During our wedding tour of Upstate New York during late summer, we found ourselves in need of a room in Rochester, NY. We were able to find a night at the Double Tree by Hilton Rochester for a reasonable rate.
An important thing to note with this property is that the hotel is really in Henrietta, NY, and not in Rochester. A 15-to-20-minute drive to downtown, the hotel is conveniently located right off the exit of Interstate 390. While the location worked out great for us as we were headed a bit south of Rochester for the wedding festivities, there are certainly more convenient options for those looking to be near downtown.
Cash vs. Points
Due to the rate we found - about $165 including taxes and fees - we decided to pay cash rather than spend the required 35k Hilton Honors points for the night, which is worth about $200 with a reasonable redemption. What made paying cash a no-brainier was the 2x Hilton Honors promotion which ended up giving us about a 25% return on the stay. The points broke down as follows:
- Base points (10x per $) = 1487
- 2x promotion = 1487
- 50% points and points bonus = 743
- Online booking bonus = 500
- Gold status bonus = 371
- 12x points w/Amex Hilton Surpass = 2001
- Total for the stay = 6,589 (about $40 of value)
Checking in, we were given the delicious DoubleTree cookies (Hint: they are Christie's Cookies, if you want to track them down), as well as two bottles of water and breakfast vouchers at the on-site restaurant, thanks to our Hilton Honors Gold Status. Gold status at Hilton is among the most lucrative mid-tier status as it comes with complimentary upgrades, bonus points, and perhaps most importantly, complementary breakfast for two at most hotels. For our stay in Rochester, we were upgraded to the Honors floor which provided slightly larger rooms and upper floor views. Certainly not a luxurious upgrade, but nice enough for a quick one-night stay. If you're in need of Hilton Status, the American Express Surpass card comes with complimentary Gold status and provides 12 points per dollar at every Hilton property. If you stay a few times a year at a Hilton property, this card is a must-have! Another great option is the American Express Platinum card which comes with a host of benefits, including $200 airline credit, $200 Uber credit, and, of course, Hilton Gold status.
The hotel has a nice open feel with a sunny atrium. In the center atrium is a small indoor pool (indoor is clutch in snowy Rochester), the entrance to Bistro 252, the entrance to the fitness center, and the Atrium Lounge, which served drinks and light food. We stopped for a few drinks at the Atrium Lounge before heading out to the wedding and it was a nice spot to relax and share a cocktail and some conversation.
The size of the king room is where this hotel really shined. Although simply appointed with a king bed, small sitting area with a couch, and desk/work space, the spaciousness of the room was noticeable. The room was clean and comfortable, and the king bed made for an excellent night's sleep.
The bathroom was also spacious with a large vanity across from the tub and shower. The room had similar neutral finishes as most DoubleTree branded hotels do, but the room was certainly larger than many similar properties we have stayed at in the past. There was a simple coffee maker in the room, which was nice for a quick cup in the morning before we headed down for breakfast at the 252 Bistro.
The breakfast buffet at the Bistro 252 restaurant normally runs $14.50 per person, but our status saved us $29, an added bonus to the savings we were already experiencing with our Gold Status! Even without the vouchers, the buffet was excellent and worth the trip. Made-to-order omelets, fresh pastries, and plenty of healthy options, such as fresh fruit, yogurt, and cereals, made for a nice recovery after spending the evening at a wedding!
The Prof's Grade - B+
For a quick stay, the DoubleTree Rochester proved be a great value and comfortable place to stay. Although not convenient to downtown, the location right off the highway makes it ideal for travelers. The rooms were clean, spacious, and had comfortable beds. The lack of a true upgrade for elites was a little disappointing but certainly not required for a one night stay. If you're in the area, we would definitely recommend a stay.