I have a feeling that my experience at this hotel on May 18th would have been good if I had been on a different floor or location. Here's what happened - I booked a King room with the prepay rate. Arrived around 5pm - so not long after check-in started. Desk clerk tells me "we don't have any King rooms, so we put you in a room with 2 double beds, is that okay?" How could it not be okay? I had prepaid and had no recourse.
Upon arriving on my floor, there were high school age kids in the hallway with an ironing board being used as a serving table as it had sandwiches on it. This is when I should have turned around and went back to the front desk.
My room was at the very end of the hall - room 501 - which meant only 1 neighbor. This is why I didn't turn around, because how much of a nuisance could one neighbor be? Plus, the room was incredibly clean. I will say though that it was quite stuffy, especially since windows don't open.
Went into town for dinner, came right back and it seemed as if all the school group kids were in the room next to us. Loud does not even begin to describe it. It was still somewhat early though, so we hoped it would eventually quiet down. Three hours later and it was still going on strong. A call to the front desk and I was told that we could not be moved as there were no available rooms, but someone would come and tell the kids to be quiet. I'm sure you already know how that went over. They got quiet for about 5 minutes and then were outside the door "ssshushing" each other as loud as possible and commenting to "not be loud! people are trying to sleep" in the loudest possible whisper.
After they grew tired of that, they decided it was a good time to shower. Who cares, right? Except this hotel seems to have alarmingly loud noises in the bathroom when someone in a neighboring bathroom turns the shower on and off.
Sometime after 1am I was finally able to get to sleep, but that only lasted until just before 6am when the noise started again next door! Granted, the little sleep that I did mange to get was better than my stay at the Courtyard Alexandria Old Town Southwest the week before, but still not great.
You should know that I always leave the "Do Not Disturb" sign on my room door at hotels. YOu need this fact for the next part of my review...
Check out for this hotel is at noon. The kids on the hall were long gone by then, thank goodness, and I was enjoying some coffee and quiet time in the room around 11 am when I heard the electronics engage in the door and the sound of someone inserting a key. There was NO KNOCK - NO ANNOUNCEMENT OF ARRIVAL - NOTHING. The next thing I knew someone was trying to enter the room. I had the little security thing on the door and they could not get in. Nevermind the fact that the "Do Not Disturb" sign is still on the door. I go open the door to see who it was and to confirm that the sign was still on the door. It was still there. And there was a member of the housekeeping staff literally running down the hall away from the room.
No one apologized or excused their entry. Instead they ran. Why? Was their attempted entry for nefarious reasons? Did they just assume that we were part of the group of kids that were gone? And therefore any valuables left in the room were ripe for the taking? Or, was the housekeeping person just a moron? It's really anyone's guess, but enough to make me never return to this location.
This was the second bad experience that I have had (in a row) with Alexandria area hotels. All I want is a place that offers a quiet place to actually get a decent amount of sleep.
In summary, here are the pros and cons of this place--
-lots of free parking
-good location near metro stop, Starbucks and restaurants
-easy access off freeway
-free wi-fi that works well
-room had a mini fridge and a microwave (at least the one they put me in did)
-cheap rates and good metro location = obvious favorite for school groups
-rooms gets a bit stuffy if the AC unit is not running constantly
-loud noises when neighbors turn on/off the shower
-housekeeping staff with possible nefarious intentions (why the running instead of apologizing?)
-event space on-site = possible loud late night noise from wedding receptions, etc. (yup, experience this too but it stopped before the kids noise next door)
The lot for the metro station next door has free parking on weekends and is $7 during the week. On my next visit to Alexandria, I will stay elsewhere and drive to the metro station and pay the cheap parking fee. You may want to consider that as well.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Holiday Inn Alexandria at Carlyle welcomes each guest to its convenient location off the Capital Beltway / I-95. Our charming, full-service hotel is just a block from the Metro for fast & easy travel to Old Town Alexandria, Reagan International Airport (DCA) & the Washington, DC area. This hotel's location in Alexandria, VA pleases travelers who want the excitement of a big-city vacation & a friendly neighborhood atmosphere. Alexandria is minutes from popular DC attractions like the Smithsonian Museums, the Lincoln Memorial & George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens. Head to the historic waterfront in Old Town Alexandria to stroll cobblestone streets or dine in a historic tavern. This Alexandria hotel is ideal for corporate travelers. We're near Michael Baker Engineering, Hoffman Town Center, the US Patent &Trademark Office and other businesses in the DC area. We offer FREE local shuttle service and FREE parking to all guests to save money on travel costs. We offer ample meeting space, free high-speed, wireless Internet access & a 24-hour Business Center. Our quality amenities make us a standout among hotels in Alexandria, VA. After a day of sightseeing, slip into the heated, indoor pool to unwind or work out in the Fitness Center; then enjoy a cocktail & appetizers at Bistro Eighteen90. You'll be charmed by historic Alexandria & this hotel. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Holiday Inn Alexandria Sw Eisenhower Ave Hotel Alexandria
- Holiday Inn Telegraph Rd
- Alexandria Holiday Inn