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“Cool Concept, But Needs to Button Up a Bit”

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Aloft Dulles Airport North
Ranked #5 of 5 Hotels in Ashburn
GreenLeadersBronze level
Atlanta, Georgia
1 review
“Cool Concept, But Needs to Button Up a Bit”
Reviewed October 13, 2011

As a young 20-something professional, I picked the Aloft at Dulles for a business trip. The overall look of the hotel is fun and modern, however, the Dulles location needs a few things to make it truly stand out as a cool place to stay, that doesn't just "look cool":

1. Hotel staff needs to be a bit more buttoned up. "Trendy" doesn't mean "laid-back" necessarily. They're nice people and friendly, but not exactly quick to respond to issues and I feel like some customer service training wouldn't hurt. I say this as someone who used to work in the service industry -we had actual lines we were supposed to use that were all "yes ma'am, no ma'am, I'll be happy to..." that kind of thing. Polite with implied urgency, we called it. The Disney "Be Our Guest" Book might be a good jumping off point.

2. Room phone didn't work and I had to request twice that it be fixed. Once it was fixed, I could finally call for my shuttles and a wake-up call.

3. The plug and play station in the room is a novel concept, but each room should have its own cables set from maintenance. Mine didn't -and they said all the audio cables were in-use. The maintenance guy was nice and promised he'd get me what I needed, but never did. Why offer if you can't use it? I really was looking forward to plugging in my laptop to the TV so I could watch my HBO Go series.

4. The lobby bar parties take up the whole lobby. I needed to use the printer and found myself having to squeeze through a crowd of people to get to the office station. The office area needs to be moved away from there to avoid this issue -especially when music is pumping.

5. Food: I understand the "sleek" concept going on here, but why not offer room service at least? Maybe even a sit-down restaurant -separate from the bar? I felt compelled to take the shuttle to go get something to eat, as I wanted something hot that didn't involve the bar party or the little refrigerator sandwich case in the lobby. Not to mention, the picnic table full of goodies leaves you to find somewhere else to sit in the lobby. Get some of those IKEA two-seater tables for this area so people can actually dine and not feel like they're stuffing their face in the lobby next to someone who is lounging.

6. Wake-up call: Mine never came. It was a backup in case I slept through my phone alarm, but they never called or my room phone didn't work. Either way, people depend on those when they request them. Thankfully, my internal clock didn't fail me and I woke up at 6 on the dot.

Other than that, I think the Aloft Dulles is a nice place. I really did enjoy the room -though there could be more pillows on the bed and the bathroom sliding doors need to actually seal you off from the sink area. If I'd been here with my boyfriend, I wouldn't want us to be able to "hear" each other doing our business in there. I did really appreciate the free shuttle service, as it kept me from having to waste my company budget on taxis or a car rental -and the drivers were really nice. If your goal is young professionals as customers, just try to remember, we still want professional attitudes and service from our hotel.

Room Tip: Rooms higher up not overlooking the courtyard are quiet.
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank LaurenG393
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AloftAnna, General Manager at Aloft Dulles Airport North, responded to this review, November 7, 2011
Lauren G, your points are well-taken. Relaxed should not mean overly casual, a fine line that is walked daily in every aspect of the operation. Your observations are great, clearly those of an industry professional, past or present. We are glad that you enjoyed certain aspects but I am equally disappointed that we fell short in other areas. You have given me great examples to show the team; thank you again for the candor.

We hope that you will give us, or another Aloft location, a second chance. We are, and they are, truly much better than your first impression, I promise you!

Yours in hospitality,

Anna Lyons, GM
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Rating summary
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London, UK
Level 5 Contributor
30 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed October 11, 2011

I enjoyed my 6 nights stay at the hotel. It was my first time staying at an Aloft hotel, so it felt different as it seems to have a unique concept. Check in staff was able to book me in 2 hours earlier than check in time even though I did not notify the hotel that I was checking in early. Staff were friendly, the room was neat and had the usual things you would expect in a hotel room, good and free wifi, large flat screen TV, nice shower. It took me a while to know where the ironing board was placed in the room and I had to ask the chamber maid before I learned where it was. Parking was nice and easy with lots of bays. I didn't use much of the other facilities like pool, gym, etc as I was out most of the time. My flight out of the U.S was late in the evening, so I requested for late checkout the day before and it was easily granted.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Tats_UK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AloftAnna, General Manager at Aloft Dulles Airport North, responded to this review, November 7, 2011
Tats UK, I am so glad that the staff accommodated you so nicely both upon your early arrival and your later checkout! Starwood worked on removing clutter and opening up spaces. In the king-bedded rooms, the irons are placed in the small nook to the side of the bed rather than taking up space in the closet area; we did not mean to hide it! However, i am excited that your first Aloft experience was a good one. Please try out one of our many other locations, over 50 of them found all over the world.

Live Life Aloft!

Anna Lyons, GM
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Salt Lake City, Utah
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed October 11, 2011

We were booked for an entire week at Aloft Dulles hotel and looking forward to a contemporary type as described in on-line ad. The first room we were assigned to had a privacy rolling door to the bathroom that would not stay closed. This was not acceptable to my wife or myself. The two total rooms were small and were cramped. There was no luggage cart to use to unpack, as you had to use the wall desk, platform for this purpose. We requested another room, which they accommodated. Off to the new room. Upon entering we found that there was no under-counter refrigerator and again the privacy door to the bath/toilet would not stay closed, but rolled open. I opened the bed sheets and found hair in it. I called the desk and advised them and wanted our beds changed, which they did. The beds are as hard as a carpenter's board, plus they have a quilt that will smother you. The square white pillows are a joke, best you bring your own. We fixed the privacy door problem by wedging magazines between the wall and door to have privacy in the bathroom. We spent six nights at this hotel and it was six nights of backaches, tossing and turning to get some sleep comfort. I would not recommend this or any Aloft Contemporary Hotel to anyone, the rooms are pitifully small and uncomfortable to say the least.

Room Tip: Book at the Hilton Garden Inn next door.
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank PeteRobin101111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AloftAnna, General Manager at Aloft Dulles Airport North, responded to this review, November 7, 2011
Thank you, PeteRobin101111, for trying out the Aloft Dulles and Starwood's newest brand. The rooms are designed to be clutter-free with savvy spaces, high ceilings and lots of places to put things on, though not in. However, this does not excuse and/or explain some of the issues you dealt with during your week with us. The sliding mirrored doors do not latch but they should not roll open. The brand standard has recently changed on the pillows in terms of size. We are disappointed that you did not enjoy the beds as we often get compliments on the good night's rest our guests receive. The brand is certainly a cut from most and I do apologize that you did not enjoy your stay, as well as had Housekeeping issues. Please always feel free to reach out to the GM as I am certain that we would have been able to secure your 100% satisfaction, even if it meant transferring you to our sister property next door!

We do hope that you will give Aloft Hotels another chance in the future. There are over 50 of them worldwide.

Sincerely,

Anna Lyons, GM
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Travelers are raving about these Ashburn hotels

Dallas, Texas
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed October 10, 2011

Had another enjoyable stay at the Aloft. Enjoyed the outdoor space between the bar and the pool area....nice place to wind down. Platinum benefit here (drinks and snacks from the grab-n-go pantry area) was nice and more generous than other Aloft locations I've stayed at. On the downside, this location does seem to skimp a bit on the toiletries....other Aloft locations provide a better selection of the Bliss products in the room, but that's certainly not a major detractor. Other than that, I was pleased with the experience.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled on business
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank elrico93
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AloftAnna, General Manager at Aloft Dulles Airport North, responded to this review, November 7, 2011
Elrico93, we appreciate your feeedback. The Backyard is one of my favorite attributes of our Aloft location; the sunsets from this location are beautiful, even if you need to crank up the patio heater to enjoy it! We carry all of the Bliss products per brand standard including the massage bar and the lotion. The scrubbing facial wash has been discontinued. Thank you for your kind comments and your Excellent review; we LOVE our Platinum SPG guests!

Until then, Live Life Aloft!

Anna Lyons, GM
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed October 6, 2011

Very nice hotel
Very clean, upscale, large room with large bathroom, with refrigerator, large flat TV, free internet in room, close to airport with shuttle, great staff, all aloft hotels are nice.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank 13Bill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AloftAnna, General Manager at Aloft Dulles Airport North, responded to this review, October 8, 2011
Thank you, Bill, for a very complimentary review. We are proud of our brand, product and most of all, services. We are glad that you enjoyed your stay with us, as well as know about Starwood's newest addition to the family. If you haven't already, you should check out the two in New York, one in Brooklyn and one in Harlem, the latter is the first hotel to open there in over 40 years!

Thanks again. We hope to see you again in the near future!

Anna Lyons, GM
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed October 5, 2011

I stayed here one night. I booked through Travelocity's top secret hotel section, so the room was prepaid. Upon checking in I made it a point to ask if my reservation was coming up pre-paid when asked for a credit card. The guy at the front desk confirmed it was and that my card was just needed for incidentals.

Returned home a few days later and found a charge on my credit card for nearly the same as I was charged for on Travelocity. Long story short, every time I called a manager was not available to speak to me. I left two voice mails, after the second one I received a call back and a message was left that a credit was issued. 10 days later, still no credit received, so I had to open a dispute through my CC.

Needless to say, I won't be returning here and will advise anyone I know overnighting in IAD to not stay here. From others reviewing the hotel, it seems to front desk staff is under-trained and this is a common problem.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank NRSA4Fun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AloftAnna, General Manager at Aloft Dulles Airport North, responded to this review, October 8, 2011
I apologize, Chris V., for the credit issues you experienced at the Front Desk, as well as the difficulty in reaching a manager to help you to resolve the problem. This is not a typical problem as we daily deal with many, many prepaid reservations of a great number of sources, and these without any problems. Once the credit card company is involved, it does tie our hands but ultimately I hope that the issue has been resolved for you to your satisfaction. If it has not, please reach out to the hotel to give us another opportunity. I can assure you that we will not disappoint! I do see that you enjoyed other areas of the hotel and hope to have another opportunity to show you a flawless stay, from check-in to check-out.

Thank you again for your feedback.

Anna Lyons, GM
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bokeelia, Florida
Level 6 Contributor
320 reviews
59 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 155 helpful votes
Reviewed October 4, 2011

I always return to this property when I am in the area. It's not far from Dulles Airport and also near local NoVA activities. The staff are excellent and are always willing to go out of their way to make you feel at home. The bar was very busy with both locals and guests. That always makes for a nice mix. The rooms are set up well for a business traveler, with the exception of the closet. If you have a lot to hang up, it's not going to happen. The room was clean, but there were minor signs that a good cleaning was needed. For example, the HVAC vents were clogged with dust and there was rust stains in the shower. The workout room is nothing special, but at least its something. And, the pool/spa area is a great place to chill.

Room Tip: A little insider info, the training camp for the Redskins is just a couple miles down the road.
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Michael D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AloftAnna, General Manager at Aloft Dulles Airport North, responded to this review, October 8, 2011
Thank you, Island Man, for such a thorough review of your stay(s). It sounds like you are a loyal SPG guest, as well! You touched on the many attributes of a typical Aloft, including the lack of dresser drawers. However, I am so glad that you enjoy your stays with us and that you keep coming back. We try to keep our bar "happening" with salsa on Monday's, DJ Friday's, happy hour specials and other fun offerings. I will pass along your comments about the little Housekeeping touches you mentioned as all details are critical to a great stay.

Thanks for choosing the Aloft Dulles when you are in the area. We look forward to welcoming you back soon!

Anna Lyons, GM
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Aloft Dulles Airport North

Property: Aloft Dulles Airport North
Address: 22390 Flagstaff Plz, Ashburn, VA 20148-2402
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Virginia > Loudoun County > Ashburn
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Green Hotel in Ashburn
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Aloft Dulles Airport North 3*
Number of rooms: 136
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Chic and comfortable, the Aloft Dulles Airport North offers complimentary airport shuttle service to/from Washington Dulles International Airport and is located near the Dulles Technology Corridor. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Aloft Ashburn

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