- stayed here on a prepaid weekend rate which i thought was very inexpensive.
- their guest ambassador, Shirley, wrote me an email almost exactly 24 hours before i was to check in, asking if i needed anything. this resulted in me asking for a King bed instead of my reserved 2 doubles which was all i could snag at the discounted rate. when i checked in, my room was upgraded to a corner king suite on the top floor. that score definitely impressed me and is probably what i will remember most from my stay.
- there was a large convention (some sort of Herbalife type company) in the hotel over the weekend, so the breakfast restaurant was mobbed with people all dressed up for their annual sales meeting. not sure if the hotel was caught by surprise or just short staffed, so i helped myself to the buffet and a server arrived as i was finishing to take my little coupon and offer a drink. no problem with that experience, as i had only 10 minutes to spare, but if i was paying out of pocket, i would have skipped it.
- the location is superb. for those unfamiliar with the area, Old Town Alexandria is a pretty genuine colonial/early 1800's tourist trap. cycling through the neighborhoods and looking at the old townhouses made me want to move there and become some sort of historic re-enactment person who can get away with wearing white cotton stockings. the area is very walkable, has tons of shops and restaurants, and is a nice counterpoint to the crowds of the tourist traps in DC. the hotel is across the street from the King Street metro stop, which is only two stops beyond the Reagan Airport stop. You could take the metro into town in 15 minutes flat.
- while i felt i got the star treatment for my diamond status, the place does not seem to cater towards the business types, who probably get sucked into staying in town or the big commercial centers in Crystal City or Tysons Corners. there is no Exec Lounge or freebies or water included in the room. The hotel has more of a wedding/Kiwanis Club meeting feel to it.
- i did not use the gym or overall hotel facilities so could not speak to that aspect.
- there is a starbucks inside the hotel.
If you want something a little different from staying right inside the District, check this place out. my feeling is that not a lot of diamonds come through here, so they're more willing to hook you up than other full-fledged hiltons. i wouldn't pay top dollar versus other options, but i was glad i stayed here.
- other tip - you can rent a bicycle from Bike and Roll, which is near the river. the Mt Vernon trail is a safe, off-the-highway bike path that goes from the Key Bridge all the way down to Mt. Vernon. I biked one day up and over to Falls Church and back, and the other down to Mt. Vernon, toured the estate, and biked back. I felt i saw a lot of the beautiful countryside.