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.
- 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