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“The Opposite of Heaven” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Almost Heaven Bed and Breakfast

Almost Heaven Bed and Breakfast
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Almost Heaven Bed and Breakfast
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6339 Brocketts Crossing, Alexandria, VA 22315   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #6 of 7 Alexandria B&B and Inns
Oakland, CA
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“The Opposite of Heaven”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2007

First: this B & B lacks charm. It is not really a B&B, but a modern house in a suburb of Alexandria. It has 3 floors, and a trampoline outside. One room, located in the basement, is dark, containing a bar, and an assortment of games (pool, foosball to name two), along with a gigantic TV that dominates the room--i.e., this could be anyone's basement. The top floor room was tiny, and uninhabitable--no bathroom, and not even one coat hanger or cabinet to hang clothing.

Second: this place is run unprofessionally. When my spouse tried to confirm and reconfirm the reservation, her calls went unanswered. When she finally did get ahold of the proprietriess, she told her we were going to arrive on a red-eye flight very early in the morning from the West Coast, and had no place to go. My wife inquired if we might come to the B&B early(?) The proprietriess said she would try to accommodate us, provided we arrived around noon.

When we called at l0:00 a.m., and, again at ll:00 a.m. on the day of our arrival, we received no answer. Lacking any other option, we and our companions drove to the site, arriving at around 11:45 a.m. We arrived to find only the cleaning staff and no note or any explanation of what to do. We found the son (who we were told lives in the 2nd floor bedroom) out back, jumping on the trampoline. He told us we could have two rooms: one on the 3rd floor and one in the basement.

We then waited for the proprietress to arrive. She did around 12:45 and promptly kicked us out, screaming, "what kind of people are these(?)"

We are a mixed-race couple and, as an African-American, I am very sensitive to being treated in this manner -- I've been kicked out of places before due to my race. Her excuse for kicking us out was that we had arrived before 1:00 pm. But that dog doesn't hunt because my wife alerted her to our early arrival, and the owner said she would be 'accomodating'.

She then gave another explanation for kicking us out, saying 'her property should not be used in that way,' suggesting that some male had drunk from her whiskey bottle. Further, I believe I heard her call me 'darkie'. I can tell you that I could not have been the person who 'nipped at the bottle' because I don't drink whiskey at all.

The owner also tried to write down our rental car license plate numbers because she was certain we had additionally scratched her red car, though we hadn't.

The insidious thing about racism is that one can never be absolutely sure what goes on in any other person's mind. However, the owner's behavior was simply over-the-top. A professionally run establishment would simply have handled the purported "incident" in a different fashion.

This unfortunate incident has convinced us not to book a B&B that is someone's home.

  • Liked — Nothing at all
  • Disliked — That it exists
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sacks5thave, Owner at Almost Heaven Bed and Breakfast, responded to this review, December 23, 2007
I open my home to all, because I enjoy meeting, talking and sharing with people from around the world. I have 2 Masters Degrees and 120 credits toward a PhD. I do belive my behavior is always as a professional in every manner. We have been in business approximatley 10 years and no one has ever been asked to leave the premises. As everyone is aware, every story has 2 sides.
BUT my side is:
if you show up intoxicated, abusive, etc to my maids, family or other guest, you will not be checked in nor will you be allowed to stay. We do not accept guest that are intoxicated upon arrival or who become intoxicated while staying on the premeises, nor do we accept guest that drink from one of our containers, such as the whiskey bottle, milk jug etc and put the top back on it and sit it back down for other guest to have to use. We offer all our guest a drink of wine, beer, etc and do not mind you drinking, but not to the point of intoxication to where you are stumbing around to hurt yourself or someone else. I do not run that type of business.
I have a duty to protect my maids, my family and my other guest. The owner of the maid company called me to come home immediatley and I was there at 12:15. They were afraid for their safety and proceeded to explain what had been happening.
I might add they took 2 sets of my house keys, refuse to sign the check in slip (paper work) and did not pay one dime, dented my car among other things.
I made arrangements for the maids to clean at 11am as soon as the guest checked out so these guest could check in at 1pm. I made arrangements to finish all my errands and be back at 1pm to meet them and my 3rd guest. I do believe this is more than accomodating, even the maid company accomodate us to get them in at 1pm. They showed up at 11 am.
They were asked to leave for one reason only, intoxication.
This applies to every person that might want to make reservations, please do not attempt to make a reservation here if you need to drink to excess or show up intoxicated or other illegal activities. Please find another acceptable place. This is not the place for you and your party.
I will bend over backwards to accomodate you and would love to have any and everyone that would like to stay at Almost Heaven Bed and Breakfast.
Thanks for taking the time to read this.
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18 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
FRK PRK
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2007

Very much enjoyed our stay at this BnB. Great host, great house.

This BnB is near the Metro which made access easy to the DC area.

Stayed June 2007
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Plymouth, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2007

It was nice to arrive in another country after a long journey and FEEL AT HOME, that was our first impression of Almost Heaven. Picked up our hire car from Dulles Airport and despite driving on the wrong side of the road as we call it in England, had no difficulty finding the address. We were made very welcome by our hosts throughout the stay who although busy themselves, gave us good advice for travelling in and out of DC and recommended some excellant local restaurants.
After seeing the sights of Washington DC all day, and feeling hot and sticky, it was lovely to think you could finish anytime and get back to somewhere nice and quiet, where you could read your book, have a swim, and generally recharge your battery before going out in the evening.
Almost Heaven was a great start to a wonderful holiday, and I would strongly recommend staying there to both my family and friends.
Dave and Sue Gregory, Plymouth, United Kingdom.

Stayed May 2007
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, OR
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2007

The overall feel is that of being a paying houseguest in the home of strangers. The owners are very nice, but it's just uncomfortable to be staying in their home--and it's very much their home. To get to our room, we went up two long flights of stairs past about 150 family photos (weirdly, many of them are the same pictures, over and over, arranged in different configurations). We ended up tiptoeing and whispering, and no way would I have been willing to have sex there; this is definitely not a romantic B&B.
The breakfasts are pretty bad too; pancakes from a mix, or "peach waffles" made from the same mix, with slightly warmed canned peaches and about a cup and a half of the heavy syrup from the same can dumped over the waffles.
Also, this place is in Springfield, not Alexandria. You take the Springfield exit off 95, you drive past Springfield Mall--it's Springfield.
It made for funny stories to tell the people we were visiting, but God we wished we had just stayed in a hotel.

  • Liked — Near the wedding we went to.
  • Disliked — Feeling like I was paying to be a stranger's houseguest.
  • Stayed January 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
105 helpful votes 105 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2006

Well where to start... our GPR got us there, but we couldn't find it. All there was were residential homes and no sign that said Almost Heaven... oh wait there it is! We almost called and asked for better directions. We rang the door bell and her son opened the door and said "yea?" Then I knew we were in trouble. Carol was there and was extremely helpful. She wasn't going to be there for family reasons so her young 20 something year old was in charge.
The whole area here is very expensive and you almost wonder if the city knows what's she's doing, because it just seems like since she has extra room in this large house she is renting these rooms out to help pay for the mortgage. I don't mean to pass judgement on someones personal doings, it's just seems this B&B is an after thought.
We had the entire basement (Seculsion Rm) and that was really wierd. First of all, it was 10 below zero the entire time and the basement was full of family/teenage games. The bathroom(which had other hotels ammenities) was small and the bedroom was normal with a bed that was fabulous!
The breakfast was good. You get a good selection of cereals, bagels and other snacks to get your day started. It was strange making your own coffee and rumaging through their kitchen for things.
The pool was nice if you like dog poop around the pool. We played volleyball and played dodge the pool cleaner.
The house is filled with family photos, awards, trophies and other things like toys etc that remind you that you are definately in someone's house vs a B&B.
As far as location, it's residential. There are plenty of places to eat and you are close to the Metro. Parking will cost you $3.75 on your Smart Card. You can get a Smart Card at the terminal. It costs $5 just for the card, but you can add $$ to and use it for parking and Metro. It's a lot easier then trying to find $ everytime. You are 40 min from the Smithsonian stop (National Mall area). You can also park across the street at the Springfield Mall and walk over if you don't want to get stuck in traffic coming out of the station.
The whole experince was like being at your in-laws(who aren't sure they like you yet) during a holiday and they had no place to put you.
I would reccommend this to someone who is on a tight budget, but if you want more of a DC experience find some place closer.

  • Liked — close to Metro
  • Disliked — very awkward having the run of someones house you don't know
  • Stayed July 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alexandria
1 review
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2006

First off, this is not your typical Bed and Breakfast. My previous experiences with B&B's were historic homes in semi-rural locations. That is not the case here. Almost Heaven is located in Kingstowne, VA just outside of Alexandria and not far from the Franconia-Springfield Metro station. It is essentially a large modern house in the suburbs. Imagine if you will, sharing a Bed and Breakfast with a family that lives downstairs. There are family decorations everywhere, toys in the garage, kid's books and trophies in a bookshelf upstairs and myriad reminders that a family is very much in residence. While Ms. Clark is very gracious and a charming host, frankly the other members of the household don't give off the most welcoming of vibes. The rooms are very private and secluded but the common areas are usually filled with family members. Lounging downstairs feels sort of...off-limits.

Almost Heaven has no sign outside. Nor is there any other indication to signal that this is actually a B&B. Mapquest got us there but as we were pulling up into the driveway, the man of the house, who incidentally never introduced himself, looked at us as if he had no clue why we were there. Again, not terribly welcoming.

We stayed in the "Top of the World" room. The room was large and clean (although there was a leftover container of Carmex and a very used wrist wrap in one of the drawers). The room was also quite warm. There is an air conditioning unit in the room but it's located behind a heavy curtain which reduces its usefulness. There was a large fan in the room and that, in conjunction with the ceiling fan, helped a little. There is a small television in the room but there is no cable or satellite connection. Instead there is a set of "bunny ears" which provide shaky reception at best (and about six channels). If you want to watch TV then rent the basement room. There is no cleaning service on the weekend and your bed will not be made. The bed however, was well appointed and as soft as advertised.

The bathroom was clean and well stocked but there's nothing particularly glamorous about it. Just a standard home bathroom with a shower. There were plenty of towels. The complimentary toiletry items though were from other hotels. For example, the shower gel, shampoo and conditioner were all labeled "The Venetian". The bar of hand soap was labeled something else altogether. Upon seeing this, my girlfriend suggested that the name for this B&B be changed from Almost Heaven to "Almost Legitimate".

I didn't bring my laptop so I can't vouch for the wireless Internet but Ms. Clark was kind enough to allow me to use the laptop downstairs when I needed to.

The pool is nice and clean but due to the presence of an automatic pool cleaner and volleyball net swimming laps is not advised.

There are plenty of menus for local restaurants, travel guides and maps located downstairs. I have no doubt that the hosts would have been more than happy to provide information had it been needed.

As stated in previous reviews, you are in fact told when to come down for breakfast. While I am sure that alternate arrangements could have been worked out if necessary I don't think they're encouraged. The breakfasts themselves were wonderful and large. No complaints there.

Military discount notwithstanding, I am not sure that Almost Heaven is worth the expense. If you are looking for a relaxing place to stay in a quiet ,remote place where you feel free to roam the grounds then caveat emptor. Staying here, for me, felt very much like staying at a distant relative's house. You're welcome to stay , use the accommodations and to come and go as you please but you still feel like a bit of an intruder nonetheless.

That said, if you need a safe, decent place to stay near Alexandria and understand what you're getting then you could do worse.

  • Liked — The breakfast
  • Disliked — Lack of privacy
  • Tips/Secrets — Think long and hard before staying.
  • Stayed June 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2006

We truly enjoyed our stay at Almost Heaven. The hosts are indeed busy during the day, but quite helpful regarding directions and things you might need. I did not mind the quiet of each day....what could you mind about being able to walk all around the area, enjoy the lovely pool and patio area or just grab a nap during the afternoon. We had the top floor with an air conditioner and ceiling fan, which made it quite comfortable and it was very warm while we were there. The coffee, tea, etc, as well as breakfast offerings on-you-own during the weekdays were generous. We had the whole third floor to ourselves with a microwave and small fridge for our use, so we could have things we purchased for snacks as well. It was a lovely getaway and the breakfast on Saturday was to order and very large. Yummy biscuits!
We had everything we needed and the space to enjoy ourselves.

Stayed June 2006
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Almost Heaven Bed and Breakfast

Address: 6339 Brocketts Crossing, Alexandria, VA 22315
Location: United States > Virginia > Alexandria
Amenities:
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 7 B&Bs / Inns in Alexandria
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Pristine bed and breakfast with on site hosted family. Perfect location. Walk to metro, hot breakfast on weekends, self service during the week, with everything you want for breakfast. In ground pool, jacuzzi, Suite has 60" TV, pool table, hockey, all kinds of entertainment. All rooms have queen beds, private baths, TV, and all the amentities you need. Home is 6,000 square feet, very clean, comfortable and well maintained. Home is 15 years old. Best hot breakfast and best location. We take care of out guest, bend over backwards to get you what you want and need. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Almost Heaven b&b
Almost Heaven Hotel Alexandria

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