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  1. Napa, CA I recently spent six nights at the DoubleTree by Hilton in American Canyon, which is about fifteen minutes south of downtown Napa. This is a hotel you won't forget once you see it due to the radical design over the entrance: While this hotel looks like an avant-garde project from the 1950s (and, quite frankly, feels like it, too), it was surprisingly built in 2006. Truly, it's difficult to imagine this is only a nine-year-old hotel, and although the layout is nice, the general air is that of a run-down traveler's rest which is being propped up, and has seen better days. The good news is that it's fairly inexpensive - you can find rooms here for around $100 if you look, and the rooms themselves are perfectly fine, with fairly new-seeming, clean sheets, very friendly service at the front desk, and cleaning service which is very responsive to quirky requests, as long as those requests are made on a timely basis, and are reasonable. My room was directly above the gym, which is a tiny little thing - really, just a guest room which has been made into a rectangle, containing about ten pieces of equipment - it's good for an exercise bike ride, some light weight work, and things like that. The gym had a very, very strong odor of antiseptic (like a hospital) when I was there - I just sucked it up, and got used to it). Although I'd stay here again if the price were right, that's only if I wasn't going to be spending much time in my room. Though the beds themselves were comfortable, with very clean sheets (I cannot emphasize that enough), the bathroom was a dump, with pump bottles of shampoo, body soap, and moisturizer in three containers plastered against the shower wall near the faucet area. The tile floor was very dated, and the linens were not at all fluffy. Even though I *might* stay here again, I wouldn't go out of my way to recommend this DoubleTree by Hilton to anyone, although I wouldn't urge them not to stay there unless they were the type of people to expect a bit more pampering in their vacations. The room coffee is feeble, and it was worth walking over to the lobby restaurant in the mornings in order to get a freshly poured cup - there's a mini-fridge in each room, so you can bring your own beers and store them there to save money. Parking is free, as this is right on State Route 29, but since the rooms are around back, surrounding a lagoon area, road noise isn't a problem. DoubleTree by Hilton is very much of a three-star hotel - calling it two-star is needlessly unfair because the important things - with the glaring exception of my bathroom - are comfortable, and the beds themselves are perfectly fine. This should be on your list of places to look if you want to stay in Napa, but don't want to pay exorbitant prices - you have to not mind driving an extra ten miles each way to get to Napa, but in my situation, I didn't care - DoubleTree by Hilton served me perfectly well during my stay, and central operations was responsive when it needed to be; unintrusive when they weren't.
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