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Monday, April 25, 2016

Port Huron, Michigan / DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Port Huron

April 2016, Weekday, 1-night, King suite #364

Sunrise from suite 364

This was our second stay at the DoubleTree hotel in Port Huron. You can find pictures and details of our previous stay in my review from March 2015, and there are more pictures from both stays in the DoubleTree Port Huron album on my Facebook page.

Arrival and status perks

Check-in time is 3:00 p.m., and we arrived around 3:30 p.m. The front desk agent offered a cheery greeting and two warm chocolate chip cookies. She found our reservation, and said she had given us an upgrade to a suite. I also received the 1,000 bonus points I have chosen in my profile for my on-property perk. I did not receive two bottles of water like I did last time I stayed in this hotel. I did not ask about the water, as I had thought maybe it would be in the guestroom. I imagine they still provide this, and the front desk agent just forgot when we checked in.

Guestroom 364

This is a fabulous suite on the top/HiltonHonors floor. I did not realize or recall that I had not been on the Honors floor when I stayed in room 218 during my last stay. I saw the Honors sign in the elevator when we entered.

Guestroom 364 is a spacious suite near the northeast end of the hall with a view of Bluewater Bridge and St. Clair River. Two sets of sliding glass doors led out to the double balcony, and there were two chairs on the balcony.

Inside the suite, there was a sitting area with sofa, two chairs, end tables, lamps, and a coffee table.

A large counter off to the side of the sitting area contained a sink, single-serve coffee maker with supplies, a small fridge, and microwave.

Kitchen counter along wall around the corner
from TV; close-up photo in Facebook album
A desk and chair were located across from the sink area. The lamp on the desk had two electrical outlets, so there were plenty of outlets at the desk.
There is a connecting room door on both sides of this guestroom--I presume to make it convenient for small groups of guests staying together.

A king size bed and nightstands were located across from the sitting area. There was a flatscreen TV on a large armoire between the bed and sitting area.
Guestroom view from the entrance hall near the bathroom 

The wardrobe closet near the entrance contained two bathrobes, a pair of slippers, extra bedding, a folding luggage rack, iron, ironing board, and a safe.

The bathroom located across from the wardrobe closet contained a whirlpool tub and shower combination. The towels were good quality. A hairdryer and bath amenities were provided on the vanity.

We thought this was a fabulous guestroom! It was clean, spacious, and comfortable. The bed comfort was superb. I did not use the Internet much; the connection speed was good when I did use it.

Food & Beverage

We enjoyed Happy Hour at Freighters Eatery and Taproom last time we stayed in this hotel, so we visited again. Appetizers were half off, and [select] beers were $3. We had the Calamari and BBQ Pork Nachos along with a couple of beers each. The food was very good. The service was mediocre at best.
Happy Hour calamari and pork nachos
There were a few issues with the service, and we observed several unhappy patrons. Guests were coming to the bar to get drinks after waiting a long time for service at a table. I heard the bartender tell guests she could not serve them unless they were seated at the bar. Some guests took a seat at the bar, and some guests went back to their table. We heard more than one tray of drinks get dropped in the seating area. We heard glass break by the tables and behind the bar. I found a large piece of glass on one of the bar tables when I walked by the area the next morning. I observed patrons leave without ordering anything, or after having only one beverage because they were so disgusted with the service. I did not observe anyone in the bar area receive the attention that he or she deserved.

I was also disappointed with the service we received. I like craft beers; however, I do not like all beers, so I like to ask a few questions before deciding what to order. It was not very busy in the bar when we first arrived, yet the bartender did not want to take time to answer my questions or offer assistance. So, I ended up asking for a couple of tastes during our visit before deciding what to order. When we had asked for our third taste--total between the two of us and after two rounds and over two hours time--the bartender made a remark like, "I must have given you a sample of every beer we have." Wow, really!?! For two people ordering over that length of time, and there were about eight or more draft choices; not three. Furthermore, if she had provided some information to begin with, I probably would not have requested the first or second taste before deciding what I wanted to order.

Another issue in the bar that night - The online Happy Hour menu says that beers are $2. We noticed that the price was actually $1 more than the online menu; however, we missed the part about only "select" beers being discounted. Fortunately for us, only one of our beer choices did not have Happy Hour pricing. Shorts Soft Parade was $5.75. Customers seated near us were not so fortunate, and they were not happy when they received the bill. They were already seated at the bar with beverages when my husband and I arrived. I am not sure how many beers they had, although I would guess about six or so between the two of them. One of the beers they had been drinking was the Shorts Soft Parade for $5.75. I do not know what others they had, so I am not sure if it was just the Shorts pricing that shocked them or the entire bill. I certainly would not be happy, if I had been expecting a $9 bill for three drinks, and received a bill for $17.25 instead.

Last time we stayed in this hotel, we used my on-property perk for breakfast instead of receiving the bonus points. This time, I wanted the points, so we walked to McDonalds for breakfast. I am not a huge McDonalds fan, although the service and food at the McDonalds near the DoubleTree was the best I have ever had [at a McDonalds].

Pool, hut tub, fitness center

The fitness center and pool area are located across from the elevator on the southwest end of the hall. The area looked clean and well maintained. There were a few people using the pool and hot tub.

Hotel view from the riverfront walkway

Misc. and overall

This hotel is located on the St. Clair River in Port Huron, Michigan across the river from Sarnia, Ontario - Canada. There is a nice riverfront walkway next to the hotel. There is outside seating at the restaurant when the weather is good, and there are adirondack chairs in the yard of the hotel property overlooking the river.

I loved the DoubleTree Port Huron both times that we stayed there, and I would definitely stay in this hotel again. If you receive a room upgrade, like I did, be sure to check the room rate when you check out. Both times that I stayed in this hotel I received a guestroom upgrade, which is not unusual when I stay in a Hilton property. Last time, we received a river view room, and this stay we received a fabulous suite, which also had a river view. I had thought I was receiving the upgrades because of my status; however, both times, the folio I received after my stay was for the going rate of the room I had been assigned. I did not have any trouble getting the rate corrected to my original rate. I am merely mentioning this for other travelers to watch out for.

We were heading to Canada when we departed. It seemed like the on-ramp from Port Huron took us right to the toll crossing without having to wait in line with traffic from I-69 and I-94. The rate to enter Canada was $3 US per car.

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