Second stay at this still-fairly-new property; was here in Dec 07.
Still a very nice place… Excellent location in the Carlyle area, which is all very new. Still a good schlep if you have to walk to or from the King Street Metro station. (Of course, that’s not going to change, is it? They can’t move the place, right?) Rooms are standard Westin (which is good) with the cool new riser plug contraption on the desk. Heavenly Bed and Bath, excellent broadband in the room, and free 10meg wifi in the lobby and bar area. I do not, though, like the big box contraption that connects your laptop to the flat screen tv. Cool tech, and I used it once to rehearse a preso, but the box is the size of a phone book. Pls, get this off the desk.
Had a dinner in the terribly underutilized restaurant, and the food came out fast and hot. Service crisp and professional. My second evening, I had an early dinner with colleagues, and returned to the bar area to work emails. The hostess/greeter remembered me from the prior night, and walked over to greet me, by name, and ask if I’d like the same wine I’d had the prior night. Nice, nice touch.
I did not opt for the offered upgrade to Club… they still wanted $50. Sorry, but seeing the food they had last time, you’re better off without it… room was the same. My glass of wine in the bar was $6, and appetizer was $8. Wifi available in the bar, not in Club lounge. At 6:30am they connected me with a Starbucks for $2. So, I got better stuff and service for $16 than I would have gotten up top for the $50… PLUS paying for the wine up in the Club Lounge.
Also… I’m SPG Gold, so I hit Starwood pretty regularly. I don’t want to be petty, but usually, there is a “thank you for staying with us so much” at check in, or a couple of chocolates at turn-down, or a “we’re putting you in a larger room”. Here, nothing. I had one standard complimentary bottle of water, but it was not replaced the next day. So, this is not yet a Westin that has figured out how to handle frequent travelers. C’mon guys, at Hyatt, I can’t get off the phone with an operator without being thanked, by name, for my frequent patronage. This Westin can’t even toss me an Andes mint?
As I assessed in December, location is excellent, and the hard goods are well executed. The software… the most important part here, still needs a little bit of work. Nicer digs than the Embassy Suites, and more mod than the Hilton, but still, overall, just barely competitive with the Hilton Alexandria. Check rates… between the Westin and Hilton, take the cheaper of the two, and you’ll be fine… If you’re visiting as a tourist, the King Street Metro access from the Hilton would tilt in their favour real fast.
All this said, I’ll return happily in the future (but will still check the Hilton’s rates!)