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“very solid hotel, formerly the kimpton palomar...” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Le Meridien Arlington

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Le Meridien Arlington
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   1121 N 19th Street, North Arlington, Arlington, VA 22209 (Formerly Palomar Arlington, a Kimpton Hotel)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #25 of 48 Hotels in Arlington
GreenLeadersSilver level
Los Angeles, California
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
44 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
“very solid hotel, formerly the kimpton palomar...”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 22, 2012

i was a guest in this hotel from saturday to monday, visiting from NYC for a redskins game. the game was great (RG3 threw four touchdowns, and we had 9th row seats), and the hotel experience helped to make it a great weekend.

the hotel is at an unassuming corner in arlington, across the street from a cosi and about kitty corner from a mcdonald's. it's a little more out of the way than some of the other hotels in the area, so my only niggle upfront would be that it's not as easy to catch a cab in off-peak hours, but that's something that can be addressed with a phone call from the hotel to the cab company.

check-in is on the fourth floor, so you have to go into the lobby and take one set of elevators up from street level to the fourth floor for check-in.

check-in was pretty simple, as the hotel was not very busy during the weekend. because i am starwood gold, i got an upgrade to a much nicer room, and this one actually had an elliptical machine in the room so i could have worked out in the room if i so desired--nice touch. there was a separate sofa and individual chair area for watching TV next to the bed, and a spacious bathroom.

i don't know what room i got upgraded to, so perhaps management can reply with what room 915 is considered to be.

everything was very clean and organized, and i have no complaints whatsoever. in a nice touch to be more green, the hotel did away with small individual bottles for shampoo, shower gel, and conditioner, instead mounting three large bottles in the shower, which dispensed the items when you pushed down on the handles. in concept it worked, but to be honest, it took a little more work to get the items out of the bottle. not sure i was a fan of that, but if that allows the hotel to save the environment...i can deal with that.

i didn't partake of the restaurant or room service, but i think the hotel has 24-hour room service. if you just want a sandwich, there is a cosi across the street, and there is mcdonald's nearby that is 24 hours on the weekends. the area is safe, if a little bit deserted on the weekends (most of the surrounding area is office buildings, so that is to be expected).

i had stayed here when it was the kimpton many years ago, and i would say that the transition was seamless. i would stay here again for a solid hotel that caters to both business and leisure travelers.

Room Tip: i stayed in room 915.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Allan b, Manager at Le Meridien Arlington, responded to this review, November 25, 2012
Dear andergtr,

I am glad that you enjoyed your visit at the Le Meridien Arlington! Glad to hear that you enjoued your weekend getaway with us.
Thank you so much for staying with us and for being loyal SPG Gold member. Please visit us again soon.


Thank you,

Allan
Allan
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392 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (123)
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English first
San Diego, California
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2012

What a refreshing experience to check into a new Starwood hotel in the DC area (especially after a horrible stay at The Fairfax on Embassy Row last visit - avoid that hotel, nothing goes well!).

From some pre arrival needs to making us feel like family during our visit, the entire staff went above and beyond.

A nice spot if you have business in Northern Virginia, or even DC, as it's just across from Key Bridge and Georgetown.

Our team will be back.

Room Tip: Get a room facing the river and Georgetown.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Allan b, Manager at Le Meridien Arlington, responded to this review, November 25, 2012
Dear TFKinPS,

Thank you so much for your feedback! I'm very happy to hear that you and your team enjoyed your visit at the Le Meridien Arlington. Thank you so much for your business and we look forward having you again very soon.


Thank you,


Allan
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Massachusetts
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2012

This should be a 4-5* kind of hotel, and mostly it is -- nice beds and sheets, good size room, nice view, quiet. Two complaints.

First, the toiletry restrictions are extreme, presumably in the name of being "green" -- no take-home shampoo, fine, saves wasted plastic. But one bar of soap for the bathroom, not replaced the 2nd day. Not everyone likes to use "shower gel" to clean the body. In particular I don't. This is a Meridien, not a motel 6. Give us soap for the shower.

Second and more important -- they have this program where you put a hanger on the door by 2am to choose the "green" option of not having your room cleaned, and you get a $10 bar credit. The green option is not to have your sheets changed. The labor-killing option (hence the 2am deadline so they can manage their staff needs day by day) is not to have it made up. They are essentially asking you to fire your room-cleaner for the cost of 2/3 of a drink at the bar, and calling it green. They can call it blue or orange, free country, but the only thing green about it is the increased profits for the hotel, and the dollars that don't go to the cleaners. It would be nice to have a green option of keeping the same sheets and towels but not firing the staff for the day.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Allan b, Manager at Le Meridien Arlington, responded to this review, November 19, 2012
Dear eternaloptimist25,

Thank you so much for staying with us and taking the time to share your feedback. I am glad that overall you enjoyed your stay. I certainly do agree with you that we should provide 2 bar soap in the room, we will definitely do that moving forward.
Please feel free to contact me when you get a chance so I can better explain our "Make a Green Choice" Program, sorry we failed to explain it to you while in the hotel.

Thank you again for staying with us and I look forward hearing from you.


Allan
703-894-5062
allan.bella@lemeridienarlington.com
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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2012

So this will not be a typical review. Or, I should say that it is not a typical hotel experience.

To start, if I had stayed at the Le Meridien during a normal week, or for business, this would have been fine. The service at the hotel was excellent. The gentlemen at the front desk and the porters were amazing and helpful. I loved the decor and the modern feel.

My room was very small. I booked a standard room with two beds. And, for two people, it was pretty cramped. If you can book a lager room, then I would recommend it if you are traveling with someone else.

Now, for the special circumstances. I booked this hotel one year in advance since I was planning the run the marathon that starts and ends near the Le Meridien. At the time I booked the hotel, it was still the Palomar. The reservation was switched over the SPG and I had no problems with the transfer.

I was preparing to travel to DC for the marathon and was going to stay from Friday through Tuesday. The week before, we started to hear that Hurricane Sandy could come up the coast and cause some big problems. Being from Philadelphia and taking the train to and from DC, I decided to shorten my stay when the forecast changed for the worse. In hindsight, good thing we did. We wanted to leave on Sunday afternoon instead of Tuesday. If we would have stayed, we would have been stuck in DC with no Amtrack service available.

I checked my cancellation policy and it stated that I had until 6pm before the day of check in to cancel. Knowing that I wasn't canceling, I researched deeper and found the change policy which stated you could change the check out date, but if you changed the check out date after check in, then the hotel could impose a fee. It was still 24 hours before the check in time, so I felt that I was fine. I called the hotel, asked for the check out date to be changed, the gentlemen made the change, told me I was all set and that he would email me the new itinerary, and I hung up. I went to my email and discovered that by changing the check out date, the reservation rate was reset to the current room rate for all nights. This was never mentioned on the call and I would have never agreed to it considering the reduced stay at the higher rate cost more than the original, longer stay.

I called customer service and was told there was nothing that could be done. I asked them to call the hotel, which they did, and the hotel itself in Arlington refused to honor my original rate. I asked to speak to a supervisor and she told me, in a not-so-nice manner, that they have done everything that I asked and they cannot help me. I hung up. About 15 minutes later, I received a new itinerary in my email with the original room rate. No call, just an email with the itinerary.

I had started to book with a nearby hotel so that I could use the cancellation policy, but decided to stay at the Le Meridien when I saw that the original rate was honored.

I checked in and and stayed through Sunday. Again, the hotel was fine and service at the hotel was great.

I checked out on Saturday afternoon. Having just run the marathon, I showered and checked out after the established check out time. I expected to pay for another night. I had actually changed my reservation to leave on Saturday, but to pay through Monday to ensure I could keep the room. The gentlemen who changed my reservation told me that this was my only option since they would not grant a late check out. However, the lady in front of me checking out was in the same position and was told that they were granting late checkouts for the marathoners. I checked out and was given a receipt for Friday and Saturday night. I was not charged for Sunday. I left feeling somewhat better after all of the hassle with the reservation. I got home and they applied a full night room charge on my american express above my invoice total.

I was extremely disappointed with the experience considering the hotel was nowhere near capacity. If they were granting late checkouts, then I feel that they should have been equally distributed to all people in this situation.

I have had such great experiences with SPG in the past. This was very disappointing.

Room Tip: Standard rooms are cramped if more than one person in the room
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Allan b, Manager at Le Meridien Arlington, responded to this review, November 19, 2012
Dear Denese_54321

Thank you so much for your continued business. I am sad to see that you had trouble cancelling your reservations. Please contact me at your convenience and I would like to make things right for you. Thank you so much for your feedback and I look forward hearing from you.


Thank you,

Allan
202-894-5062
allan.bella@lemeridienarlington.com
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Atlanta, Georgia
Top Contributor
268 reviews 268 reviews
41 hotel reviews
Reviews in 67 cities Reviews in 67 cities
145 helpful votes 145 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2012

This used to be the Palomar Hotel and really apart from the name not much has changed. It is about three or four years old and is incredibly convenient to Georgetown (literally across the bridge). It is pet friendly although I have never seen any there. You enter a downstairs lobby and then take an elevator to the fourth floor to check in. The staff are attentive and friendly and the rooms adequately sized and comfortably appointed in a contemporary style. The health center on the third floor is well equipped. The restaurant and bar are ok but you would probably find yourself walking across the river to the numerous restaurants in Georgetown rather than eating here regularly. I have stayed here at half a dozen times and will do again.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Allan b, Manager at Le Meridien Arlington, responded to this review, November 13, 2012
Dear Stephen C,

Thank you so much for your feedback and continued loyalty. We look forward having you back again very soon.


Thank you,

Allan
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washington dc
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2012

I stayed at this hotel recently on a weekend. It seems that the weekends are slower than weekdays, leading me to be upgraded to a suite, which I will review here.

In a word, I found this hotel to be excellent -- probably 4 1/2 stars rather than 5, but still extremely nice. The suite had a nice layout, with a nice view of Georgetown over the Potomac river. (For the Rosslyn area, the view was excellent!) The room was very quiet, and the service was excellent, with a coffee maker equipped with a decent grade of coffee and tea.

The bathroom was very large, and included both a stall shower and a jacuzzi-style tub. There are also (European style?) shower gel, shampoo, and conditioner dispensers in the shower.

The layout of the hotel is a little odd; one enters at the ground level, but the front desk, restaurant, and lounge areas are on the 4th floor. The hotel decor is interesting, sort of avant-garde dark wood, though the suite itself was brightly lit with an attractive white and grey color scheme with a modern, clean, slightly European flavor. Service was friendly and excellent.

The only down things to watch out for is that the handle of the hot water valve in the tub becomes very hot to the touch.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Allan b, Manager at Le Meridien Arlington, responded to this review, November 13, 2012
Dear John B,

Thank you so much for the feedback Mr. John B! Happy to know that you enjoyed your stay at the Le Meridien Arlington. Sorry you had trouble with hot/cold water, we will definitely fix the issue.
Thank you so much again and we look forward having you back soon.


Thank you,

Allan
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Top Contributor
121 reviews 121 reviews
55 hotel reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
108 helpful votes 108 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2012

Lobby, Location. We are currently staying at the Le Meredien, leaving this afternoon. I have read and agree with much of what other reviewers say about this hotel. The lobby is lovely with scattered fire places, abutted by a balcony that overlooks the river and Georgetown. The location can feel a little out of the way but is really only a short cab ride from DC's justly famous monuments. Weekend prices can average right around $100 (plus taxes) per night--although our rate was 50% more than that, but included breakfast. All in all, a good buy for the budget-minded traveler.

The Room. Our room is a postage stamp. There is a king sized bed which takes up most of the room, a desk and a desk chair. This means that one of us has to sit on the bed if we are both in the room and in a sitting mood. This would really not be a problem for someone who was only going to sleep in the room or a solitary traveler. Since my husband is currently recuperating from surgery, it would really be nice if we had a little more room, and, I suspect that there are others who also, for their own reasons, want a room for more than just a nightly sleep--maybe watching TV before bed or having a personal chat. If so, you should really know how small the rooms can be. For others, this would be no problem. The bed is comfortable--a good thing since my husband is spending a lot of time there. The room is nicely furnished and was certainly clean when we arrived. (I opted to agree to the "green" program which means that we have had no room cleaning since we arrived--although we could have asked for clean towels.) The large windows on the outer wall help the room from feeling claustrophobic. But you definitely could not have an extra person, even the smallest baby, in this room. So, be aware of what you are booking. This room does not feel like anything I have ever experienced in a Starwood hotel, certainly not in a Le Meredien.

Staff. I have had very little reason to interact with the staff, but they seem to be cheerful and helpful.

Restaurant. The restaurant here is called Amuse, and it generally well-named, although both the food and the service can vary. We are uniquely qualified to speak of the restaurant since, because of the aforementioned surgery, we have eaten every meal here.

Breakfast. The breakfast, included in our room rate, is of a lower than average quality. There is a surcharge for having eggs cooked your way ($2) or for having an omelet ($4). There is no yogurt, smoked salmon, vegetables, etc. When I asked about yogurt (something my husband can eat), I was told and I quote "What you see is what you get." And since that meant they were out of most of the fruit (9 a.m. on Saturday) and the scrambled eggs were cold--pickings were a little slim. The cook--who was actually quite nice--did refurbish the scrambled eggs. And other waiters were a lot more jolly, although I wasn't asking anything of them except for coffee.

Lunch and Dinner. The restaurant is full at lunch time and for good reason. The hotel is located in an area surrounded by office buildings and near the Pentagon, but then there are lots of restaurants in this area and in Georgetown across the river. The reason there are so many people here is that the good is, for the most part, terrific and reasonably priced, and I do mean reasonably priced. I had the best flatbread I have ever had anywhere here--brie, carmelized onions, bacon and apples topped with greens. Unbelievably good. (Unfortunately, the second time I ordered it they forgot the onions but it was still good, just not unbelievably good.) They have great soups at $6-7 a bowl, not a cup. Again, something my husband can eat. The salads I. had were terrific. The salmon we ordered at dinner was absolutely terrific. We ordered a lovely Pacific Rim Chenin Blanc for $30 (although oddly I had to ask for a wine list as opposed to the by the glass list on the regular menu) and I was allowed to take the bottle back to the room since again my husband is not drinking much. The only disappointment was the Nutella cake which is described as a molten chocolate cake. Jean-George (who is a consultant to this restaurant) popularized these desserts and they are fantastic at all his restaurants, but not here. For one thing, the center is not molten. It is rather a warmed-up chocolate cake served with a smallish scoop of ice cream and hazelnuts. Not bad, but not up to the Jean-George standards. On the other hand, a scoop of ice-cream or sorbet is $3--hen was the last time you had any dessert anywhere for $3? And, it was lovely.

Service. We had one of the best waiters ever here. I wish I knew his name. But he was terrific. We also had a rather likable curmudgeon--reminded me of the waiters in Chicago's Berghoff. Everyone else (except the snippy waiter at breakfast) was professional, if sometimes slow.

So, read the reviews. Remember to be sure that you know what you are getting and what you will be happy living with. And yes, I would come back under some circumstances. And I will dream of the first of those flatbreads. Wonderful, and did I mention that it was $11?

Room Tip: Avoid classic. Families probably need a suite.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about Le Meridien Arlington

Address: 1121 N 19th Street, North Arlington, Arlington, VA 22209 (Formerly Palomar Arlington, a Kimpton Hotel)
Location: United States > Virginia > Arlington
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Luxury Hotel in Arlington
#8 Green Hotel in Arlington
#19 Romantic Hotel in Arlington
#26 Family Hotel in Arlington
#26 Business Hotel in Arlington
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Le Meridien Arlington 4*
Number of rooms: 154
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Centrally located among top destinations in the Washington, D.C. region, Le Méridien Arlington is a stylish boutique hotel close to numerous restaurants and shopping options for our guests. We are excited to announce our new, contemporary chic style restaurant and lounge coming this March! Between the dates of January 13th to March 14th we will have our formal restaurant and lounge closed to carry out some beautiful refinements in the name of Méridien! We do not anticipate any disruption to services as the hotel has taken alternative measures to provide you a great experience. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Palomar Arlington Kimpton

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