Tim Foolery

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Doubletree Richmond Downtown — Hotel Review

I was in Richmond for work last week and I decided to stay at a Hilton property.  I’ve been staying at Hilton Hotels a ton more this past year as I was granted complimentary Gold Status through some odd promotion with United during the summer of 2011.  I’ve been consistently happy with the vast majority of my stays.  
I blogged last week about my lackluster check-in and check-out experience, I also promised a full review of the room and the stay.
The first thing I noticed once I got to my room was that the door was broken.  Instead of fixing the door, they were kind enough to create a label explaining how to open the door.  Interestingly enough, I couldn’t open the door very easily — because of my accident, which you can read about here.  I will give the Doubletree Richmond the benefit of the doubt and assume that this door was broken the day of my arrival and they didn’t have time or the parts to complete the repairs….(too generous on my part?)
A recent break or a long time issue…your guess is as good as mine.
Once I got into the room, I flipped the light switch and nothing happened.  The light switch did absolutely nothing.  I tried throughout my stay to figure out what this light was designed to do, but never figured it out.  
I check out the bathroom and am greeted by a clean bathroom with a gaping toilet seat. How inviting, eh?  I hate seeing a gaping pot in a hotel room or at my home.  This isn’t a major complaint, it is just an interesting way to be welcomed into your room.
Hello Tim! I am your (clean) gaping toilet!

The room itself was quite large – a bit long though. The far end of the room had a desk and a chair. The other corner had a casual lounge char and an ottoman.  The room also had a microwave and a mini-refrigerator.  The fridge was sitting about a foot from the wall with an octopus of cables connecting it to the wall.

The king size bed was pretty comfortable and served its purpose.  The sheets and bedding appeared to be clean — which is more than I can say for the bed skirt at the next hotel I stayed in on this trip.

As I’ve said before, one of my biggest pet peeves at hotels is the lack of outlets near the bed. The Doubletree Richmond had a great number of usable outlets. I wish every hotel had the gadget focused traveler in mind.

One thing I thought was odd, was the sheer number of access panels cut into the wall. This room had two separate “fixes” patched with these pieces of sheet metal. What were they fixing or hiding: broken pipe? mold damage? bullet hole?

Strange access panel #1
Strange access panel #2
This hotel didn’t use a traditional duvet cover either, they used two flat sheets to surround the duvet itself. I haven’t come across this before, but several friends said they see this all the time. Is this a common thing you run into while traveling?
Modern Duvet Cover???
View of Richmond
View of Richmond

I blogged about my initial issues at this hotel shortly after I left.  I received an email from a Guest Assistance Specialist on Wednesday indicating a member of the hotel staff would contact me directly to discuss within two business days.  If they don’t reach out to me I should contact this Guest Assistance Specialist to remedy the situation. The Hotel never contacted me – and I never reached out to Guest Assistance. In my mind this matter was done. On Saturday I get an email from the same Guest Assistance Specialist again, this time he apologized again for the issues and for the lack of response from the hotel.  It is nice to see that someone will take an action and follow through and not just sending a standard issue form letter and considering the issue done.

To be completely transparent, Hilton offered me some additional HHonors Points to compensate me for my issues. I thanked them but politely declined these additional points.  I write this blog for fun and to help people find the best hotel around — not to earn extra bonus points when things go wrong.  I do really appreciate the offer from Hilton though.

Have you stayed at the Richmond Doubletree Downtown? When in Richmond, what hotel do you prefer?  What hotel chain has the best social media presence in your mind?

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