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“Unique Hotel & Great Location” 4 of 5 stars
Review of aloft Washington National Harbor

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aloft Washington National Harbor
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   156 Waterfront Street, Oxon Hill, MD 20745   |  
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Ranked #5 of 8 hotels in Oxon Hill
Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Unique Hotel & Great Location”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2013

I stayed here with my fiance & my parents on June 14th while we were in National Harbor for the Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival. This is a very unique hotel & we all loved every bit of our stay. Upon arrival, we were greeted by the friendly staff & were pleasantly surprised when we were able to check-in even though we were a couple hours early from check-in time. The room layout is not only different from most hotels but was fun to explore. The room was clean & inviting. An added bonus was having control of a digital thermostat in the room, especially since it was quite hot that weekend. I have to admit one of the features I enjoyed most about the hotel was the soap & shampoo/conditioner dispensers located right in the shower...the products smelled wonderful as well! This was so much better than trying to squeeze every last drop of shampoo out of those dinky bottles all the other hotels have! I do have to agree with some other reviewers that the bed was quite stiff. That's probably the only complaint other than a 1:00am fire alarm but that was at no fault of the hotel as some idiot on one of the upper floors was smoking a cigarette in their room in a non-smoking hotel. The location of the hotel is also great if you're looking to venture around the National Harbor area. Overall, we had a great stay at this unique hotel & I would definitely recommend it!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KokuaHospitality, Guest Services at aloft Washington National Harbor, responded to this review, July 16, 2013
Dear Lauren4172,
Thank you for your review. We hope you and your family had a wonderful time at the Beer, Bourbon, and BBQ festival. It pleases us to read that you enjoyed our unique guest room layouts and bliss bath amenities. Thank you for recommending the Aloft Washington National Harbor, and we look forward to serving you again soon.
Best,
Guest Services
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (103)
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English first
San Diego, California
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2013

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).

The So-So:
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.

The Not-So-Good:
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.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KokuaHospitality, Guest Services at aloft Washington National Harbor, responded to this review, July 5, 2013
Dear CoyoteLiz,
Thank you for taking the time to share your comprehensive review of the Aloft Washington National Harbor with us! We sincerely appreciate your honest feedback about our hotel's location, amenities, and service. It gives us great pleasure to hear that our hip European-style accommodations and central location at National Harbor exceeded your expectations. We regret to learn if our bedding was not to your liking during your stay, and hope to provide you with a better alternative on your next stay. If given another opportunity in the future, we hope to welcome you back again and be your hotel of choice at National Harbor.
Warm Regards,
Guest Services
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Toronto, Canada
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2013

Better than expected but it was because I set my expectation to be low. This is my first time staying in National Harbour and Aloft. After looking at some previous reviews, I was preparing for the worst. First the positives, the front desk was for most part helpful. My taxi arrived on time and my wakeup call was made without a glitch (I was concerned as my request was manually entered.) I could also live with the steps leading to lobby being worn out and looking cheap.

Now my experience, as a SPG Gold Preferred, I was not offered an "Enhanced" room. I requested to have a room on the high fl with a view of the river. I was given a high fl room that is right next to the elevator and had a strong odor. My request to change was accomodated. However, I was now given a room that others can see through if I don't close the blinds. I reverted to the original room, hope the smell would dissipate after I come back from dinner. It did somwhat. I found the configuration of the room somewhat odd. Yes, I do recognize that Aloft purports to be hip. Being a 5'6 but not over weighed male, I found the shower area to be pitifully small. I don't remember ever staying in Europe that I found the shower area to be this claustophobic. Finally, the HVAC. It didn't bother me too much during the first night but I found it very loud as my stay progressed. Beware if you are a light sleeper.

Overall, I found the staff was really trying and probably doing the best that they can. However, I am not sure if the value is there to justify a $230+/night.

Room Tip: Unless you pay a lot more, I doubt if you can get a room that doesn't have the view of the outdo...
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2013, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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.
KokuaHospitality, Guest Services at aloft Washington National Harbor, responded to this review, July 5, 2013
Dear ttje,
Thank you for your review. We regret to learn of the challenges you encountered during your stay. It pleases us to hear that our talent members did their best to accommodate your requests, but apologize if the shower was not to your liking. If given another opportunity, we hope to welcome you back for a much improved experience.
Best,
Guest Services
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cinnaminson, New Jersey
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2013

This is my 2nd visit to ALOFT Washington National Harbor. The 1st time I went was a couple years ago for one of my friends birthdays and it has remained the same and just as wonderful. We stayed in June for a wedding and had a perfect experience. The hotel is conveniently located within walking distance to everything. We enjoyed walking around the shops at the Harbor and enjoyed a delicious lunch across the street. We were sad to see that Ketchup the restaurant at the hotel has gone out of business because we were really enjoyed it the last time we visited. Hotel room is very clean, we had a comfortable king size bed. Toiletries are wonderful they provide BLISS products as their shampoo, body wash, and lotion. Also appreciate the complimentary water and coffee in the room. Overall I would have no complaints and it was a perfect stay. The morning we left we enjoyed a brunch set up by the hotel in a private room that was for the wedding guests. All of the staff was very friendly and helpful.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KokuaHospitality, Guest Services at aloft Washington National Harbor, responded to this review, July 5, 2013
Dear Berger102,
Thank you for your review and continued loyalty to the Aloft Washington National Harbor. It gives us great pleasure to read about your memorable experiences at our hotel, and glad we keep exceeding your expectations time after time. We are glad that you enjoyed our convenient location and BLISS bath products. It will be a pleasure to serve you again soon!
Be Well,
Guest Services
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Carlisle, PA
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2013

We like Aloft. We've stayed at several, and there's never been a problem. It's industrial-Euro-Chic thing works well. However, during the windy Memorial Day weekend at National Harbor in Baltimore, I just could NOT get my head around the split elevator system. I hauled our luggage (on the spiffy luggage cart) into the elevator and looked for our floor number, which was not on the panel So I pushed whatever the highest number was, and was whisked up...one floor.

There I was deposited in a big industrial looking room with the command center (front desk) and bar were, as well as a couple of TVs, sofas and a pool table. Slightly confused (did I mention the margarita earlier? No? I'll just say It didn't help one bit..) I finally found the bank of elevators that took me up to the floor with our room.

Don't get me wrong, I love me some artsy-fartsy. Really. But what is going on with the fabric on the hall ceiling over the lights? Like some kind of harem hallway.

The room was fine, and we did have a room with a view. The view of the building across the way, but if you sat on the desk, you could see the water. (after awhile the desk got very uncomfortable.) I hope the offices across the street close their blinds during the day, or some Aloft guests would get a show of sorts. (FILING! TYPING! PHONE ANSWERING! PAPER PUSHING!) The night scene was way more interesting than watching the afternoon traffic and people being blown around because of the gale force winds off the harbor.

As always, the room was clean, cool, and comfortable. The bed was properly squishy, but not too squishy. Aloft delivers on it's rooms that's for sure.

We went out for awhile and strolled (read: Wind blown) around National Harbor. That's a whole other post. Contrived is a good word for that.

After our little adventure, we came back to Aloft and visited the bar. You see, we had drink coupons from the management from a snafu with our reservations and their phone hell system.
Always take a free drink when it's offered. The very nice bartender made us pomegranite martinis, and I suppose they were good. I'm not a martini person, but for what it is, it was tasty. For $10, I'd expect a bigger glass, but that's me.

After more adventures in the wind we came back to the room and had a restful sleep. Despite being RIGHT THERE, I didn't get any traffic noise from ALL the cars and buses down below.


Aloft Yes, National Harbor.....meh.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 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.
KokuaHospitality, Guest Services at aloft Washington National Harbor, responded to this review, July 5, 2013
Dear Amesk,
Thank you for taking the time to share your descriptive feedback with us. We regret to learn about all the wind you endured during your time at National Harbor. Overall, it seems you enjoyed your time at the Aloft Washington National Harbor, and we look forward to welcoming you back again soon.
Best,
Guest Services
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Trenton, NJ
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
46 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
66 helpful votes 66 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2013

My wife and I booked this hotel for a wedding. We also greatly enjoy the greater DC area and were looking forward to experiencing a novel part of town. I called to make reservations since the bride and groom had reserved a block of rooms and I wanted to get the discounted rate. We wanted to stay an extra night before all of the wedding activities, and were able to do so, however the hotel would not grant us the wedding rate for the one additional night. I was a little put off by that, but the wedding rate was so good for the other two nights that it was still worth going for the additional night. Also somewhat perplexing was the fact that they had to give me two separate reservations since they seemed unable to combine the wedding rate and the non-wedding rate on the same reservation. Again, it was a little off-putting, but it was not a big deal at the end of the day.
We arrived at the National Harbor in the early evening. There was a bit of traffic as there was a festival, live music, and a circus in town. We were able to pull up in front of the hotel and unload our bags and check-in. They have those luggage carts you might find at an airport, which was fine for us, but maybe not ideal for somebody in need of assistance. You have to take an elevator or stairs to get to the lobby to check-in.
The young woman who checked us in was very polite and seemed to understand our situation with the two reservations and was able to make sure we didn't have to switch rooms, however she did explain that we needed to go down to the desk after reservation number one was over and basically check-out and check back in again for reservation number two since our keys would stop working. This seemed unnecessary to me, but wasn't too difficult of a process. The young woman also explained to me the parking situation (you park in the Mariner Garage and if you add parking to your reservation, your room key is used for "payment" and you have in-out privileges in the garage).
Our room faced the harbor which was a bonus, It is not laid out like your standard hotel room. On the left was the sink and vanity area, which included a mini-fridge. Opposite the sink was a closet area. To the left of the sink/closet was the toilet and shower stall. I like when the sink is separate from the toilet/shower as it makes it easier for guests sharing a room to multitask. The toilet was separate from the sink by a sliding door that did not lock. There was a shower only, no tub, which wasn't a problem for us but may be for others. All of the bathroom fixtures worked well. My only complaint about the shower was that the floor was a little slippery.
On the other side of the closet area were two queen beds that faced two windows. Below the windows were a desk and some seating. An HDTV was between the windows. The beds had reading lights above them. I found the bed to be comfortable enough, but the pillows left a little to be desired. The pull down shades on the windows didn't quite block out all of the light, so we had to improvise by using some spare pillows to block out light. There is a fair amount of late night activity in the National Harbor, so you hear a lot of cars and motorcycles go by, but the trade off is that it is very quiet in the morning, so you can actually sleep in at the hotel which I find is a very rare thing. With a centralized climate control system, quiet mornings, and quiet hallways, we actually were able to log a good amount of hours of sleep each night. Sleep quality is one of the most important aspects of a hotel stay.
There was one night, however, when the fire alarm went off. It was never explained to us what the problem was (perhaps it was other guests smoking in a non-smoking hotel or a malfunction of the system), but I was very impressed by how the management handled the situation. I got an email from the general manager the next day apologizing for the interruption and an offer for a gift certificate for a future stay. I emailed him back and he immediately acknowledged my reply. I even got a follow up phone call to verify my address and to let me know when the certificates were going to be put in the mail. This is a big reason why I am giving this hotel a good ranking. I've had this happen at another hotel years ago and nobody seemed to care that the guests were inconvenienced.
All in all, it was a good stay and I would return to this aloft or any other. The only other let down besides the fire alarm was the brunch that our group had the final morning. It was not set up on time and some of the food was not hot enough. However, during our stay, we were able to take advantage of the fitness center and the $5 credit for turning down housekeeping which we used towards some food from their pantry. The National Harbor is a terrific area and I am already contemplating my next visit.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 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.
KokuaHospitality, Guest Services at aloft Washington National Harbor, responded to this review, July 5, 2013
Dear DSXM,
Thank you for your thorough feedback on your recent stay at the Aloft Washington National Harbor. It gives us great pleasure to read how much you appreciated the follow up from our General Manager, Mauricio Martins, regarding the fire alarm incident at our hotel. Please allow us to apologize if the food and service failed to exceed expectations during your group brunch, but this will be properly addressed. We can't wait to welcome you back again soon.
Be Well,
Guest Services
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LA
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2013

Expected an old WDC hotel, but was pleasantly surprised by the ultra modern Aloft hotel. It was modern, and very comfortable. Got to say they've really modernized the whole National Harbor port area. Very nice shops and restaurants. Arrived late the first night and walking around at night seemed fairly safe. Room was good sized for me with 2 double beds. Nice clean bathroom. Would definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
KokuaHospitality, Guest Services at aloft Washington National Harbor, responded to this review, July 5, 2013
Dear LA_Engineer,
Thank you for your review. We are happy to read how you were pleasantly surprised by our modern and comfortable accommodations at the Aloft Washington National Harbor. It gives us great pleasure to hear that you will be returning to us again in the near future!
Best,
Guest Services
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 aloft Washington National Harbor

Address: 156 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 Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 8 hotels in Oxon Hill
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — aloft Washington National Harbor 3*
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

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