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“?? This hotel was fine, mostly”

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Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Alexandria - Old Town
Ranked #34 of 54 Hotels in Alexandria
GreenLeadersBronze level
Nashville, Tennessee
Level 5 Contributor
82 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 111 helpful votes
“?? This hotel was fine, mostly”
Reviewed September 18, 2007

Hm....Where to begin...

Firstly, I used to live in the Washington, D.C. area so I have a bit of an idea what else is available, hotel-wise. Whomever said this hotel is located in a "bad neighborhood" hasn't spent much time in Washington. It's not Chevy Chase, but it's not Southeast D.C. either. I'll agree it's not a great idea to walk by yourself at night, but that's true of a great many portions of super-large cities like D.C. and its suburbs.

It's also not the most sparkling new hotel I've ever seen, but it's certainly not a dump. The room I was assigned (408) was large, with a huge closet and two full size beds. It had a view of some lovely trees and the nearby grocery store.

Transportation was easy to use - it's a 0.8 mile walk to the Metro according to my GPS device. In addition to the free hotel shuttle, the Route 5 DASH bus stops not even one block from the hotel (corner of Madison & St Asaph) and runs every half hour. The cost to get to the Metro is only a dollar (Route 5 turns into Route 2 on the way back from the Metro...don't let the number change throw you off.) There's also a cab stand outside should none of these options work out.

In addition to the grocery store a stone's throw from this property, there's a Wendy's restaurant a block away on Washington. There's also a shopping mall (Brickyard Plaza) a couple of miles and an easy cab ride away (Old Navy, Target, a movie theater, etc.)

I paid $130 per night on Priceline, high for this property but I stayed the costly Monday-Wednesday date range. (Use Priceline for this area - hotels closer to the airport can easily run over $300 per night.)

The hotel was super quiet, the beds were quite comfortable, there was plenty of hot water. Drink machines on every floor, the room darkening shades worked great. The desk staff was very helpful after the airline I took from Amsterdam lost my suitcases. There's also no foolishness of charging big bucks for local phone calls, which are a flat $1 fee.

The ONLY negative remarks I have: The free wireless Internet is extremely variable and subject to interference - going from five bars to one inside the space of a couple of minutes, which makes uploading large files or maintaining a consistent connection difficult (but it IS free). Also, there's no fridge in the room, which would be nice.

I would stay here again, and I probably will soon!

  • Liked — Quiet rooms, comfy bed
  • Disliked — Dodgy Internet
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank DivemistressofthDark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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482 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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Albuquerque
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed July 2, 2007

After reading the negative reviews we were a bit apprehensive after booking this hotel through Priceline. The hotel is fine and a real bargin @ $70 + tax per night.
Our five night stay started with check in on a Wednesday afternoon. Brian, the desk clerk, was super; he was professional, pleasant, and very helpful with all our questions. He was able to locate my PriorityClub number, as I forgot to bring it with me. PriorityClub members get half price parking and discounted breakfast.
Our non-smoking fourth floor room had two queens which was fine. (we usually have a king room) Beds and bedding were excellent and everything in the room was in good working order. The bathroom was dated and was in need of a major upgrade, but the maid service did an excellent job of keeping it clean and stocked full of nice towels and toiletries.
The hotel is a nice walk to all the sights of Alexandria, as well as the Metro line into Washington DC. The hotel offers a shuttle every half hour to Reagan National, which you can use to access the Metro line there if you aren't up to the 15 minute walk. The Metro system is one of the best in the world! An all day Metro pass can be had for $6 -- Note: pass begins after 9:30am, so just purchase a one way ticket + the pass if you need an early start.
Yes, the hotel does seem to attract large travel groups. We had three bus loads of Girl Scouts check in for the weekend, but they were all well behaved and presented no problems.
There is a grocery store across the street if you need any last minute items or snacks.
This is fine tourist class hotel and very typical for the Holiday Inn chain.

  • Liked — Excellent staff and a good Priceline find.
  • Disliked — Location is not the best in Alexandria. Bathroom needs updating.
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank kelmac48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Carmel, NY
Level 2 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed June 19, 2007

We booked this through hotwire for $75/night. After reading the reviews, I was very nervous to stay here but this hotel was honestly fine. We arrived and had no problems checking in. Parking is $15 per night or you can park on the street for free if you choose. Our room was very spacious and clean. We used the shuttle a few times and it was always very prompt. As other reviews stated, there is a huge supermarket across the street that was great to have. For $75 a night, I don't know what else people expect - this hotel was great, especially for the price.

  • Stayed May 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank k0629
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Florida
Level 6 Contributor
143 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed May 31, 2007

I found the front desk and hotel staff very friendly and helpful. Yes, the carpet in the halls (3rd floor) do need to be replaced, but the room was nice, clean and well maintained.
The Giant and ABC (Beverage store) directly across the street was a plus.
The shuttle and drivers were also good. They were on time for the most part and all but one driver was nice and friendly. The one driver was on his cell phone for the entire trip the times we rode with him.
The restaurant is nice. The food is good.
My one negative is the price. I guess I shouldn't mention it because it appears everything in the D.C. area is expensive to me. Living in Florida I've been to Disney many times. I expect high prices there, but the service is leaps above what one gets at most places. For the price of the room and the price of the food I would expect a four or five star facility. This one just did not make the grade.
I will add that we thought this hotel was closer to Old Town than it is. It is a 7 or 8 block walk to Old Town. I saw the shuttle headed that way a coupe of times, but if it went to Old Town we were not told about it.
As my title says: It was not too bad, not too good. I would give it an OK.

  • Liked — The helpful friendly staff
  • Disliked — Price
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank watercop
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Landlocked in Colorado
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed May 9, 2007

This was my first visit to D.C. by myself and some people had recommended this hotel because the shuttle makes it easy to get to the airport and Metro. That's true but, so do other hotels in the area. All I need to be happy in a hotel is to have some peace and quiet, have a clean room, and easy access to my primary destination.

Arrival
I had booked a smoking room because that was all they had. I asked if they had a non-smoking room when I got there and they said they could make one available in 1 hour. Okay, I'll take a walk and see what's nearby. 1.25 hours later I come back and the room is not ready. The front desk and a maid argue about the room. 10 minutes later I am handed a key for, what turns out to be, a smoking room. After 10 hours of travel and a big next day ahead of me, I decided it wasn't worth the battle and didn't press the issue.

The Room
I was on the Mezzezine level (200). Avoid it. The only access is an elevator that can only be accessed if the other on is occupied (yeah, it's weird) or, by taking the stairs. Getting to the ice/soda machines is also tricky. The room was very spacious. There was a "funky" smell--kind of like smoke but not really sure. The a/c was loud and not very good. Many of the TV stations (including major networks) were blurry and poor audio. No instructions were available for using the telephone and the front desk always seem to have to ask somone else--frustrating, as I had forgotten my cellphone. Definitely needs a renovation (or price reduction).

The Service
The front desk was always busy and the staff seemed way too immature to be workiing there. Even basic tasks seemed to overwhelm them making checking in and asking quesiton time-consuming. The cleaning staff is not very detailed. I found some birthday cards on top of a shelf in the room that had been left there by a guest over a month ago. Happy bithday, Pete's wife!

The Shuttle
This service was great. Always reliable and easy to use. From my observations, most hotels in the area have the same service and I saw their shuttles just as often as this one. 10-15 minutes from the airport.

The Food
I used the online room service option twice and both times the food arrived exaclty as ordered and earlier than expected. I just got a basic burger but it was cooked as I specifed, hot, and fresh.

Other
There is a small grocery and liquor store across the street which is very convenient for picking up snack, toiletries, etc. The carpet in the hallways is hazzardous if you ask me. It's all wrinkled up and seems like it would be easy to trip yourself on if you're not paying attention. The lobby, bar and dining area seemed nice and inviting. Didnt hear any air traffic in the room which was pretty surprising considering how loud it was outside. I had my cellphone shipped to the hotel and they accepted it and left me a message that it was available at the front desk--that was nice.

Overall
It was okay. I haven't stayed elsewhere in the area so I don't know if it is priced reasonably or is comparable to similar hotels. I wasn't impressed, but I wasn't offended. A little less than neutral overall. It seems that for a $200+/night hotel, it would have been a little better.

  • Liked — Free Internet. Reliable shuttle.
  • Disliked — Speed of service. Room prep/cleaning. Outdated.
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank jstengel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pennsylvania
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed April 14, 2007

We had booked this hotel and THEN read the reviews here, so when we showed up we were pleasantly surprised. The staff was incredibly friendly and helpful. The room was large and the linens were new and very comfortable. We visited the restaurant twice, once for happy hour and appetizers, and the second time for Sunday brunch. The service was wonderful, very friendly and attentive and the food prices were quite reasonable. The pool does need renovating, but the place was clean and has plenty of towels. The lifeguard was present but was a little distracted by his laptop and cell phone, but since we didn't have small children in the pool it didn't really affect us. Check-in and check-out was fast and courteous and housekeeping did a great job on the room. I'm not sure if we got a newly renovated or updated room but was not at all what we expected after the negative reviews, so we were quite pleased. The neighborhood is quiet and has very expensive townhomes surrounding the hotel and the Giant supermarket proved to be most convenient for our late evening snack run. The carpets may need to be replaced at some point because they did look dated, but not dirty. We used the shuttle on Saturday of our visit and the driver was polite and consciencious on the road. They have a convenient schedule to take you to the Metro, which served us well. Overall we had a pleasant experience and definitely would return to this hotel.

  • Liked — The room, it was large and comfortable
  • Disliked — The pool, it was a bit outdated and the lifeguard on duty was distracted by his laptop and cell phone.
  • Stayed April 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Grahbella
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Westerlo, Belgium
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed April 6, 2007

The hotel is old and is not in the best location. The rooms have that smell of old and cigarette smoke. You have to pay 15$ for parking which is ridiculous for a hotel in such a location. The surroundings are ok, it's not that bad as other reviewers said. There is a Giant grocery store across the street from the hotel entrance. Be careful as the hotel is very difficult to find if you travel at night and come from Washington.

  • Liked — cheap
  • Disliked — far away, smell
  • Stayed November 2006, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank moskonos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Alexandria - Old Town

Property: Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Alexandria - Old Town
Address: 625 First St, Alexandria, VA 22314-1511 (Formerly Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Historic District Alexandria)
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Virginia > Alexandria
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 Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#4 Green Hotel in Alexandria
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Alexandria - Old Town 3*
Number of rooms: 178
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Alexandria - Old Town is located in the heart of Alexandria, convenient to everything Old Town Alexandria and Washington, DC have to offer. The Potomac River and King Street's entertainment district, restaurants and boutique shopping are just blocks from the hotel. At our pet friendly hotel, we provide complimentary high-speed Internet and shuttle service to Reagan National Airport, Metro and King Street. Experience fine hospitality when you stay at the Holiday Inn. During your stay, dine in Traditions Restaurant and Lounge, featuring the specialties of Alexandria and light American fare. Kids Eat Free (with select rates and accompanied by an adult) in our restaurant and will enjoy our combination indoor/outdoor pool. Famed attractions in the Washington, DC and Alexandria, VA area include the Smithsonian museums, White House, Capitol Building, Mount Vernon, and the numerous monuments and cemeteries. This hotel in Alexandria, VA is also convenient to the Pentagon and Crystal City. Whether you are traveling on business or pleasure, let the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Alexandria - Old Town be your home away from home. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Holiday Inn Hotel And Suites Historic District Alexandria
Holiday Inn Alexandria
Alexandria Holiday Inn

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