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“Good for an SPG Category 2 (of 7) Hotel” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Aloft Dulles Airport North

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Aloft Dulles Airport North
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   22390 Flagstaff Plaza, Ashburn, VA 20148   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #5 of 5 Hotels in Ashburn
Los Angeles, California
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
“Good for an SPG Category 2 (of 7) Hotel”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2011

OVERVIEW OF BRAND
Aloft was founded in 2005 as “a vision of W Hotels” and is a part of the Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) family of hotels. Although you will find some crossover with the W brand (e.g., Bliss bathroom products and the bar is named “W–xyz”), don’t expect what you will find at a W Hotel…but room rates are markedly cheaper than W. The vibe that I get when I stay at any Aloft is that of a hip, college residence-hall with a commons area for food/drinks and games (e.g., there’s a pool table and usually board games on the coffee tables) and compact rooms that efficiently use the limited space.

The brand is very consistent—once you’ve been to one Aloft, you’ve pretty much been to them all. Most variation between properties seems to be in the amount of gym equipment available, the upkeep of properties, freebies you get in the room, and the range/quality of the bar food. However, I’ve heard that some newer Alofts (especially in renovated buildings vs. brand new buildings) may have different layouts including suites.

ALOFT–IAD
Aloft–IAD opened about four years ago, and I have stayed here three times. It is located about 6 miles from the airport, and there is a shuttle that picks up from area 2H (call hotel to confirm shuttle pick-up as it doesn’t seem to keep regular hours). You may see one of two types of shuttles: A white van with the Aloft logo, or a shuttle bus with the Hilton Garden Inn logo (and a small Aloft logo) as they share the same parking lot. The shuttle ride takes about 12–15 minutes as they don’t take a direct route (probably to avoid the tollway).

THE ROOM
This is the same as any other Aloft. You should find an LG flat-screen TV (42”, LCD, 720p), free Internet, free bottle of water, a coffee maker with 1 regular/1 decaf pod, a safe, a well-hidden iron and ironing board (look behind the bed’s “headboard”), and a fridge under the sink. Although there is an ice bucket in the room, there are no ice machines on the floors. You can only get a bag of ice in the pantry by the front desk, so you may want to grab a bag at check-in. The room will have “Tried+Blue” Bliss products, including a “Mini Blue” bar of soap and a small tube of body lotion by the sink; and shampoo-conditioner and body wash in built-in dispensers in the shower stall. Two complaints I have for this stay (see pictures): 1) the pillows were tiny for a king-size bed, and 2) the shower soap/gel was almost empty.

FOOD
There is no room service. The bar menu at this Aloft is pretty good relative to the other Alofts I’ve been to. Prices for the bar food range up to $6.50 for appetizers (e.g., humus, spring rolls, and buffalo wings), up to $14.00 for entrees (e.g., fish ‘n tots, pizzas, and steak), and up to $5.00 for desserts (e.g., sundaes and cheesecake) and the hours of service are 5PM until midnight. Make sure to print out the following coupon (www.starwoodhotels.com/pub/gc/3140/6935639.htm) to get a $5.00 discount at the W-xyz bar. The re:fuel pantry is open 24-hours a day and you can get pre-made sandwiches and desserts. If you prefer something better, there isn’t much else within walking distance. There is a gas station right next door where you can get snacks and simple meals.

GYM AND POOL
The gym is limited for those who prefer weight training: There are two basic benches, a rack of dumbbells ranging up to 50 lbs., and 1 universal cable machine. The cardio equipment is in very good shape, consisting to 2 treadmills, 2 bikes, and 2 elliptical machines. There is an indoor pool next to the gym.

SPG SPECIFIC
No club lounge and no suites. Gold & Platinum Members should get some coupons that seem to vary throughout the year (e.g., 1 free beer/wine at bar, 1 free snack from the pantry, and 1 free breakfast item). For my last stay, I got several free snack vouchers and I didn’t have to spend very much on food. Internet is free for everyone, which is typically a Platinum-only benefit at SPG hotels. Platinum Members can get 250 bonus Starpoints (not 500) for staying at Aloft. As an Platinum-Preferred Guest, I prefer the Westin–IAD, but this is a good alternative if the Westin is significantly more expensive.

OVERALL RATING
The Aloft-IAD is a comfortable stay for those not needing any niceties and who want to rack up SPG Starpoints or Stay Credits. The atmosphere is “hip” and the bar/front desk staff is friendly. The food is decent (for an Aloft) and the gym is well stocked.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 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.
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413 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (66)
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English first
Bratislava, Slovakia
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2011

Upon first walking into the Aloft, the lobby strikes you as young and swanky. The staff members at the hotel were very nice, but service was rather slow due to the fact there was only one agent at the desk at a time. Therefore, if the agent was dealing with a customer with an issue that took extensive time, you were stuck waiting in line.

The room itself was nice - exactly what I expected from an Aloft. My only problems were the fact that the air conditioner was extremely loud and the bed and pillows were extremely uncomfortable (the worst of any Aloft I've stayed in.) The housekeeping service also failed to bring extra towels, as requested, and after the first night - our bathroom mat mysteriously disappeared and was never replaced. It also took over an hour to have our TV serviced by the maintenance crew. The input box for the television did not seem to work, so I was unable to hook my laptop into the television monitor at any point during the stay.

There was plenty of parking for hotel patrons and the lobby was kept in top shape. I may give the hotel another try in the future, we'll see.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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AloftAnna, General Manager at Aloft Dulles Airport North, responded to this review, November 11, 2011
Thank you, sluzby, for your frank comparisons and honest observations of your stay with us. I was glad to read that there were aspects that you enjoyed, including the staff and your compliments in other areas. However, I was equally disappointed in the issues you raised, particularly of the Housekeeping areas. I will address this with our new Executive Housekeeper to ensure such circumstances do not reoccur. As a new property, we have rare issues with the TV's and the Plug and Plays have never failed us, to my knowledge. I have made my staff aware. We do indeed hope that you will try our location again in the near future. Please feel free to contact me directly for your return trip.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Anna Lyons, GM
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Houston, Texas
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2011

Great rooms, comfy bed, courteous and helpful staff, and all of the well thought out amenities that made Aloft my home away from home for my week! This is my first Aloft stay and definitely will not be my last! This is the place to either kick back, relax in your room... enjoy a nice workout and swim... have a drink at the bar and play a little pool (or board game) or continue your business in the conference room! My first experience is great, and definitely won't be my last... thank you for making my week that much better!

  • Stayed November 2011, 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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AloftAnna, General Manager at Aloft Dulles Airport North, responded to this review, November 7, 2011
Thank you, Julie C, for your review. We are thrilled that your first Aloft experience was such a "cool" one, just as the Starwood brand intended it to be. We look forward to welcoming you back soon, if not to this location, to another one somewhere in the world; we have over 50 worldwide!

Sincerely,

Anna Lyons, GM
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Connecticut
Top Contributor
82 reviews 82 reviews
69 hotel reviews
Reviews in 55 cities Reviews in 55 cities
116 helpful votes 116 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2011

I booked a night at the Aloft when I was unable to get a room downtown. I had heard about these properties but had never stayed before. When I entered the lobby around 9pm it felt like walking into a club, with music pumping and people having drinks. First thought was that this was consistent with the vibe they were going for, but then I started wondering why people would be hanging around a hotel by the airport. Oh well, no bother to me, but I also was tired and not looking to party.

Rooms were very nice, very modern. Decently large, good amenities. Check in was fast and friendly.

One thing of note though - I know that this hotel is fairly new, because Aloft has only been around a couple years. But the wallpaper in my bathroom was peeling, and there were a number of fit and finish issues. Perhaps they had a water leak. If I were them I'd be bothering the original contractor.

The other thing is that it's about a $30 cab ride into the city. So if given a choice I'd still stay in the city, since that is where my client is.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 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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AloftAnna, General Manager at Aloft Dulles Airport North, responded to this review, November 7, 2011
Thank you, Reactor1966, for your thorough review. A traveler such as yourself has seen much so we especially appreciate your viewpoints! Alofts are trendy and hip, a little sister to W Hotels, so music is a big part of who we are. We did have a bit of a leak and have posted signs regarding the "work in progress" as we wait on contractors to finish the job; I apologize for the inconvenience. I am glad that you found the staff to be friendly, the amenities to be good and the rooms to be nice. We hope to see you again while we continue our strive for Excellence!

Live Life Aloft!

Anna Lyons, GM
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1000 Islands, NY
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 25, 2011

My experience with Aloft Dulles was limited to attempting to check in with a reservation made by my Airlines. So, I can’t comment on the hotel’s rooms or amenities. But, how they handled an overbooking is likely the worst example of disregard and disrespect for customers that I’ve seen in 30 years of working in the hospitality industry.

After a late night flight cancelation, United Airlines made reservations and provided vouchers at the Dulles Aloft for a number of stranded travelers. The United agent called the hotel to alert them to the group of travelers and was told that two vans would be dispatched to pick us up. Since each party still had to finish other travel arrangements, the agent also urged me to call the hotel to make sure I would recognize the van and be at the right pick-up zone when we left the terminal, which I did. When my wife and I arrived at the pick-up zone there was no van, but within 10 minutes six other United passengers joined us also holding reservations for the Dulles Aloft. It was a tired group that included a number of business travelers and a soldier in uniform returning home from deployment to Afghanistan.

We stood shivering in the pick-up zone for about a half hour. During that time, I called the property twice to get updates on the van - the desk assured me we were in the right place and that a van was on its way.

Upon a third call, the front desk informed me that they had overbooked the property and already filled all available rooms with an earlier van of United passengers. They would not be picking us up or providing a room, despite the fact that we all held room vouchers issued on in Aloft Dulles’ name based on reservations provided by United through their system,

Since it was 2am at this point and no United agent stations were open, I asked if the hotel would be arranging for alternative accommodations with a property that could honor our vouchers. The practice of taking responsibility for finding alternative accommodations or "walking" a customer is common and standard procedure when property has overbooked its reservations. The desk assured me they were working on doing that and promised he would call my cell with information in short order.

I never received a return call from Aloft at Dulles. No one from Aloft or any associated hotel ever showed up to pick us up from Dulles. Aloft literally left our group standing in the cold in the middle of the night. Aloft managed to aggravate already disgruntled United customers with a stunning disregard for basic customer service.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
AloftAnna, General Manager at Aloft Dulles Airport North, responded to this review, November 7, 2011
Thank you, 1000Islands, for your frankness. I have already responded to your email in detail but also offer my apologies to you via this forum. The Dulles Airport community is essential to our success and apologize that we failed you, as well as other weary travelers including those that fight for our causes. I can assure you that our solid reputation for taking care of distressed passengers is based on our accepting and successfully transporting guests to and from the airport on a daily basis. I offer my sincere apologies for not taking care of you and others this night. Your email was posted and used as a "lessons learned" example for my entire team to read.

We wish you safe and uneventful travels in the future.

Sincerely,

Anna Lyons, GM
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Charlottesville, Virginia, USA
1 review
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2011

I will not use Aloft again. On the night prior to our departure the lobby and pool table area were occupied by loud drunken people who should have been cut off long before they reached the shape they were in.

On the night of our return no shuttle appeared. They were supposed to arrive on 30 minute intervals. I was not able to phone Aloft in 45 minutes of trying: the number remained busy. We had not choice but to use a taxi to get to Aloft to retrieve our car. Aloft consequently owes me $25 which I don’t expect to ever see.

Finally, the email address provided for feedback proved to be a dead link.

The environment was unpleasant, and the advertised services did not exist. I will not use or recommend Aloft. I will in fact recommend against it.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AloftAnna, General Manager at Aloft Dulles Airport North, responded to this review, November 7, 2011
I apologize, T B, that your stay was not a pleasant one. I receive feedback every day and am unaware of a link that is inactive. I am equally surprised to learn that our phone lines were ringing busy; there must have been some sort of system problem as our phone switch prevents this type of situation. I do apologize for the shuttle issues as we transport guests 24-hours a day and always try to be timely. The short distance to the airport can easily become stressed by weather and traffic conditions and I regret the delays you encountered.

We do hope that you will give Aloft hotels another try, if not this location, perhaps another one in your future. We appreciate your choosing our location for your most park and fly trip.

Sincerely,

Anna Lyons, GM
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Atlanta, Georgia
1 review
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2011

As a young 20-something professional, I picked the Aloft at Dulles for a business trip. The overall look of the hotel is fun and modern, however, the Dulles location needs a few things to make it truly stand out as a cool place to stay, that doesn't just "look cool":

1. Hotel staff needs to be a bit more buttoned up. "Trendy" doesn't mean "laid-back" necessarily. They're nice people and friendly, but not exactly quick to respond to issues and I feel like some customer service training wouldn't hurt. I say this as someone who used to work in the service industry -we had actual lines we were supposed to use that were all "yes ma'am, no ma'am, I'll be happy to..." that kind of thing. Polite with implied urgency, we called it. The Disney "Be Our Guest" Book might be a good jumping off point.

2. Room phone didn't work and I had to request twice that it be fixed. Once it was fixed, I could finally call for my shuttles and a wake-up call.

3. The plug and play station in the room is a novel concept, but each room should have its own cables set from maintenance. Mine didn't -and they said all the audio cables were in-use. The maintenance guy was nice and promised he'd get me what I needed, but never did. Why offer if you can't use it? I really was looking forward to plugging in my laptop to the TV so I could watch my HBO Go series.

4. The lobby bar parties take up the whole lobby. I needed to use the printer and found myself having to squeeze through a crowd of people to get to the office station. The office area needs to be moved away from there to avoid this issue -especially when music is pumping.

5. Food: I understand the "sleek" concept going on here, but why not offer room service at least? Maybe even a sit-down restaurant -separate from the bar? I felt compelled to take the shuttle to go get something to eat, as I wanted something hot that didn't involve the bar party or the little refrigerator sandwich case in the lobby. Not to mention, the picnic table full of goodies leaves you to find somewhere else to sit in the lobby. Get some of those IKEA two-seater tables for this area so people can actually dine and not feel like they're stuffing their face in the lobby next to someone who is lounging.

6. Wake-up call: Mine never came. It was a backup in case I slept through my phone alarm, but they never called or my room phone didn't work. Either way, people depend on those when they request them. Thankfully, my internal clock didn't fail me and I woke up at 6 on the dot.

Other than that, I think the Aloft Dulles is a nice place. I really did enjoy the room -though there could be more pillows on the bed and the bathroom sliding doors need to actually seal you off from the sink area. If I'd been here with my boyfriend, I wouldn't want us to be able to "hear" each other doing our business in there. I did really appreciate the free shuttle service, as it kept me from having to waste my company budget on taxis or a car rental -and the drivers were really nice. If your goal is young professionals as customers, just try to remember, we still want professional attitudes and service from our hotel.

Room Tip: Rooms higher up not overlooking the courtyard are quiet.
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2011, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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AloftAnna, General Manager at Aloft Dulles Airport North, responded to this review, November 7, 2011
Lauren G, your points are well-taken. Relaxed should not mean overly casual, a fine line that is walked daily in every aspect of the operation. Your observations are great, clearly those of an industry professional, past or present. We are glad that you enjoyed certain aspects but I am equally disappointed that we fell short in other areas. You have given me great examples to show the team; thank you again for the candor.

We hope that you will give us, or another Aloft location, a second chance. We are, and they are, truly much better than your first impression, I promise you!

Yours in hospitality,

Anna Lyons, GM
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Aloft Dulles Airport North

Address: 22390 Flagstaff Plaza, Ashburn, VA 20148
Location: United States > Virginia > Loudoun County > Ashburn
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 5 Hotels in Ashburn
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Aloft Dulles Airport North 3*
Number of rooms: 136
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Chic and comfortable, the Aloft Dulles Airport North offers complimentary airport shuttle service to/from Washington Dulles International Airport and is located near the Dulles Technology Corridor. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Aloft Ashburn

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