Doubletree is a full-service brand of Hilton Worldwide, positioned next to the name-giving Hilton Brand, below the luxury Conrad and above limited service brands Hampton or Hilton Garden Inn. It is the conversion brand in the portfolio, allowing hotel operators to join the Hilton group without meeting the tighter brand standards of the Hilton brand. Find out what that means for your and what experience you can expect!
So, who are they? The first Doubletree hotel opened in 1969 in Scottsdale, Arizona, and the brand was acquired by Hilton Worldwide in 1999. There are now more than 450 properties in over 40 countries, making it the fourth biggest brand after Hampton, Hilton Garden Inn and Hilton.
Hilton describes the brand as follows: “Come for a stay and see how nice travels.
Something happens when you stay at a DoubleTree by Hilton™ hotel. Maybe it’s all the little things we do to show we care. From thoughtful touches and friendly service to our warm chocolate chip cookie welcome, we’re here to make your stay as comfortable as possible, right from the start. The niceness you experience with us stays with you long after you check out, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.”
That’s one of the fluffiest brand descriptions I have quoted here on the blog and the chocolate chip cookies are the only promise you rely on!
What experience can I expect? Doubletree is the conversion brand in the Hilton portfolio for full-service hotels, a not much talked about topic among travelers. It means that hotel operators can switch flags for existing hotels, for example if a hotel is sold or no longer meets the standards of another brand. Other brands, like Hilton’s Tru brand for example, are all newly build hotels. Being a conversion brand allows the Hotel companies to grow quickly by bringing existing hotels into their booking system!
To bring existing hotels into the company without prohibitive costs, the brand standards are usually not as tight. For travelers that means that they’ll find less brand consistency from one hotel to the next. At Doubletree, you’ll see the same hotel logo and get their brand’s famous chocolate chip cookies – but you won’t find a similar design, decor or even similar amenities – which is why I typically avoid the conversion brands. I stay at a branded hotel to ensure minimum standards in an unfamiliar location – if I can’t rely on that, I might as well pay less for an independent hotel!
You can expect the typical services and amenities of a full-service hotel, like a restaurant, business center, concierge and bell services and typically a pool or fitness center.
You can also earn and redeem points in the Hilton HHonors rewards program and will receive the typical benefits for elite members.
Beyond that, you have to rely on reviews to find out what you should expect from each individual Doubletree hotel. The experience can be from fantastic, like what I found at the Doubletree Kuala Lumpur with friendly service, modern rooms and a luxurious lounge, to frightening, like at some run-down airport hotel well past its prime!
Bottomline: I will remain cautious with regards to Doubletree hotels, and mainly utilize them for reward program benefits after carefully reading reviews or when I’m already familiar with a specific hotel. Whenever I want a more reliable, full-service experience, I will look to Hilton, Marriott and other brands in this category! And when I make a more price conscious decision, I will look to limited service brands like Hilton Garden Inn or Hampton or independent hotels for better value!