After spending a few days exploring Paris (Day 1, Day 2, Day 3), my kids and I hopped on a train and headed to the small principality sandwiched between France, Belgium and Germany: Luxembourg. Tiny countries pique my curiosity, and it was an easy enough second destination for our one week trip. For our lodging I booked us at the DoubleTree Luxembourg.
There aren’t many chain hotel options in Luxembourg. The only three that appear on AwardMapper are Radisson, Hilton and Best Western. I am fresh out of any Best Western points, so that wasn’t an option. I have a stash of Radisson Rewards, but the occupancy of the hotel was a problem (i.e. you can’t book a room for three people). So the DoubleTree Luxembourg it was.
The hotel is bookable for 30,000 points per night at the base rate. We were booked (somehow) into a queen room. I’m not sure if it was a mistake,dob but the Hilton website let us, even with a party of 3. I hoped that we would be able to upgrade to something that would accommodate myself and the kids the day of arrival.
Cash rates for our dates were about €113, so we were getting less than 0.5 cents per Hilton point. Not the best, but it was free. At times, rates can be extremely reasonable. I’ve seen them between $80-100.
Getting to the Doubletree Luxembourg
We arrived at Luxembourg station by train from Paris via Metz. The hotel is a good distance from here, but I’d emailed asking for directions. The Doubletree Luxembourg pointed me toward taking the city bus, telling me to stop at the Parc de’lEurope stop. The hotel shuttle only runs to the airport.
Even though it included a transfer, this was easy enough to do. The bus got us there within 40 minutes. There is an awesome transit map at most of the stations.
Most stations also have electronic screens showing when the next buses will arrive. The transfer station is called Badanstalt. When taking the bus back to the center of Luxembourg, this is the stop you generally want. It is the easiest access to the middle of town. You can walk to the Museum, Palace of the Grand Duke, and the Grund from here.
We had to walk a few hundred yards to get to the hotel from the Jean Engling bus stop. The stop referenced in the email by the shuttle driver was closed. After puffing and (my kids) whining our way up the short hill, we finally caught sight of the DoubleTree Luxembourg. The hotel itself isn’t especially pretty. It’s a giant concrete tower.
The lobby of the DoubleTree Luxembourg is fairly small, but nice. The A/C was wonderful since we were dripping sweat.
We checked in at the front desk with a very friendly agent. We were booked into a single queen room. How they let us do this with three people on the reservation, I have no clue. But I was banking on some sort of upgrade that would at least get us into a room with two beds.
To my surprise, she said they were putting us in a deluxe room, even though I recently dropped from Diamond to Gold status. She confirmed it would have sufficient bedding for the three of us. My email to the hotel from earlier had paid off.
Doubletree Luxembourg Queen Room
Our room was on the 14th floor. The kids were bummed we weren’t on the top floor. Not I. I was just happy we were in a decent room for our two nights in Luxembourg.
When I opened the door we walked into a large room with a queen bed, a rollaway bed and a nice living area with a couch. It was definitely better than a standard room and would work great with one child on the couch and the other on the rollaway.
The rollaway bed was set up and ready for us. I rarely email a hotel ahead of time, but this is one instance where I am very glad I did.
Papá would get the bed. The kids complain that I don’t take a turn on the couch or floor (when that happens). They call me old (at 29, LOL). Getting the bed comes with the territory…at least that’s my justification.
Beyond the rollaway bed was the desk. No U.S. outlets here. Forgetting our adapter was getting really annoying.
There were some snacks and drinks available, but everything was obviously at a cost.
The one thing I’m still not used to is the instant coffee in European hotel rooms. I generally only make some ~50% of the time,
The air conditioner in the suite was whisper-quiet, something I appreciate immensely. I don’t mind if a unit runs it’s fan all night if it isn’t especially loud as the constant noise actually helps me sleep. But if it kicks on and off, quiet is a must.
The bathroom wasn’t especially large, but it was entirely suitable for the three of us.
Our deluxe queen room had a view back toward the center of Luxembourg City. This should help give you somewhat of a sense of how far on the outskirts the DoubleTree Luxembourg is.
Overall, I was very pleased with our room. The hotel really came through for us on this one, which I really appreciated. I’ve had decent experiences with Hilton in general, and only one fairly bad one. Sometimes their program gets a bad rap, but I find that they are one of the better chains in general if you balance elite treatment, points earning, chain footprint, and ability to attain status cheaply.
The DoubleTree Luxembourg also had placards where you could opt out of housekeeping in exchange for points each night. However, the offer of 500 Hilton points is really sad. Under SPG’s Make a Green Choice program, you could earn 500 SPG points per night at full service hotels, which is significant. I value 500 Hilton points as a whopping $2.50, so it really doesn’t amount to anything.
The Doubletree Luxembourg has a pool and fitness center. Both are located on the lower level. The kids had a great time in the pool our first evening.
My one big gripe with the pool was the attendant. He kept cracking open the service door and peering out. After a while, my kids were the only ones left in the pool. I felt like he just wanted us to leave. As far as I read, we weren’t overstaying the hours or anything. He *did* bring me booties to cover my shoes that I was wearing near the pool. First time that has happened.
When we headed back to the locker rooms, I realized there weren’t any towels, so I tracked him down and inquired. He very grumpily brought us some. I’m really not sure what his issue was.
The fitness center is tiny.
We had breakfast each morning in the hotel restaurant. As a Hilton Honors Gold member, I could choose between breakfast and points. Breakfast always wins, unless I am departing too early to enjoy it. The points offered are a pittance.
Breakfast at the DoubleTree Luxembourg is good. The food selection offered was about what I expected. The service was average. The first morning the place was a zoo, but the second was fairly quiet.
We were seated after giving the hostess our room number. Even though the Gold breakfast benefit is published for two (member plus one guest), I had no issues with the extra child eating for free. Definitely appreciated that they didn’t make a big deal about it. A pot of hot coffee awaited us (well, just me) on the table.
Hot foods included eggs, bacon, beans, tomatoes and something sorta like French toast. I didn’t catch the name.
There was also a selection of pastries and bread.
In the corner was an interesting jam setup. You could scoop whichever jams you wanted into tiny waffle cups. I’m guessing they are for your toast and not to eat by themselves (which is what I did)?
Further down were the juice and water, which were followed by selections of fruit, yogurt and cold cuts.
And cheese. Not my idea of breakfast, but hey, gotta have a huge spread.
Overall, it was a great breakfast buffet.
There is also cereal. I tend to overlook this. The kids never do.
Ordering from the restaurant
Unfortunately, we had to order room service our first night, something I am loathe to do. Due to a complicated schedule of phone calls to friends, promised pool time, and a later-than-expected arrival at the hotel, it became the only logical option. There isn’t anything within easy walking distance of the hotel except for a tiny Nordic restaurant. Their one dinner offering consisted of mushroom blini. I promptly walked back to the hotel.
Luckily, none of us were especially hungry, so we got a plate of chicken and pasta and a side of fries from the restaurant. It fed us, but I would never order it again. Everything was bland, which is definitely a feat by the chef, considering the chicken was stuffed with ham and cheese.
The damage? A whopping $40. How I wish I had picked up and extra baguette and some fruit earlier. Note to self: always keep enough food for a potential light meal on hand. It would have been both cheaper and better.
Venturing into the city
The Doubletree Luxembourg juxtaposed our stay at the Crowne Plaza Paris Republique. The hotel had better accommodations, service, and elite benefits. But it wasn’t in an especially good location. This was my one worry booking the hotel. If you are exploring the region by car, it is entirely suitable. Parking is even free.
But geographical distance doesn’t necessarily correlate with inconvenience. The bus system turned out to be convenient enough for accessing the main sights in Luxembourg City. Like I mentioned before, the stop is 300 meters away. The bus *should* stop about 100 meters from the DoubleTree Luxembourg, but due to either construction or a change in schedule, it’s not being used.
The bus typically runs every 20 minutes. The schedule is available at the stop. It isn’t 100% ideal, but it works well enough. The ride to Badanstalt is ~20 minutes.
From the Badanstalt transfer stop you can catch a bus to basically any other location in Luxembourg. The bus system is very well developed. If you’re headed to the middle of town, you can just walk. But Luxembourg is hilly, so unless you are an avid walker, a bus day pass will be your friend.
Do note that kids ride free. I didn’t know this the first day and unfortunately bought them single trip tickets for €2.50 each. The second day I spent the €5 for one day pass for myself.
We saw much of Luxembourg City, including the museum, the cathedral, and the Grund (the old city below along the river). It is *so* picturesque.
We also saw a lot of 747s, as Luxembourg Airport is actually a major cargo hub. I was taken aback at how many wide-bodies kept landing, but soon realized they were almost all Cargolux planes.
The second day we ventured out to the Luxembourg American Memorial and Cemetery. All I want to say here is that it is incredibly moving and absolutely worth visiting. More on our experience in a different post.
The hotel held our bags for us for several hours on our last day. Their system isn’t ideal for this, as the DoubleTree Luxembourg doesn’t have a concierge, and the front desk seems generally overworked in my estimation. They typically had two agents on duty. One took and stored our bags while the line lengthened.
Overall, we had a nice stay at the DoubleTree Luxembourg. The hotel accommodated our need for adequate bedding wonderfully, and the perk of free breakfast as a Gold elite was awesome. The distance to the city center is a bit of a nuisance, but a good bus system makes it doable without a car. Our only real letdown was the room service.
Have you visited Luxembourg? Do you have any tips for experiencing this tiny country?