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“Almost perfect - unsightly wear and tear to furniture/linens the only real issue”

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Kimpton Lorien Hotel & Spa
Ranked #8 of 53 Hotels in Alexandria
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Fredericksburg, Virginia
Level Contributor
33 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Almost perfect - unsightly wear and tear to furniture/linens the only real issue”
Reviewed March 2, 2014

I am only docking Lorien one star. They went so above and beyond in every other respect that I'd feel ungrateful if I left a lower rating. (Please note this review is for the hotel only, as I did not utilize the spa.)

First, the PROS:

- Efficient and friendly valet service (which I got for $1 more thanks to the AAA discount) with easy come-and-go privileges.

- Efficient and friendly staff. Everyone in the building greeted us with a smile and an offer to help at all times. No snootiness whatsoever. I greatly appreciated this warmth, which came across as genuine and not forced. Too many upscale hotels' come with a detached, aloof, at times almost chilly staff, which is antithetical to the purpose of an upscale hotel (or any hotel, for that matter).

- I love that they're associated with Brabo. This made dining options (such as breakfast at the Brabo Tasting Room next door) simple. Eat breakfast at the Brabo Tasting Room!

- If you're a AAA or Klimpton InTouch member, there is a complementary wine reception from 5-6pm. Although it's a simple choice of red or white (they offer one of each), they do pour you a VERY full glass. The wine quality is top notch. I'm more of a red drinker, so I chose that night's Cabernet Sauvignon from a Washington state vineyard. I was impressed by how smooth, full and velvety rich it was. Not a junk wine. For a complementary glass of wine, Lorien is not tossing about small amounts of the cheap stuff. Bravo!

- The "dream menu", which includes a menu of pillows (choices include a Japanese buckwheat pillow, water pillow, body pillow, etc) is not only fun but has the benefit of including but pay-for and complementary items! The pillows are complementary, unless you want to take them home. I went with the buckwheat pillow. My neck's never had a better night's sleep.

- Excellent quality mattress and down-feather comforter. Between that and the buckwheat pillow, I slept without interruption and felt 100% renewed in the morning - even after a night of heavy Spanish tapas and red wine downtown!

- There are complementary morning tea, coffee, and hot chocolate in the lobby, as well as chocolate/candied nibbles.

- Beautiful decorative choices and color scheme (shades of cream and light blue are very calming). HOWEVER, see my notes regarding the state of the decor/furniture in the "cons" section of my review.

- Quiet. Never heard any noise from neighbors, either through the walls or in the hallways. No street traffic, either, which was the one benefit of having a not-great room view.

- Walk out the door and you're in downtown Alexandria. Goes without saying: fantastic!

- Lovely minibar choices. Pricey, but that's a minibar for you. It helped that we got a $10 "raid the bar" credit for being InTouch members. They've got everything from a 'lover's kit' with miniature sex toys (if you feel like dropping $25, otherwise bring your own); to luxury toiletries including dental and shaving products; to mixed nuts, energy bars, and miniature bottles of wine and scotch. There was even a bottle of craft Pale Ale.

- When I informed the hotel staff at departure of the CONS noted below, they apologized profusely, took written note of each complaint, and immediately offered $30 off my bill. This was VERY prompt and professional and is another reason I am giving them four stars as opposed to three or less. Again, a terrific staff who takes the quality of your experience seriously.


NEUTRALS:

- The "dream menu" isn't available anywhere in the hotel room's guides. It's not even on their television "guest services" channel. If you don't know about the dream menu when you get there, chances are you won't be reminded. I dialed the 'dream' button on the hotel phone and they informed me I can only review the menu via internet. Not a big deal, but this makes no sense to me. I think they need to print a copy for the room. Why not, if they already have a print copy of the room service (dining) menu in the room? If you're going to offer tons of great accommodations, please be assertive about it - not coy!

- They offer an outdoor fire pit accessible via the lobby. We were unable to use it the night we stayed because of a private party. I know, boo hoo. Still, a small disappointment since the fire pit area was heavily promoted by the hotel's website as part of its many luxuries to enjoy during the wine reception.

- Not all room views are great. Mine (on the fourth floor) looked out over an unglamorous parking lot, as opposed to the more attractive brick terrace. Oh well.

- The King Deluxe Room could be just a tad wider, to allow more space between the end of the bed and the desk. The bed and desk are cramped despite the rest of the room having adequate space.

CONS:

- I was shocked by the amount of wear and tear to the property. In the lobby/common lounge area alone, I observed a couch with its seams falling apart. Worse yet, significant fraying to the face and edges of two couch pillows. It looked like the couch had been mangled and neglected for years. Not noticeable from a distance, but an embarrassment as soon as you view it up close.

- The bathroom towels are rough to the touch. They feel like they've been laundered ad nauseam with the cheapest bleach before being left to dry on the back of a rock under the blistering sun.

- Same 'roughness' issue with the bathroom robes, AND one of the robes also had a hole in the shoulder seam (see photo). Ugh.

- The leather desk chair had unsightly wear and tear, obviously from repeated "banging" against the edge of the desk (see photo). You could tell they had tried to address this by placing a plastic strip over the granite desk top, but never bothered to reupholster the chair. It just looked nasty. Something I'd expect at a Motel 6.

- There was a small brown stain on the wedge pillow we ordered from the dream menu (see photo).

- No ventilation fan in the bathroom. They make up for this by using a sliding glass door that leaves a small gap to release the steam, but this doesn't address the fact that 1) the mirrors still get steamy, 2) the steam has to go somewhere, which means the rest of the hotel room - ick, and 3) ventilation is also necessary to keeping the bathroom an odor free zone. I found this lack of ventilation a bit disturbing since it's integral to the reduction of both odors and mold. It's a sanitation issue above all else.

- The only staff issue I had was that when I ordered the pillows from the dream menu, I also requested a complementary reed diffuser. They forgot to bring up the reed diffuser. I didn't bother to complain or follow up on it, though, since it's hardly the end of the world. But it would have been nice to get my order right. :-) I would have mentioned it when the front desk asked about my stay but forgot.

In the end, would I go back to Lorien? Most likely. I just hope they take the issues with the furniture/linens wear-and-tear to heart and get those items repaired. It just looks bad (and confusing) for a hotel of otherwise magnificent quality to have pillows, couches, chairs and towels/linens that are stained or falling apart.

Again, see my photos documenting the poor condition of the furniture/linens.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank nightrecordings
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tobias A, General Manager at Kimpton Lorien Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, March 6, 2014
Dear nightrecordings,

Thank you for staying with us and for taking the time to write this great review.
We really appreciate all the important feedback and it was great to follow up with you directly via email. As I mentioned in my email to you we are in the process of addressing many of the items that you outlined and I can’t wait to welcome you back soon to try to collect the one missing star from you.

Sincerely,

Tobias
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (285)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed March 2, 2014

We wanted a little weekend getaway for our anniversary and this hotel was quite near perfect! We did the Port City Brewery package and had a lot of fun at the brewery tour and tasting. When we checked in, our room was just as we requested, and they sent us chocolate covered strawberries and champagne - a sweet touch. All the staff we encountered were wonderful and we enjoyed room service and the spa as well - both excellent staff and quality experiences! The hotel's location is in walking distance from lots of Old Town shops and restaurants. The only not-so-great experience was the bar at Brabo - surprisingly, the staff was bored and not very welcoming, so we didn't stay (the Brabo staff is not part of the hotel staff, just to be clear, it is a restaurant off the lobby area). Huge room, huge bathroom, comfy bed - couldn't ask for more!

Green Features: Kimpton is an environmentally friendly company - and that feature is important to us in our decision making
  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Lisa B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tobias A, General Manager at Kimpton Lorien Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, March 6, 2014
Happy Anniversary Lisa B,

Thank you for choosing the Lorien Hotel & Spa for your celebrations. I’m glad that you enjoyed our Port City Brewery package and that you overall had a great stay. I’m disappointed to hear about your experience at our restaurant as they are usually taking fantastic care of all of our guests. My apologies that your welcome at our restaurant was not as warm as it should have been. Please rest ensured that I will share your important feedback with the appropriate team members.

Respectfully,

Tobias
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
Reviewed March 1, 2014 via mobile

From the first minute the entire staff makes you feel like royalty. The complimentary happy hour every night is wonderful. We were served by the manager who made a point to great everyone and replenish their glasses. He even opened another bottle of wine after happy hour was technically over. Beautiful room, great location!

Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Robin B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tobias A, General Manager at Kimpton Lorien Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, March 2, 2014
Dear Robin B,

Thank you for staying with us and thank you for your kind review. It was very nice to meet you and it was a lot of fun to get to know you during our complementary evening wine reception. I hope to get the opportunity to welcome you back soon.

Sincerely,

Tobias
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
26 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed March 1, 2014

We managed to get a sensational deal here and while we were drawn by that primarily we were so glad we did and would certainly return. Kimpton certainly manage to consistently get so much right.
The Lorien has a modern, chic vibe and is beautifully appointed. The staff are young, friendly and extremely helpful.
Thanks for a great stay.

Room Tip: We had a Lorien suite; spacious, well-appointed and well worth the upgrade.
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank LuxurymattersLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tobias A, General Manager at Kimpton Lorien Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, March 2, 2014
Dear LuxurymattersLondon,

I’m glad that you found a great deal to stay with us and I’m thrilled that you enjoyed stay with us. It is great to hear that you enjoyed our beautiful design and that you found our team to be extremely friendly. We are looking forward to welcome you back soon.

Thanks for the awesome feedback,

Tobias
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
41 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed February 20, 2014

Kimpton Hotels have a kind of fun quality and the staff are welcoming and informal and really make you feel comfortable. This was no exception. This hotel has very comfortable rooms, good room service and a truly exceptional restaurant. The location is central and a short stroll from the historic centre do Alexandria. The fitness center is small but well equipped. Overall is was an enjoyable stay and I can recommend it as a solid hotel, with engaging staff and a quality restaurant.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank aidblogger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tobias A, General Manager at Kimpton Lorien Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, February 24, 2014
Dear airblogger,

I wanted to take a moment to thank you for saying with us and for taking the time to write this review. Getting positive feedback means a lot to us especially when it comes from a road worrier such as you. It is great to hear that you found our staff to be engaging and that you enjoyed our central location and out indeed exceptional restaurant. We are looking forward to welcome you back in the near future.

Respectfully,

Tobias
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami, Florida
Level Contributor
34 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed February 17, 2014

I was stuck in the area because of the winter storm and was able to get an early check-in, a late checkout, and an additional night stay.

The staff is friendly and very helpful, (Shout out to Miss Maryland). The location is awesome. The hotel is about a 5-minute walk to/from the King Street Metro station which you can take to DCA or into DC and Maryland. For about $20 and 20-minutes a taxi will also take you to DCA.

There are several bars, delis, and restaurants in the surrounding area. If you don't want to brave the snow and cold and you are feeling a little hungry the hotel has two restaurants attached to it. Now if you just don't want to get out of your PJs, other options include 24-hour room service and local delivery.

A nice touch and way to end a busy day, just off of the lobby the hotel hosts a daily happy hour for their guests with light snacks. The atmosphere is as cozy and inviting as sitting in a living room with friends.

I can't say enough about the hotel, the staff and the experience.

Try it. Happy Travels!

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank My-own-little-world
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tobias A, General Manager at Kimpton Lorien Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, February 18, 2014
Hello My-own-little-world,

I’m sorry to hear that you got stuck due to the winter storm but I’m glad that our team helped you to make the best out of it.
We really appreciate your awesome feedback and I hope to welcome you back soon.

Yours,

Tobias
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alexandria, Virginia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed February 16, 2014 via mobile

Get walls so I can't hear other rooms, get parking that doesn't cost $30 per night, get more that one chair and one bedside table per room, get employees welcoming guests that do not smoke. Many restaurants within walking distance. They do have complimentary wine (limited selection) 5:00-6:00 pm off the very small lobby area. When we were there it was completely filled with wedding party guests.

  • Stayed February 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Simonzo8723
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tobias A, General Manager at Kimpton Lorien Hotel & Spa, responded to this review, February 18, 2014
Dear Simonzo8723,

Thank you for staying with us and thank you for your important feedback! I’m disappointed that you recent experience with us did not meet your expectations.
It is very rare that we are getting comments about noise coming from other rooms and I like to apologize for the inconvenience this caused you. I have to admit that I’m a little bit confused about your comment about “getting employees welcoming guests that do not smoke” and I would like to get the opportunity to learn more about this. I would appreciate if you could contact me at tobias.arff@lorienhotelandspa.com to discuss your experience in more detail.

Respectfully,

Tobias
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 Kimpton Lorien Hotel & Spa

Property: Kimpton Lorien Hotel & Spa
Address: 1600 King St, Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Virginia > Alexandria > Old Town
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 Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in Alexandria
#1 Green Hotel in Alexandria
#3 Romantic Hotel in Alexandria
#3 Family Hotel in Alexandria
#3 Luxury Hotel in Alexandria
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Kimpton Lorien Hotel & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 107
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Centrally located in Old Town Alexandria, our luxury boutique hotel is a collaborative dream. Renowned interior designer Vicente Wolf created a space that is reflective of the past and grounded in modern sensibilities. Combined with the stylish calm of our spa, our destination restaurant, BRABO by Robert Wiedmaier, a striking environment and the amenities expected of a Kimpton Hotel, Kimpton Lorien Hotel & Spa unites the elegance of yesteryear with the comforts of modern-day living. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Lorien Hotel Kimpton

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