I had landed in paradise. Were there really two warm DoubleTree cookies presented to me after entering a hall full of silver walls, stylish wooden panels and smiley faces? My room was another revelation when I stepped onto a dark blue carpet and into a apartment-sized suite that included a kitchen, a big living room with the most comfortable of couches and a bedroom with two giant beds.
A Big Hotel Welcome
But the DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel Houston by the Galleria did not stop at their signature chocolate chip cookie, but made sure I was fully sustained over the period of my stay with an ample supply of more chocolatey as well as nutritious treats with a little welcome package. I could not believe my eyes when I approached the table and actually had to race down to the reception to double-check if it really was for me. Kinda embarrassing, I know.
The DoubleTree Suites receptionists were utterly charming, however, and delighted by my naivety and stressed with a bow how very much it was for me. Also, they made sure I knew were to find what I might need, such as the breakfast area, swimming pool or gym (not that I would ever really look for the gym, the couch potato that I am).
The next thing I knew, I was stuffing my face with more cookies, dancing through the big suite and doing a little Titanic balcony pose overlooking Houston’s Galleria district and the glistening swimming pool down below. Jep, my stay in Houston started out pretty great.
With glee I lowered myself onto the striped cushions and pressed the buttons on my remote control. You cannot believe how long it has been since I last had a huge flat screen all to myself and this time I could totally switch through the channels to my heart’s delight. I could even order some movies that had only recently come out.
Home Away from Home with DoubleTree Houston
I watched for a while and then made myself comfortable at my new temporary office desk with super close and plenty of outlets, a fancy glass lamp and drawers. Well, I didn’t need the drawers since I had enough space to cover the table with my laptop, notepad and papers. Working this way was long overdue and I appreciated it all the more. Add to that the constant silence, no noise entering through the walls and no shuffling in the halls. It was the perfect working atmosphere.
But of course I was also very distracted by all this comfort, to which I had not been used to lately. Travelling all the time certainly takes a toll on one (yes, a travel blogger, too) and I imagined feeling like a business man having come to this suite after hotel hopping and finding some more space and time to get through the paperwork.
There even is the possibility for a long-term stay in the DoubleTree Suites. Business men can book the executive suites on the exclusive top floors with access to the executive lounge and access to the executive lounge. On top of that, there is a fully equipped 24-hour business center. The wifi was great everywhere, by the way.
At the moment, the DoubleTree Suites Houston is going through a major metamorphosis whereby half of the existing suites are turned into regular rooms with a very modern and sharp interior design in muted greys instead of the former green and brown shades. The kitchens will make way to bigger and shinier bathrooms and I was able to get a glimpse into rooms that had already undergone the evolution, as it was called.
The DoubleTree Suites Knows How to Treat You (Pun Intended)
Not that it was an inconvenience but there were still chocolate treats on all floors to sweeten the appearance of some plastic layers on the floor for upcoming wall decorations. And I also loved the water cooler that was filled with a different fruit every day and gave the ice-cold water a very special fruity flavour. I had never tried water with melon before but I absolutely loved it and need to recreate it when I am at home.
The breakfast as well offered lots of fruits, juices, milks, tea, coffee, you know the regular things, as well as a hearty continental variety. Scrambled eggs could be had plain or with the chef’s specialty in addition to bacon.
I also tried the porridge with dried cranberries on top and a dash of milk and it reminded me of the one I had in Finland (which was the best I ever tasted). The waiters again were extremely charming and always came around to ask me for another refill or make some light jokes to make the atmosphere even more cheerful and relaxed.
Right next to the dining area was the bar, which will soon be downstairs with a view all the way from the entrance to the other side that is lined by trees. The pictures I saw of the outlines were already very promising. But after enjoying a prolonged breakfast, I quickly stopped by the pool to digest for a while and just chill before heading out to town.
Hotel Location is Key
With its location right in the heart of galleria and next to the main shopping complexes, the hotel has the best access for international travellers coming to stock up on designer fashion, dine out in fine restaurants with cuisine from all over the world or engage in a little ice skating at the Galleria Mall with its 400 shopping and dining outlets.
If you want to head to downtown with the Houston city centre and main attractions, which I have checked out for you as well, you are there in 20 minutes by car or 40 minutes by public bus for only $1.25 (which takes you to the airport for the same price in 1h 40min). The airport is only 30 minutes away by car.
In case you are not here for work but pleasure, it is good to know that the DoubleTree Suites is in close proximity to the Medical District as well as the Central Business District, which hosts numerous Fortune 500 companies. Meetings and events can be held within the hotel as well and while I was there, a cheerleading team was taking over the halls and later, as far as I could tell, the outdoor pool area as well.
Speaking of the DoubleTree pool area, at night a fire is lit and you can make yourself comfortable on the cushioned chairs and outdoor beds next to the illuminated blue of the pool and the gentle orange lights. I personally, enjoyed the view from my balcony while dancing around to my favourite music coming from my headphones. Whatever rocks your boat, right?
I would like to thank the DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel Houston by the Galleria again for their great hospitality and giving me the opportunity to see both the before and after suites during the phase of the evolution. I can’t wait for the end results. As always, my opinion remains my own.
DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel Houston by the Galleria
5353 Westheimer Road, Houston, Texas, 77056-5474, USA