Usually, the transfer from the airport to the hotel is one of those serene moments after a long, or short, plane trip.
Our first from Vancouver airport to the hotel was in something akin to a party bus, a stretch limousine that was very uncomfortable after 24 hours cooped up in an economy seat. Surely they had a large enough SUV.
This time around we got what the driver said was a town car, and our looks of amazement that it could take the three of us and 4 large suitcases and 3 cabin bags, was met with a shrug and a statement that the limo company had got rid of their larger cars a year ago.
This driver was determined. He fitted the cases in, and we crammed in the back, all squishy.
But that was the best part of the journey.
We had the original kamikaze. It was 140km or nothing, and being tossed about in the back of the car was just what we needed.
Score: 1 out of 10.
The driver just stopped long enough to toss the bags on the sidewalk and drive off, leaving us to fend for ourselves.
Of course, the hotel didn’t have a 24-hour concierge and I guess it was part of a learning curve for staying in downmarket hotels.
So, we’re staying in a Doubletree by Hilton, a downmarket hotel chain that we have stayed in before, in Melbourne, Australia. That was a pleasant and surprisingly good experience, leading to giving the chain another go in Toronto, Canada.
Its a case of chalk and cheese. Maybe it’s the late hour, maybe it’s my expectations, but the experience was flat, and for a chain that Hilton has put its name to, maybe it’s time they started policing the hotel’s standards.
Not that the over the counter experience was bad, I just didn’t feel like I was welcome in the usual Hilton manner.
It’s a long time since I was a Diamond HHonors guest, and I was not expecting a lot, but being a member, at whatever level you are on, should count for something.
Today, it didn’t.
But it didn’t end there…
The room on first viewing was a disappointment, but on reflection, I think my expectations were geared to what we have had in Australia where real estate is less expensive and therefore the rooms are larger.
This also means most rooms have double queen or double king beds, not twin double beds. I have not slept in a double bed for about 40 years, anywhere.
Of course, I should have read the fine print.
I go down to the front desk and ask if there are larger rooms. Of course, there are, if you want twin double beds, or a king bed and a fold away bed, which we do not.
I understand their dilemma, the rooms are just too small to fit larger beds.
Lesson learned for the next time if there is a next time.
On the upside…
Breakfast is included, and it’s really good, and the service is above expectations.