After awhile, I ended up loving this hotel but I stayed there for 8 nights and it took awhile to get used to it. I stayed in room 422 for 4 nights and room 506 for 4 nights.
Got it on an online discount and knew right away that I wasn't in the demographic (young, hip, trendy, etc.) that the hotel caters to. Initially, it was a little off-putting as the lobby desk is round and a number of times I went down there, it was hard to figure out where to stand to get anyone to pay attention. SOMETIMES I went down to the lobby, it was mobbed by 20/30-somethings and I wondered why I was there.
So, some Pro's and Con's and other Quirkey Aspects of the Aloft BWI:
As a regular traveler to Baltimore, the location is great (for me) -- close to the airport -- and they had plenty of free parking although, in the rain, some of it was too far away from the door. The place seemed to be packed with people with cars. Also, the wireless is free and easy to use but response was a little slow.
There is free coffee and USA Today in the lobby.
The TV is ä 42" flat screen, mounted on the wall right opposite the bed. Maybe the remote was losing its battery-power because it took forever to get through the 37 channels. Also, there was no list in the room of where to find different channels, and there wasn't much variety.
Room was nicely decorated (modern) and clean. Shades of black and brown and white with turquiose accents. Bed was a little hard but OK. Pillows were too small.
The place is really COLORFUL --- looks just like the pictures on the internet. Crisp, bright, etc.
Shuttle worked fine for me but as others have said, sometimes it's the Hilton shuttle and if you haven't been staying there for awhile, you wouldn't know this. After I got rid of my car, I used the shuttle several times -- Amtrak, BWI, rental car facility. Always prompt and courteous. And, unlike some hotels, most of the day it runs every 15 minutes (less frequently in the middle of the night).
Loved the shower, with the glass doors and huge showerhead. Bathroom was modern. No tiny bottles of shampoo, etc. Shampoo and body wash are in large containers in the shower.
Best PRO --- the STAFF! Often, the staff is super busy and seems rattled (this place runs frenetic much of the time!) but when I needed their help, to change rooms when my first one was so loud over the week-end that I got zero sleep, they were very helpful. Serafin and Shy were so friendly and helpful and took care of the change, and followed up later to make sure things were better.
Mentioned a few already, with the slow wireless and TV channel changes. In my second room, the safe was broken (closed). They did offer to fix it but I decided I didn't have anything I really needed to put in it. Was surprised they rented the room with a broken safe though.
Bedding (sheets/mattress pad) on the bed in the first room was so small (on a King bed) --- sheets just laying on top, not tucked in --- that the bed had fallen apart by morning.
Insane amount of noise over the lobby entrance in the middle of the night (with people loudly conversing and shuttle drivers honking) that I didn't sleep all night on a Saturday night with shuttles coming-and-going all night.
There is noise from the airport, for anyone noise-sensitive.
The cute little "cafe"(cafeteria) downstairs is a bit expensive. A tiny bottle of orange juice was $3. Evidently I'm too used to the complimentary breakfasts at many of the other BWI hotels.
Some of it above. The way the place is set up (with the staff being deluged) and the little (epensive) cafeteria in the lobby. Also, there are no drawers in the room --- just something that looks like a shelf/bookcase. Also, the curtained closet is tiny --- only 4 hangers in both my rooms. With staying for 8 days, I mostly had to keep my clothes in my suitcase.
Also, no place to get ice, except to go to the desk and ask for a small bag. Very inconvenient. Seems odd that they even put an ice bucket in the room when the little bag was all stuck together so you couldn't get cubes into the pail.
Also, the doors on the rooms are SO heavy that you can hear them slam down the hall, even when people aren't slamming them.
The shampoo in the big container in the shower is so heavy that it wouldn't come out of the dispenser. I had to take the top off and scoop it out. It was like cake frosting.
After a few days, I got used to the place. Didn't sit at the bar with all the kids or play pool (which looked like fun --- many people enjoying it) and didn't use the pool or fitness room (never saw anyone else there either) and I could have used a real restaurant there, rather than their little snack area, but it worked for me.
This place is not for everyone but I would happily return, even though I'm not young, hip or trendy.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Aloft BWI Baltimore Washington International Airport is a fresh, fun, forward-thinking alternative to ordinary BWI Airport hotels. With a loft-inspired design a mere five minutes from BWI Airport, we offer vibrant boutique accommodations near the most compelling attractions in two major metropolitan areas. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Aloft - Baltimore Washington International Airport Hotel Linthicum