By the River at DoubleTree, Lafayette, LA

On the bank of the Vermilion River, a little over two miles from downtown Lafayette, Louisiana, the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel is a busy hub of travelers who have come to this city touted as being one of the happiest cities in the United States.  Cajun cuisine, music festivals (I took in the Festivals Acadiens and Creoles), close by historic towns, swamp tours of the Atchafalaya Basin and more offer plenty to do. The DoubleTree offers chill out and visit friends and family spots after a day of sight-seeing. Plus, spacious guest rooms provide excellent slumber.

The SoLa Lobby Bar,  just steps away from the reception area was a busy place the weekend I was there. People mingled by the bar and settled into chairs for leisurely drinks and lighter fare. Although the TVs behind the bar were tuned to sports, more people were in a visiting mood.

Happily, the bar’s menu reflected the Louisiana location. Local hand-crafted beer and Crawfish Wontons and Thunder Shrimp are a nod to the local flavor. Although I didn’t dine at the hotel’s SoLa Restaurant, the menu packs several Louisiana inspired offerings. I wish I had tried the Shrimps & Grits, a southern dish with a Cajun kick.

On certain days, the hotel turns up the nightlife at its Club 337. Tuesdays are Karaoke night and Fridays are for Latin dance.  Other days are for special events like stand-up comedy and music performances.

Or, for a bit of solitude, head out to the deck off the outdoor pool. There were only a few people enjoying the view of the river when I settled into a patio chair for a bit of respite. This is a lovely spot for reading a book. In late afternoon, the light turned to a golden hue.

The decor of the guest rooms reflect the modern sensibilities of the rest of the hotel. Abstract art, aesthetically pleasing light fixtures and the warm wood tones of the mahogany furniture give an aura of comfort. My room with its two queen beds, was perfect for a good night sleep. The separate marble top side table utilized as a coffee station was a well thought out touch. This allowed more surface space elsewhere for whatever belongings one might have instead of ending up with clutter around the coffee maker.

Other room amenities include: a 37-inch flat screen HD TV, a hair dryer, and clock radio. Also, WiFi is free.

The DoubleTree also has a free airport shuttle. Make arrangements at the desk for when you need to leave to get to the airport on time. Our pick-up was at 4:30 a.m.

Rooms range from one king bed to suites. Ask for a river view. Rates start at $119 at the hotel’s website. If you want to include breakfast for up to two adults, book the Bed & Breakfast option for roughly $10 more than the price of a room. You can also make your reservation through Expedia or other online booking sites.

Post courtesy and photos courtesy of Jamie Rhein. My room was courtesy of Lafayette Travel as part of a trip for research purposes, but views are my own. 

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