Avoid this hotel if you're going to rely on the airport shuttle to get you to/from IAD. There is no dedicated Aloft shuttle and the staff do not have direct access to the driver to arrange rides, causing significant (read: 60 minutes+) delays.
I called the hotel shuttle shortly after arriving at IAD, and was told it would arrive in 15 minutes. It actually took about 65-70 minutes to arrive. I called the front desk 3 times during the ordeal to check on the shuttle, and was told it was stuck in traffic because of a "bad accident." However, once finally on the shuttle, the driver told me that there was no traffic or accident! It turns out he had been waiting idle outside the Hilton the entire time! This is where it gets interesting - even though the Aloft advertises a free shuttle, it actually doesn't have it's own and borrows one from the Hilton next door. The driver said he only got the pick up call 15 minutes ago from the Hilton (yes, Hilton not Aloft, that's right) staff. Interestingly, he didn't seem surprised and claimed similar lies from the Aloft staff happen frequently. It seems, the Aloft staff doesn't have any direct access to it's own advertised shuttle and makes up traffic accidents to explain to guests why the shuttle hasn't arrived to pick them up. Also important to note, the shuttle avoids the toll road, adding about 12 minutes to commute time to/from IAD.
Upon arrival at Aloft, I spoke to the front desk agent about the situation. He seemed embarrassed but initially apathetic. He deflected blame, claiming that the Hilton front desk was the source of the made up story. After he discovered I was an SPG Platinum member, I was offered free food and drinks. The agent took my contact info and told me the general manager, Luis, would be calling in the next 2 days - but it didn't happen.
On to outbound trip to IAD, departure of the hotel shuttle was delayed as well. Several other guests on the shuttle with me were getting impatient - and wondering whether they still had enough time to make their flights - because the shuttle left 35 minutes later than they were told.
The rooms themselves are clean and what you'd expect from an Aloft, even though the service does not live up to Starwood standards. There's free WiFi in rooms, lots of breakfast items available for purchase, and the lobby is nicely furnished with computers for printing boarding passes. They only have one person working during the night and so if you have any sort of issue with the room you have to wait until morning, which can be extremely inconvenient if you have an early morning flight.
- 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