I liked this hotel and would stay again, despite some of the not-so-positives. I was attending a conference at the Gaylord Resort & Conference Center, but there was no way I was going to spend what they were asking for a room (even with the conference "discount"). I found this hotel for about half what the Gaylord was charging. It seemed hip and interesting, and since everything in that area is within 3 years old, I knew it would be in pretty good shape. It was all of those things. I loved the overall European-style modern aesthetic of the place.
The really good:
Location--The hotel is right smack in the middle of all the shops and restaurants of National Harbor. Everything you could want to visit is within two blocks. Granted, National Harbor isn't very big, so that could be said of almost any hotel there, but aloft is the most central of all. And it was only two blocks from the Gaylord, so no taxi required (although my colleague did take one the first morning of the conference and was charged $10 (!) for those two blocks).
The pretty good:
Room--I had a room on the 8th (top) floor, so I had light and a bit of a view of the Potomac. The room was small, but very modern and had some nice touches, like an electrical box on the desk that allowed you to charge multiple devices at once and let you hook your iPod, tablet or computer up to the TV or sound system (if you had the right cords). There were lights over both sides of the bed, rather than on the night stands, so reading in bed was comfortable. There was a small fridge in the room and complementary bottles of water. The carpet was a bit worn and stained and there was part of one the baseboards that had clearly sustained water damage from the shower on the other side of the wall. I'm not sure if they hadn't seen it or just didn't feel the need to repair it.
Lobby--The main lobby is upstairs from the street entrance. It has a lot of nice seating areas for hanging out, including a bar area (with ridiculously early last call, but whatever). There is a monitor that constantly shows the status of flights departing from National, Dulles and BWI, so you can see even before you leave if your flight will be on time. There's no restaurant, but a well-stocked snack bar area that makes some light breakfast items like egg sandwiches and omelets in the morning. There is a nice outside sitting area that was surprisingly unused while we were there (maybe the humidity).
Front Desk Staff--While they weren't rude or anything, I felt like the front desk staff were...indifferent. They weren't particularly friendly and didn't really go out of their way to help, but they were polite and competent.
Room Service--The hotel has this deal where you can opt-out of room service in exchange for a $5 coupon to use in the snack bar. This means no one will come make your bed or change your towels. Since I was there only two nights, I took advantage of that feature, but wasn't that happy with it. For one thing, if they really want people to reuse towels, they should have towel racks on which to hang them to dry! And I would have preferred a few extra washcloths and hand towels.
Bed--The bed was really hard, almost as if it were a futon. And the bottom sheet wasn't a fitted one, so it came undone at the edges (which wouldn't have been so bad if I hadn't committed to making it myself on day two).
One non-hotel related note: If you're staying in National Harbor a couple nights, take the water taxi over to Old Alexandria for dinner. The 25-minute cruise itself is great and Alexandria has great shops and restaurants.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Perched along the Potomac River, aloft Washington National Harbor is steps from food and fun, easily accessible from all airports, and just 15 minutes from downtown DC. We offer a courtesy shuttle service between National Harbor and three key area destinations (King Street Metro Station, Old Post Office Pavilion, and Union Station). The service is FREE for guests-passengers should simply present their hotel key card. New Water Taxi service DIRECT from National Harbor to the National Mall and Georgetown. Have an electric car? Aloft Washington National Harbor offers the perfect parking solution just for you! Our garage offers Plug-In Electric Vehicle charging stations. Parking is located at Mariner Passage Garage. Instructions if a guest elects to add parking to their bill: 1) Inform our Front Desk Talent that you desire to add parking to your bill. 2) As you enter the parking garage, press the button for a ticket. 3) When exiting the parking garage, insert the paper ticket you received followed by your room key. 4) If you are returning back, press the button for another ticket and repeat the exiting procedure. Daily parking fee applies. Don't forget to shop over 85 brands at Tanger Outlets just over a mile from National Harbor. Coming soon: a 175-foot 17-story observation wheel will be constructed at National Harbor set to debut in May 2014! Also, Walrus Oyster and Ale House will be opening at the base of the Aloft building in the Spring of 2014. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Aloft Washington National Harbor Hotel Oxon Hill
- Aloft Oxon Hill