I came here for an overnight weekend stay to get more IHG bonus points (I learned of EVEN location and IHG bonus from IHG direct emails to members). So let me review what I think of the hotel first, then the people second.
As a hotel EVEN is not much to write about. The rooms are spartanly furnished (shower only/no tub, tiny closet, no plush sofa to sit, no carpet, loud window AC) but clean. It’s what one would (and should) expect from a decent road-side motel like a Holiday Inn Express (which this EVEN was converted from).
But if one removes all the preconceived notions of luxury, and just look at EVEN base on a novel concept of “bringing wellness/fitness from home to the road”, then it really delivered.
What the room lacks in luxury, it makes up in providing everything one needs to do yoga, pilate or a resistance workout privately (cardio machines and free weights in lobby gym). There are like 20 channels of on-demand workout routines on TV using everything the room has. The king bed is very comfortable but the added topper elevate the bed to scalable heights. And the toiletries, which come in plenty because they are mounted on wall, refillable dispensers (not tiny hotel sizes), are very aromatic and soothing.
Once I got it (what the hotel is about), everything about the room makes sense. The soap dispensers lets you use whatever you need and no more (no throwing away half use hotel bottles). The Philips daylight lamp (mimics different sunlight throughout the day) is cool and actually works when adjusting jetlag. And the paint scheme, while kind jail or school-house like brown and white, does make the small room feel bigger.
For mobile working warriors, there is only a small, standing, wall mounted, flip down table (but with all the power, ethernet, HDMI connections). I did upgrade to a suite which does have a sitting desk, and have a 2-3 chair mini conference area. I posted some pics so you can see what I am talking about.
I tried the breakfast (part of my weekend package) at the lobby lounge which was very healthy both in portion and contents. While selections were very limited and mostly cold, there were some tasty hot items like an quinoa egg white omelette. The juice were freshly squeezed by a really cool machine, and the coffee hot and flavorful. There is also an assortment of snacks and drinks available for purchase with room cards (self-serve kiosks). And there is always free aromatic flavored water right in lobby. If you want to venture out, there are plenty of eating options nearby, healthy or not (including Hooters across the street).
Now about the people of EVEN. I checked in somewhat later in the evening (like 8?), and as IHG Gold Ambassador member, I expected membership perks like late check out, in room welcoming gift or fruit basket, suite upgrade, etc…. The receptionist was very trying but since I was the first such member to check in, she did not know or understand the program or perks. So I was first admitted into a regular room. Later when I returned from dinner she graciously offered to upgrade me to a suite even though she (and her operations manager for whom I later met in person) still have no clarification from IHG corporate concerning upgrades. So I give her 4 of 5 for trying and caring, and IHG corporate a 2 of 5 for not issuing guidelines to employees at EVEN on what the policies are concerning Gold Ambassador members.
When I checked out the following afternoon, I met Korey the operations manager, who took the time to apologize for my somewhat confusing check in (and issued some extra IHG points), and explained the whole EVEN concept, model, execution, etc… to me. He definitely made a believer in me about this new “wellness/fitness on the road” concept, and how it will appeal not only to the younger, fitter crowd, but make someone (less active) willing to take the first step towards wellness and fitness in a private non intimidating (in one’s own hotel room) setting. So Korey gets a 5 of 5 from me as well.
In summary, if you are looking for a luxury den (nice furnishing and decor) or a productive office (big usable desk with sitting area for mini conferences with others), EVEN is not your place.
And if you are not feverish about wellness/fitness, or be willing to accept it, you will find EVEN a turn off, because they literally beat you over the head with the message everywhere and everything they do.
As for me, since I only live a few blocks away I can’t justify coming here again, but would not hesitate to stay at an EVEN elsewhere. And would love to gift an overnight stay at EVEN to my less active friends, so they too can learn and be motivated to stay well/fit on the road.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hi, we're EVEN™ Hotels and we're bringing healthy travel to everyone. We want to help you Eat Well, Keep Active, Rest Easy, and Accomplish More while you're on the road. Just a few minutes from Washington, D.C., with easy access to all three major airports (IAD, DCA, and BWI) and a short walk to the Metro Rail's Red Line with its strategically-located stops, the wellness-minded traveler finally has a haven at EVEN™ Hotels Rockville. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- The Legacy Hotel And Meeting Centre
- Legacy Hotel Rockville
- The Legacy Hotel Meeting Centre