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“Don't Judge a Book by its Cover” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Highlander Motel

Highlander Motel
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Highlander Motel
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3336 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA 22201   |  
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Hotel amenities
Special Rate
$81 (USD)
Ranked #23 of 48 Hotels in Arlington
Canton, Connecticut
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Don't Judge a Book by its Cover”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2013

We had a very nice 4 night stay recently at the Highlander. After the sticker shock of lots of $275/night+ rooms with $40/night parking we were happy to find it.

Like some of my fellow reviewers, my wife and I were looking for a DC area hotel/motel that had free parking and was within easy walking distance to DC mass transit. The Highlander delivered on both counts.

You are within 5-10 minute walking distance of two Metro stops on the Orange line (Clarendon and Virginia Square-GMU), plus a bus stop for the 38B line that takes you directly to Georgetown. The area of Wilson Blvd. that the motel is on we felt was safe for pedestrians day or night. Lots of DC commuters live in the apartments,condos and houses surrounding this general area. The Arlington campus of George Mason University is also in this neighborhood. The area around the Clarendon Metro stop has lots of shopping and dining options.

From the exterior, the Highlander is an older design that has not had recent updates, but it is kept clean and tidy. When making our reservation, we requested one of the updated rooms with remodeled bath and sink areas. We were quite happy with the size of the room, the cleanliness, and the comfort of the mattresses provided. Our room had counter-height refrigerator that was handy to keep beverages and a few snacks cold.

Our room faced the rear of the property. Traffic noise was not noticeable. If you stayed in one of the rooms facing Wilson Blvd. it would be more likely that you would hear traffic during busy times.

We were able to park our car safely in the Highlander's lot and forget about it for four days. I think the size of the parking lot is quite large compared to many DC area hotels/motels. I'm a bit picky when it comes to parking spaces for my car and I was pleased with the parking available.

Both the front desk and housekeeping staff very quite helpful and friendly throughout our stay, making us feel welcome.

There is a continental breakfast available to take away each morning from the motel lobby. There is no dining space in the lobby. During our stay there were donuts, yogurt, strawberries, grapes, bagels, and bread as well as coffee and orange juice. A toaster was available.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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140 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    43
    76
    16
    3
    2
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (37)
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English first
Australia
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2013

This motel offers excellent value for visitors exploring Washington DC. Midway between Clarendon and Virginia Square metros (5 minutes walk) it’s a 15-20 minute ride to central Washington. We used Clarendon, closer to the city and more dining options. We felt safe walking in the area, night and day.

Reception is staffed 24/7 and the staff were very welcoming, helpful and very patient with our many questions about local amenities and the district.

Our rooms were large, impeccably clean, comfortably furnished, good beds, pillows, large desk, comfortable chairs and small refrigerator, had free wifi and functional bathrooms. Microwave ovens, hair dryers etc. are available on request. Hot water for tea and coffee is on tap 24/7 in reception. Parking is free and there is a Budget/Avis car rental agency one block away.

We stayed twice, in quiet rooms at the back, one had an older pink bathroom which worked every bit as well as the renovated beige one. We were warm and cosy despite the snow outside. We scarcely needed the air-con, which worked brilliantly once housekeeping explained its operation.

The motel offers a free breakfast including juice, fruit, bagels, pastries, tea, coffee. There is a supermarket at Virginia Square, to buy alternatives or supplementaries, a Starbucks and a Cosi for light meals.

Dining options surround Clarendon Metro, 5 minutes walk on Wilson. We enjoyed O’Sullivans Irish pub for the excellent food and service and Silver Diner for the “Happy Days” experience.

At Ballston, a 15 minute walk on Wilson, there were many more dining options. We enjoyed Tutto Bene for good (not cheap) food and its 1970s Italian family restaurant ambience.

Highlander is not and does not claim to be 5-star luxury but it is very comfortable, convenient and excellent value.

Room Tip: Ask for a quiet room at the back, a microwave if you need one and instructions in setting the aircon...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Top Contributor
78 reviews 78 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

When we planned our trip to Washington DC, all the inns and hotels were booked and/or too expensive. Looking across the river, though, we found the Highlander. While it's no Marriott, it's about as comfortable as you can get (we weren't planning on staying here all day anyways) and it's minutes away from the subway station into the heart of DC! Check it out for sure.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Gainesville, Florida
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2013

My family (3 adults) have stayed at the Highlander about 3 times each year for the past 3 years, and have never been disappointed. We travel a lot, and usually stay in chains. The Highlander is an all-around great package: affordable, safe, clean, convenient, and comfortable. The DC area can be challenging finding the "perfect" hotel b/c it's hard to find all those criteria in one place. In an area where "near Metro and in a safe neighborhood" typically costs well over $150/night (usually PLUS parking) or where "inexpensive and safe" lands you well outside the city (hence a long, congested drive and still PLUS parking), the Highlander has it all. As long as you're not looking for luxury (spa, exercise room, concierge, in-room espresso machine, etc) but you DO expect cleanliness, convenience, comfort, and friendliness, you're going to get a whopping good deal. Here's a breakdown: (1) a real breakfast (real juice for starters!), fresh and varied pastries and breads, fresh, hot, delicious coffee, full size yogurts, 2-3 fresh fruits every morning (most of which I never see in a hotel of any kind--our last stay included bananas, apples, grapes, and strawberries); (2) a friendly, accomodating staff--they've let us park at the hotel even before we checked in so we could use Metro that day, they allow late check-outs, they always seem to accomodate room location requests, they start breakfast early and run late (6-10), etc. [only sticky point: some of the housekeeping staff are better than others at leaving three towels in our room instead of just two, but it's not often]; (3) The smell: hotel is clean and in good condition, there are only a few smoking rooms, and El Pollo Rico is across the street!; (4) Location, Location, Location: VA Square (Orange line) Metro is a safe, easy, 5-minute walk away (& there's a Starbucks right by the station)/VA Sq. is a pleasant part of Arlington and this is a simple, quiet Metro station for a home base/VA Sq to Smithsonian and environs is about a 16 min. ride/there's a new burger place--Z Burger--across the street from Highlander and just beyond that is El Pollo Rico, where the chicken smells incredible and tastes even better/Arlington is easy to reach off I-95 and the Highlander is easy to find once off the interstate/there always seems to be plenty of parking once you're there. There's a fridge in the room, but no microwave or coffee pot--but we eat out mainly and we bring our own hotpot. Reasonable, considerable rates--always well under $100 on weekends and right about $100 for weekdays--I can live without the coffee pot!

Room Tip: Rooms on back side of hotel are quieter than those backing up to Wilson Blvd
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlottesville, Virginia
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2013

The fact that the neon sign is always in perfect working order reflects the unusually high standards at this place. Clean windows, rooms not smelly, floors not sticky, everything works. Free WiFi, beds good, showers work great. Free breakfast. And, of course, free parking right underneath your room! As a business traveler who drives to Arlington, I find the location and convenience perfect. My gripes are that there was no microwave or coffee maker, and the heaters/AC can be hard to set right. But, such deficiencies can be found all up and down the price range.

Room Tip: Back is probably quieter than front. Part of the motel has 3 floors, while part has 2.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berkeley, California
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2013

Once a year, I spend a couple of nights at the Highlander while I am at NSF HQ. I don't need fancy places. I'm on my own, I need to get work done, I need a quiet, comfortable, non-smoking room, strong wifi connectivity, a spacious desk, a hot shower, some food outlets in proximity (El Pollo Rico -- yum!; 7-11, a hamburger place literally outside), and I need a budget price. I get all that and more at Highlander. Oh, and there's a huge screen in the room (I guess it's a TV, but I never switch it on). And there's a continental breakfast with OJ, coffee, fresh fruit, and a selection of fresh pastries. All this, at a convenient walking distance from Metro (Virginia Sq. on the Orange Line) and from NSF (but bring gloves for winter). And always a smile at Reception. I'll go back there next year.

Room Tip: Second floor in the back are quieter, bc you don't hear cars starting in the morning.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenix, Arizona
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2013

While visiting NSF, I've stayed at most of the local hotels from Hilton to Westin to Holiday Inn to Comfort Inn. Highlander is basic, but provides clean and comfortable accommodations at very reasonable rates -- less than half that of much of the competition. Bed was fine; shower large and efficient; wifi free and with no problems. I shall stay here again on the next visit.

Room Tip: Rooms at the back (which seems to be most rooms), away from Wilson Boulevard, are quieter.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Highlander Motel

Address: 3336 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA 22201
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Virginia > Arlington
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking
Hotel Style:
#1 Best Value Hotel in Arlington
#18 Romantic Hotel in Arlington
#20 Family Hotel in Arlington
#26 Business Hotel in Arlington
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 43
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Highlander Motel is an affordable motel in Arlington VA close to the FDIC, NSF, and George Mason University. We offer free parking, free wireless internet access and HD television. We are located 2 blocks from the Virginia Square Metro station. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Highlander Hotel Arlington
Highlander Motel Arlington

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