While DoubleTree by Hilton has given out chocolate chip cookies to guests at check in for 30 years, in 2016 it held its first 12 Days of Cookies program. Now Dec. 4 is the brand’s National Cookie Day.

HANDING OUT CHOCOLATE chip cookies to guests at check-in has been a tradition for DoubleTree by Hilton for three decades. This year will be the fourth that the brand has celebrated National Cookie Day at its more than 350 U.S. DoubleTree by Hilton hotels on Dec. 4.

For Jeff Palmer, general manager of DoubleTree Birmingham Perimeter Park in Birmingham, Alabama, the cookie has been present throughout his time with the company.

“I started my career as a valet parker with the DoubleTree Allen Center in Houston in 1990, and while the cookie was a staple back then, it has only gotten better,” Palmer said.

Over the years, DoubleTree has given out more than 472 million chocolate chip cookies, with each cookie containing an average of 30 chocolate chips, according to Hilton. Last month the brand had cookies baked aboard the International Space Station.

“National Cookie Day is one of our favorite holidays and, each year, we look forward to inviting guests and cookie lovers across the country to stop in one of our U.S. hotels to enjoy a complimentary chocolate chip cookie,” said Shawn McAteer, senior vice president and global head, DoubleTree by Hilton. “Sharing our warm DoubleTree chocolate chip cookie is a simple gesture to ensure our guests feel at home — no matter where they are — this holiday season.”

Peachtree Hotel Group, under Managing Principals Mitul Patel and Jatin Desai and CEO Greg Friedman, owns the Birmingham DoubleTree that Palmer manages. The DoubleTree cookie has been a useful tool for the brand, he said.

“It is iconic from a brand standpoint.  Guests walk through the door asking for that little bag with a warm, soft and delectable treat,” Palmer said. “It leaves a great calling card for our Sales team when they are out selling our property, because who else leaves you with a treat that is synonymous with their brand?”

Neil Amin, CEO of Chester, Virginia-based Shamin Hotels that owns and operates several Hilton brands, said National Cookie Day is one of his favorite holidays.

“It’s an opportunity to welcome guests and non-guests alike to enjoy a warm famous DoubleTree chocolate chip cookie,” Amin said. “The simple gesture brings comfort and a bit of holiday cheer to everyone celebrating the sweet holiday.”

In 2016 the brand held its inaugural 12 Days of Cookies program. Along with stopping by a DoubleTree to pick up a free cookie, anyone can order collectible holiday cookie tins from the company at www.doubletreecookies.com. The DoubleTree cookie pairings guide also is available on the site.