Using a betterbidding.com as a guide, I bid on Priceline and won $47 a night for 4 nights, Aug 13 - Aug 17. I was actually hoping for the Marriott.
Hotel lobby was very clean. The front desk personnel were very professional, polite, and approachable.
Traveling with spouse and 8 y/o son, I asked if the room had 2 beds (Priceline assumes only 2 people per room.) The gentleman said, "I just upgraded you to a two bed room, on the 11th floor, with a river view." Excellent - saved me from having to ask. I believe there are 13 floors in the hotel.. 12 and a Penthouse level.
Room was very clean and spacious enough for 3. Unfortunately, view was to the south, away from the Capital. Can't really complain, however.
Parking: As mentioned, parking is $20 for "overnight" parking. I quote "overnight" as that word was sort of stressed a couple of times. I chose to park on Fairfax St, right in front of the hotel, for the first night. In front of the hotel, Fairfax has 2-hour max, metered parking that is "enforced" from Monday - Saturday, 8am - 7pm (I think). According to http://alexandriava.gov/recreation/info/default.aspx?id=12490 - there is no meter feeding.
The next morning, before 8am, I moved the car to First Street facing East (on the park side). I did not see one sign on that side of the street that limited parking.
Montgomery Street has free parking, but is limited to 2 hours. N. Royal Street has free parking as well, but is limited to 3 hours, I think.
I would leave my car parked on First Street during the day, then move it to Fairfax in the evenings. The reason I do this is, when I lived in Hawaii, I had a rental when my car was in the shop, parked on a street I always parked with my personal car, and got a $200 abandoned vehicle ticket - law was after 12 hours, considered abandoned. So, being paranoid, I just moved my car around every 12 hours or so. I never saw anyone enforcing any meters/parking.
Sad the hotel parking isn't free. Plenty of empty spots. I would have paid $5 a night, but not $20.
More on hotel fees...
In room Internet: $10.
Lobby Internet: $1 a minute (I think), with $4 minimum. Never saw anyone on it.
Mini-fridge in room: $10 a day.
We had a mini-cooler and abused the ice machine.
The immediate area is really nice and feels pretty safe. There is a small park across the street from the hotel, including a playground for the little ones.
The hotel shuttle runs every 30 minutes. It runs from the Crown Plaza, to the Holiday Inn, to the Airport. We left the hotel at 8am, dropped off at the Airport, had to go upstairs to the station, buy our passes, took the Metro Blue Line to the Metro Center station, and made it to Ford's Theater for our 9am admission with 10 minutes to spare.
Recommend taking yellow line when possible, and maybe transferring at the L'Enfant station when possible. Seems to be quicker as usually less stops, depending where you are going, and subsequently cheaper. When your feet get tired, there is a bus that runs the perimeter of the National Mall for $1 a person.
The Metro is definitely the way to go. Clean, safe, and convenient. Our last full day on Sunday, we drove to the Pentagon Memorial and Arlington, and were lucky to find a spot by the Vietnam Memorial. We visited Mount Vernon leaving Monday. We checked out at Noon, but should have left sooner. If you want to see the main mansion, the two tombs, all the movies (a 20 minute, and a couple of 14 minute movies), the Education Center (with George's teeth) and the museum, you really need probably 3 to 5 hours.
There are a few places to eat in the immediate area of the hotel. The Perfect Pita shop is on the same block as the hotel, and opens at 7 most days, but closes at 5 I think on Saturday. A McDonalds is only a few blocks away, but would want to drive. The Potomac Yard Center on Jefferson Davis Hwy/ US1 is a few miles away, but has a Super Target, Don Pablo's Mexican Kitchen, Hops Restaurant Bar & Brewery, Baskin-Robbins, IHop, Starbucks, Subway, etc.
All in all, a great trip. We saw a lot. Recommend the hotel, but not at $135 a night. Not unless they include everything for free.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to our New Old Town Alexandria Hotel You'll enjoy a convenient location and top-quality amenities when you stay at the newly renovated Crowne Plaza of Old Town Alexandria. Our hotel is only two miles from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA). Located near Washington DC, our Alexandria, VA hotel is in close proximity to many attractions. We're only eight blocks from the shops and historic homes on Old Alexandria's revitalized waterfront. Walking tours of the city of Old Town and Potomac River Cruises of the nation's capital's monuments begin just a few miles from our Alexandria hotel. Our hotel near Washington, DC is also ideal for business travelers because we're a short drive from many corporate offices, like Robbins Gioia, International Association of Chiefs of Police, the Pentagon and the many museums, bureaus and government offices of Washington, DC. We also offer the convenience of eight meeting rooms, a 24-hour business center and high-speed, wireless Internet access. While lodging in Alexandria, Virginia, hotel guests can enjoy a relaxing setting with our fitness center, Sleep Advantage program with new, comfortable beds and spectacular views of the Potomac and city from many rooms. From our hotel restaurant, Chequers, to our complimentary shuttles to the airport, Metro/Subway and King's Street, a convenient stay awaits you at the Old Town Alexandria Crowne Plaza. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Crowne Plaza Alexandria
- Alexandria Crowne Plaza