When I smell DoubleTree cookies, I go to a happy place. I’ve snarfed a good number of the habit-forming baked goods over the years, and each time I’m transported by the taste and smell back to the very first time I had one. As Sophia from The Golden Girls used to say: “Picture it. Palm Springs, 1996.” We’d just checked in at the then-DoubleTree Desert Princess in Cathedral City  (the hotel reflagged as a DoubleTree once again in 2015 after a two-decade hiatus) after an all-day-and-night trek from Anchorage that involved a long wait during an epic rainstorm at LAX and 45 minutes of hair-raising bumps onboard a 30 seat turboprop over the San Jacinto Mountains.

And I was starving. Few things ever tasted as good as that DoubleTree Cookie just after midnight on a rainy evening in Palm Springs. Few things before or since.

The California DoubleTree Cookie Tin. Photo Courtesy of DoubleTree by Hilton.

Fast-forward several years to when I was working as a travel agent for AAA Travel in Anchorage. We had run out of brochures for the Hilton Seattle Airport (interestingly enough where I had also stayed during that Palm Springs trip in 1996, and where I had a similarly transcendental encounter with a club sandwich having arrived starving after another flight delay) so I sent an e-mail to the sales rep asking for some. The sales rep also handled a nearby DoubleTree, so I received brochures for both properties, along with a tin of DoubleTree cookies. To be honest, the brochures were not movers, but on average every few months like clockwork, I’d “run out”, send an e-mail, and get another box of cookies.

It’s important to explain that there is a point to all this nostalgia. National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day is on August 4, and as skeptical as I am about the value of these food holidays, I’m crazy mad about these cookies and they’re giving them out. It’s a random act of kindness in line with their brand movement “Nice Travels”. See here.

It sort of reminds me of my recent stay at a DoubleTree in the San Francisco Bay Area. Same kind of attitude. And I got extra cookies when I checked out.

Pay attention, ’cause here’s the good part.

How to get free cookies on August 4:

Get Thee To A DoubleTree. “Anyone and everyone” who goes into a DoubleTree property on August 4 will get a free cookie, whether they’re a guest or not. Find a DoubleTree near you here.

Ride The Rails. DoubleTree will also have folks on the ground in the Amtrak terminals at Chicago’s Union Station and New York City’s Penn Station on August 4. You’ll get two cookies there – one for you, and one for you sharing.

Get on Insta. Instagram users will have chances to win from August 4 through August 12 by  watching a video featuring the new cookie tins inspired by travel destinations (which will also be available for purchase online). To enter, screenshot your favorite destination from the video on DoubleTree’s Instagram account and DM it DoubleTree.

Go. And tell a friend.