Located in the far western corner of Texas, and stubbornly on Mountain time while the rest of the state is on Central time, El Paso is situated on the Rio Grande on one side of the U.S.-Mexico border. Along with sister cities Las Cruces, New Mexico, and Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico, it forms a tri-city greater metropolitan area that is home to about two and a half million people.
I went to El Paso for a conference and stayed at the DoubleTree in Downtown El Paso, one of a handful of hotels located within easy walking distance to the El Paso Convention And Performing Art Center and offered as a hotel choice for attendees. I chose the Doubletree El Paso Downtown not only for its convenient location but also for the consistent standards and service for business travelers. I know what I’m going to get when I stay at a Doubletree, and when I have a lot of work to get done on the road, those standards become priority one. The welcome chocolate chip cookie doesn’t hurt, either.
The Doubletree El Paso Downtown offers is decorated with contemporary decor in a desert color theme of sand, red, and green. I liken it to viewing a cactus at sunset (which you’ll have plenty of opportunities to enjoy while you’re staying in El Paso). Front desk service is friendly and efficient, and although very helpful, at times they seemed unfamiliar with the surrounding neighborhood. Questions for recommendations during my stay were hit or miss – an excellent recommendation on where to try Frito Pie, no recommendations at all for a local non-chain coffee shop.
I stayed in a standard room with two double beds, an entry-level room. It’s probably interchangeable with most other Doubletree hotels that I’ve stayed at – serviceable, standard, reliable – with everything I needed. The room was spacious, had a desk and plug-ins well designed for working, provided coffee and water amenities (I’m a gold level HHonors member), and a well laid out bathroom. Wifi is complimentary. I had all the room I needed. I was on a lower floor (4th), so I had a minimal view, but just a few floors up would have given me a nice view of the El Paso skyline.
One of the best features of the Doubletree in downtown El Paso is the Sunset Terrace located on the 7th floor. As the name suggests, this is a great spot to be a sunset. The terrace restaurant features brick-oven pizza and a wood-fired grill menu, along with craft cocktails perfectly enjoyed right along with the view. The adjacent pool area and loungers also have a view. I never made it to the Terrace at sunset, I only got to enjoy the daytime views.
Other dining options at the Doubletree include the Fire Restaurant and the M Cafe. I ate breakfast in the Fire Restaurant, the main dining location, varying choices from a simple buffet and ordering from the menu. Dinner offers a southwest menu; friends said the enchiladas were delicious. The M Cafe is the lobby coffee bar with the expected coffee menu and assorted pastries. Seating is fairly limited, and I always took my purchases with me. Room service is also available.
If you want to leave the hotel for dining, restaurants, and bars are located with a few blocks. There is currently a lot of construction going on in downtown El Paso, cranes and scaffolding were everywhere, so it wasn’t always easy to take the direct route even when walking. It took some detours and patience to get where I wanted to go. Check out Anson Eleven for the Frito Pie (a recommendation from the hotel) for delicious comfort food that’s not on any diet plan.
The hotel is convenient to most of the major things you’ll be doing in downtown El Paso.
The Convention Center is three blocks away. The Triple-A El Paso Chihuahuas, a San Diego Padres affiliate, play at Southwest University Park, two blocks away. (I wish my visit was during baseball season, this looked like a great venue to watch a game.) The Museum District is just a couple blocks more.
Sister city Juarez, Mexico, is about 12 blocks away. You can walk across the Rio Grande and the border into Mexico, it’s much quicker than walking for a short day trip. Bring your passport. If you have Global Entry, bring the card as it’s required for expedited land crossing. If you don’t have the card or Global Entry, don’t worry, the lines returning to the U.S. aren’t terribly long.
The Doubletree is located about half an hour from the airport. Its website says 15 minutes, but don’t believe it – that must have been calculated before traffic hit El Paso. The hotel has a free hotel shuttle, call upon arrival for the next available one. Supershuttle will run you about $18 and a taxi about $25.
The Doubletree Hotel El Paso Downtown is located at 600 N. El Paso Street, El Paso, Texas. Rates start around $135/night. Make your reservation directly at the hotel website or an OTA like Expedia.If you have a car, self-parking is available at the hotel for $10/day with in and out privileges.