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©John R. Turner

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Out and About with Word and Image of Vermont

The Doubletree Suites
We stayed recently in the Doubletree Suites Hotel in Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia.  We had pleasant accommodations -- No. 216 -- that consisted of two rooms, with a bath and small kitchen counter in between. We even had two TVs, one for each room, but we watched only one of them.

The cost was $99, which I think was a special rate occasioned by our being guests at a wedding.

The window of our living room looked out into a large atrium, offering a sense of spaciousness. On the lobby floor below were comfortable sofas and chairs alongside a tabled area in the center where people sit for coffee and drinks.

I had no complaints about the Doubletree, except that when I first arrived and walked toward the reservation desk a man in a doorman-type uniform asked abruptly what I wanted. But when I told him I wanted to check in he became more civil. It was the smallest of discomforts and I mention it only because it marred near- perfection, which is always regrettable. Maybe it was no more than Philly brusqueness.

The Doubletree Suites is set in what, for me, a somewhat strange spread of office buildings and other hotels not far from the Pennsylvania Turnpike. I say "strange' because the entire area is like a park, with groomed grounds, carefully clipped hedges, and well-kept flower beds. Yet, I doubt anyone looks at them other than the grounds keepers. They reminded me of an immaculately dressed little kid who has never been hugged.

Another positive feature of the Doubletree is that in the mornings there's free coffee in the lobby. At least it was free for me because I got a cup and no one said anything to me. The cups, though, were white styrofoam, a touch of bad taste in an otherwise polished setting. Still, I felt civilized to take my squishy white cup stroll though the lobby and out to a bench in front, where I sat easily and watched the sparrows and a single squirrel who peered at me suspiciously from behind the rear wheel of the airport van.