It appears the target demographic of Springhill Suites is the business person. "Suite" is misleading because there is basically only one room. On paper, the plan looks good: a sleeping area, a work area, plenty of clothing storage, separate shower/toilet areas. However, for a family on vacation, it was awkward in some ways.
Let me say, overall, the hotel provided what we needed: comfortable beds, adequate space, accessible outlets, complimentary breakfast with good variety, clean rooms and public areas, complimentary, if tight, covered parking, and a fairly convenient location.
Although located close to historic sites and DC, it is not easy for the visitor, unfamiliar with this area, to find. Limited access highways in Alexandria have VERY limited access. It is difficult to know from a map where exits and entrances are, and, generally, access going in one direction (for example North) does not mean there is access to the opposite direction (South). There are many one-way streets, strange circles, dead ends, and restricted turns. The hotel is located near the intersection of I495/95 and Telegraph Road, but the roads are on different levels and the connectors are strange. I don't really know how to get to the hotel from the Interstate; we always got on Duke Street, then turned south on Holland, which turned into Eisenhower and headed west. It would be nice to have some signs around the area pointing the way. There also needs to be a lighted sign at street level at the entrance from Eisenhower. (Maybe there was a small one.)
It would also be helpful for the hotel to provide a map of the immediate area with restaurants and the movie theater marked. When I asked for the location of nearby restaurants, I was told there were many on King Street and near the movie theater. The only direction I was given was a wave of the hand toward the movie theater, which I think was actually in the opposite direction. It was assumed I knew how to get to King Street. The clerk did print off Google driving directions for me.
The hotel sits on a strip of land between the busy Interstate (Beltway) and a train yard. We could hear some squeaks from the trains, but nothing that kept us awake. There is covered parking; it's a tight squeeze for a mini-van when spaces are taken on either side, and when exiting the garage. Some spaces are reserved for fuel-efficient vehicles. Navigation problems probably exist for many hotels in the area because of the geography and traffic flow within the Beltway, but the hotel could help the visitor by providing illustrative maps, directions, and more signage on major thoroughfares.
The rooms have 2 queen beds in the sleeping area and a couch that makes into a bed in the work area. The couch opens into a small bed. It looked wider than twin, but not quite double; however, there was also a chaise forming an L with the couch and could be used for an adolescent. There is a partition between the work and sleeping area, but it is frosted glass so light in one area creates a glow in the other. The toilet and shower areas are separated by a closet that is large enough to change clothes in and has a light and luggage stand. The toilet area has a small sink and one towel knob, but no shelf for holding soap or toiletries. The shower area has a large shower with glass door, a sink with vanity and large mirror, outlets and 2 towel knobs (not enough for a family of four with bath towels, hand towels, wash clothes and clothing).
Both the toilet area and shower area had pocket doors that could not be latched--a little uncomfortable even for families. The toilet area door is solid, but the shower area door is frosted glass once again allowing light to create a glow in the room making a disturbance when one person is showering while others are in bed. Although the idea of these areas works on paper, it was awkward or inconvenient at times to move between the two areas while getting ready. There was a long mirror on the closet door and a large one over the dresser, but no lights or outlets nearby so rather useless.
As I said earlier the room was more than adequate, but the design is not the best for families traveling.
The breakfast is decent: hot and cold cereal with a variety of toppings, fruit (banana and apples), pastries and breads, pre-made waffles, yogurt, milk, coffee, juices, eggs and sausage.
I chose this place for the price thinking one suite for 5 related people would be cheaper than getting 2 rooms at another hotel and it was; however, it was not really different from one room elsewhere in either privacy or price and just a little more spacious.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Visit SpringHill Suites Alexandria Old Town/Southwest located off I-95 and just minutes from our Nation's Capital. Enjoy our hotel's complimentary shuttle service, providing quick and easy access to the Eisenhower Metro Rail Station, part of the yellow line. Our hotel also offers complimentary breakfast and Wi-Fi. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Springhill Suites Alexandria Tech Hotel Alexandria