There are so many things that are right about this Embassy Suites property. It is conveniently located to the companies I was in Northern Virginia to do business with. This area of Loudoun County North of Dulles airport is convenient to a lot of good food (Emilio's pizza, for example, is listed in the back of the hotel guest directory, and is terrific - just a few minutes drive. The extraordinary and gigantic Wegman's market that's even closer has lots of ready-to-eat foods, too). The hotel facility is in great shape, and everything from the quality of food offered as part of the Embassy Suites 'cook to order' breakfast, to the quality of the furniture in the rooms, is very good. Staff are friendly, and while this is a 'basic' Embassy Suites hotel, all that is in their model makes traveling a little easier from the suite rooms, to the microwave and fridge in each, to the fitness center, laundry facilities, and the like. But if the quality of execution and attention to detail were just a bit higher, this would go from a very good hotel, to an excellent hotel.
I've stayed at the property twice, each time with at least one weekend night and one weekday night. And I like it, please make no mistake. But to stay at this hotel is to see so much that is nearly perfect, and then a small number of things that miss the mark, by a little. These are all small concerns, but they're maybe the kinds of things that tell you a place is first rate, or not quite.
The computers in the 'business center' are ancient and essentially unusably slow. While I carry a PC when I travel, it's not unusual that I would check-in for flights, print a document, etc. from a business center PC. These machines (Dells, labeled prominently as 'Pentium 4' computers!) have paid for themselves, I'd imagine, a few times over. Might I suggest a trip to Costco for a couple of new desktops? A few hundred dollars each would completely change the experience.
The fitness center is well lit, a nice size, and has three excellent treadmills, three Precor club-quality EFX elliptical machines, and a recumbent bike, all with the 'gym tv' options attached. There's also a couple of adjustable weight benches and a rack full of free weights, a few exercise balls, etc. It's really a very nice setup. But the EFX machines were all misbehaving. Not a lot, just some - the ramps would not adjust to the full range of heights they should, each somewhat differently malfunctioning. I'd imagine a simple service on them and all would be well. It was all just fine for a workout or three, but it struck me that no one is paying close attention. Linens left on Saturday were still in the hampers Monday morning, which made me think that maybe no one from the hotel had even been in the place over the weekend.
In the glass elevators in the atrium, a Saturday worth of younger guests had left a large number of fingerprints and smears that were also still there on Monday morning.
In the cafe, where the service was friendly and the food excellent, the silverware is the cheapest imaginable - 'budget institutional' would describe it, even as most other elements are high quality. The disposable cups in use in the cafe were all polystyrene, even as the rooms featured coffee makers with coffee from 'the rainforest alliance' and compostable 'ecotainer' paper cups. While ceraminc coffee mugs are available in the cafe, there don't appear to be reusable glasses for juice, water or milk.
Like I said before, all of these are minor, and none would deter me from staying here again. Yet an attentive management team could turn this from a very nice Embassy Suites into a truly excellent one with very little incremental money and effort.