TRAVEL THERE: THE DOUBLETREE BY HILTON AT THE WICHITA AIRPORT
If you ever go to a Beth Moore Living Proof Event, book your hotel early. I assumed we’d stay in downtown Wichita, close to the Intrust Bank Arena where the event was being held. I even sat down to make my reservations a month in advance. We had a lovely stay at the Wichita DoubleTree, but it wasn’t our first choice.
Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk
OK, so fine. Our first choices for accommodations in Wichita weren’t available – at least not at the convention pricing – so we couldn’t stay there. Next?
Hilton’s Doubletree Hotels are lovely places. After I booked our bargain room they emailed me and told me I qualified for a standby upgrade. It would cost $15 a day, but I would be on the Executive Level. The Executive Level offers amenities like free breakfast and daily hors d’oeuvres in the evening, but those breakfasts and hors d’oeuvres weren’t available on the weekend. I wasn’t sure whether it was worth it or not, but I took it anyway. I’d leave it to chance. If there were no upgrades available when we got there, I would be perfectly happy with a regular room. If the upgrade was available, then we’d see if it was worth it for the next opportunity. When we got there we got the upgrade and it was worth it.
Check-in and Unloading
Checking-in was not as easy breezy as it had been in OKC. Apparently whoever had our room during the week had gotten a late check-out and the registration desk wasn’t sure whether or not the maids had gotten to it. Still, the Doubletree always greets you with a seriously amazing cookie, so you can’t get too upset by anything as you enter chocolate chip nirvana.
Should you ever stay here, please note that their complimentary shuttle will deliver you to locations within the airport, but otherwise, you better have a car. The registration desk couldn’t answer that question, so we found the bellman. He said he could take us to the airports taxi stand where we could get a $30 round-tip taxi. No thank you. I was trying to avoid parking fees, so a $15 taxi wasn’t the answer, since it also came with other hassles.
So we headed to the room. I’m sure the nice bellman would have been happy to see to our luggage, but we’re independent sorts. We pulled around to entrance closest to our room and gathered up our bags. Deb led the way into the building, pulling her bag behind her. There was a pair of exterior doors and a pair of interior doors. I negotiated the exterior doors with no trouble, but as I held them open to wheel in my bag, I backed into the vestibule and fell into Deborah’s luggage. We found this very amusing, but a pair of maids who stood nearby looked as if they suspected we were drunk. Then Deb asked them where the elevator was. They pointed to our right. We were standing right next to it, which we also thought was hilarious. The pair of maids were then firmly convinced we were bonkers.
Up on the Executive Level
The Executive Level requires your room key to let you in. No riff raff allowed. There’s all kinds of amenities up there for the business traveler. A computer with wifi, a printer, comfy chairs and a TV. There’s a coffee bar and buffet, as well as tables for eating. It’s all tastefully decorated in rich woods and dark upholstery.
When we got there a couple was hogging the area in front of the TV with an attitude that suggested they belonged there and we didn’t, so we didn’t try to make friends. I’m thinking they were booted out of their room, had a late flight and needed a place to hang out.
You’ll need your room card again to get into your room. And it’s just a room. More luxurious and spacious than the space in OKC, but no door separating the sleeping area, so we gave a little and got a little. The room was beautifully appointed and quite chic, but it was still just a hotel room. Nothing about it to get very excited about. We did have comfy robes and house shoes to use and there was a safe, but the bottles of water were strictly for Hilton Honors members.
What made the upgrade to the Executive Level worthwhile, in spite of the absence of breakfast and social hour, was that in lieu of these amenities the hotel comped our breakfasts down in the hotel’s restaurant. The breakfast buffet was $12.95 each, so were were about one breakfast ahead each day. We also had dinner there on Saturday night, not comped, but I’ll tell you about Legends Restaurant next week.