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.
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.
1. TravelingMom Has “Been There”
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
The hotel is located on W. Lafayette (Hamilton Musical fans, you know what to do!) and it 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.
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!