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All reviewsamuse restaurantfloor lobbykey bridgefront deskfourth floorroom servicethe rosslyn metro stationacross the bridgeself parkpotomac riverupgraded to a suitehotel restaurantdc areahotel guestshotel is beautifulparking garage isbusiness trip
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Reviewed March 9, 2012

We arrived at Washington DC Reagan airport and caught the metro for the short trip to Rosslyn station which was only a short walk to the hotel, the Hotel Palomar Arlington has now become the Le Meridien, but at this stage most of the cab drivers & metro info know it as the Hotel Palomar Arlington. The concierge is located on the level 1 and you take the lift up to level 4 for reception and from there a different lift to your room. At first seems a hassle but it actually wasn’t as the lifts were rather quick.
We booked an Executive King room and were allocated room 712 directly opposite the lifts, our first impressions to the room location and anticipated noise levels, proved to be of no concern due to the thick heavy door and entrance hall, it was a large clean and well presented room with a view towards the river and Key Bridge, a luxurious room for us. The bathroom had a shower over the bath and a good sized vanity top to place our toiletries , plus new for us, a shaving mirror. The king bed was very comfortable as were the extra long pillows. The room also had an arm chair with footstool, a desk and chair and free wired internet, the wireless is at cost. The fridge was located in the mini bar cupboard and our room had a coffee machine, coffee, sugar and milk powder were provided. We purchased milk and cereal for breakfast from a shop in the metro mall.
If you need a map of the local area you will have to ask the concierge on level 1 as they are kept in a draw at his desk. As first time visitors to the hotel and Washington it was disappointing that more local information was not available. We received more tips and information from other guests in the hotel, metro station and local shops than from the hotel.
The hotel offers a “go green” option and if you choose not to have your room attended, you receive a $10 voucher to spend at the bar. We chose this option twice and use the vouchers during happy hour (daily 4pm-7pm) for food and drink, we thought this was a great idea and would like to see it used with other hotels..
Take Note - there are 2 menus -- one for the bar, located on the bar, and one for the restaurant located on a stand attended by a waiter (they will not tell you this even when you ask)
The hotel offers red and/or white wine between 5 and 6 pm daily for no cost. We only took this offer on one occasion as the other days we were away from the hotel during this time, perhaps they should make it from 6 to 7 pm.
A number of food outlets can be found between the hotel and the metro (Chop-T (our favourite), Quiznos, Italian style Cafe, Chipotle) and in the metro mall we located a coffee shop, post office, medical centre and a Rite Aid supermarket. While the hotel is out of Washington DC , it’s only a short metro ride to DC, walking distance to the Iwo Jima memorial and Arlington Cemetery. We liked the hotel and would have no problem staying there again if we were to return back to
Washington.

Room Tip: The river view we had was nice
  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank ericthelot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 7, 2012

My husband and I stayed at the Palomar during a quick trip to DC during President's weekend. We liked the location, close to Georgetown and the metro station. The room was nice, clean and we had a great view over the water towards Georgetown. Our main complaint was that the hotel kitchen closed at 9:00 pm ( who would have thought that would happen on a Friday night during a long weekend) and their "late night" menu from 10 to 6 was not available throughout the whole weekend. I do not know if the reason was due to the management changed from Kimpton to Starwood.. It was a big disappointment and a let down since we drove 3.5 hours to get to DC and we were looking forward to a relaxing late night, to have a few drinks and eat something based on previous reviews. That said, if you stay here, you will have to take the metro or a taxi to DC because there are not any decent restaurants near by. That said, overall, a comfortable stay.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled on business
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Thank G A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 27, 2012

Just stayed for a night to get away with my boyfriend. The room was HUGE and not expensive for DC area, especially the amount space and how nice it was. And just a quick cab ride into the city over the bridge. View was amazing. The tub was soothing and relaxing. Highly recommend upgrading to get the tub! The room was very well decorated and we were both comfortable and relaxed. Front desk was very helpful, called us a cab for dinner and easy check in and check out. Not a ton of stuff around the hotel, there is a starbucks that's walkable. But it's so close to DC, it doesn't really matter!

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank cmadd13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 25, 2012

This hotel is seriously swanky. Very slick decor. We got a great deal for 100 USD for one night, and upon check in our attendant was so kind as to give us a complimentary upgrade! Wonderful!

The room we got was a two room suite, with a river view and a nice hot tub. The immediate area is a little drab, but it is literally just steps away from the Key Bridge and Georgetown. The gym is perfect, with all new equipment. Now that the hotel has changed management there are some good deals to be had! I would definitely stay here again. It is more convenient to the Georgetown waterfront than other hotels across the river.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Louis1984lmpr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 25, 2012

It isn’t often that I stay in local hotels, but after a very busy month at work and school, and lacking time to get away, we decided a “stay-cation” would do the trick. We chose the Palomar Arlington because I toured it when it was originally opened back in 2008 at the product and delivery was superb. I wondered if it declined in quality and for what reasons they were switching ownership to Le Meridien and HEI Management.

I am vastly familiar with discount booking sites including Hotwire and LastMinuteTravel and found the Palomar Arlington listed as a 4-star boutique hotel in Arlington on Hotwire.com. The rate was superb - $76 per night - a nice discount from the $240+ on Kimpton’s website.

Upon reserving our room, I called Kimpton and linked my In-Touch rewards membership to the reservation. In-Touch is great; its free to sign up for, and you get tons of great perks when you stay at Kimpton hotels, including free wifi, preferred amenities and a $10 minibar credit for your stay.

I use Room77, a great website that lets you see the view from each room, to request a particular room. Hotwire booked us in a basic 250 square feet deluxe room with no view (well, views of downtown Rosslyn office buildings...so not much of a view). I determined that room 1210 was the best room in the hotel for a room with 2 queen beds in terms of view (overlooking Georgetown and the Potomac River) and size (300 square feet). I called Kimpton and they made the clique “we’re at extremely high occupany on those dates and you are in a standard room, so we’ll see what we can do but it is unlikely.” Considering that that room class was going for $310 per night, I thought it unlikely.

I did everything I could prior to the stay to ensure the best experience and we were set to go.

Upon arriving, the hotel entrance was...dead. Other than 4 black Lincoln Town Cars waiting to take guests to various places (for a fee, of course), there were no valets, no bellhops, absolutely no one in sight. We didn’t have much luggage staying for one night, so that wasn’t a problem, but if you were coming for a week and needed a bellhop or luggage cart, you would be out of luck.

After we unloaded and went in search of a valet, a gentleman came out of the Waterfront Tower (the adjacent office building, they share the entrance) and took our car for us. This is a minor flaw in the hotel design; the semi-circular entrance is far too small for the hotel alone, not to mention a HUGE office building next to it! And with the Lincoln Town Cars parked around the circle, there’s very little room to get your vehicle through (thank goodness I have a car; I can’t imagine getting an SUV through there!)

We proceeded to the 4th floor to check-in. I agree with the others; the 4th floor check-in seems like a bit of an afterthought....almost like they designed the property and thought “oh crap...we need a front desk.” I also don’t like how you have to take 2 elevators to get to the ground floor, stopping over at the 4th floor, but understand that design was pertained to guest safety even though Rosslyn is not exactly “the hood.” With this design, you have to stop at the 4th floor and switch elevators to get to the ground floor to exit onto the street. That said, the lobby (or as they call it, Living Room) on the 4th Floor was very nice; modern, but tasteful. They served wine in the evenings, as well as apple cider and water for the younger guests. In the morning, hot tea and coffee was set up for self-service. It was a nice touch.

The check-in desk was extremely small and there was only one person working it. However, I shortly discovered that it wasn’t much of a problem. Being at “extremely high occupancy,” I expected a line, or at least to bump into another guest during my stay, but I saw no one. Actually, I saw 4 people in the lobby during the wine reception, but we never shared an elevator with anyone, never waited in line at check-in or check-out, anything. I suspect they were at very low occupancy and just fed me that line earlier. But I can’t complain; it was nice, quiet, and relaxing.

Our room on the 12th floor was right across from the elevator bank and there was no noise whatsoever. The elevators in this hotel are superbly quiet, which is very nice. Upon entering our room, I was pleasantly surprised. It, like the 4th floor living room, was modern, but tasteful as well. The beds were large, the windows framed the tremendous view I was expecting, and the furnishings were top-notch. There were some flaws; the TV did not work and it took two calls and over an hour and a half for a technician to come fix it.

In a travel industry where hotels are competing for the best beds, Kimpton falls short. Each of the two queen beds had only two “real” pillows on them, and I crave tons of pillows (4, at least!). I’d rather have to take pillows off the bed than have to call down to housekeeping and request additional pillows...and I think most people would agree. Additionally, Kimpton In-Touch notes you’re preferred pillow preference (mine being down/feather) and the pillows were hypo-allergenic. The mattress was firm, which is my pet peeve with all Kimpton Hotels, they have the same firm mattress. A featherbed sure would help. And for being dressed in Frette sheets, they were a bit scratchy (though I’m not THAT picky). However, the sheets in my bed were dirty (see photo) and I don’t find that acceptable at a higher-end hotel.

I was sad that they forgot to give me my $10 mini-bar credit at check-in, but there wasn’t much appealing food in the MiniBar. A bottle of Fred water was $7, and candy bars were $4, if I recall correctly. Something a bit unappealing: an “Intimacy” Kit - I’ll let you guess what it contained. I’m sorry-when I’m staying in a hotel, I don’t want to think of people....in the bed I’m sleeping in.

As for the bathroom, it was very nice overall. Despite being small, it was well-designed. The pocket door was tremendous space planning, and the vanity was very nice. It was well lit, I’ve never seen pendant lights in a bathroom, but it’s a great idea I might steal when I decide to upgrade my own! A complaint others mentioned; the shampoo, conditioner and shower gel are wall-mounted in the tub/shower unit. I think it feels like a cheap gym rather than a high-end hotel, and urge the new owners to get rid of them ASAP! The shower also had no water pressure, which was a disappointment.

I did not dine at the in-house restaurant, but glanced at the menu. It sounded good, and I’ve heard great things about Domaso, but there’s much better food around then hotel food-especially Ray’s Hell Burgers, which is within walking distance.

Overall, the experience was so-so. It is not on the AAA 4-Diamond List this year, and I think it has fallen to about a 3.5* level. I would give it 3.5* if I could, but chose to give it 3* because it certainly is not a 4* hotel. Still, it is a solid hotel and a great choice. The location is amazing for tourists, as you’re just a short metro ride to all the areas of downtown, and can walk to Georgetown. Most DC locations can’t beat the convenience of Rosslyn.

It will be interesting to see what Le Méridien does with this property. I certainly hope they don’t refurnish the hotel; it is very nice as-is. They have been given a great foundation; an absolutely beautiful hotel that is pretty well designed, except for the 4th floor lobby arrangement. If they can improve the service and fix the small touches in the rooms, they will be well on the way to becoming a 4-diamond hotel again.

Safe travels, and anyone visiting the DC area is welcome to contact me via personal message or on the Travel Forum for hotel, restaurant and tourism information!

Arlingtonman13

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank arlingtonman13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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