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“Don't come here unless you have a conference in the building” 1 of 5 stars
Review of The National Conference Center

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The National Conference Center
3.0 of 5 Specialty Hotel   |   18980 Upper Belmont Place, Leesburg, VA 20176   |  
Hotel amenities
Westchester County, New York, USA
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Don't come here unless you have a conference in the building”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2011

Where to start...
First take this review with a grain of salt because this place isn't really a hotel, it is a conference center that caters to large groups of military folk and happens to have sleeping quarters. If you are visiting the area for pleasure I would avoid this place like the plague. For a company looking to book an inexpensive conference center you can probably get a lot of bang for your buck here.

1) National: F
For a place that calls itself the NATIONAL Conference Center and caters so heavily to US Military folk I was HIGHLY disturbed that nearly everything in my hotel room was made in a foreign country (mostly China).

2) Rooms: D
The room I stayed in was more similar to jail cells I've seen on prison tours than a hotel room. Cramped, small window, and not comforting. The bed in the room I stayed in faced the door which had a 1/4 inch gap around it that seemed to flood my room with light. With all the room lights turned off it made the door look like something out of a horror movie with an eerie white light all around it.

3) Common areas: F
The furniture throughout the facility was identical to the junk they had in lounges at the college I went to - it looked like it dated back to the 1950's. All the charm of a nuclear fallout facility or a bunker for the apocalypse.

4) Dining: F
To get from certain sleeping areas to the cafeteria (yes, the all you can eat type where you use trays) you have to wander through the unadorned white walled underground labyrinth. In it's defense the halls are very well lit and clean...The food is what you'd expect from a school cafeteria.

5) Grounds/Location: A
The place is on a great piece of land and they haven't messed it up. About 3 miles away (15$ taxi) is an Outlet Store area. About 1 mile away are a few shops and a great little cafe called "Not Your Average Joe's". The hotel has an airport shuttle which runs $20 PER PERSON. A taxi to the airport is only $30 so if you are going with colleagues take the taxi.

6) Conference Center: C
There were 2 conferences going on when I was staying here and they.competed with each other for signage real estate. Not a lot of thought seems to have gone into the governance of where conference signage should be posted, and what is appropriate. One hallway leading to the 2 conferences was littered with signage from both conferences and seemed disorganized and cluttered.

Room Tip: Stay near Black Olive, landmarks helpful in maze
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  • Stayed May 2011, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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71 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    3 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (21)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Kennesaw, Georgia
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2011

In case you have the misfortune of going there, here are a few tips:
1) The rooms are small (because bathrooms used to be shared--one per floor, so when they added bathrooms into each unit, the units became "micro-hotel" style rooms) so do try and get out about, if the weather permits. If you're claustrophobic, it might be a problem.
2) There's about a three inch gap between the bottom of the door and floor, so you'll want to block it with towels in order to shut out excess light and get rest at night.
3) Heating/air conditioning units are quite loud. They bubble and clank constantly (I thought mine was malfunctioning, and had maintenance check it. Nope. They are supposed to be that loud). If you can stand to have the HVAC off at night, you might get rest.
4) The water made myself and many, many of my coworkers ill. I recommend buying bottled water in town when you arrive.
5) The food is very low quality, and not fresh. Several people in my group were nauseated by most of the dishes served, and were reduced to eating salads and picking through a few other items.
Side Note: The cafeteria is only open at certain times, including the beverage cages.
If you want to eat, or drink anything other than tap water, you have to get down to the cafeteria on time. Which means: NO sleeping in on weekends.
6) Cell phone reception is only good in the guestrooms, outdoors, and in the periphery of the buildings. The entire complex is cement, so you won't get reception in most of the meeting rooms or really anywhere inside the buildings. You need to be near a window or outside.
7) There are a few options for doing laundry at this facility. If you use their dry cleaning service, it's VERY expensive. If you want to use the coin laundry rooms, there is one in the north building with 3 washers and 3 driers, and the same thing in the south building. The complex has 2 buildings, housing a total possible capacity of 900 people. 6 washers total, 6 driers...for 900 people. You get where this is headed, right?
8) The free internet provided is plug-in only--no WIFI.
9) There were bugs in my room at times. Many others had the same complaint. Also, I highly recommend checking your mattress for bedbugs upon arrival.
10) Getting away from the facility is difficult and expensive, unless you have (or rent) your own vehicle. The place is isolated on a lot of acreage, and walking to anything becomes a huge task in bad weather. A simple ride to the Dulles Airport from the facility (12 miles) is $20 by NCC shuttle, and $30+ by cab.

In all honesty, the staff members are very friendly. But, if something breaks down, don't expect it to get fixed quickly. And if you want to do ANYTHING (drink a bottle of water provided by the facility, have them hook up a gaming consul in your room, buy toothpaste in the gift shop ), if it's run by/owned/connected to the facility, expect to pay through the nose.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NCCmeet, Public Relations Manager at The National Conference Center, responded to this review, February 21, 2011
Hi Sara Jane,

Thank you for your input - I have passed along your suggestions to each department. I am happy you found the staff very friendly. I do apologize for your HVAC unit in your guest room. The guestrooms at NCC are European style, so we ask our guests to keep in mind that they are smaller than a typical standard hotel suite. As far as the water and food, there were no reports of food illness or allergies during your stay. We do try to keep a great selection of food and beverage items, as all entrees are prepared in our kitchen before each meal. Aside from the dining room, break stations are open with Starbucks coffee, juices, fountain sodas, food-for-thought snacks and more. Our shuttle is priced competitively, but still less expensive than the airport shuttles. We do have HERTZ car rental on property for your convenience if you wish to rent a car during your next stay. I appreciate your tip to check your room for bedbugs as it's a good idea for any traveler to do so at any hotel. The National Conference Center does not have any reports of bedbugs and our staff is also trained to check the rooms after each guest has left. Thank you again for your feedback Sara Jane, we greatly appreciate it.

Sarah Vining
The National Conference Center
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2011

Great place for the business portion of your trip, but the sleeping is horrible. The guest room heating system is outdated as are the windows, so you are either left freezing all night or sleeping in a hot box! There is no in between. Everyone in my group has the same complaints and are miserable each morning due the sleeping arrangements. Perhaps arranging your conference in the fall or spring would be ideal. The facility is great and the meals are fantastic, but it is hard to enjoy knowing that you have to enter your meat freezer room to turn on the heat, which will shortly turn into an oven, which starts another cycle of a sleepless uncomfortable night.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Salt Lake City, Utah
Level Contributor
158 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2010

I stayed here for two weeks for business. Rooms are blah, but clean and warm. I did not understand why cable tv needed 5 different ESPN channels but failed to offer channels (such as TLC, HGTV, Lifetime) geared towards women. Otherwise, the TV here has the basic networks plus HBO, TBS, and TNT.

Our conference room was bland, but our program leader decorated it with games, etc. to make it more entertaining.

Exercise room is a bit outdated with its weight/nautilus equipment but offers the standard treadmills, bikes, and three elliptical machines; expect to get there early if you want a treadmill.

The best part was the food! The quality and selection for healthy eaters were great. Before here, I had never been to a place where the "steamed" vegetables are actually steamed properly and not drenched with butter. I am the world's pickiest eater and was easily satisfied at each meal. Nice snacks (fruit, granola bars, pastries, nuts) were offered at am and pm breaks. Happy stomachs lead to happier customers.

I would recommend bringing or renting a car. You must pay for shuttle service to go off-site at a premium price.

Finally, bring plenty of SWEATERS. The rooms are freezing, and I have heard they are just as freezing during the warmer weather.

Overall, not a bad place to hold training/conferences in comparison to what it would cost at a Hyatt or Marriott.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NCCmeet, Public Relations Manager at The National Conference Center, responded to this review, January 4, 2011
Hi Laura,

We're glad you enjoyed your stay and dining experience at The National Conference Center. I've relayed the feedback to our Food & Beverage manager to continue offering the steamed vegetables and great array of snacks on the break stations.

I do apologize on behalf of the conference center for the cool rooms. We try to maintain a comfortable temperature for all guests. Also for future visits, the National Conference Center does offer Enterprise Rent-a-Car on site for guests who would prefer to rent a car. We encourage all guests to contact the front desk or rapid response (by dialing '0') to address any concerns immediately so they can be resolved during your stay. Many thanks for your kind words, Laura.

We look forward to your next stay with us.

Sarah Vining
Marketing Assistant
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2009

I stayed at the National Conference Center for a week in March, 2009. It is mainly for conferences, but I think you can book a room just like any other hotel.

The facility is a bit far from Washington D.C. if you are a tourist, so either you need a car or you should plan to stay at the conference center the whole time. Also note that cell phone reception is a bit weak in spots, and you might need to walk around to find a good connection.

The rooms are very small, but clean, and the bathrooms are a decent size. If you have a walker or any disability, you should talk to the hotel about a special room. You cannot navigate in the rooms with a wheel chair even if someone helps you. The rooms have Internet via Eithernet cable, but the conference rooms do not.

Many rooms are very quiet, but you need to avoid booking rooms anywhere near the sports bar -- even the floor above it is very loud until late at night. The complex is big, so it is easy to find a quiet room (if you don't get lost, and you will be lost on your first couple days). There are some sections of the building that were absolutely 100% silent. I was told that the complex was originally built as a fallout shelter, and based on the amount of concrete in the building, I don't doubt it.

Because of the somewhat isolated location, your fee includes three meals per day in the cafeteria. The food got good review from me and everyone I met. There are vegetarian options -- many of which contain some cheese, but you can also survive on a vegan diet if you need to. They also have snack bars and coffee during the day for people who are in classrooms or conferences. There is a Starbucks above the cafeteria if you are addicted. If all the conferences break for lunch at the same time, the lines can be long, but they move relatively quickly. There are separate lines for the main dish; soup; sandwiches; burgers; and a few other things.

There is a giant gym and place to jog if you are inclined to do so -- ask at the desk because the biggest gym is a good walk from the main building.

The hotel offers a driving tour of Washington D.C., but inquire about what you get--the tours that I saw advertised were quick driving tours at night with no stops. The hotel has a small bus (seats 20 people?) for shuttles to the airport, but it might be only for big groups and you need to check with your group for details. You can also get a cab from Dulles airport--I think it was $29, but I'm not sure. When I asked the front desk for a cab, they called somebody who charged us $20 per person flat fee, which was not our intent because we wanted to split the regular cab fare.

The area near the sports bar is the general hangout at night. Next to the bar is a separate lounge area with big screen TV and a pool table, and other such things -- it was loud in that area at night.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The National Conference Center

Address: 18980 Upper Belmont Place, Leesburg, VA 20176
Location: United States > Virginia > Loudoun County > Leesburg
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Specialty Lodging in Leesburg
Hotel Class:3 star — The National Conference Center 3*
Number of rooms: 917
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The National Conference Center focuses on one thing: hosting meetings, conferences and training. So whether you need to engage and inspire 18 or 1800, count on The National to provide great learning facilities and a green operation, along with an experienced conference staff and event planners to create an exceptional experience. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The National Hotel Leesburg

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