Let me start with background-I work in Florida, but was on temporary assignment to Washington DC in January and February 2013. My employer works on a "per diem" system, in that, if you are on time off, they will not pay for your lodging; they cover expenses as long as you are using the lodging for housing to complete the assignment.
I arrived at the Residence Inn Duke Street, being my first time ever in Alexandria, on January 6th. I was greeted by Katie and Tanitia at the front desk, who were very helpful in explaining the amenities, directions, and parking. They also advised me of the courtesy shuttle, which could take me anywhere within a mile of the hotel.
Two weeks into my stay, which was wonderful, I learned that my dog back home in Florida was dying of cancer-very quickly. I was devastated and wanted to go home. I wasn't able to take much time off from work, being on assignment, so I worked with my vet at home to determine when I should leave. I was upset also with the thought of having to empty everything out of my room to check out, drive back to Florida, pack everything back up, and drive back to finish my assignment. I was discussing this over the weekend with one of the managers, Najat, and she advised that I could actually store my stuff in a locked room on the first floor, leave my car in the garage, and fly home. This was such a relief-I just needed to figure out when to fly back. My vet called on Wednesday morning at 9:00 and told me that my dog only had a couple days left, and that if I wanted to see him, I should come home right away. There was a flight leaving at 11:45 that morning, and another one at 2:15. I called the front desk, and Christine said that she would send up someone with a cart for me to load my stuff, so that I could get on a flight. When Dean, from Loss Prevention arrived, and I explained the situation, he personally loaded everything onto the cart while I finished packing. He told me "you'll make that 11:45 flight-go ahead and book it, we'll see to it." Literally, he brought a second cart to finish loading everything and by 10:15, I was out of my room. When I saw Christine at the front desk, she handed me a tissue, had already ordered a cab, and told me not to worry about my car, that it would be fine in their garage. Dean had already loaded my carry-on luggage in the cab and told the driver to get me to the airport for an 11:45 flight. Honestly, with no other worries than getting home to my dog, I was at the airport by 10:40 and made the flight.
My dog passed away that Friday, and I called the hotel on Sunday to advise them that I would be returning early Tuesday morning. Christine answered the phone and told me that I would be going back into the room I had left, and that they would go ahead and check me back in that morning when I arrived, so that I could freshen up before going to work. When I arrived Tuesday morning, Katie was working the desk. When I handed her my claim tickets for my luggage she told me that they were not necessary, that they had already moved my luggage back into my room! When I got to my room, not only was everything there, but it was unloaded, off the carts, and set up so that I could easily find what I need to unpack quickly and get to work.
This was the finest example of the wonderful staff who took care of me the entire time I was there. When I didn't have any milk and had to go to work before breakfast was served, I called the front desk, and Dean brought me two cartons to have for my breakfast in the morning. Whenever it was raining, or snowing, or cold, I called from the metro on my way back to the hotel, and either Tanitia, Michael, Christine, Najat, or Katie would send the driver right over to pick me up at the metro station, so I didn't have to walk.
The food they served was excellent-in the morning and in the evening-and the drivers of the shuttle were fantastic about taking me anywhere else I wanted or needed to go.
If you want to have bragging rights about staying at a super-fancy, uber-posh hotel in Washington, DC, this is not the place for you. But, if you want to stay at a place which is very nice, extremely clean, serves great food, and has the best staff for service that I've ever had, who will treat you like royalty, then this is DEFINITELY where you should stay. I can assure you that whether I'm in the DC area for three days or three months, you'll find me at this Residence Inn.
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- Also Known As:
- Residence Inn Alexandria Old Town Hotel Alexandria
- Alexandria Residence Inn