I stayed at the aloft for a night with my extended family while we were on our way to the Outer Banks for vacation. It was just after Hurricane Irene had come through, and we stayed here overnight while awaiting the reopening of the Outer Banks.
I was actually very disappointed with this hotel. I had never stayed at an aloft before, but was excited to try one, as I am a big fan of Starwood hotels and the W chain. I was hoping aloft would offer a similar experience to W, at a lower price point. I’m in my twenties and embrace trendy and modern, but I think this hotel really misses the mark.
We arrived at the hotel around 10 pm to check in, and right away the front desk staff turned me off. They were very unprofessional. The staff doesn’t dress professionally at all, and they were standing around talking to what appeared to be their friends visiting them at work, rather than helping guests. Even beyond that, check-in was extremely slow, although I wasn’t quite sure why. It seemed as if it was painful for them to check us in and welcome us to the hotel. Another guest who was also checking in was having similar issues. There was some sort of problem with his reservation and it just didn’t seem that the staff had any interest in helping resolve the issue. The attitude was more ‘tough luck’ than anything else.
Beyond the check-in, the lobby itself isn’t nice to me. I look for a hotel to be a relaxing and serene place, and this sure isn’t that. The music was absolutely blaring, beyond the point of being fun for a hotel lobby. The music is so loud that we were literally shouting to check-in. This isn’t really how I like to be welcomed to a hotel, and I was embarrassed to bring older members of my family through this space. Everything in the lobby also just looks very industrial and mismatched. I assume this is an attempt at being trendy, but I just think it comes off looking cheap.
We had 2 rooms, a regular room with 2 queens and a handicap-accessible room with 2 queens for my grandparents. We had requested that the 2 rooms be near one another. They were luckily both on the top floor of the hotel (away from the lobby noise), but still at completely different ends of the floor. Not a big deal, but I think the hotel could have done a better job of honoring our request.
The rooms themselves are ok. The handicapped room was actually much nicer than the regular room. It was in a corner of the hotel and was much larger, in order to accommodate wheelchairs. In addition, it just seemed to have higher ceilings. The only real difference was that the shower was just an extension of the bathroom with a shower curtain, so I was told water leaked all over the bathroom.
The regular room we had was a bit small. The rooms are modern and decorated predominantly in white and gray. They’re very drab, and nothing impressive at all. I think the non-traditional layout of the rooms is meant to hide the fact that the rooms are really very small. I was a fan of the bathroom, though, with its great shower. I liked the design of the shower with a frosted glass panel to let in light from the room. The sink area, which is separate from the shower and toilet, did have a lot of counter space as well. The sliding door that closes off the shower and toilet was quite heavy and awkward to try to close. Instead of an actual closet, the rooms have an area to hang clothes by the bathroom that has a curtain to pull across. There was nothing functionally wrong with the room. It was clean and relatively new, but it was nothing special to us.
In terms of location, this hotel is located just off of I-64 (the hotel is right on the edge of the highway), but we didn’t hear any highway noise. It is positioned sideways in relation to the highway, so I don’t think any rooms overlook the road. It is located right by a mall and variety of chain restaurants and shopping centers. It is positioned in a row of several hotels that all face each other and somewhat share parking lots. Our room looked out at the SpringHill Suites next door. It was a convenient location for us, since we wanted to get right back on I-64 in the morning to continue our drive.
Also, be aware that there aren’t ice machines on any of the floors, despite there being ice buckets in each room. You can ask for ice at the front desk, which I did, but they provided one very small bag of ice. This wasn’t enough to refill a cooler that we had. It was all the ice that was in their freezer at the moment, and the staff didn’t offer to get any more ice above this small quantity or let us know when more would be available. This was just another example of mediocre service.
All in all, I was disappointed in this hotel. The rates are great, and I was hoping for a hotel that lived up to the W brand that it advertises being a part of. I guess you get what you pay for. The staff left a lot to be desired, and the lobby itself was incredibly unpleasant. It was too loud to be fun. The regular rooms were drab and small, really nothing to write home about. The hotel served well enough for one night, but with the large number of hotels in the area, I don’t think I would choose to come back here in the future.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Aloft Chesapeake is located in the vibrant Southeastern Virginia region, adjacent to the world's largest natural harbor and the world's largest naval base. We're a short drive to the U.S. Coast Guard Finance Center, Norfolk Naval Base, and Norfolk Naval Shipyard. Norfolk and Virginia Beach are right nearby, so head on over for a seaside escape. This stylish Chesapeake hotel features free Wi-Fi, an indoor pool, and rooms that offer a flat-screen TV and a refrigerator. Breakfast is served each morning. The w xyz bar serves cocktails and snacks along with a light fare. Guests can workout in the fitness center or use the business center that offers fax and photocopying services. A games room that offers billiards is also available. Chesapeake Planetarium is 6 miles from Aloft Chesapeake and MacAurther Center Mall is 20 minutes drive. This property is also rated for the best value in Chesapeake! Guests are getting more for their money when compared to other properties in this city. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Aloft Chesapeake Hotel Chesapeake