Just weeks after staying at the Residence Inn Capital View in Arlington (see my other review in which I rated that hotel most highly), I returned to the DC area and decided to try out their sister hotel next door. The two hotels are in fact in the same building and you can get from one to the other without going outside. Residence Inn and Renaissance are both Marriott brands and both of these hotels are called "Capital View", which can be a bit confusing.
The decor of the Arlington Renaissance is absolutely stunning. A modern glamour look done right. It probably helps that Marriott's headquarters are just on the other side of Washington DC and that this hotel is brand new, giving it a bit of a flagship character for the Renaissance brand. The conference facilities are first class, the lobby is super cool and is filled with a lounge-y (somewhat loud) sound track until late in the night. A good place to hang out.
Unfortunately, the Renaissance side of the building does not fulfill the function of a hotel half as well as the Residence Inn side. That is because the architect made a major mistake, cladding the Renaissance side in metal while the other side is brick (see photos). As a result of this design decision, you get huge widows but sub-standard sound insulation. There is a train track right in front of the building, and while you practically don't hear that in the Residence Inn rooms, you will have a hard time sleeping on the Renaissance side. It was an absolutely cardinal mistake to put a metal sheeting on a building in front of a train track, and to use windows this large. You will be sitting upright in your bed a few times each night if you are in the metal part of the building and facing the tracks, even on a high floor.
This is just too bad since the rooms are otherwise quite nice, albeit small. If you are an Elite member, you get access to the lounge on the top floor (see pictures), pretty much the only place in the hotel that really has a "Capital View" (hint: its a tiny spec of white in the background).
The staff at the hotel is mostly new and not trained as well as at most other Marriott properties. There were several glitches during my stay that puzzled me, quite definite management deficits. For example, the hotel sends you a welcome message from their "Elite Ambassador" prior to your arrival, but any response to that email address will in fact only be read when that one person who sent it returns to duty - which may be days later. Of course there should be a common email address by job function from which these emails are sent, so that they are attended to immediately.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Renaissance Arlington Capital View's luminous design, sophisticated comfort and unparalleled service validate our position as not only one of the top rated hotels in the Washington, DC area, but across the continental U.S. Our Arlington, VA hotel is centrally located between downtown DC (3 miles) and Old Town Alexandria (3 miles). Courtesy shuttle services to National Airport and Crystal City Metro station provide possibilities to discover something new. Looking for an adventure? Our courtesy Trek Bicycles are the perfect mode of transportation when exploring the sights and hidden gems of our Nation's Capital! While visiting us, we hope you have the chance to enjoy one of the largest hotel fitness centers in the Arlington, VA area, Espressamente Illy cafe, and modern Italian cuisine at SOCCi. We're proud to be a LEED(R) Gold certified hotel and our Navigators, the hotel's local area experts, are looking forward to helping you discover the best places to savor, sip, shop and see. ... more less
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