This was my second stay at the Hilton Arlington in a year, and yet, staff like Henry (bell hop) and John (the bartender) remembered me and welcomed me back. I (and a large meeting group) stayed at the hotel on business from September 25 – 29, 2008.
On my first visit in September 2007, the hotel had a major air conditioning meltdown where entire floors had no a/c. Efforts were made to move those affected and coupons were handed out for complimentary meals at Dan and Brads. This year the a/c problems were more sporadic.
Despite the physical issues such as the extensive renovations going on and the a/c issues, I believe that the Hilton Arlington’s friendly and helpful staff more than make up for the minor annoyances. As in the past, every staff I encountered was helpful and welcoming. From Blanca, the housekeeper who cleaned my room; to Stephanie and Alphonso at the front desk; to John and Desmond at the bar and even Julio who assisted with my many meeting-related requests, all tried to help me, and they did it with a smile.
I was placed in a 4th floor room that was a bit musty smelling on walking in. Since I always travel with my Yankee Candle stuff, periodic sprays made the odor less noticeable. The room had the usual suspects – large flat screen tv; large comfortable bed with a variety of pillows to suit most pillow preferences (I travel with my own ergonomic one everywhere); lounge chair and ottoman; work desk and chair; small bench; dresser; closet and fairly large bathroom that was kept supplied with towels each day.
My room on the 4th floor was hot. Unfortunately for me, it took me a couple days to realize it was a continuing problem. Since I spent so little time in my room during the day when the sun was out, it was hard to tell that the a/c was not working because the a/c was turned off after my room was cleaned and so it was not really unusual to walk into a stuffy room. Since the sun had gone down by then, my room was cooler than it was during the day. By the time I realized that my room was failing to cool down and had maintenance come up, I only had two nights left on my stay. I was given the option to move, but with only two nights left I didn’t want to pack up and move to another room. The hotel did remove my 4 days of Internet use from my bill to compensate. They did this without a request on my part, which I thought was a good gesture.
The a/c issue was a minor one for me because I was staying at the hotel on business. However, if I were on vacation and paying top dollar, it would be a major thing. I would say after you check in, make sure that you’re a/c unit is working properly. It’s much easier to move if there is a problem before you unpack and settle in.
The hotel elevators were pretty efficient, although I primarily used the one nearest my room that stopped on the mezzanine level where the meeting rooms are. I rarely used the elevator closest to the front desk.
• Very good and convenient meeting facilities. Food service/catering was excellent as always.
• The hotel is very conveniently located right above the Ballston Metro, with direct access to Ronald Reagan Airport and downtown DC.
• Friendly, helpful staff.
• There are lots of good restaurants nearby. I have only had bar food from Dan and Brads (in hotel), but what I did have was good. I’ve never had a sit-down meal there, however.
• The hotel has a very nice (although small) VIP lounge (available to those on the concierge 7th floor) that serves a more than adequate continental breakfast 7 days a week, as well as snacks most evenings even on Sunday afternoons. For breakfast there was always juices, coffee, tea, pastries, bread for toast, cereal, fruit, eggs, pancakes etc. For evening snacks there was always free soft drinks, fruit, cheese, hot pastry and beers for $2, I believe.
• Fairly large hotel room for the DC area.
• Continuing a/c problems in rooms and in hotel hallways which were sometimes stuffy. Hopefully, once the renovations are done, these issues will be mere memories.
• Continuing hotel renovations.
• Musty odor in my room.
• No in-room safe. It would be nice to have a safe to leave valuables such as my laptop when I was gone from my room.
• Expensive Internet service at $10.95 per 24 hour period.
All in all, if you go to the Hilton Arlington expecting high end Hilton amenities then you will likely be disappointed. If what you require is a conveniently located hotel with friendly, knowledgeable staff and adequate amenities then you will likely be pretty pleased with the value that Hilton Arlington offers. I am already looking forward to my next visit in September 2009.
Feel free to email me with any specific questions about the hotel or the DC area in general. Have a great trip to the DC area wherever you decide to stay.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
December 19, 2008
We truly appreciate your comprehensive review. Our employees are always the highlight of a stay at the Hilton Arlington, and our long-term all-stars like Hnery, John, Blanca, & Julio keep guests like you coming back again and again. You will be pleased to know that we are days away from opening our expanded executive lounge (3 times larger than the one you experienced). Don't worry--moving the lounge won't affect the quality of the service or the great food.
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--Mark Driscoll, General Manager
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.