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“Can't get any closer to the Potomac.....” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Westin Washington National Harbor

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The Westin Washington National Harbor
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   171 Waterfront Street, Oxon Hill, MD 20745   |  
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Ranked #5 of 8 Hotels in Oxon Hill
McLean, Virginia
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Can't get any closer to the Potomac.....”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2014

We just returned from a one-night stay (Saturday, August 16th) at the Westin at Washington National Harbor, a stay I booked with spg points and which represented a bit of a staycation for us as we live less than a half hour away in northern Virginia, and I am happy to report we had a very nice stay despite a few inconveniences.

Our trip to the hotel was obviously a very quick one although I was surprised to find, upon arrival, that there isn't actually any designated area for you to unload your car -- it's pretty much all streetside parking, with metered spaces, directly in front of the hotel. We found the street bustling with both pedestrian and car traffic (it was a gorgeous Saturday afternoon) and were reluctant to double-park but luckily spied an empty space (with time still left on the meter!) and were able to pull in and unload the car quickly without inconveniencing anyone. Note that we subsequently moved our car one block away to a covered lot for only $13 for the night, a real bargain (it did not appear to us that the hotel offered valet service, although we were fine with the self-parking).

Check-in was very quick, and staff were courteous and professional; we were offered two options for our room (3rd or 4th floors; we chose the latter -- note that rooms are located on floors 2 through 6). We were not told, however, that WiFi access was very problematic -- we found that out only subsequently, and after I went down to the lobby to inquire as to why we weren't able to connect (there was a cable connection, which worked fine, but no WiFi). Apparently the problem had been going on for at least 24 hours, was being worked by the provider, and affected rooms on floors 2 through 4. Nice. Of course when we inquired about changing our room -- and did not want to give up our waterside view -- we were told that that would be difficult as the hotel was completely sold out (there was a beer and crab festival taking place, Cirque du Soleil was in town, and there appeared to be multiple family reunions and weddings in the vicinity).

Oh well. We told our boys to deal with the limited WiFi and asked the front desk to notify us when the problem was resolved. That did not happen until later that night (about 9:30 pm) and even then, inexplicably, we could only connect one device.

Our room (429) was quite nice, with a great view of the harbor, many boats, a huge Ferris wheel that was completely illuminated at night -- and an amazingly close-up view of the Harbor's Saturday night fireworks (which were a real treat as they were so unexpected, and really very lovely -- there were some shimmery fireworks that created what can only be described as a beautiful wall of light -- really great). However, when sitting on the bed I happened to look under the large bureau that sits beneath the large flat-screen TV....and spied a mess of chip crumbs (they appeared to be Fritos) and small bits of paper, as if from ripped packaging. When we stepped outside to walk around I asked staff at the front desk to request a follow-up visit from housekeeping and, thankfully, upon our return we found the carpeting much-improved.

Bedding and amenities were the typical Westin quality but the bathroom, while quite spacious, with very nice lighting and separate small room for the toilet, could have had a bit more counterspace and/or more hooks to hang up bath towels.

The Westin National Harbor is not a large hotel -- the lobby is comparatively small -- but it does have a spacious lower level with direct access to the waterfront; you are literally only a small sidewalk away from the Potomac. My husband and I particularly enjoyed taking a long, relaxing walk along the waterfront early Sunday morning, when very few people were out. We also had a nice drink at the bar on Saturday evening and the waitstaff was very gracious.

The lower level also contains a spacious restaurant, Sauciety, where we did not eat, and a very nice gym with a lovely view of the water - which I did use and thoroughly enjoyed. There were ample machines, all in excellent condition, and it was a good-sized room - but oddly enough the wipe dispenser had wipes that were, well, not really wet, as if they'd been sitting around too long and had gotten exposed a bit too much to air or something. I found that a bit odd.

We enjoyed our brief stay but I would urge anyone considering a visit to splurge on a waterfront view -- the proximity is really what makes this hotel special and distinguishes it from other hotels in the Washington DC area. This is a good choice for a family that wants to try a bit of paddleboarding, maybe take a boat ride to Alexandria or a spin on the Ferris wheel, see the circus, go shopping at the local Tangier outlet -- and while it's certainly not a "must-see destination", Washington National Harbor -- and the Westin -- have a certain charm that even locals should try to check out.

Room Tip: Definitely spring for the waterfront view! And note that you can hear other guests through the air...
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Green Features: The Westin will give you points and/or a few $$s credit if you opt to re-use towels and not have your sheets changed...quite a good practice, actually.
  • Stayed August 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WestinHarbor, Guest Relations Manager at The Westin Washington National Harbor, responded to this review, August 21, 2014
Thank you for your comments. We are happy to hear you enjoyed your stay. We hope you will stay with us again, the next time you visit the Harbor.
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316 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (107)
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English first
Newark, New Jersey
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2014

Good hotel with above average amenities. The hotel is in a great location in National Harbor and on the water. Great for nightlife and shopping. Disappointed that the only view from our bedroom was of a small street and the hotel directly across from it (rather close). It's a shame to be in such close proximity to the harbor and not be able to enjoy it from the room. It seems as if at least 50% of the rooms (on either side and first floor to top) also have the same issue. Hotel does not have parking and we were directed to a public parking lot a half block away. We arrived around 9pm on Saturday night and did not find a space in the lot for an hour.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with harbor view.
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  • Stayed August 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
WestinHarbor, Guest Relations Manager at The Westin Washington National Harbor, responded to this review, August 21, 2014
Thank you for your comments. As I am not sure how you booked your reservation, I cannot address the view issue except to say that there is, on the Starwood Website, a way to book Harbor View rooms. They do, of course, come at a premium. These rooms are not available on third party sites and this may be the reason for a room lacking a view. I suggest, in the future, as you did enjoy the hotel and the Harbor, to purchase on the Starwood site where you have a choice as to what you can book. This is also the only way to get points and other amenities through the SPG rewards programs. We do hope to see you again in the future.
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South Riding, Virginia
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2014

When we arrived, everything was great. The staff was helpful, we took advantage of the valet, the rooms were nice and clean, no issues. We then called the front desk to ask if we could order a bottle of wine to the room. They told us no problem, and we ordered a $38 bottle of wine from the menu provided in our room. They called us back 10 mins. later to tell us they didn't carry the wine we ordered...(from the menu provided to us by the hotel) and the cheapest bottle they had was $45. We agreed, then they in passing mentioned the $60 fee to bring it up the elevator to our room. That was not in the menu. And luckily it was outdated, or we never would have known until the charge showed up.

The next morning, we went to the restaurant in the hotel for breakfast. We stood at the "host" stand for a full 5 mins. before being seated (in the EMPTY) restaurant, and waited another 20 before even getting an order taken for water. The food was bad, the service was abysmal, and after asking for water 3 times with it never coming, we were instead brought the check. There were 5 of us, and we had 3 cards for our server to split the bill evenly. She frowned and informed us the card swiping system was down. I asked her what the backup system was for when that happened, and she said she didn't think they had one. I was shocked. Every restaurant has an old fashioned carbon copy swiper for exactly they situation. Because most of the world knows technology is NOT infallible. We asked to speak to the manager as we had already checked out and could no longer bill to our room and he never came. We waited 20 more minutes just sitting there until I flagged down our server again. She said the system was still not fixed and I told her we were waiting to speak to the manager...who again never came. After another 10 mins of waiting, we flagged down our server again who at this point was clearly avoiding our table. She asked if we could write her a personal check and she would cover the bill herself. WHAT??? NO WAY! NOT A FREAKING CHANCE! Another 10 mins. passed and one member of our party decided to see about our cars with valet while we waited, and I went to the front desk to see if they could help us. The front desk informed me they had NO BACKUP for when problems happened with the credit card system. I informed them about the request for a check from the server and that we had been waiting 40 mins for a manager to come speak to us, and no one had. At this point we were expecting an offer to comp the meal. Instread, she then offered to charge our cards when the system came back up so we could go. Again, shocked, I asked her how she planned to do that, and she told me she would write the CC info down and run it after we left. I laughed in her face. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? Then the party dealing with valet came in to let us know they lost her car. They told her they couldn't find it, they were looking for it and she could wait inside.

At this point I've had it. I'm ready to leave as is the rest of my party. They see this and offer to check me back into the hotel to charge the meal to my room. ABSOLUTELY FREAKING NOT. The customer service is so far gone I can barely speak when they offer this. After an hour of waiting, and still NO MANAGER. I speak to my party member who is still upstairs with me and ask if she wants to walk with me to find an ATM at which point her patience finally gives out, and she makes the very good point that she is not paying ATM fees because they can't get their stuff together. And that we have been waiting an hour and we NEED TO GO.

Conveniently at this point, the cc system comes back up and we are able to pay. As we come up to get our bags we have checked with them, the manager finally appears and begins to apologize to us. I tell him at this point I'm not interested. We waited an hour for him to show himself and speak to us about the situation, and he couldn't be bothered. He tried to tell me he was on the phone the whole time even though I saw our server ask him to come talk to us, point us out, and saw him walk the other way. I then saw him leaving the lower level where the restaurant is to go back upstairs after this.

Had this all not happened, this review probably would have been very different. However, you can tell a lot about a place in the way they handle situations when they occur. The Westin gets a big F in my book. Everyone there needs to gain experience in customer service, and they need a back up plan. To even consider asking us to do the things they asked of us rather than comping the bill (not even the entire bill, we had $45 in cash) is the most unprofessional, inappropriate thing I have ever experienced. I will never stay there again, and do not recommend it to anyone.

Stayed August 2014, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WestinHarbor, Guest Relations Manager at The Westin Washington National Harbor, responded to this review, August 14, 2014
Thank you for your comments. We are looking into your claims, as they do not mesh with hotel pricing or policy. We do thank you for taking the time.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2014

This property is just what you should expect of a Westin hotel: a nice room, good service, good location, comfortable and clean. This property is right in the heart of the action, surrounded by restaurants, activities, the marina, shopping, and a ferris wheel. Ask for a room on the water side for a great view. Public space cleaning needs a little more attention.

Something management needs to address is the smell of smoke in the hotel that comes from the Redbones restaurant next door. We were on the sixth floor and the smell was getting into our room.

  • Stayed July 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
WestinHarbor, Guest Relations Manager at The Westin Washington National Harbor, responded to this review, August 4, 2014
Thank you for your review of th hotel. We are happy to hear of yur satisfaction and hope to see you back again in the future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore, Maryland
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2014

Nice to have a harbor view room and good bar service first night of stay. Both the bar and the hotel room had great views, but the rest of stay was subpar for a hotel of this nature.

Hallways dirty and stained, noisy rooms and common areas. Waited one hour for a single drink at the bar, lack of amenities one would expect such as a refrigerator, pool area closed during pool hours (pool looked rather uninviting anyway.)

Staff were personable enough, though no one available to carry bags or greet at door--seems they may have been short staffed or something

Room Tip: Upgrade to a harbor view room
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Green Features: Environmentally friendly or not, I would invest in a carpet cleaner
  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
WestinHarbor, Guest Relations Manager at The Westin Washington National Harbor, responded to this review, July 30, 2014
Thank you for your review. We are sorry to hear that we let you down and did not meet expectations. We do hoppe you will return, as your experience is atypical, and not of our usual experience.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Schenectady, New York
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2014

nice place. pretty good location. room service was excellent. only problems we had were the number of towels and washcloths received daily were always a different number. the last night we were there someone must have been having a party in their room and sound was coming through the vent. we taped cardboard over it and that took care of it. My only other complaint was the quality of the toilet paper.

Room Tip: ask for a room wit water view or a corner view of street
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WestinHarbor, Guest Relations Manager at The Westin Washington National Harbor, responded to this review, July 30, 2014
Thank you for the coments. We will share them with the staff, as they like to hear that their efforts are noticed. Please come again.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
El Paso, Texas
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2014

Nice small hotel with some of the feel and amneties of the big hotels. There is no parking available. Parking lot is $12/night half a block down, no big deal a 30 second walk. Nice restaurants around and small retail stores.

Room Tip: harbor view is worth it.
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
WestinHarbor, Guest Relations Manager at The Westin Washington National Harbor, responded to this review, July 30, 2014
Thank you for your review of the hotel. We are happy to see that you enjoyed your stay. We do hope to see you again the next time your business brings you to the harbor.
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 Westin Washington National Harbor

Address: 171 Waterfront Street, Oxon Hill, MD 20745
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Maryland > Oxon Hill
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 8 Hotels in Oxon Hill
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Westin Washington National Harbor 4*
Number of rooms: 195
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Rising up on the shores of the scenic Potomac River, The Westin National Harbor looks out over views of our nation's capital and its many landmarks. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Westin Washington National Harbor Hotel Oxon Hill
Westin Oxon Hill
Westin Hotel National Harbor
Oxon Hill Westin

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