Damon frequently stays in the DoubleTree in Dundee when he goes up to study. I’ve been up with him a few times so we both have a lot of experience with the hotel. Together, we’ve stayed in a range of room tiers. Everything from a Double Guest Room to a King Premium Suite (Room 302). Damon even got to stay in the large King Deluxe Family Suite once (Room 303).
The room that we’ve had the most experience with is the King Deluxe so we’ll be reviewing that today. For reference, the one night stay on this occasion cost £50 on the dot.
A Brief History Of The Hotel
Whilst most of the hotel was built in the 20th century, a large section dates all the way back to 1870. The two-story mansion house was built by architect Campbell Douglas as a residence for the successful paper mill manager, David Watson and his wife Hannah Parker.
The Greystane House, as it was known, eventually became the Greystane Hotel, which became the Swallow Hotel, the Landmark Hotel and then, most recently, the DoubleTree by Hilton Dundee.
The hotel is situated on the west side of Dundee and, as such, if you don’t have a car it’s going to be pretty difficult getting around.
The hotel does offer a complimentary shuttle service on certain days but the reliability of this service is questionable according to a number of TripAdvisor reviews. A taxi is likely the best option if you don’t have transport with you.
If you do have a car, driving times (traffic dependent) to some of the top spots in and around Dundee are all pretty reasonable:
Getting There By Car
From Glasgow/Edinburgh/South of Dundee - Follow the A90 north east heading towards Dundee. The hotel is the 1st left off of the roundabout which converges with the A85.
From Aberdeen/North of Dundee - Follow the A90 south to Dundee. Turn right at the lights onto the Kingsway/A90. At the 4th roundabout, turn right and you’ll see the hotel on your left hand side.
From Dundee Airport/Dundee Train Station - Follow the A85 west. The hotel is straight ahead, 2nd exit on the roundabout which converges with the A90.
Parking and Tesla Superchargers
There is plenty of free parking outside the hotel for guests. Tesla have also installed 8 superchargers in this location.
There are two major benefits to checking in through the Hilton App. Room selection and a digital room key allow you to bypass the front desk. Whilst it’s useful at other Hilton brand hotels, at the DoubleTree Dundee it’s best to use the check in desk.
If you check in via the app you don’t get the free cookie. If you’re a diamond member, at this hotel, you get a complimentary drinks voucher or box of chocolates but you need to use the check in desk.
If you preselect a room on the app you are locked into that specific room. The staff will not move a guest once they have preselected a room. On occasion you may have been pre-upgraded through the app in advance. If not, do not select your room as you may still be upgraded at the desk.
Caveat here. It can be a risky game to play as you might not get an upgrade and get put in a sub-optimal room. To minimise your risk, call in advance and ask to be upgraded.
The DoubleTree Dundee has a range of guest rooms, accessible rooms and suites. There is no lift/elevator to the 1st floor, only stairs (a main and secondary staircase) so accessible rooms are on the ground floor. The suites are all located on the 3rd floor (5 flights of stairs) in the historic section of the hotel.
We would recommend against a King Superior Room as these ‘king beds’ are actually 2 single mattresses pushed together and you can feel the gap between them.
King Deluxe Room
On this occasion, we are reviewing the King Deluxe Room. We chose a room with an odd number as the odd numbered King Deluxe Rooms are garden, rather than car park-facing.
The room had a large, comfortable king-sized bed. Both the mattress and the pillows were on the softer side which we both liked.
The room also came with plenty of seating. There was a two seater couch next to a coffee table near the door, an armchair in the corner and a desk chair.
There was a luggage rack, a desk with two drawers and a separate wardrobe area which came with plenty of hangers. This was located between the main part of the room and the bathroom. The room also had an in-built safe and a mini-fridge.
The room had plenty of charging points. There was a single outlet in the seating area, two at the desk and two more on the left hand side of the bed (bed-facing). There were no outlets on the window side of the bed.
The in-room amenities included a 40-inch Samsung HDTV with Freeview channels, a hairdryer, a kettle, two complimentary bottles of water, an ironing board plus iron, bathrobes and slippers.
Standard tea/coffee facilities were available. This included tea, coffee, hot chocolate, sugar and UHT milk pots. There were no biscuits (these were only included with suites).
You could adjust the room temperature and fan speed by using the wall-mounted remote control. There was no air conditioner but the room would heat up and cool down quickly (although the fans were quite loud).
This is one area in particular that could do with an upgrade. Whilst upload speeds were 14.3 Mbps, download speeds were a pitiful 1.61 Mbps. This meant if we wanted to watch a YouTube video we would have to watch it in 480p or it wouldn’t load.
The hotel has a ‘Conserve to Preserve’ policy. This means that your bed-linen will only be changed every third day unless you place a card on your pillow. Similarly, a towel will only be replaced if it is left on the floor. There is no turndown service in this hotel.
The bathroom was large and came with a separate bath tub and shower. There was great water pressure in the shower which is always a plus. All rooms in this hotel have at least a bath/shower combo but separate bath tubs are only available in King Deluxe Rooms and Suites.
The bathroom came equipped with a considerable number of soft, white cotton towels. These included 2 small towels, 2 bath towels, 2 face cloths and 1 floor towel.
We were also given a number of mini toiletries. Hand soap, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, body lotion and mouthwash.
Another nice touch was their complimentary ‘travel light’ kit. You could phone down to reception and ask for a comb, a razor, shaving cream, a toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, a sewing kit and shower cap all free of charge.
Glen Clova Suite
For Comparison, the Glen Clova Suite (room 303), also known as the King Deluxe Family Suite is based in the historic part of the hotel. The bed size is the same but you get 6 instead of 4 pillows (you can ask for extra pillows if you’re in a standard room).
The main room is separated from the bedroom and in addition to the regular amenities you also receive some of the extras in the room as standard (a toothbrush, razor and hygiene kit which includes Q-tips and cotton wool). In all, the amenities are the same but the room is bigger and is finished to a higher standard.
Top Tip: The extractor fans in the suite bathrooms can be loud. If you want to have a bath in quieter surroundings, ask a staff member at reception to have someone switch it off.
Pool and Gym
The pool area is small but well-equipped with showers, a sauna and steam room. The adjoining locker room could also do with an update.
The gym is very well-equipped with cross trainers, treadmills, rowing machines, weights and more. But sometimes machines have remained broken down for a while.
The staff members are a great asset to this hotel. All very friendly and courteous from the reception, to the pool team, to the wait-staff.
There are two places to eat on property. The Maze Restaurant and The Lounge. The Restaurant is in the style of a conservatory with views over the hotels garden. This is where breakfast is served but it is open all day for lunch and dinner also (until 9:30pm).
Note. The Maze Restaurant can be closed on occasion for private events.
The menu is expensive but the food is very tasty. Since Damon’s eaten in this restaurant so many times he has a few recommendations.
The Good: Chicken Caesar Salad, Thai Red Chicken Curry, Cookie Slider (an item not on the menu but you can get on request - 2 DoubleTree cookies with a vanilla ice cream centre).
The Bad: Szechuan Calamari (rubbery texture)
The Lounge is the hotel’s bar venue which serves food daily from midday to 10pm. The bar also serves Starbucks Coffee.
Breakfast was served in The Maze Restaurant from 6:30am to 10:30am Monday-Friday (7am to 11am on weekends). There was a great selection on offer: A Buffet offering a full Scottish breakfast; a toast machine (brown and white bread); a continental cold meats section with cheese; and fruit and a cereal bar.
There was also a menu offering a selection of other hot items (eg. Eggs Benedict) and a gluten free area.
Breakfast is complimentary with Hilton Diamond status, otherwise it would have cost £10pp per day.
Room service effectively serves the bar menu, some sandwiches and some small plate items. We did this a couple of times when we felt lazy and wanted to chill in the room. Just bear in mind the rather extortionate £5 tray charge.
Conclusion and Scoring
This is a great hotel for business people, couples and families. For a DoubleTree, which is in Hilton’s mid-tier hotel range, this beats expectations. Plentiful amenities, a good selection of high quality rooms and courteous staff-members.
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