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Hoodoo Moab, Curio Collection by Hilton Review

The great American West meets higher flyer luxury

Moab, Utah, despite its remote location on the Colorado Plateau, is a hub for intrepid explorers, nature enthusiasts, and backpacking tourists.  Its close proximity to two ruggedly beautiful national parks — Arches and Canyonlands — is the main draw, and Moab attracts more and more visitors with each passing year.  The local hotel scene is expanding in order to cater to them, and the town’s first upscale property, the Hoodoo, opened in Summer 2019.  As part of Hilton’s Curio Collection, it’s a charming, well-designed, and luxurious four-star, but it’s also one of the most expensive places in the area.  To the delight of higher flyers though, these costs can be easily offset with points and, better yet, there’s plenty good value to be had!

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The coronavirus threatens long-term damage to the travel industry

The Daily Flyer

Welcome to the second edition of “The Daily Flyer,” The Higher Flyer‘s daily newsletter gathering up and summarizing some of the day’s most important happenings in the world of airlines, hotels, award points, and other travel-related things.  Today’s feature — for February 12, 2020 — covers the lesser-noticed effects that the coronavirus has on the travel industry, as well as an impending reshuffling in the World of Hyatt, American Airlines’s roll out of a less-crappy Oasis product, and a glimpse in to Delta’s future at Tokyo Haneda Airport.

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DoubleTree hotels are nice and boring

A recent review on the The Higher Flyer has prompted a few to ask:  “what’s wrong with DoubleTree hotels?” and as a follow up:  “why do you hate them?”  Well, despite what my review of the DoubleTree in Madrid may imply, the answer is a resounding “nothing.”   Nothing is wrong with Hilton’s business-traveler-centric brand and I’d gladly stay in one if presented the opportunity.  That said though, these hotels don’t really lend themselves well to scenes of higher flying; they don’t evoke visions of luxury like Waldorf Astorias do, nor do they offer the incredible value that Hampton Inns do.  DoubleTrees instead are synonymous with bland-yet-practical accommodations for the well-paid road warriors of the world.

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DoubleTree Madrid-Prado Review

A Hilton DoubleTree masquerading as a quaint boutique hotel in the heart of Madrid

Hilton as a brand doesn’t have a particularly aspirational reputation.  Sure, its hotels are mostly comfortable and are more than serviceable, but the average Hilton usually lacks the glamour or pizzazz or charm that a mid-level Hyatt or a legacy Starwood property (RIP) might have.  Hilton’s DoubleTrees are some of the worst offenders when it comes to generic corporateness — they’re typically marketed to business travelers, and utilitarian design doesn’t lend itself well to pleasing aesthetics — but the brand’s sole property in Spain is an obvious outlier.  While “DoubleTree” might not evoke images of boutique luxury, the one in Madrid should very well challenge your assumptions.

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