Brilliant white buildings jostle for position in the UNESCO world heritage old town of Stonetown. Elaborately carved balconies and doors, fit to impale an enemy, show evidence of the town’s eclectic heritage, a mixture of Persian, African and Indian influences. Hidden in the shade of the labyrinthine alleys is the cool respite of the Doubletree Stonetown. It’s whitewashed walls and unassuming tiled entrance are a world away from a typical Doubletree property, and a welcome escape from the sweltering heat.
Entering the Doubletree Stonetown
Entering the hotel reminds me of a Moroccan riad, with brightly coloured stained-glass windows, vivid seating areas in rich reds and golds and ornate, carved ceiling lamps. It is more boutique, boudoir than large scale chain hotel. Even better, our stay is free as we have used Hilton HHonor points to book.
A Doubletree welcome
For anyone not familiar with the Doubletree brand, the hotels welcome guests with their signature cookies fresh from the oven. It’s a welcome treat after travelling for 16 hours, and the soothing juice that accompanies it, disappears in seconds.
Tucked away in the corner of the third floor, our room is simple but comfortable. The bed is less firm than typical Hilton beds and a great size. Cool coloured glasswork decorates the carved wooden furniture, very much in a traditional style rather than the characterless modernity of many chain hotels.
The large bathroom houses a shower but sadly the shower strength was more drizzle than downpour which was a little disappointing after our long journey.
Facilities at the Doubletree Stonetown
The hotel is compact, with only handfuls of rooms on each of the four main floors. The top floor is reserved for a tiny windowless gym and Taarab Restaurant and bar. From here, a balcony provides views out to sea, a great place for a sundowner. We are greeted warmly by Charlie when we pop up to enjoy the sunset, and he persuades us to return for dinner which does not disappoint.
I select an entrée of crabcakes followed by curried octopus. Both are delicious and pretty as a picture. Charlie provides fabulous service and we witness an impromptu birthday celebration from the staff for a fellow guest. The singing and dancing reminds me of the celebrations before the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, a flamboyant, unembarrassed display of musical exuberance.
Guests seeking a vast array of facilities may find this hotel lacking, however the meagre facilities are more than compensated for by the traditional ambience which greets you as you enter this hotel. It is great value in a fabulous location, close to old town attractions. The service lives up to Hilton standards and I would not hesitate to stay here again.
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Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post and all views are our own.
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