More about Hawthorn Suites Alexandria DC Area
Prepare to be overlooked and underwhelmed
Having stayed at a lot of hotels, I can say this is one of the worst. It took forever for me to establish an internet connection, the breakfast was the same thing (over and over), the manager's reception was the same thing (over and over), and THEY STILL HAVEN'T CREDITED my frequent stay account, even though I have pursued this three times.
I think it says a lot that I am writing a review 1 1/2 years later -- this has kept me fuming, and to alleviate my disgust, I'm hoping that this review will do the trick so that I can be at peace.
Make sure you get proof that the bill is paid
Accomodation was ok, certainly not dirty BUT I am not impressed with their accounting system! I booked and paid through Accomline.com for a stay in May 2006. December 2006 I find that I have been charged for the stay again on my credit card and do you think that I can get any help from either Hawthorn Apartments or the online booking company - NO - I can't
So just be a bit wary of booking online and at the very least make sure that you get proof from the hotel that you have paid the bill even though it is with a voucher.
No HVAC, Internet down, noisy, dirty, smelled... the staff were nice
OK, let me start off by saying, I like my room cold when I sleep. Usually, at most all hotels, that is easily accomplished. Unfortunately, this hotel is not like most hotels. It seems as though (since the building is an old apartment building, turned into a hotel on-the-cheap) they only change from heating to air conditioning once a year. What does this mean? Well, in the spring & fall the temps change from one extreme to the other...but not their HVAC system. EXAMPLE: On the third day of my stay, the temperature outside was 80 degrees. No air conditioning means I’m sweating going to sleep. Some people may find this a minor inconvenience. Believe me, when I was in the military, I slept outside in the snow, and for months in some of the hottest places on earth. That was then. I wasn’t paying for a place to stay, so it didn’t matter, now it does. Additionally, since they offer discounts to bus loads of people, you may be in for a treat late one night. There is something about kids screaming and running down the hall for hours late at night and early in the morning that I’ll remember this place for. The rooms smell funky. Internet was questionable at best. You never knew if it was going to be up or not. It went out on me starting Friday night until Sunday morning...nice. Not like I wanted to do any work from the room. Looking at the rooms and everything else, I decided to forgo the free food offer. I’ve had food poisoning before, so I’m not going to risk it for some free goodies, thank you very much. The staff were very nice. I feel sorry for them having to work in a place that reminds me of a flop-house with individual rooms. If your standards are low, you won’t be disappointed with this hotel. Oh, while I’m at it... One of the comments was to make sure and get proof that your bill has been paid, especially if you paid from an online site (like I did.) Well, that just isn’t a possibility. They refused to give me a receipt when I left. The online retailer is the place you get your confirmation of payment from....thanks again. Additionally, another person, a travel agent said she sent a bus load of people to the hotel. My question is,”What kind of travel agent sends people to a hotel they have not inspected?” Especially when you read reviews that have mixed feedback. Trust me, the reason they met you at the door and hugged you, was to make sure you wouldn’t run away!
Second Time at Hawthorn .... Loved It!! ....Nice Staff, Clean Rooms!!!
I recently returned from my second time staying at the Hawthorn Suites. I must say that I cannot get enough of this hotel nicely tucked away in the suburbs of DC. The breakfast is still great with more food than I could ask for. The free dinner was a great way to end the day, it even includes free beer. The rooms are very clean, and the staff are friendly. Best of all, the suites are huge with more room than your typical hotel. I highly recommend this hotel to anyone who doesn't want to spend an arm and a leg on lodging and food.
Not Really a Hawthorn
We booked through priceline and they said they had to "upgrade" us to two double beds. This is the first time this has ever happened to us.
The hotel is not really a Hawthorn Suites. It is an old hotel that is licensed under the name.
Small elevator, yucky carpet. Just not what you would want from a hotel.
I would never ever stay here again.
a very mixed bag
My sister and I chose the Hawthorn suites because of its price and apparent convenience, and although the rooms are very spacious and the waffle breakfast is worthwhile, overall the hotel was not very cheap nor very convenient.
First the rooms are quite big; a full size fridge, range, and stove were provided, as was lots of closet and storage space. However, the water in the bathroom was always cold, no matter what time of day or night we tried to take a shower. No shampoo, conditioner, or hand lotion type of extras are provided so be sure to pack accordingly. Also, there was no temperature control for the rooms except for a window. There is heat and air, but apparently they are seasonal.
The front desk staff are very kind and friendly, though the support staff quite rude, especially the shuttle drivers and the breakfast staff. They expect tips even when they talk on the cell phone your entire ride to the train depot, or when they refuse to refill the milk containers.
Most importantly, the hotel rooms may appear cheap but we spent just as much if not more money than we would have if we had stayed in a more central hotel: 1) there is a $20 room tax per night that is not added into the room rates you are quoted; 2) the shuttle costs in tips, and though the hours for the shuttle seem generous, we ended up missing the shuttle every night and had to take cabs which were about $12 a trip; 3) If you do not have a car, you will be hard pressed to find food for lunch or dinner; we ordered take out most nights which became quite pricey (though the take out in the area was quite tasty). 4) The hotel is really isolated and though near a mall, I would not say it is in walking distance, so you'll need to take a cab to get to a grocery store, post office, or pharmacy.
To be fair, it did seem like the hotel was working on each of these issues and trying to meet its patrons' needs. They just aren't quite the hotel they want to be yet.
On a recent stay here, I was very impressed with a number of things in this Hawthorn Suites. It was very easy to find, accessible to the interstate, and while not directly on the Metro line, they have a drop off/pick up shuttle to the near by station. Although there is not a restaurant on site, every morning a hot breakfast buffet, with cereal and a waffle maker are available. There are several restaurants nearby. Free wireless internet is also available, which is a plus for those who cannot live without a computer!!! The staff is quite accommodating...very patient housekeeping staff for us "late risers". The rooms were kept quite clean throughout our stay, also. The front desk staff was courteous and helpful. There is a guest computer, with printing services, available in the lobby. When this computer was not functioning, as computers will do, the staff set me up at a computer in their office to complete online check-in with the airline. All in all, the stay here was wonderful and I highly recommend Hawthorn Suites in Alexandria, Virginia.
We booked this Hotel in combination with Jet Blue as a package deal. No more! Reservations were made in February and paid for. I called one day prior, to advise them of our early arrival. Understanding that we wouldn't be able to check in, just if we could lock up our luggage and come back when the room was ready. They stated no problem. When we arrive at 8 am and advise them of our intention, Cory scurries around to find the key for the "Security room" to no avail. We end up leaving our luggage in the office. He says come back at 2. We come back after 2 and are told rooms still not ready. Yet we see busloads of people milling about. We settle into the only piece of furniture a sofa and wait. At 3:00 we ask again the status of our room. Only to be told there is no room for us. Told them they better figure our something. Half hour later (we are still seated on the couch) the head of sales, Joe and 2 other employees approach us and tell us that we will have to go to the Residence Inn for one night and then come back the next night and they will have our room. Told them I don't think so. Said we are one of 5 other couples that will suffer the same fate as people had extended. We sat there for another half hour before I went to the counter to ask what was being done, and was told they were working on it. The attitude was very inappropriate, as if I caused the problem. The only problem I caused was I never should have booked there in the first place.
They found a room for us on a floor with 50 kids from a tour group. In fact we later fourd out from other employees that they always overbook. This hotel is a tour bus hotel. In fact we spoke with members of several tour groups and they got these huge suites they didn't even need and we couldn't get the basic room we paid for.
The doors slam like a prison. Who cares that you have a kitchen, there is no way to have any food as there isn't a grocery store within walking distance. The hotel is isolated. Even though it appears on the map that a shopping center is nearby. It is all uphill. The hotel will take you to the Metro station, and 3 days later we found out from other guests that they will drive you a 5 mile radius even though nothing was ever explained to us.
They do provide a breakfast in the morning. the same items daily, make your own waffles, powdered eggs, enemic potatoes and microwaved turkey patties.. Not even a coffee shop to go out. Overall it was the worse experience we have ever encountered, poor location, poorly trained staff, bad food, no local information or walking maps. The current Alexandria magazine states this hotel has recently been refurbished. That won't occur until this summer. Travelers beware. Pay more money and stay in Crystal City and use the Metro.
My wife and I, and our 4 young children, stayed at the Hawthorne Suites for 3 nights in April 2007.
We called a month ahead to ensure we could get adjoining rooms, and the clerk said it would be better to call within a week of our check-in since they could not assign rooms that far in advance. So that is what we did, and we were told our rooms would be adjoining.
So far so good, but at check in, when I reminded the clerk we needed adjoining rooms because of the kids, he looked at me dumbly and said that the hotel has no adjoining rooms. I said we had reserved these, but he said it was not that they were out of adjoining rooms, but NONE of the rooms in the hotel are adjoining. We would have left, but since we Price-lined the rooms, they were already paid for and not refundable.
When we went to the rooms each only had 1 full-sized bed. I asked that we be moved to rooms with 2 beds, but the clerk said they had 102% occupancy, and nothing else was available. He assured me that he "would leave a note" for the morning crew to assign us new rooms for the next nights. The clerk would not give any roll away beds because he said our rooms were too small and that would be a fire hazard. He agreed to send up a baby crib.
When the baby crib arrived, a nice $$ tip $$ got us 1 roll-away bed, but the maintenance man said that was all he had. We crammed into our rooms for the night.
The next morning I spoke to the desk clerk about the new rooms. He said that he was too busy to help me since there were so many people checking out, but if I stopped back at at about 1 p.m., that would be the best time to get reassigned. At the appointed time I again visited the desk, and the same clerk again said that he could not help me, and could’t I see that he had 8 new arrivals waiting to be checked in. A half hour later I visited the desk, and the same clerk said that the hotel was again full, and there were no rooms to be reassigned. This was a pretty bad experience, and I don't think I will Priceline rooms again, since once the rooms are paid for, the guest loses much power to change the situation.
This hotel had many pluses: a lot of free food, interesting views from the 9th floor, free parking, a a tiny kitchenette, with very old appliances, next to the room door. Our stove burners didn’t work, but they did fill the room with gas when we tried to turn them on. The hotel really should remove these shoddy appliances. I didn't like the idea of so many other guests having the same opportunity the start a fire or have an accident with the gas.
Great Service, Hotel So-So
This was a spring break vacation for our family, a time when LOTS of people are traveling to the D.C. area. We booked this hotel somewhat last-minute but still got a pretty good deal. We used Priceline's "Name Your Own Price" feature, asking for a 2 1/2 star hotel at $75/night.
The first thing I will say about this hotel is that it is obviously an older building -- narrow hallways and tiny elevators. It has a fair amount of charm, though. I noticed some stylish coves in the plasterwork.
Each room has a kitchenette, including a microwave, range and refrigerator. These are nice features if you are trying to eat on a budget and want to bring your own food with you.
Our room overall was nice, with the exception of the bed which was rock hard. The pillows were bricks. Being an old building, the sound abatement is not great. We could hear almost everything that was said by the guests next door. Also, this hotel is situated between an interstate highway and a busy through street (Van Dorn). So, if you require an extremely QUIET environment for sleep, you may not like this hotel.
I know that many travelers are concerned about the crime in the D.C. metro area, however we felt very safe in this neighborhood. Alexandria is a very nice town.
We had a child traveling with us and requested a rollaway bed (our room had a king bed only). However, the hotel did not have rollaways available. Fortunately, we had called the hotel before we left home to find this out. We went to KMart and got an inflatable mattress that we took along on the trip. Otherwise, someone would have been sleeping on the floor.
Despite these shortcomings, we had a relatively pleasant 3-night stay. The Hawthorn's best asset is its staff, which was very responsive and friendly. They really seemed to care.
This hotel has a free hot breakfast and free afternoon "heavy" hors d'ouevres which could constitute a dinner meal. The breakfast fare is decent, but the afternoon food wasnt' that great. Still, the price was right!
The fitness room had some newer weight equipment and a treadmill. We didn't have time to work out, but the facilities appeared to be as good or better than most hotels. There is an outdoor pool but no indoor pool.
The hotel is just a 10-minute drive to the Alexandria historic district and the nearest Metro station (Van Dorn St.) is just 2 minutes away. The hotel provides free shuttle service to and from the Metro station every half hour.
The Metro (train) was a convenient and affordable way to travel into Washington D.C. to see the sights. The 30-minute ride into D.C. cost about $2.50 for a one-way trip.
Considering what we paid for this hotel, I would say it was overall a decent value. I would have been very disappointed if we had paid the standard room rate of $140 a night.
JumpingJOE, VTer jgattuso, Alexandria,Virginia,USA
Video at the beginning of the tour
The J20 Bar