“Nice hotel, unhelpful staff, can't understand how it got a AAA Four Diamond award”
I love the Kimpton brand, and whenever I go to a city with a Kimpton Hotel I go out of my way to stay at the hotel. They set an industry standard in their friendliness, and provide a very comfortable stay always bringing their own quirky twist to things. Unfortunately I don't think that the Morrison House is a good example of the brand. I had a nice stay there this week but it didn't live up to the legendary Kimpton service.
The hotel is perfectly located in the midst of Old Town Alexandria - an easy .7 mile walk from the metro (or you can take the free shuttle). It is set just a block off King Street, close enough to be right in the midst of things and far enough away that you don't get too much noise. The hotel is really gorgeous inside, and has beautiful classical furnishings. The have the very nice lines (including the double-sheeted comforter with the subtle animal design) that are pretty standard throughout the Kimpton system, the iHome with an iPod dock (another Kimpton standard) as well as the black-label Kimpton amenities (along with makeup remover and ear buds in the bathrooms) and decent if not great pillows. The rooms are small but well-appointed.
That's the good stuff. Here's the not-so-good:
-Shower water pressure varies wildly throughout the shower, going from strong to dribbling back to strong. Luckily the temperature does not fluctuate as much, but still fluctuates enough to make us have to continually adjust it throughout a <5 minute shower. Annoying.
-No more animal print bathrobes. What?! This is a staple of the Kimpton line! They said they were going for something more "plain" and certainly have accomplished it with their boring beige robes lined with some hideously scratchy microfiber-ish interior. I made mine only marginally wearable by turning it inside-out.
-We had a fire alarm going off periodically and then for a looooong time Sunday morning at 10 a.m. I called the front desk and they neither apologized nor explained just said it was "in error" and we should "ignore it". We tried. I was a little shocked that no one followed up later this evening with a letter under the doors apologizing for the weekend morning annoyance.
-The hallmark for me of a Kimpton stay is the friendly staff. This is only my second Kimpton experience in which this wasn't the case, the first being the rather sketchy Hotel Rouge, but the Morrison House staff don't greet guests coming or going from the hotel, despite the elevator being less than 10 feet from the front door. No "Welcome back!" or "Have a nice evening!" much less greeting longer term guests by name, just silence and clicking keys.
-When we checked in (with 4 heavy bags) we ended up lugging everything except my computer bag up the winding flight of stairs to the front desk ourselves. The hotel "butler" came out, didn't particularly greet us, just took my laptop bag away (thanks guy, the 50 lb suitcase would have been more helpful), then just stayed inside while we hauled everything else inside. Until the front desk told us otherwise, I thought he was another guest who had taken pity on us and helped us a bit with the first set of bags, but ignored us otherwise.
-Pretty significant noise in the hallway outside our door - not because other guests are loud, the soundproofing is just that bad. I could hear every word said in the hall within 20 feet of us in either direction. Luckily the other guests were considerate!
I hate giving anything but a 5 star review to a Kimpton property because I love the brand so much, but I have to be honest. All in all, wouldn't go out of my way to stay here again, and wish we'd chosen one of the other Kimpton properties in Alexandria. I'm really not sure how this hotel received a AAA Four Diamond rating.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Thank you for your important feedback and thank you for your loyalty to Kimpton Hotels. I am disappointed that you did not feel that your recent experience met the high standards we are known for. I’m sorry for the inconvenience the fire alarm caused you and that you felt our communication could have been more effective. We should have communicated to you right after we finished the investigation what the reason for the alarm was. The fact is that one of our compressors malfunctioned which affected the water pressure in our sprinkler system and ultimately set off the alarm. If I would have been in your shoes I would have appreciated to know that the safety was never compromised during this alarm. I like to ensure you that the issue has been fixed and that I shared your comments with our entire team.
The Kimpton animal print robes are indeed a signature item at our Hotels and they life in many of our guestrooms. We believe that the unique look however does not fit in all of our properties and we decided with the help of our awesome design team what the best fit for each of our properties might be.
I fully understand and appreciate that everybody’s taste is different and I would be more than happy to provide the signature robes for you up on your return.
The high level of service we provide is extremely important to us and I need to apologize for the shortcomings you expedited. I truly hope that you will give me the opportunity to welcome you back and to show you why we are the longest standing AAA Four Diamond property in Virginia.
Please contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org if there is anything I can assist you with in the future.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.