BOOK YOUR SKI HOTEL NOW. GREAT POINT RATE AT DOUBLETREE BRECKENRIDGE!

Our family loves skiing. Or I should say I love it, my son enjoys it, my daughter has a blast, and my wife will go along if she has to. This will be my sons 6th year skiing and he is getting pretty good. Soon he will be better than me (which isn’t saying too much). Skiing is not usually a cheap activity. Between transportation, lodging, lift tickets, clothing, ski rentals, and slopeside drinks. But it can be affordable if you know the right deals.

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Well right now you can book a hotel room for a great deal using your Hilton points in Breckenridge. The Doubletree Breckenridge over the holiday break is just 60k points a night. When staying 5 nights, the 5th night is free. So its 240k points for 5 nights in a 2 king bed room. This would normally cost ya $2,463. So a value just over 1 cent per point with Hilton is a great deal. As a Diamond member we will also get free breakfast. They used to have a resort fee which included parking. It looks like that has changed and there is not resort fee, but parking is $35 a night….

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OR

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Right now the American Express Hilton Ascend, Aspire, and Business credit cards all have 100k point offers after meeting the min spend requirements. Hilton also just started to allow points to be transferred between household members so between 2 people it can be very easy to accumulate 240k points.

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If skiing is not your thing, the Doubletree is a great location to be able to walk quickly to all the shops and restaurants and winter blazed streets of Breckenridge. It’s also a 5 minute drive to Carter park which has a great bring your own sled hill. Doubletree also provide a shuttle service around the town.

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I have stayed at this hotel numerous time over the past 6 years. It’s not the fanciest hotel, but its 50 yards from being able to put your skis on and ski down to the base of peak 9. Or you can walk another 50 yards up to other chair lifts. Typically they don’t have award nights available over winter break, and never seen it open with 2 king beds for points. So this may not last long. The rooms are quite large and offer plenty of room for a family’s ski items. They include a small mini fridge. So in the past we have bought a few drinks and sandwich making items to save a few dollars while eating lunch on the mountain. They also have ski storage which is nice and convenient. Then of course all the amenities of a normal Doubletree like their free cookies, restaurant, indoor pool, and several outdoor hot tubs. Hopefully they have their free s’mores at 4 which my son still talks about. They have a lot of seasonal staff so their service can be hit and miss based on past experiences. However the location is ideal!

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Now of course you have to be able to get out there somehow. This is the last year I will have the Southwest Companion Pass where another person flies for free (well $5.60 security fee) when I fly. We still have some unused travel credits from gift cards we have bought with our AMEX Platinum cards and CITI Prestige Cards to get the $200 airline reimbursement each year. Plus we have points to cover the rest.  So our flights are basically covered for as well.

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Now we are just debating which ski pass to get. We have had EPIC passes in the past and they are great deal to buy now before you show up as lift tickets are over $150 a person the day off. I am debating on the 4 day pass (if this is my only ski trip this winter), the 7 day pass (which means I would unfortunately have to go again) or the EPIC local pass. The local pass is the same price as the 7 day pass but local has restrictions and 7 day has no restrictions. However the local pass has no restrictions on Breckenridge so its very tempting. Just have to figure out if I would go again and when and where….

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REVIEW: DOUBLETREE WESTMINISTER, LONDON

After landing at about 10am from Atlanta, I really just wanted to get to my hotel and take a 3 hour nap or so. Now I know that’s not always possible and was prepared to drop of my bags and walk around the city. I took a 38GBP Uber (taxi was 80) from LHR to the DoubleTree Westminster.  When pulling up you notice that there is nothing too special about the exterior building, it looks just like the office buildings next to it.

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There was a small line, and no dedicated Hhonors desk, but it was only a few minutes until I was up. They immediately started pushing their delicious cookies but I know I eat too much when I travel so I declined. (don’t worry, I did have a few throughout my 3 nights there though…. Just gotta pace yourself.) I asked if my room was ready and if I could get a Diamond upgrade. He informed me they could give me a room on the 4 floor, but the Hhonors rooms weren’t ready. (didn’t say if that’s a real upgrade or not though as Hilton often says they give you a upgrade buts its just like a deluxe room on a higher floor.) I thought for a few seconds and decided I just wanted to check-in and he gave me my keys to the 4th floor and informed me of a few highlights of the hotel like breakfast, lounge benefits, and workout room.

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quick grab n go breakfast in mornings

Once I got out of the elevators on the 4th floor, it feels much different as it’s a lil old and dark and drabby looking. I go into my room and it’s the same. Its OK but just a lil outdated. Immediately upon walking in is the bathroom on the left. Its was small and basic but clean. You have to close the door just to be able to  use the toilet. Basic Hilton amenities were given.

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Immediately after that was what I thought was a small closet, but it ended up just being an iron storage.

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Then came the main portion of the room. Again it was basic but clean. The bed was large and was just fine to sleep on. Not the most comfortable bed, but better that my airplane bed on Delta. There was also a small TV with a desk next to that. Then there was a wardrobe that had a safe in it, and some other shelves and storage next to that with a small mini fridge for personal use.  There was also a hotpot for hot water for your coffee or tea.

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The worst part was the view. As you can see, it was basically looking back into the hotel. I decided to lay down and turn the TV and try to get some sleep. I dozed in and out as it was the afternoon now and you could hear them cleaning other rooms. There was not a ton of outlets and they did not have USB charging outlets.

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Now I thought about asking to switch rooms after the first night. However during the night time, I never heard a sound in my room. I am a pretty light sleeper and I hate hearing people in hallways, or your neighbors, or well any noise whatsoever. So I decided that while my room wasn’t great, it was quiet which was more important.

Gym

The gym is on the 13-15th floors and offers some great views. Its uniquely laid out as you take the elevator to the 13th floor, then walk up to the 14th floors where its split with the 15th floors. Its pretty cool, but once you realize what equipment is there, its small and basic.  At 7am in the morning ,there was a wait for the 2 treadmills they have. It was snowing in London at this time, so running indoors with a view was better than the alternative.

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Executive Lounge

The DoubleTree has an executive lounge on the 2nd floor. I appreciate that a DoubleTree has this as most DoubleTree’s don’t so it’s a nice lil surprise. When I say lil its because it’s a little lounge. It was just a rectangular room.  During the day you could grab some water or soda from here and they had fruit and chips to snack on. At 530, they did put on a decent spread. Not really enough for a dinner, but enough for have a drink and some food until dinner. They had some beer and wine as well, but no liqueur. It was quite crowded each night around 6pm though. Hard to find a table spot for more than 2 people.

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As a Diamond member I could have breakfast in the lounge or in the restaurant. Each morning the lounge had the same food offerings that you can see below. Enough if you are in a hurry, but nothing spectacular. It was not crowded here though.

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Breakfast

The hotel breakfast restaurant was on the 1st floor. This buffet was unimpressive compared to other Hiltons. Again, basic and nothing over the top. They seem to have a newer staff as each morning it was not crowded, but they were always running around as if they were busy or perhaps shorthanded. They would always ask when I sat down if I would like any coffee, I would say no but ask for some juice, that would never come out. They did have a juice area for self serve. Also, as you can see on the menu below, the buffet includes made to order eggs. One morning after waiting 5 minutes just to be seated in the empty restaurant, I thought I would try an omelet out.  I sat down, declined the coffee but asked for juice never which surprisingly came out. I literally sat there for 15 minutes waiting for a server to come out. After about 5 minutes I could have gotten up and waived one down, but I wanted to see how long it would take. I wasn’t craving an omelet or anything, just wanted to see if it was good or not. Well after 15 minutes, my patience was too thin and I just ate some eggs off the buffet as I had meetings to go to. Each morning the buffet included the same offerings.

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The DoubleTree also has a dinner restaurant and bar. While I did not try the food, it was a descent place to have drinks at night. Some hotel bars can be depressing but this one was lively and I had a good time in that area with my colleagues.

One nice thing was my flight wasn’t until 5pm and I asked for a 2pm checkout the night before. The front desk person immediately said no problem. He asked my room number and he looked at me like 4th floor, for a Diamond member? While they didn’t have an office center that I saw, I was able to email the bell desk my boarding pass and they printed it off for me.

Now the hotel is OK, but the best part was the location. It was a 5 minute walk to Westminster Abbey and Big Ben and everything else in that area. One night we walked to Convent Gardens and SoHo which was about a 15-20 minute walk. It was about a 6BPB Uber ride when we decided to go home.  It was also only a 10 minute walk to the office which is very convenient for me.

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In Nov I was in London for work as well and stayed at the St Ermins.  While the St. Ermins was fancier than the DoubleTree, I didn’t feel it was spectacular and wasn’t worth the money. While the DoubleTree isn’t spectacular either, its cheaper and sufficient. I would not go out of my way to stay at the DoubleTree but would recommend it based on price and location.