I travel enough to know the difference between a full service hotel, and one in which a less pronounced presence is normal. However, I am never going to accept a property where there are FREQUENT periods when no one is available at the front desk.
I had an issue at this hotel which required immediate input from maintenance, the front desk and management. The engineer came to my room, said the problem was a mistake made at the front desk - disappeared with my keys, and was not heard from again. After about 40 minutes, I called the front desk, and the phone rang and rang. This did not surprise me, since I had tried twice before to stop by the front desk to ask various questions; I had to stop by the Hampton Inn side (Yes, this is two hotels in one - a very interesting concept. A little odd - but okay) to ask about the shuttle. When I finally got a hold of the front desk ... I had to get a duty manager, who kept stonewalling me when I wanted to speak to the GM. (I never quite get why people act like they must put you off when you ask [in English] "HOW do I contact the General Manager?"
So, long story short on this issue - even a minimum service property should have the desk manned 24/7 - as that is a guest's lifeline. I was literally a hostage in my room for 70 minutes at dinnertime - completely UNACCEPTABLE.
Now, if you are okay with that ... the physical aspects of the property are quite acceptable:
The dual brand layout is strange, but okay. You will see the Hampton desk first when you enter. The rooms are of ample size, clean, well stocked and aesthetically appealing.
The breakfast and evening meals are not culinary masterpieces, but certainly adequate.
The location -- for the price -- is just fine. It's about 4 blocks from the Silver Spring Metro Station, to which you may walk, or a shuttle will take you for free. From there, only about a 20 minute ride to downtown DC.
The management (in particular the GM) is not immediately available - but, are happy to react once an issue is brought to their attention. A PROactive team would be ideal, but the GM was affable enough. That said, I prefer reactive to defensive ... so not a total wash.
In all, I might return if the staffing were brought up to a proper level. Not before.
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