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“A great hotel that is only getting better.”

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Aloft Richmond West
Ranked #17 of 23 Hotels in Glen Allen
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Level Contributor
17 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“A great hotel that is only getting better.”
Reviewed January 1, 2010

If you want the short version, here it is for the attention-span challenged:
GOOD:
-Great Rates while the hotel is new - I expect they will go up in the coming year.
-Very Pet friendly
-Beautiful, comfortable, functional modern rooms
-Flat screen on wall great for watching TV in bed. Audio/Video hookup for all types of players.
-Bliss bath products smell great
-Breakfast/snack menu reasonably priced and convenient.
-Staff very friendly and attentive
-In great neighborhood with rapidly growing potential

NOT-SO-GOOD
-Some construction in the area - and your low rate reflects that growth!
-Finicky hot water in stand-up only shower, no shaving/sitting ledge in shower
-Map/address inaccurate - off exit 178A, on West Broad Street, behind Whole Foods/REI
(As you can see, the good far outweighs the not-so-good!)

I traveled to the aloft Richmond West with my husband for our anniversary/New Year's Eve. We wanted to get out of town but not go too far or spend too much money, and the aloft was letting rooms at a Grand Opening price of $89. (We booked through their website.)

GENERAL: We arrived around 5 PM and found an empty space right up front - there is a parking deck under construction attached to the hotel but I'm not sure if it was open: the parking right out front was very convenient and we didn't have trouble finding close spots in our coming and going - it was surprisingly not-busy for it being a brand new hotel on New Year's Eve.

To address some comments below, yes the parking lot is not paved - it is dirt and gravel so if you'll be mad that your shiny SUV gets dirt on it, you should park on the street or use the garage (if it is opened.) The paving of the lot has nothing to do with the aloft hotel, but rather the construction company in charge of the whole center/complex. I'm sure the aloft would love to have it paved as much or more than their patrons do!
Yes, nobody is standing around downstairs to greet you or take your bags, but this isn't the Ritz-Carlton - there were a few trolleys hanging around in the lobby for your luggage, and I'm sure more could be requested from the front desk.

The front desk is not on the ground floor - you can either take the stairs up to the second floor or the elevator, both located in the entryway next to a beautiful falling water element. Please also note that this elevator only services the parking garage levels and the lobby/check-in area - you can't get to your room from this elevator.

CHECK IN: Check-in with a polite gentleman named Carl was quick and easy even though the phones were ringing off the hook and there was a small queue in front of me. There are also kiosks you can use to check in with the credit card you used to make the reservation, but since I wanted to use a different card I checked in at the desk. (Helpful note here, if you are traveling with pets, mention it at check-in or take your dog with you: they apparently have a pet pack for you to use that includes a water bowl/toy/treat/tag/etc and get you to fill out a form.) To get to your room (if you are on the 3rd-5th floors,) you must use the elevator past the check-in desk, between the re:fuel area and the bar. The 200-rooms are off to the right of the check-in desk.

HOTEL INSIDE: Very modern, clean, and fun! The lobby has a pool table, fully stocked bar, computers for your use, hand sanitizer station, re:fuel (snacks and small meals) area. It's very airy and the colors are bright and energizing without being overpowering. It looks like a really cool area to just sit around and socialize, play a game, or have a drink. Even the elevators are modern - they play rock, classic rock, dance, alternative, and other various crossover genres at an audible but not deafening volume. When we checked in, the carpet in the hallways was sparkling clean, but due to the rain we've recently had by the next morning with all the comings and goings of the guests, there was some mud tracked around near the elevators. I'm sure this will disappear as housekeeping makes its rounds.
The bar/lounge area filled up one evening (more so since it was New Year's Eve) and yes, the music is loud, and yes, people mill about. I thought it was fun and lively, but once the elevator door closes, the sound goes down 3-fold. We couldn't hear a peep on the fourth floor. I was told that sometimes you can hear the bass on the 3rd floor, so if you're a light sleeper or easily irritated, I would request a room on the fourth or fifth floor.
The re:fuel station has great prices for a serve-yourself option. Cappuccino was $3.00 and tasted great - and that coming from my husband who drinks a lot of coffee and spent several years in Italy. He said it was not too bitter but still had a nice robust flavor, and enjoyed watching the machine make it for him. Drinks ranged in price from 1.00 for milk to 3.50 for a mocha. Food consisted of sandwiches, fruit, pastries, hot and cold cereals, and nothing was much more than $8.00.

ROOM: WOW. WOW is all I can say. Modern, fresh, economical, efficient, fun. Yes, the rooms are not extra spacious, but I generally don't need to do cartwheels in my hotel room and there was plenty of room for my husband and myself to maneuver around one another. Honestly they're more efficient and spacious than the rooms in our house because they are so well laid out. Thought was definitely given to best use of the room space.
The door closes like a bank vault, so watch your fingers - it goes slow at first, then heavily swings shut as it nears the jam. There is a single-cup coffee maker and free safe in the room. The coffee maker only comes with one each of regular and decaf coffee, so if two people want coffee you might want to request an extra pod. There is green and decaf black tea as well. There's also a mini-fridge (no freezer) and hairdryer under the sink.
The bathroom itself is beautiful, tiled in blue-green solid and textured pieces with an enormous mirror. The bathroom DOES have a door (I know someone said it didn't) - it slides out from beside the sink area and has a mirror on it as well. All Kohler appliances (beautiful bowl sink) and Bliss shower products. The shower itself does not have a bath tub, it is stand-up only. My only complaints with the shower were that it was pretty fiddly to get the hot water right - it took several minutes to come up to temperature, and by that time you were all soapy and had to step out of the stream to turn it down so you didn't boil yourself. (Except my husband. He likes coming out looking like a lobster.) There was also no ledge - there was a grab bar at about waist height, and it made me glad that I do a lot of yoga because I had to stand on one leg and jack my other one up in the corner of the shower to shave my legs. This could be a problem for anyone who wants to shave but can't balance or bend over.
There are a few magazines on a rack in the bathroom (Spin and Conde Nast Traveler) and it was great to have some "bathroom reading material." There's a closet (a space with a hang bar and ledge - definitely enough room to hang up suits or dresses) with a curtain over it and several shelves to store your things. Some people say there's not a lot of space, but when I travel I a.) don't pack my entire closet and b.) don't feel the need to take everything out of my suitcase. There's plenty of room to hang things up or keep them off the floor. I could easily store enough clothes for a month and my entire shoe collection (nothing to sniff at) on the space provided.
The bed (we got a King) was huge, and the comforter was soft and plush and warm without making us sweaty. The mattress is firm without being uncomfortable, and soft without making my back hurt. It's hard to describe, but I slept like a rock on it. I love platform beds too, which this one was - it was a great height - not too low that you couldn't sit on it comfortably, but not too high. There were lights over each side of the bed so I could read while my husband dropped off to sleep.
The flat screen TV in our room was mounted at the PERFECT height to watch in bed. We ordered a movie (Zombieland, even though it's not out on video yet!) and while the price is higher than a rental at 13.99, it was more relaxing and fun to watch it in our beds, and certainly cheaper than going down the road to the Cinema. If you'd rather bring your own movies, there's a dock with Audio/Video/HDMI/DVI component imputs of all kinds, so bring your Playstation/iPod/iPhone/Computer and the cables you'll need as I'm not sure if the hotel will provide these or not. But it connects directly to the TV and supports HD, so the next time we stay we'll definitely bring a few movies on our iPhones to watch. The decor is beautiful and includes a little bench/couch under the TV and two desks with one chair in front of the windows.
I was told that they shampoo the carpets after each person with a pet checks out - free of charge. (I was told this after we told the very helpful, generous, and nice Kathryn who was working that morning that my husband spilled his coffee on a small part of the carpet near the bathroom, and they replied that they'd be steam cleaning the carpet anyway so it was no problem.)

NEIGHBORHOOD: The hotel is (as previously stated) located on West Broad Street behind Whole Foods/REI/Home Goods and a luxury condo/apartment complex. Much of the neighborhood is still under construction and is not finished. When the whole place is finished and retail companies move in, I expect the price of the aloft Richmond West to shoot up - it is going to be a FANTASTIC area. There's a sign right next to the hotel advertising a coming-soon day spa. There will be a Books-a-Million right across the street, and many more nice retail spaces still waiting to be rented out. It will truly be a great place to walk around and shop. My husband and I walked down a block to Dave & Busters one night and played some games - $15 got us a good hour's worth of play there (and we burned a lot on many consecutive games of ski-ball and the flight sim game.) It was also fantastic to go to Whole Foods (OM NOM NOM!) and REI (ouucchhh my wallet!) without leaving the "neighborhood." The area has major potential!

In conclusion, this was the best $89 hotel I think I will ever stay at. It is DEFINITELY a place made with a younger crowd in mind - I'm not sure that I see my grandmother or other non-active, non-modern non-youthful at heart people enjoying this kind of place. I'm almost a little sad to be writing this glowing review because I want to keep it "our secret" for now - but I couldn't help but want to praise it for a job well done. My husband and I have plans to come back regularly, as we love the area and now the hotel.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Wanderlust919
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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368 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (67)
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Virginia
Level Contributor
19 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed December 24, 2009

The Aloft is NOT LOCATED AT 3939 DUCKLING DRIVE. THE ADDRESS IS INCORRECT. Duckling Drive is a private residential neighborhood. You will find the hotel on WEST BROAD STREET near Whole Foods Market. The front desk person told us about the issue. He has told IT to make an update but they havent. He apologized, but it was very annoying.

The hotel is almost brand new. Barely a few months old. Its located within a shopping/apartment complex near plenty of restaurants. It does seem a bit understaffed. But the rooms are clean and the shower/bathrooms are fantastic. Really modern.

My only other complaint was an issue the next morning. The kitchen/re-fuel area lacked basics. Coffee machine didnt work. No food was available because the delivery man didnt show up. And the young lady at the front desk didnt deal with this until we forced her to.

I'll stay here again. Hey - can't complain too much. The rates were very good and you're getting a clean room as opposed to an older hotel where hundreds of people have used/abused the facilities.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Arkamus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Virginia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed December 15, 2009

OH MY GOD!!!! I fell into the "low rate trap" that is the hallmark of this newly opened "hovel"...What a disgrace....The parking lot is not even paved....get ready to roll through gravel...The hotel ( if you can call it that)...Sits in a deserted partially occupied shopping area...the main entrance is easy to miss....It looks more like a rear or side entrance....There is NO RECEPTION DESK when you enter the building....Good luck with your bags because there is no doorman or hotel employee to assist you....When I made it upstairs, I was greeted by a LOUD, overbearing young lady....The hallways leading to my room were dirty and the actual room resembled a throw back to my days at summer camp....The matress on the low to the ground platform bed was thin....AND there were large dirt stains on one of the walls,....the closet space was tiny and the doorless bathroom was directly behing my headboard (separated by a thin headboard).....I repeat RUN....When I went the rate was $79....I LASTED 20 MINUTES BEFORE FLEEING TO A nearby Westin......I see the ALOFT's rate has dropped to $59......Don't be fooled......As I said in the title....RUN IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION!!!!!

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
Thank Weekends4us
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richmond, Virginia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed October 18, 2009

Stayed here on the beginning of our anniversary trip. Absolutely loved the Euro-modern, hip atmosphere, along with the efficient use of space in our room. We both thought it was exceptionally comfortable, cozy, romantic and on the cutting edge of the future of hotels in this country. The room had water/energy efficiency which is very exciting to see. We had a room with an over-sized shower, which was a huge hit!!!

The only downfall I see for this specific hotel is that it's off of the road, behind condos in West Broad Village, away from view. Although, that does provide some peace, as well.

We dined at Firebird's Rocky Mountain Grill and shopped at Short Pump Town Center that evening. All around great intro to a wonderful anniversary weekend!

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank RVA_Grrrl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nashville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
63 reviews
63 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed October 16, 2009

I've always enjoyed alofts, so I was very excited to get a room at the brand new aloft in Richmond for only $89. First, the hotel is extremely hard to find - it's behind a Whole Foods in the middle of a still-under-construction condo/retail development. Also, the parking area is not finished, so you have to park in a gravel lot.

After those minor inconveniences, the lobby is clean and fresh with pool tables, a small lounge, and a convenience store. The room itself is quite nice, too, with a glass shower, sliding bathroom door, coffee maker, flat screen TV, and safe. The shower has built-in Bliss Shampoo/Conditioner and Body Wash dispensers, so no fumbling around with (or waste from!) small bottles. The big thing I missed was a guide to the hotel - I could never find the fitness center! And, the walls aren't exceptionally thick as I could hear the housekeeper vacuuming the room next door and raising/lowering the shades.

Net, aloft is a cool, trendy hotel that will be even better when they finish up construction and get up and running.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Brad A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pennsylvania
1 review
Reviewed October 4, 2009

Perhaps I should have read the one and only review for this hotel posted at the time I was looking for a Richmond hotel a bit closer. The reviewer was right, this hotel is not for everyone and certainly not for me. I can appreciate modern and chic, but this hotel offered nothing I could appreciate. While I liked the concept of the walk-in shower instead of a tub, in reality the shower did not make up for all other shortcomings. Lighting was an issue - if one needed to use the the bathroom during dark hours, there was no way to do so without having light glaring into every inch of the room and disturbing the other roommate. But most upsetting, the room just was not clean and all indications were that the cleaning staff was very well trained. When we arrived, I found used coffee in the coffee maker and I had to clean "stuff" off of the shower floor before using it. And, although the hotel is new, the carpeting was unraveling and generally grimy. The parking situation was ridiculous. But the worst thing was the incredibly, and I mean incredibly loud music that was blasting from the 2nd floor lobby on Friday night. We could not hear it from our 5th floor room, but it was unacceptable to have to walk through the crazy loud music in a lobby jam packed with "young adults" partying wildly at the bar. This hotel is more like an extension of college complete with dorm rooms and a social hall. The personal even acted more like work-study college employees than hotel employees! Even check out was a bad experience. We attempted to use the electronic check out station and worked our way through screen after screen, only to get a message at the end to go to the desk. At the desk, we were greeted by the back of the attendant who would have never turned away from surfing the net and eating his cocoa puffs had we not requested his attention. Walking out was, by far, the most enjoyable part of our stay.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Ebbandfl0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
61 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed September 2, 2009

This is a terrific property - the other "select service" hotels have a lot to worry about. While the rates will undoubtedly go up, this will be a competitive hotel in the market.

Rooms are a bit unusual ("loftey"), and the hotel might not be for everyone (especially those in 40s >> Baby Boomers), but for those that like The Standard and W Hotels, there is nothing else around like it.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Josh L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Aloft Richmond West

Property: Aloft Richmond West
Address: 3939 Duckling Dr, Glen Allen, VA 23060-5895
Location: United States > Virginia > Glen Allen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #17 of 23 Hotels in Glen Allen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Aloft Richmond West 3*
Number of rooms: 135
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Aloft Richmond West is set in the hot new West Broad Village lifestyle center, just minutes from shopping at Short Pump Town Center, the Innsbrook Office Park, and downtown Richmond. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Aloft Richmond West Hotel Glen Allen

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