Not for business travel or couples
Just got back yesterday from a ten night stay at the Embassy Suites on Diagonal in Alexandria, VA. After 10 consecutive nights, I got a good feel for the property, and I am certain I would never consider staying there again. Alexandria can be a fun place (Old Town), with lots of nice restaraunts, bars, and shops, but there are better places to stay if you are on business, are a senior, or part of a couple. My spouse is staying on in Alexandria for another week of work, and has moved to the Hilton across the street. He is much happier there and reports that it is much quieter, less chaotic, and more business-friendly.(internet access was poor to non-existent at the Embasssy Suites)
He said he is also able to eat breakfast there in peace, something not possible at the Embassy Suites.
The Embassy Suites is geared to families with lots of babies and young children, and school groups of middle school/jr. high age kids. If you are conerned that your family will be messy, noisy, and may not behave well in a hotel, you can stay here without fear. We heard kids in the hall at all hours, playing games, running, and screaming. Also, we observed lots of family dogs here, so that is worth considering if you have a pet you wish to take along. We saw that as many as 5 or 6 kids can be put into a suite there, so it can be very economical, if you can handle that kind of close quarters. According to the houskeeping staff, 5 or 6 kids to a suite was common, so it may be an option for a big family. The housekeeping staff also told us that the property is full of kids year round and is always very noisy.
Of note: we observed wads of chewing gum on the floor in the hallways and elevators and almost stepped in it a few times. Managers reception in the PM was an incongrous combinaton of adults tossing back beers, wine and mixed drinks while babies and toddlers screamed, crawled on the floor, and spilled drinks. Ater observing one person change a smelly diaper of a baby a few feet from the bar, I left and never returned. Breakfast is an ear-splitting event, and very unappetizing, with kids handling most of the pastiries and muffins before they decide which one they wish to choose to put on their tray (unlesss they change their mind and put it back). I stuck with just the coffee. The breakfast buffet offerings were exactly the same all 10 mornings I was there.
Our suite was not vaccummed most of the days we were there. I left in the mornings around 7:30 AM and returned some days at 3:30 or 4:00 and it was not cleaned yet.
After chatting with a few of the housekeeping and front desk staff about the excruciating noise level in the hotel, they all pointed me in the direction of the Hilton as the better place to stay if you do not have a crew of children with you or need to do some work. I would urge you to take their advice.
Great location for Metro
Our family of 5 just got back from a stay at the Embassy Suites in Alexandria Old Town. The room was very nice, including a bedroom with a door, leaving a separate room for the kids tv viewing. Typical Embassy Suite, Frig, microwave, 2 tvs, sitting area, plenty of room. We could not get the in room video games or internet access to work and no one was ever sent out to help with that, but that was not a big deal with us.
The Metro is directly across the street and very easy to use. After a long day of sightseeing....to walk off the Metro and into your hotel is very nice. The trip on the Metro to most sights is between 20-40 minutes.
The included breakfast buffet was a plus, hot cooked to order items but the exact same fare every day.
The only thing we disliked was the pool. It was not that it was too small, which it was. The problem for families with kids was the abundance of enforced rules. Life guard on duty and rules enforced.....no diving (this one is a given), no jumping (simple jumping off the side of the pool will get you thrown out), no throwing balls, no one under 12 in the hot tub, even when with a parent. This was the most sedate pool I have ever been to. (If you don't have kids you may love this pool :) On vacation, we count on the pool as a break for the kids to work off some energy.....they for the most part are very restricted at this pool.
The hotel has a free shuttle to many local restaurants which was also very nice. Once we arrived we did not need our car again until we left.
We had a wonderful week of weather and the crowds were minimal. (June 19-24). We hope your trip is as great
Great Place to Stay
My family (2 adults/2 children [14 & 9] Just returned from a four night stay (7/6-10/05) at the Embassy Suites in Old Town. The hotel and the location (right across from the King Street metro station) were great. The staff were very friendly and accommodating and the breakfast in the morning was very filling, and the nightly manager's reception was a welcome reprise after sightseeing all day. We would definitely consider staying here again.
We headed down to see the Holocaust museum and decided to make a night of it so we stayed at the Embassy Suites, it was perfect. We arrived just in time for the Managers Special Cocktail hour, enjoyed a few cocktails and some snacks and the kids were itching to get into the pool. They had a swim and we went up to the room and ordered a pizza and watched an in-room movie. The living space was wonderful, I had packed up some snacks and a bottle of wine so we had a perfect evening. The room was very nice and had a huge living room area and a fridge.
The parking garage was just off the atrium lobby so we stowed our stuff in the car, ate a wonderful breakfast had headed just across the street to get the metro into DC. We had to be back by 5 to get our car or risk paying an extra day (parking was $15 per day) but it wasn't too hurried. We will be back for our next DC adventure!!