If you haven’t been to Detroit in the last five years, you haven’t been to Detroit. Downtown Detroit is under construction as developers reclaim and rebuild its most beautiful buildings, like the historic high rise that now houses the DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Detroit Downtown – Fort Shelby. The lovely family friendly hotel was the host for a TravelingMom influencer event, #TLEDetroit, starring YouTube star and TravelingDad Daym Drops.
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Downtown Detroit and Daym Drops
Detroit, Michigan, is a city on the rise. After years of disinvestment and decline, downtown Detroit is experiencing a renaissance—so much so that USA Today named it one of 14 places in the US to visit in 2016.
TravelingMom headed to Detroit to see for ourselves in late September, 2017. We invited Detroit area influencers to join us for a Detroit Travel + Lifestyle Event showing off the DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Detroit Downtown – Fort Shelby and TravelingDad Daymon Patterson, better known as Daym Drops, the YouTube star who also struts his stuff on the Rachel Ray Show.
DoubleTree Executive Chef Eric Hurd demonstrated how he builds a pork belly appetizer that is just as pretty as it is yummy. And Daym Drops has the review:
Executive Chef Eric of the Doubletree Detroit shows us how to prepare seared pork belly with a sweet potato puree. Traveling Dad Daym Drops chimes in with some video and food tasting tips! #TLEDetroit
Posted by Traveling Mom on Friday, September 29, 2017
History of the DoubleTree Suites in Downtown Detroit
The building that now houses the DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Detroit Downtown – Fort Shelby sat vacant for 34 years. Surprisingly, though, some of the original marble remains and was used in the renovation and revitalization of this grand dame of a hotel.
Now a member of the Historic Hotels of America, the DoubleTree Detroit – Fort Shelby has roots that date back to 1779. It sits on the site of a colonial era fort, then called Fort Lenoult. During the War of 1812, the fort ultimately was won by American troops led by Kentucky Governor Isaac Shelby. The fort was renamed in his honor.
While the fort is long gone, the hotel retains an homage to its history with the Fort Shelby in its name. The Fort Shelby Hotel was built in 1917 on the site of the former fort. Over the years, the hotel saw ups and downs before it closed completely in 1974. The building sat vacant for 34 years.
Family Friendly Hotel
Today, the beautiful Beaux-Arts building has been restored to its former glory. It’s a teeming property that boasts a great downtown Detroit location within easy walking distance of many Detroit attractions and just a block from the People Mover and a few blocks from the new QLine Streetcar that runs up and down Woodward Avenue.
Even more important than the gorgeous building is the quality of the service. Everyone I ran into was pleasant and helpful. And, I loved this promise from the family friendly hotel, found on cards prominently displayed around the hotel and in my room:
Family Friendly Suites Make the Difference
I stayed in a 650-square-foot suite that felt bigger than some apartments I have rented. The separate sitting area with its own flat screen TV sits a long hallway from the bedroom. There’s no pool to entertain the kids, but they can stay up, watching TV and indulging in the free wifi, while us parents get our beauty rest.
And the rest I got! The DoubleTree “Sweet Dreams” bed was one of the comfiest hotel beds I have ever had the pleasure of sinking into at the end of a long day.
The huge bathroom is nicely appointed and has enough space for more than one person to get ready at the same time. It is all one room—no separate space for the toilet and or tub—so that can slow things down a bit for families that like their privacy.
Dining at the DoubleTree
The lunch we had at #TLEDetroit was a nice representation of the quality of the food Chef Eric supplies.
The foodie experience at the DoubleTree Suites in Downtown Detroit starts with the cookie. That would be the warm, gooey chocolate chip cookie you get whenever you check into a DoubleTree anywhere. This delectable treat should be savored. Wait until you get upstairs to your room, brew a cup of Wolfgang Puck coffee, settle into the sitting area and enjoy!
The hotel has two onsite restaurants: Motor City Kitchen and the Round Bar.
Motor City Kitchen offers “an urban twist on comfort food” each day for breakfast. The breakfast buffet was fresh, hot and plentiful.
For lunch and dinner, move across the hall to the Round Bar. It serves local beer and innovative cocktails along with comfort food like this bread pudding.