When taking a road trip with kids, especially one in which the destination is more of the focus than the journey, finding a clean, comfortable place to lay your head along the way is paramount. We’ve done the drive from New York to Florida and back along Interstate 95 a few times now, always stopping for a night both ways. The I-95 corridor caters to travelers in the sense that virtually every exit from Maine to Miami has all manner of services including most major brands of hotels. Choosing one of these can be like spinning the roulette wheel and it is stressful to arrive late at night with the kids at a place that ends up being subpar. That’s why I love that I can always count on DoubleTree by Hilton.
I recently did the New York to Florida drive with my three girls and my dad. My usual plan is to leave around 10:00 am and drive as far as Fayetteville, North Carolina, which is basically the halfway point, before finishing the drive on day two. Because we were planning on a stop at Kiawah Island, South Carolina, we left after dinner and spent the night at the DoubleTree Downtown in Richmond, Virginia.
The DoubleTree Downtown in Richmond was located a short drive from I-95. We arrived after midnight and were greeted by two friendly valets, one who helped us with our bags and the other who parked our car for us. There is street parking available, but as we had a full trunk for our trip we opted to use the valet services. If you’d like to do some sightseeing, the hotel is located in Richmond’s historic district and offers a free shuttle to take you to destinations within a three-mile radius.
The DoubleTree Richmond has a variety of rooms as well as two suites and ours were clean, cozy and inviting with warm lighting and very comfortable beds. My oldest daughter shared with my dad and the two younger girls and I stayed together. After tucking them in I took a nice, hot shower, wiped out from the late hour and the long drive and was delighted to discover fantastic water pressure and DoubleTree’s signature Citron bath products. The bedside table was equipped with a lamp that had two outlets which was great because I like to charge my phone at night as well as using it for an alarm clock. I finally snuggled in with my youngest and got right to sleep in the comfortable, quiet space.
There was a bit of miscommunication at the front desk at first and upon entering our rooms we discovered we’d been given two king-bedded rooms rather than rooms with two double beds as we’d requested. A quick trip back downstairs remedied this right away, although being that it was after midnight it was a little tough since the kids were exhausted. All said, the problem was handled quickly and efficiently and we were all settled in in no time.
The services and amenities offered by the DoubleTree vary by location however they all offer complimentary wi-fi for their guests which is a perk that as a blogger (even of the “unplugged” variety!) I truly appreciate. The Richmond location has an outdoor, rooftop pool which would have been great to use given that it was a steamy August night when we were there, but as it was just a quick stopover we didn’t have the chance to take advantage of that perk.
The 301 Restaurant and Lounge right off the lobby serves a full a la carte or buffet style breakfast everyday beginning at 6am. I love when there is an onsite restaurant on a road trip as I’m usually itching to get going and making an additional stop to eat cuts into the driving time. That said, we wanted to check out the River City Diner, just a short drive away, and didn’t have the chance to try 301. I did pop my head in and saw that the buffet was plentiful, and the restaurant was bright and cheerful with warm woods, comfortable chairs and the rich smell of fresh coffee in the air.
If you’re looking to grab something quickly, Two Trees Cafe is the spot with Starbucks coffee and an assortment of fresh fruit, assorted beverages and a nice selection of pre-made snacks and sandwiches.
We needed a convenient, safe, clean, comfortable place for a late-night overnight stop. The DoubleTree Downtown Richmond fit that description perfectly. On a longer visit to the area I would not hesitate to stay here again. The hotel provides its guests with everything they might need for a restful stay and it’s central location makes it a great home base for exploring the Richmond area and its surrounding attractions.