Four Too Good Not to Share Takeaways from TLE Detroit

Decadent Dessert at TLE Detroit

My first visit to Detroit, Michigan was early in the year for the North American International Auto Show. I was so very pleasantly surprised. The city is partaking in a rebirth filled with cultural spots and foodie finds worthy of Instagram. Just last week I headed back to the Motor City for TLE Detroit. A travel and lifestyle event, I had so many discoveries to not only use for myself, but share with you as well. Here’s my four favorite takeaways for TLE Detroit.

TLE Detroit Floral Centerpieces
TLE Detroit Floral Centerpieces. Photo Credit: Karyn Locke

Remember the old Detroit from a few decades ago? I remember watching stories about it on the news when I was a kid. These days, Detroit is all about upgrading its look and reputation and it’s highly noticeable. The Motor City has so much to offer its residents and guests that I had to find out for myself what makes it a place for a travel and lifestyle event. So, with The Kid in tow, we headed to Detroit last week to get answers to my questions with TLE Detroit.

Cindy Richards, Lead Editor for TravelingMom, giving advice on pitching press trips.
Cindy Richards, Lead Editor for TravelingMom, giving advice on pitching press trips. Photo Credit: Karyn Locke

1. TravelingMom Has “Been There”

TLE Detroit was hosted by TravelingMom. I’m happy to call all of the ladies in the group my friends and I love our catch phrase, “We’ve been there”. And it’s true. We have.

It was a nice reiteration from our lead editor that, if you’re just learning how to pitch to brands and visitors bureaus for potential articles, you need to tell them up front exactly what you’ll give in exchange for a hosted visit. And, while I do make it very clear what I’ll commit to, there are many folks just beginning to make themselves known in the travel realm that happily heeded the advice.

Daym Drops, YouTube foodie sensation, inspired the group at TLE Detroit to go out and create our own viral videos.
Daym Drops, YouTube foodie sensation, inspired the group at TLE Detroit to go out and create our own viral videos. Photo Credit: Karyn Locke

2. Daym Drops Knows YouTube

There was a special guest for the event, Daymon Patterson, AKA Daym Drops. If you haven’t heard of him, he’s a YouTube sensation and one of Rachel Ray’s foodie correspondents.

What I took away from his session was his passion for creating food reviews. His start? Reviewing a burger in his car during his lunch hour at Walmart. He said there’s a viral video in all of us, we just need to hone in on our passions.

It’s testimonials like his that make me really want to amp up my YouTube channel.

A traditional German lederhosen from Inside Europe.
A traditional German lederhosen from Inside Europe. Photo Credit: Karyn Locke

3. Europe with an Insiders Point of View

Have you considered visiting Europe but don’t know where to begin when it comes to planning? I had the pleasure of chatting with Inside Europe and discovered that they are there to help you with planning and itineraries. They like to call themselves “travel matchmakers” and love collaborating with travelers to make memories.

With no set agenda, they feel that authentic and meaningful experiences are far better than an overly-planned visit. That I must agree on. For example, Kim Orlando worked with them on a recent visit to Germany. She wanted to visit the country but wanted an Italian experience. They hooked her up! They helped her with Italian foodie finds – how cool is that?

Pork Belly with Sweet Potato Puree at TLE Detroit.
Pork Belly with Sweet Potato Puree at TLE Detroit. Photo Credit: Karyn Locke

4. Never Discount Hotel Food in Detroit

When it comes to food, Detroit is booming with culinary creativity – including its hotel scene. Not kidding.

TLE Detroit was hosted in the Grand Ballroom of DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel Detroit Downtown – Fort Shelby. Executive Chef Eric gave us a super simple, yet complex with flavor, recipe for Pork Belly with Sweet Potato Puree. And, while I was busy filming a Facebook Live video for TravelingMom’s page, even the view of its creation through a lens was simple and refined.

Pork Belly is super hot and trendy right now and the sweet potato puree with pepitas was delicious. Yep, we had the pleasure of taste-testing the appetizer. It’s one of those recipes where, even though it looks complicated, it’s not.

DoubleTree Suites Downtown Detroit - Fort Shelby.
DoubleTree Suites Downtown Detroit – Fort Shelby. Photo Credit: Karyn Locke

Where to Stay when Visiting Detroit

I’ve only visited Detroit a couple of times and both visits were great! This last visit was definitely better, weather-wise, so I was able to get out and explore the city proper more. As a rule, I like to stay in hotels that are close to everything, especially in cities that I’m not too familiar with. Having written that, my hosted stay at DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel Detroit Downtown – Fort Shelby was exactly what The Kid and I needed in regards to space, location, and amenities.

TLE Detroit Cocktails and DoubleTree Suites Downtown Detroit - Fort Shelby Social Media Info.
TLE Detroit Cocktails and DoubleTree Suites Downtown Detroit -Fort Shelby Social Media Info. Photo Credit: Karyn Locke

The hotel is located on W. Lafayette (Hamilton Musical fans, you know what to do!) and it’s seriously only a block away from Downtown Detroit’s People Mover. If you’re not up for a train ride in the sky, its complimentary shuttle will take you pretty much anywhere downtown that you need to go.

DoubleTree Suites Downtown Detroit - Fort Shelby living area.
DoubleTree Suites Downtown Detroit – Fort Shelby living area. Photo Credit: Karyn Locke

Let’s talk about the suites for a sec. Just having undergone a huge room renovation, the muted color palette, along with a separate living room area, is perfect for my 15-year old and me. She’s cyber schooled, so she was able to log into classes in the living area and the bedroom area was perfect for sleeping.

No Pool? No Problem.

While there is no pool on-property, it wasn’t a deal breaker at all. At this point in our travels we don’t have to have a pool. Honestly? Nine times out of 10 we never use a hotel’s pool anyway. There is a sizable fitness center that’s a good choice for exercise, especially if visiting in winter.

There’s three on-property dining options – that was a nice option. Motor City Kitchen is comfort food with an urban twist. Motor City Market is basically a grab-and-go pastry and coffee spot in the lobby. And Round Bar is just that – a giant round bar with additional seating. It offers 16 on-tap beer varieties and creative cocktail choices.

Disclosure: I was graciously hosted by the folks at DoubleTree Suites Downtown Detroit – Fort Shelby to give you fine folks the scoop on what makes the hotel so great for families. All opinions (and photos!) are my own!

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15 Thoughts to “Four Too Good Not to Share Takeaways from TLE Detroit”

  1. Mia

    I really love the pictures in the post! Great shots! I am very curious about North America and I always enjoy reading travel journals and recommendations! Such an amazing post and blog! I’ll keep an eye on it from now on! Keep on with the good work!

  2. I have always wanted to join a travel blogger event to get inspired! It must be exciting to meet the people in person after been reading their blogs or seen them on youtube!

  3. I love attending blog events as you get to meet the real person behind the blog, You also get the opportunity to make new friends who share your passion and pick up new tips and tricks.

  4. I have never been to Detroit only through it. I love all th information you walkyd away with from your event. It would be nice to find some events for me to attend.

  5. It’s so nice to see Detroit making a come back! It’s nice to see businesses coming to the city and the restoration of existing businesses like the DoubleTree.

  6. Wow looks like you had an amazing time in Detroit. Yes most of the times hotel food is not good at all, glad to know your was good!

  7. The hotel looks like such fun! Have yet to go to Detroit, but I’m a runner that likes to do races out of town, so it’s possibly on my list of future run-cay-tions 🙂

  8. I have only been to Detroit once. Although honestly I just was in and out of there. When I stayed in the area I stayed with my fiancee’s family in Livonia. But I do think it is beautiful there. And I think I would love the food stuff that they are doing there. I am all for any culinary things.

  9. Amrita

    I loved the travelling mom has been there thing.the food scene and fun quotient seems high

  10. This blogger event looks so much fun and looks like you had a great time. The hotel also looks amazing!

  11. What an informative post.
    I think if I ever go to Detroit… then I’ll keep the tips here handy 🙂

  12. Joy

    Oh wow! Thanks for your insightful post. I have added Detroit to my visit list, thanks to you.

  13. When I travel all I care about is food, but I never pegged Detroit as a great destination for culinary finds. This is good to know if I ever make it there. Great review.

  14. Kiwi

    DoubleTrees are always nice to stay in. Never been to Detroit but thanks for giving us a recap of your stay here.

  15. So that was a double win, got to attend and live shoot an event with some amazing food and stay option. Good to know that Detroit is great in culinary preparations.

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