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“Stylish and comfortable” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Lorien Hotel and Spa, a Kimpton Hotel

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Lorien Hotel and Spa, a Kimpton Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   1600 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 (Old Town)   |  
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Ranked #2 of 50 Hotels in Alexandria
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Seattle
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Stylish and comfortable”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2009

I prefer smaller contemporary style hotels and the Lorien was perfect. The rooms were tastefully decorated, the beds were very comfortable and windows can be opened. The bathroom looked nice overall but lacked some functionality as to small details - the placement of the valve with respect to the sink resulted in water splashing on the countertop instead of in the sink -
I enjoyed the informal belgian cuisine at the Brabo cafe - the begian tartes are a great alternative to italian pizza - good selection of beer and wines - Good service and friendly staff.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kimpton_DC, Reservations Manager at Lorien Hotel and Spa, a Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, August 27, 2009
Hello verderosa,

I am happy that you like the smaller contemporary hotels which fits the Lorien profile so well. I see that you enjoyed Brabo as well. I know that the staff will also be happy to hear that they have been doing a great job. Thank you and please come back again soon!
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910 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
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VATravel36
Top Contributor
118 reviews 118 reviews
39 hotel reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
69 helpful votes 69 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2009

This was a weekend break for us with our 2 dogs and although we live locally, it was like spending a week in a luxury destination. From the moment entering the hotel, we were greeted by the most professional and courteous staff I have experienced in years. We enjoyed the spa and dinner with friends at Brabo (the hotel's restaurant). Everything from the accommodations, to the food, spa and certainly service were first rate.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Kimpton_DC, Reservations Manager at Lorien Hotel and Spa, a Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, August 27, 2009
Hello VATravel36,

Thanks for coming to stay and bringing your furry friends. We are happy to have you. I am glad that everything at the hotel was first rate. We all try our best to be the best we can be. Thank you for staying and do come back and stay again soon!
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Richmond VA
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2009

Stayed here based on other reviews. Great little hotel tucked away off the street. Nice and clean, quiet and comfortable. Requested a King room which wasn't available at check in. Front desk upgraded us to King Deluxe room at no charge and waived valet parking fee. Our room had a nice flat screen TV and full computer with Internet access (free). Everyone was friendly and helpful. Only two blocks from the Metro.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kimpton_DC, Reservations Manager at Lorien Hotel and Spa, a Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, September 10, 2009
Hello GarySRichmond,

Thank you for staying with us. I am glad that based on other reviews from TripAdvisor you chose to try us out. Thank you for giving us that opportunity. I am happy we didn’t let you down. Please come back again soon!
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Washington, DC
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2009

Couldn't fault the hotel. Friendly staff, superb room, great restaurants, good location.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kimpton_DC, Reservations Manager at Lorien Hotel and Spa, a Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, September 10, 2009
Hello Rob1233,

Thank you for coming to visit. We appreciate it. I am glad that you enjoyed the hotel and the staff were friendly and helpful. I do hope that you can come back again soon!
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USA
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2009

This hotel is summed up by the 1) bathroom soap dish and 2) the toilet paper holder. Both are trez chic, very stylish and very hip but poorly designed, frustrating to use and annoying in a petty, little way. This place ouzes cutting edge, minimalist chic, all hard stone floors, tightly woven grey carpeting, stainless steel and cold colours. The rooms are SMALL, the bathrooms and showers are big (but you still don't get a bathtub), toiletries are primo and the linens sinfully nice. Great wi-fi service (free if you're a member of the Kimpton frequent guest programme). Huge hi-def lcd tv. Excellent restuarant. Super location that's as close to Metro King St. as you'd want and on a really nice quiet stretch of King St. that's still an easy walk to the centre of things. Very quiet. That's all good. But the service is slip-shod, some friendly and efficient, others less so, many of the advertised free goodies "available on request" like defusers etc. are not. No coffee/tea makers in the room but free in the lobby (which is just about the only public room) but only until 9 am. We checked out the Monaco Hotel (another Kimpton property) up the street and think we'd be much happier there next time.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Virginia
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2009

My family (2 seniors, 1 adult, 1 'tween) was planning a visit to DC, and instead of paying the crazy DC prices, we decided to stay in Alexandria and take the Metro into DC every day. This hotel is rated #1 in Alexandria, and was near the Metro and Amtrak station, which we were arriving on, so we went for it.

After our train arrived, it was a very short walk to the hotel, about 5 minutes. We managed to get lost right away, but a local offered to help, and we found our way. The building itself is set back from the street, and the only thing you can see is the valet stand, but they have a sign hanging on the "attached" restaurant, which is on the street, so you can see where the hotel is.

The man at the valet stand asked us our name and welcomed us, then we headed back through the very pretty courtyard and into the hotel. The front door opened for us, and we found out later that they have a button at the front desk that they press when they see someone coming that opens the door.

The lobby is dark, compared to others, but not terribly so. You get used to it quickly. It is very utilitarian, with a tile floor, brick wall and low ceiling. The counter is just a long, tall dark wood desk. There are no decorations, just a few black and white pictures in white frames sitting on the chair rail, leaning against the wall.

The check in process was very smooth, and all of the employees we met were very courteous and friendly. The woman at the front desk explained the King Street Trolley (wonderful!) and mentioned the number of restaurants nearby for us to try. She directed us to the elevators and we were on our way.

The first thing we noticed when we got out of the elevator were the very low celings, and dim lighting. Our room was very close to the elevator, which we loved. When we walked into the room, the first thing we saw was the bathroom, it was very big, and clean. The toilet and shower are not separate from the mirror area, so it is not possible for one person to get ready (i.e. makeup and hair) while another showers, which was a problem for us. The shower curtain is lovely, a very soft terry cloth material. The sliding glass door was unusual and nice (our opinion about that changed later).

The beds were beautifully made up, in crisp white with a light blue accent, to match the light blue walls. There were plenty of pillows. There was a comfy chair in the corner, and very heavy light colored drapes over white blinds. The flat screen TV was wonderful, as was the computer set up in the room. We were all disappointed at the lack of coffee maker in the room. We probably could have requested one, but we just got our coffee at the Dunkin Donuts down the street. There was a very small closet with 2 hanging robes and a few extra hangers, and 4 shelves. There was a small fridge stocked full of sodas and water in the bottom of the closet, and on one of the shelves there was a tray of snacks and the like. There was also a small safe that we never were able to program correctly.

The beds were extremely comfortable, and we ordered some of the complimentary pillows and enjoyed them as well. We were able to control the thermostat in our room, so we kept it chilly, just like we like it.

The bathroom is the one part nobody ended up liking. The sliding glass door, while novel, is not very functional. It left a 2-inch wide gap at both ends, so everyone in the room could hear and ahem... otherwise sense all the things that go on in a bathroom. It was very uncomfortable for everyone. The gaps also created a way for anyone walking in the front door to see in the bathroom. When someone was in there, we would open the closet door all the way to the opposite wall, which created a small measure of privacy, by adding a few inches of cover between the room and bathroom. Though, if someone stepped beyond that space, by walking any further than the end of the beds, you could see right into the bathroom. Also, of less importance, but worth noting, there is no way to lock the bathroom door.

The room only came with one large bath towel, 2 smaller towels, 2 hand towels, and 1 washcloth, so we called guest services to order more. They came immediately, but we had to do the same thing again the next two days. Instead of noticing how many towels we had, and replacing them with the same amount, the maid left the standard number. That was a little annoying, and cost us 3 days of tips for the delivery.

The hotel was about a 4 minute walk to the metro, so we were very pleased with that. Also, there are quite a few restaurants on King Street that we enjoyed (we would highly recommend Bertucci's), but we wish the trolley started earlier than 11:30. We would have enjoyed getting breakfast from somewhere on King Street, but it was too far to walk first thing in the morning, so we ended up going to Dunkin Donuts on the way to the Metro. Also, there is a Subway right next door, so we went in there every day to buy bottled water to keep in our room.

So, our final thought is this: we enjoyed the hotel very much, but the bathroom will keep us from staying there again the next time we visit DC.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kimpton_DC, Reservations Manager at Lorien Hotel and Spa, a Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, July 21, 2009
Hello disneymommy2000,

Thank you for bringing your family to stay with us during your trip to the Nations Capital. I see you too got lost in the winding streets of Alexandria; it took me a while to figure out where I was going too. But truthfully, I don’t mind. The city is so beautiful that it’s always an adventure to walk the streets. As you have discovered the King Street Trolley is a very convenient way to get around other than walking. I am glad that the front desk staff were courteous and friendly and offered you assistance. I see you also took part in our pillow menu and enjoyed the selection we had to offer. Thank you for staying and please come back and visit us again.
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Northeast
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
235 helpful votes 235 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2009

I wanted to love this hotel but there were so many problems with the functionality of the rooms that even with great service and a beautiful modern look to the rooms, I can only give an overall rating of average. My husband and I were traveling with two teenagers. We had booked two rooms for four nights. We decided to leave one day early so we could spend more time exploring DC. To save a little money, we planned to all spend the extra night in one room. When I called to add the room on, I had asked if I should make a separate reservation so that my original rate and reservation would not be affected. I was assured that I would not need to make a separate reservation and that one night could easily be added on to one of our original room reservations. I was specifically told that my original rate would be intact (we had a great rate of $105 a night plus taxes) and that I would just have to pay extra for the additional night (I believe that rate was $129.00 plus taxes). While searching around on the hotel website, I noticed that there was a AAA page on their sitemap. On this page, it indicated that AAA members received free parking. I called the hotel to confirm this, was told this was the case, and asked them to put a note on my reservation that we had AAA. When I called to add the additional, I asked if the note had been made and was told that it had. I also asked to have an email confirmation sent with the additional night that we added on. I waited until the next day and never did receive the email confirmation. I went directly to the website to check our reservation and noticed that all five nights of our reservation were changed to the additional day's rate. I called the Lorien and was told that I would need to speak to the general Kimpton reservation person. I spoke to this person who told me that she would have to call the Lorien manager directly to have the rate fixed. She did this and confirmed that we were all set. She also confirmed that as long as I showed my AAA card, we would not be charged the $25.00 a night parking fee. I did receive an email confirmation stating that all five nights would be at the $105.00 rate.???

After a very long drive, we arrived to the Lorien in the pouring rain. You have to pull up right in front of the hotel where they have space reserved for guests. The area is right on the street. It can be easy to miss the hotel at first since it is set back a bit but there is a sign right on the road. The staff was waiting right by the street to assist guests. Everyone was very cordial and quickly assisted us in removing our luggage. While the rest of my family was unloading the luggage, my daughter and I ran in to register. The outside staff had called ahead to the desk to let them know we were coming so they were ready for us. The lobby is fairly dark. I didn't even realize the registration desk was the registration desk at first. It is just a very non-descript long desk in the middle of the floor. The gentleman behind the desk was very friendly, as was every employee that we encountered. When he pulled up our reservation, all nights were shown at the higher rate and he indicated that we would not receive free parking. After all I had gone through to try to get our rate straightened out before we even left, I was pretty frazzled at this point. I was looking forward to a nice problem free vacation! He ended up calling the manager out and I was eventually given the higher rate for the first night and our original rate for the remainder of the time. He also told me that I could only get the free parking for being a AAA member if I had booked at the AAA rate which would have been more per night than the $25.00 parking fee. Not a very good AAA perk! The website states the following:
A Kimpton Hotel, Lorien Hotel & Spa currently offers the following special benefits to AAA members:

Services and amenities befitting a four-star level hotel
Up to 10% off the Best Available Rate, based on availability
AAA members receive complimentary parking
Complimentary in-room wireless high-speed Internet access for Kimpton InTouch members
Complimentary morning coffee and tea in our lobby living room
Complimentary daily newspaper
Onsite 24-hour fitness center

It does also say:
To book your accommodations, choose from the following:

Contact your local AAA Travel Professional
Book your reservations online, using "AAA" in the Rate Code field
Call us toll-free at 877.956.7436 and ask for the AAA rate and availability

I took it to mean that you would get free parking no matter what but if you wanted the AAA rate you would need to book using the AAA rate code. I do not understand why three different people confirmed to me that I would get free parking if this is not the case. Besides the free parking, the other amenities mentioned above are included whether you book using the AAA code or not. The manager did finally give me free parking but told me not to expect it again.

After all that, we arrive to our room. It was a standard double room. The room was very clean and nicely decorated. The flat screen TV and computer were a nice touch. We had also signed up for the Kimpton In Touch Loyalty program before we left so we had free wireless service. We were also supposed to receive a local paper but we never did. Although the room looked good, the rooms do not function well for an extended stay or for anyone besides a couple travelling together. Many of the problems have been mentioned in other reviews. The bathroom door makes no sense at all. The frosted glass isn't totally transparent but is transparent enough and the gaps on either side of the door are ridiculous. We just made sure to steer clear of that entire area if anyone was using the bathroom in order to lend some privacy. Anyone entering the room would easily be able to see into the bathroom. The other very strange thing that I know has already been mentioned is that my children's room looked right onto the patio of the room diagonal to us. This would offer the inhabitants of that room no privacy. It also made our children's room much darker than our room, which was right across the hall. There are a few, nice sleek looking drawers in the room. Unfortunately, looking good is their best attribute. You really can't fit much into the drawers at all. There are shelves in the closet however, the Lorien seems intent on trying to sell "honor bar" items instead of offering optimum comfort to their guests. One half of a shelf was covering with a large amount of items to be purchased. We were excited when we arrived in the room and the porter pointed out that we had a refrigerator in the room. I had remembered seeing this on the website so felt it was a nice bonus. Unfortunately, this was also packed with "honor bar" items. They were very expensive as is usually the case. For instance, a candy bar was $4.00 if I remember correctly and a bag of chips was $5.00. I asked the next day if we could have the items removed from the refrigerators in both rooms and was very nicely told that this wouldn't be a problem. When we returned, neither had been emptied but there was a refrigerator sitting on the floor of the entryway in my children's room. It wasn't plugged in and we weren't sure what we were supposed to do with it. We asked about it again the next morning and the lady at the desk said she would check into it. She was told that the items can't be removed from the refrigerators since they would spoil (weird since it was soda, water, alcohol, etc.) but that the refrigerator that was placed in the room should have been plugged in. When we returned, it hadn't been plugged in but since at this point we knew that it was there for our use, we plugged it in. My husband and I never received a refrigerator so we just pushed the items back in ours and squeezed two bottles of water in at a time. I must admit I was a bit reluctant to move things since I didn't want to be charged for anything. We also ended up moving the items on the shelf so that we could fit our clothes. At this point, I have not noticed that we were charged anything.

Our room was cleaned each day and the towels were always replenished as needed. As someone else reported, we had a knock on our door very early the day that we were checking out to see if we were still there. It was well before check in time. I would think that this would be coordinated through the front desks so that guests would not be disturbed.

The other thing that I did not like about the hotel was the parking. Of course, I would have liked it even less if we had to pay for it! The only available parking was valet parking. Make sure you have lots of money available for tips! There was not walk up access available to your car even if you just needed to retrieve an item. We forgot some things in the car the first night. The hotel very courteously arranged to have the car quickly brought around so that we could retrieve our items but we felt uncomfortable having to have them do this. From this point on if we needed something from the car, we just decided we didn't need it that badly.

The best thing about our hotel was the location. It was a very short walk (less than 5 minutes) to the metro. The metro was very clean and easy to use. It only took twenty minutes to get to DC. Also, if you wanted to get to Old Town it was about a twenty minute walk down to the water or you could take the trolley bus that went right by the hotel.

The next best thing about the hotel was the friendly and attentive staff. Every single staff member we encountered was pleasant and willing to offer assistance. We were also addressed and welcomed when we passed by any staff person at the hotel. When we arrived home, we found that my daughter's retainer was missing. Although it was never found, when I contacted the hotel, they went above and beyond trying to find it for us. The housekeeping manager even called our room attendant at home to see if she had seen it.

My family used the fitness room. There was a variety of fitness equipment. The room was clean and each time they had the place to themselves.

I think for a couple planning a weekend stay or a businessperson traveling alone, this hotel would be a great choice. Unfortunately, I cannot whole-heartedly recommended this hotel to a family or even friends travelling together who enjoy their privacy. Also, due to the lack of storage space, it is not the best hotel for an extended stay.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Lorien Hotel and Spa, a Kimpton Hotel

Address: 1600 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Virginia > Alexandria > Old Town
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Alexandria
#1 Green Hotel in Alexandria
#1 Luxury Hotel in Alexandria
#1 Romantic Hotel in Alexandria
#2 Business Hotel in Alexandria
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Lorien Hotel and Spa, a Kimpton Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 107
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Centrally located in Old Town Alexandria, our luxury boutique hotel is a collaborative dream. Renowned interior designer Vicente Wolf created a space that is reflective of the past and grounded in modern sensibilities. Combined with the stylish calm of our spa, our destination restaurant, BRABO by Robert Wiedmaier, a striking environment and the amenities expected of a Kimpton Hotel, Lorien Hotel & Spa unites the elegance of yesteryear with the comforts of modern-day living. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Lorien Hotel Kimpton

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