When we called after returning to the airport, we were told it would be 10 minutes for the shuttle bus to arrive, and it arrived in 12 minutes.


The lobby seating was comfortable, and the fireplace was warm. I observed a couple of computers near the front desk and lobby, which I assume serves as the business center. I did not inquire or use this equipment.

This hotel did need to be remodeled. I do not understand the decision to change the brand from a Hilton to a DoubleTree. It does not seem like the brand name will make much difference overall, other than the remodeling and DoubleTree cookie.

We thought about staying at this hotel again when we returned from our trip because our flight was not scheduled to arrive until 10:40 p.m. The rate for that night was about $35 more than the rate for this night, so we decided to drive home instead.

I do not expect to need another airport hotel at GRR until next year. Right now, and I am undecided about where we will stay for that trip.