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“Old, tired, dated, poorly designed” 2 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
Houston, Texas
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“Old, tired, dated, poorly designed”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2014

I rarely write negative reviews but feel that one is warranted in regard to this property. If you are contemplating a stay at this location, it is likely that it is part of a company retreat or other organized meeting; thus, you may have no choice but to attend. With that in mind, I offer the following review. This is by no means on par with other conference/hotel properties that I have stayed at. It is very bare-bones, almost spartan in accomodations, with few amenities offered in even the most basic of hotels. It is much like staying on a college campus in dorm accommodations. In fact, the furnishings seems to resemble those in my '80s college dorm! This is not the kind of facility where you would consider adding an extra night or two to your stay for pleasure/business purposes, or for bringing your spouse/family along. There is no room service, so if you arrive after the dining service hours are over then you are limited to the vending machines. I could find no Starbucks or other coffee/beverage service other than what was offered by my meeting. There is an on-site bar with reasonably priced drinks; not sure if they serve food. The cafeteria-style dining menu was not bad, all things considering, but not great either. The layout is very confusing and difficult to navigate; however, the staff were very helpful in providing directions or navigation. Internet was very spotty and frustrating to use; I resorted to using my own hotspot. I agree with others' very articulate comments regarding the location, deisgn, rooms, layout, amenities, etc. In sum, I would not voluntarily stay at this facility again.

  • Stayed August 2014, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 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.
NCCmeet, General Manager at The National Conference Center, responded to this review, September 5, 2014
Hello,

Thank you for your review of the National Conference Center. I am sorry to hear that your stay with us was an unpleasant one.

In your review, you mentioned that you had difficulty accessing the internet and navigating the property while visiting NCC. I would like to let you know that we are addressing these issues. We are currently in the process of upgrading the signage at NCC. This improvement will make it easier to navigate throughout the property and should be completed by 2015. I would also like to let you know that we recently upgraded and increased bandwidth to 145 meg of high speed internet service.

Please contact me at sales@conferencecenter.com if you have any additional concerns or questions.

Sincerely,
Geoff Lawson
Vice President & General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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55 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 (19)
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Los Angeles, CA
Top Contributor
193 reviews 193 reviews
51 hotel reviews
Reviews in 82 cities Reviews in 82 cities
81 helpful votes 81 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2014

I stayed here recently for a grant review along with the previous reviewers and discovered a new low in American hospitality.

The conference center is 15-20 miles from Dulles Airport so not convenient. They offer a shuttle for $20 but pay close attention to the time they've scheduled your pick up because there's a good chance they will plan to pick you up over an hour after you have arrived…it's about their convenience, not yours. After driving for a long time, you will come to a sign for the NCC. It is a long distance between between that sign and the facility itself. It has the feel of a minimum security prison although I'm told it is a former Xerox training facility. There is nothing close by and it is a long walk to nothing.

The layout of the conference center is extremely confusing. The center consists of a series of identical buildings labeled "north", "west" etc that are attached underground by tunnels named
for different states, e.g. "Virginia" "Michigan." Everything looks the same and as others have described, you'll find it hard to find your room. I use the word "room" loosely as it is more like a cell. It's spartan, very small and so is everything in it. There's a small bed, a small desk, a small night table, a small closet and a small window. You'll debate removing your clothes to get in to the bed.

The cafeteria is cavernous in a concrete and 70s wood paneling way. Food comes along with the room so it's an "all you can eat" arrangement but you won't want to eat anything. At lunch they served a soup that looked like the previous night's leftover frozen vegetables. This is a grab your tray, cafeteria-style operation where you can wait on line for hot food, cold food, cold cuts, etc. None of it is appetizing although you will eat it because it is so far away from any other source of food, you will starve if you don't. The lighting is appropriately dim.

I wasted a lot of time trying to find my way around the facility and felt very demoralized. Accessing the internet was a chore. I'd never willingly stay at this place and am surprised to read that others have booked rooms here voluntarily. I truly hope that this funding agency reconsiders this facility for future grant reviews. It isn't worth it, whatever the price.

  • Stayed August 2014, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 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.
NCCmeet, General Manager at The National Conference Center, responded to this review, September 5, 2014
Hello,

Thank you for taking the time to review The National Conference Center. I am very sorry that you had an unpleasant experience during your stay with us.

In your review, you mentioned our dining options and that you had difficulty navigating the property during your stay. I would like to let you know that we will be updating our dining facility by 2015, so that we can provide more options to our guests. We are also in the process of upgrading the signage at NCC, this improvement will make it easier to navigate throughout the property.

Please contact me at sales@conferencecenter.com if you have any additional concerns or questions.

Sincerely,
Geoff Lawson
Vice President & General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tampa, FL
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2014

My dorm and cabin days are over. Wish I had known that's what I was getting into with this place. I would have brought stamps to write letters home to my parents to tell them how miserable I was in this army barracks type maze. Good news is you get a lot of steps in with all the walking - bad news it's annoying to get lost so many times, have no cell service or wifi and then sleep in a drab, bare room.

  • Stayed August 2014, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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, General Manager at The National Conference Center, responded to this review, September 5, 2014
Hello,

Thank you for your review of The National Conference Center. I am very sorry that you had an unpleasant experience during your stay with us.

In your review, you mentioned our guest rooms and that you had difficulty navigating the property while visiting NCC. NCC is a distraction-free environment to ensure that guests are getting the most out of their learning experience and our guest rooms are designed to encourage guests to explore common areas. I would also like to let you know that we are currently in the process of upgrading the signage at NCC. This improvement will make it easier to navigate throughout the property and should be completed by 2015.

Please contact me at sales@conferencecenter.com if you have any additional concerns or questions.

Sincerely,
Geoff Lawson
Vice President & General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
40 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2014

The shuttle from the airport is expensive (e.g. $20/each way). Check in was smooth-however the directions they gave to our rooms was useless. They gave us a map and highlighted the route to the room. What they forgot to mention is that they routed us through the tunnels.

We walked outside and kept looking for "Alaska" and "Michigan" that they directed us to take and pointed out on the the map. However, the paths were not labeled-I eventually found my room by looking for the "red" section, then finding the floor where my room was located.

The rooms are extremely small-as others have mentioned, dorm-like. I tried to turn on the light on my desk and discovered why it wouldn't turn on-it didn't have a bulb in the light. They brought me a light bulb up an hour later. "

The walls are paper thin-I heard a baby crying from three rooms away and I'm sure I kept my neighbors awake with my caughing. Unfortunately, the gift shop wasn't open or to be found-or I would have purchased some caugh drops the next morning.

The internet, although free, was problematic. I could connect but it reminded me of the early days of dial up modems. This morning I couldn't download the Washington Post on my ipad because the speed was too slow and the connection intermittent. Colleagues had difficulties connecting in the conference rooms-and the granting agency had paid for extra bandwidth to ensure that we'd be able to access the grant proposals and score them online.

The food was decent and well-prepared. However, those who had mobility restrictions found it quite difficult to deal with crutches, motorized wheelchairs, scooters and carry their tray to the table (staff members had to help them get their meals and carry their trays for them and then bus their trays to the tray line when they were finished eating.

There are other conference centers in the DC area that accept government rates-I hope the next grant review will not be at the National Conference Center.

Room Tip: Avoid if possible.
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  • Stayed August 2014, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NCCmeet, General Manager at The National Conference Center, responded to this review, September 5, 2014
Hello,

Thank you for your review of the National Conference Center. I am sorry to hear that your stay with us was an unpleasant one.

In your review, you mentioned that the desk lamp in your room was missing a bulb and that you had difficulty navigating the property during your stay. I am very sorry for the inconvenience and the length of time that it took for the bulb to be replaced.

We are currently in the process of upgrading the signage at NCC. This improvement will make it easier to navigate throughout the property and should be completed by 2015. We will also be updating our dining facility by 2015. I would also like to let you know that we recently upgraded and increased bandwidth to 145 meg of high speed internet service.

Please contact me at sales@conferencecenter.com if you have any additional concerns or questions.

Sincerely,
Geoff Lawson
Vice President & General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
san francisco, ca
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2014

This place should not be a hotel. I'm not sure what government contracting relationship resulted in this place being used as one, but it's ridiculous. I was shocked to see that the room charges were so high: $175/night. It feels like a soviet era bunker, the cement hallways smell of industrial cleaner, the rooms feel like punishment, and the food is inedible/industrial. The staff seem to be loitering..Shameful excuse for a conference facility.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NCCmeet, General Manager at The National Conference Center, responded to this review, September 4, 2014
Hello,

Thank you for taking the time to review of the National Conference Center. I am very sorry to hear that your stay with us was an unpleasant one. Because, the overall guest experience is our top priority, we appreciate you making us aware of your concerns.

In your review, you mentioned the guest rooms and dining options at NCC. NCC is a distraction-free environment to ensure that guests are getting the most out of their learning experience and our guest rooms are designed to encourage guests to explore common areas. I would also like to let you know that we will be updating our dining facility by 2015. Please feel free to contact me at sales@conferencecenter.com should you have any additional concerns.

Sincerely,
Geoff Lawson
Vice President & General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2014

This place is awful. It feels like sleepaway camp. I was forced to stay here for a grant review session and would never come back. The rooms feel like cramped dorm rooms.
The food is served cafeteria style and the hallway leading up to the "dining room" smells like bad industrial cooking.
No frills - there is barely enough shampoo.Once you find that you are out of toiletries, there is no where to re-stock. The gift shop has been closed for years and you are completely secluded in this location.
To top off the stay, the building(s) is a maze and so you can waste time just walking in circles while you are here.

Room Tip: There are no good rooms and the wifi doesnt work too well.
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2014, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NCCmeet, General Manager at The National Conference Center, responded to this review, September 11, 2014
Hello,

Thank you so much for your review of the National Conference Center. The National Conference Center is a distraction-free environment to ensure that guests are getting the most out of their learning experience.

I am very sorry to hear that you had a difficult time finding your way during your stay at NCC. I would like to let you know that we are currently in the process of upgrading the signage at NCC. This improvement will make it easier to navigate throughout the property and should be completed by 2015.

In your review, you also mentioned that you had some difficulty re-stocking toiletries and the dining facility at NCC. Additional toiletries are available at the front desk. The NCC bus service is also available to take guests to local malls and shopping centers. I would also like to let you know that we will be updating our dining facility later this year.

Please feel free to contact me at sales@conferencecenter.com should you have any additional concerns.

Sincerely,
Geoff Lawson
Vice President & General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
indiana
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2014

Very "interesting" place... My "assigned" room is eerily similar to my living quarters when I was stationed in Fort Gordon, Georgia (Army). All the cement, steel, colors, and government-issued-type chairs truthfully leave me a little tense... Seems most of the other guests are either in the military or red hat ladies. I luckily arrived prior to the cafeteria (seems weird saying) closing... This is pretty much the only place to eat, unless you want bar food in the 70-80's era bar. It's been several years since I last cleaned my own tray after eating my government issued beef, cheese, and vegetables, which like when in the Army, are honestly of a pretty good quality..

Like when I lived on base, things are very clean, secure and "dress-right-dress". Cable is fuzzy and the heat and AC seems to have a mind of their own. I'm left trying to think of a way out of my 2 remaining days here, if even traveling to a local restaurant, shop, or store. Unfortunately, this trip would require a taxi as the center is a city in itself; I'm told a taxi requires 2 hours notice for retrieval anyway. Appreciate many of you do not have a choice when staying here. I'm here for a grant review, and for my part, I will ensure my host knows I will not be volunteering with them again if our collective session occurs at National Conference Center.

Finally thoughts: the wireless internet works surprisingly well considered the centers bunker-like construction. Additionally, it would be a great injustice if the IRS didn't have to perform all their collective meetings here for the next decade; GSA too!

  • Stayed August 2014, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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.
NCCmeet, General Manager at The National Conference Center, responded to this review, September 4, 2014
Hello,

Thank you for taking the time to review The National Conference Center. I am very sorry that you had an unpleasant experience during your stay with us.

In your review, you mentioned the heating / air conditioning and cable TV in your room. As a green meeting facility, guestrooms and meeting rooms at NCC feature sensors that track periods of inactivity so the HVAC will not run when guests are not in the room. I will have our maintenance team look into any sensors that may be malfunctioning, as well as any cable TV issues.

I would also like to let you know that we recently upgraded and increased bandwidth to 145 meg of high speed internet service. So, I am pleased to hear that you were able to access the internet with ease during your stay.
Please contact me at sales@conferencecenter.com if you have any additional concerns or questions.

Sincerely,
Geoff Lawson
Vice President & General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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
Amenities:
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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