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“Contradictions, excellent and unacceptable all at once”

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Doubletree by Hilton Charlottesville
Ranked #13 of 35 Hotels in Charlottesvill...
Certificate of Excellence
Salisbury, North Carolina
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Contradictions, excellent and unacceptable all at once”
Reviewed April 18, 2013

Generally, I was very pleased with my stay at Doubletree Charlottesville. The online listings at the various sites portray the property accurately. My overall impression is that in 1970-something, this place was probably the super glitzy modern latest and greatest. Now it is outshined by newer, better competitors and not sure what it wants to be.

The Doubletree is not a luxury property. The lobby is pretty, but you park your own car, and schlep your own bags. While the service is pleasant and professional, and they will try to give you what you ask, they do not anticipate the guests and do anything without being asked. But it's not a hard-discount value place either. They offer a decent restaurant and bar with room service, upgraded finishes and furnishings in the rooms, a pretty pool and hot tub, and good fitness center.

The buiding looks like it must have originally been a sleek glass and steel modern beauty on a dramatic site fronting a heavily wooded ravine. It must have been beautiful, and I wish I could have seen it then. Sometime later, land must have been sold, and as an earlier guest's photos show, half the rooms have a view of Sam's club. The view from the other rooms and the public spaces is still quite nice. Then some corporate moron (hey, remember the 80s?) stuck styofoam stucco googaws and hideous flicker-bulb fake gaslamps all over the outside to try to class up the place and the interior soft furnishings are all corporate faux virginia colonial fox hunts and heavy drapes that don't go with anything, so the final appearance is just sad. I wish Westin had bought the property instead of Hilton. Nowadays, your experience is fighting six lanes of road rage to cross through car dealerships and megastore parking lots to get to your room where you most likely will leave the drapes closed through your whole stay. A once distinctive place now is essentially a roadside motor hotel. This is not the setting for romance, or any special event.

But I'm just an architecture nerd, and most of the travelling public isn't as interested in that so - moving along. Present management can't do anything about Sam's Club, or super-conjested traffic on Seminole Trail. So they need to really buckle down on what they can control if they want to keep their hotel in business in its present form much longer. My room was large and nice, but the bathroom impossibly small (pitfall of 70s design). In mine, the very nice granite vanity counter was about 14 inches from the toilet. Forgive my crassness, but guys will get the description, you have to practically stand in the bathtub to close the door so you can then stand in front of the toilet. And no, you can't just pee with the door open, because the door hits the curved towel bar and thus does not open all the way. There was plenty of room to build a seperate dressing area, and when housekeeping propped doors open during the day I could see that some rooms are set up that way. Why on Earth this wasn't done in every room, I don't get. I am a man who was travelling alone, so I could put up with the bathroom, but any ladies with makeup or couples should definitely discuss the bathroom layout with the front desk before accepting a room assignment.

My room was not properly clean when I checked in. Upon entering the door, it looked sparkling perfect. But once unpacked and settled in, I sat in the archair and saw goldfish crackers under the bed and desk. Okay, so they vacuumed in a hurry. I'll ask them to do better tomorrow. But when I turned down the bed to get in and saw (well bleached, so not nasty, but nonetheless still visible) bloodstains on the sheets I was not willing to accept that. Since it was a double and I was alone, and it was late, I slept in the other bed, which was perfectly clean and comfortable. I placed the "please change" card on the stained bed. The next evening, after being out all day, I returned to ind the room again looking nice, but saw my in-room coffee not restocked, those same Goldfish on the floor, and the same stained sheet on the bed. I went to the front desk right then (about 9:30 PM) and very politely explained that this needed to be remedied. I give kudos to the staff for far exceeding my expectations then. The front desk manager invited me to have a complimentary cocktail at the bar while she pulled a crew who was cleaning meeting rooms to go clean my room. Well, the conference crew cleans a room a HECK of a lot better than housekeeping. The new sheets could bounce a quarter, the rug was vacuumed wall-to-wall like they moved furniture, and even the light bulbs were dusted and the TV remote was polished! I hope these guys got some $$ in their pockets, because the room was not their job and they really showed somebody up. Doubletree stresses in their marketing that each and every employee is empowered to "make it right" and clearly they are. But that just ticks me off, because it shows they know how do do it right, but won't until the guest asks for it. Why isn't the room just clean like that when I check in in the first place?

I slept in a little late then went down to the breakfast buffet around 9:00. They say they serve until 10, and there were still plenty of patrons in the dining room. The waitress, Kathie, gave me unusually attentive service for a buffet. When my tiny plate was full, she took it from me and carried it to my seat so I could keep looking over the choices. She invited me to sit and enjoy my coffee while she waited for my order at the omelette station to be ready. Even though juice is on the self-serve buffet, she brought me another glass when I was low. She rocked! But as seems to be the Doubletree theme, her colleagues were working against her. The buffet line had several empty dishes in place, and at one point I had to ask for serving spoons so I could get my breakfast. If they want to pull the hot food and only serve continental after 9, fine, but don't advertise the full buffet as being available until 10. Omelette-cook dude rolled his eyes a bit because he was cleaning his station when I walked up, but again his job is to make me an omelette if I ask for it up until 9:59 and I don't owe him any apology for ordering one.

For my purposes, a just-for-fun solo mental health road trip, the Charlottesville Doubletree was just fine. When I am in the area, I would stay there again if they offer the same killer rate I got this time. But if I have to pay what Doubletree normally charges, they just can't compete with several other places in town.

Room Tip: ask for a wodland or river view, and ask how the bathroom in that particular room is arranged. They...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank PatrickP28144
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (153)
Date | Rating
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  • German first
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English first
West Virginia
2 reviews
Reviewed April 17, 2013

Hotel is generally a nice place. We have stayed here several times. Our last visit however had some problems. The keying system was down and we had problems getting our room keys. The room was overall clean but had cobwebs in all of the ceiling corners. The staff during breakfast was particularly helpful and friendly.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with DoubleTree by Hilton

Helpful?
Thank Ronald D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kansas City, Missouri
Level 6 Contributor
135 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed April 15, 2013

In Charlottesville to attend a wedding and booked this place being that it was less expensive yet close to town rather than right downtown and pay signficantly more. It was marked by road signs coming off highway 29 but once you turn you need to turn again (by the Sams Club) and it seemed hidden behind all the crass shopping and car dealerships. Looked as though the hotel was originally off by itself on a nice wooded hilltop overlooking the highway and walmart came to town and plopped down a shopping center NEXT door. Sheesh! The hotel appeared to be constructed in the late 1980s and has not aged completely gracefully. The lobby decor is fine but other aspects...pool/lounge/restaurant/bathrooms seem outdated. The view from my window was (once again) the parking lot of the Sam's Club. That being said it was a nice place and decent value only about 10-12 minutes or so down the road from UVA.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank KJDC19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Harrisonburg, Virginia
Level 6 Contributor
124 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed April 14, 2013

We usually will stay here when traveling out of C'ville airport and as I reported in a previous review a year or two ago we've always loved this place. Stayed this past weekend and I'm not sure I'll come back. The front desk staff were great when we checked in - we were upgraded to a suite but would have preferred the executive room we had already booked. The suite was in bad shape, carpets badly stained, furniture was torn, lighting poor and worst of all the bath robe had poop stains in the back!!! It was a busy weekend for us and the hotel, I had gone to the front desk several times to change the room but was always busy and I didn't have the time to wait.

Room Tip: Stay away from rooms near the elevators or vending machines - lots of noise and people with no '...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Michael M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NJ
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed April 8, 2013

We visited this hotel when we went on a college tour recently. We had stayed in a Hampton Inn in another city in Virginia and I felt that the bed was uncomfortable and way too soft for a good night's sleep. So I was a bit disappointed when we arrived late in the evening, got checked in quickly, got our warm chocolate chip cookies, to head up to our Executive level room, and find it's the exact same bed as the other hotel! I lived through it but didn't sleep great.
The hotel is lovely, I didn't remember that they had a pool, it was filled with kids and families even after dinner time. It looked pretty nice from up above. The restaurant looked really nice and was pretty crowded. We were on the club level so we went there and they had beer, wine and soft drinks. There were no real snacks left by the time we arrived even though there was about 30 minutes left in their "happy hour." We had water and juice and went to our room. It was nice and roomy, and very clean, the bathroom was great with a separate sink outside which was nice.
We were kind of disappointed in the morning when we went out to the lounge again for breakfast. There was really only apples as the fruit and then tons of muffins, bagels, pastries, donuts, etc... I follow a gluten free diet so I was able to eat an apple and had a tiny container of peanut butter but that was all that was available for me there. It sure would be nice if they had something else available for people with dietary issues. There was some sort of egg frittata in the chafing dish, it was not terribly appetizing unfortunately. I later read in someone else's review that there was breakfast included in the main dining room as well, I wish I had realized THAT! Next time for sure! Meanwhile, it was a decent value and being clean and warm is always wonderful. Of course my 16 yr old loved the cookies so for him it was awesome.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank desp4vacay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose, California
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed April 8, 2013

I thoroughly enjoyed my stay here. Good location. Beds were very comfortable and the bathroom was very clean and well stocked with products and nice fluffy towels. The breakfast buffet was top notch. The layout of the restaurant is a little awkward so you can miss the omelette station if you don't look around.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Michael C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Olean, New York
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed April 7, 2013

I was fooled by the lobby and restaurant. That was the end of the good part of the stay. We were not advised when making the reservation that it was pet friendly. The people in the next room left their pet unattended till early morning and it barked and howled all night. We asked if they were there again that night because we wanted to move rooms. We were assured no, and listened to the dog again the next night. Oh, they gave us a $50 coupon for the restaurant but with the prices the way they were it didn't go very far. Upon check in there was hair on the shower wall and dust everywhere. The staff seemed friendly but did nothing to help. I hope no one stays at this hotel because of this review.

Room Tip: Ask what rooms will have dogs in them.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mbullers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
StevenM111, Front Office Manager at Doubletree by Hilton Charlottesville, responded to this review, April 8, 2013
Thank you very much for taking the time to write a review regarding your stay. We strive for excellence at the Doubletree, and during your stay we failed. Please be assured your comments will not go unnoticed. We review these comments in our weekly staff meetings and will use these comments as a training tool to meet our goal of excellence.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Doubletree by Hilton Charlottesville

Property: Doubletree by Hilton Charlottesville
Address: 990 Hilton Heights Rd, Charlottesville, VA 22901-8393
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Virginia > Charlottesville
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#9 Business Hotel in Charlottesvill...
#13 Family Hotel in Charlottesvill...
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Doubletree by Hilton Charlottesville 3.5*
Number of rooms: 235
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Doubletree by Hilton Charlottesville is located just minutes from the University of Virginia, John Paul Jones arena, Charlottesville Regional Airport and Monticello. The Doubletree by Hilton Charlottesville was named one of Expedia’s Insider's Select Hotels and Reader's Choice Hotel by the Daily Progress. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Doubletree By Hilton Charlottesville Hotel Charlottesville

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