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.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
February 21, 2011
Hi Sara Jane,
Report response as inappropriate
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.
The National Conference Center
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.