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.
Standard rooms are cramped if more than one person in the room
See more room tips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.