Value Score Average Value
Good For Couples
Westin - Alexandria's Carlyle Area
OK, Priceline really outdid themselves this time. $80 for a nice, new, elegant Westin Hotel? Nice! Sure it was about $100 with fees and taxes, but that sure beats regular rates of $230 to $300 for the same room.
This beautiful hotel is located on the edge of Old Town Alexandria on the Court House Square in Carlisle area, just a few blocks from King Street Metro Station. The have a beautiful open lobby, valet parking for $24 a night (or free on-street parking between 6pm and 8am), a pool, a great fitness center (with TVs build into the aerobic machines), and a restaurant and bar on site. The rooms are great with big 32 inch TV, massive king-sized beds, and brand new furniture.
My only complaints are wi-fi, cell coverage, and room views. Wireless internet ran a steep $10 a night (if the Days Inn can afford to give free wi-fi, why can't the Westin?). Cell phone reception in my room was horrible as it would cut out every 30-45 seconds; if you rely on your cell for business while traveling, don't stay here! Finally, the view from my room was the roof of the pool or dining room and the neighboring office building about 40 feet away--not even worth opening the blinds...
For my money I'd rather stay at the Residence Inn in Rosslyn where rooms are cheaper and bigger, parking is half the price, most amenities (even a great breakfast) are free, and you are closer to the metro and to some historic sites like the Iwo Jima Monument and Arlington Cemetery.
The area is named after John Carlyle, a merchant, landowner, and one of the founders of Alexandria. Much of the Carlyle area is brand new and more construction is underway. This area is home to the Department of Commerce's US Patent and Trademark Office, whose 7,000 employees are located in five beautiful buildings in the center of the district that were just completed in 2006. Also located here in Carlyle is the Federal District Courthouse, just across the street from the Westin Hotel. This is a quiet area, but there are several cafes and lunch spots, as well as a couple of bars such as Joe Theisman's.
The Westin and the Carlyle area are accessible from either the King Street or Eisenhower Metro Stations, but if you are going to spend this much on lodging, you might as well stay in Old Town or in the city of DC where there is much more to do close by (unless you are doing business with the Patent and Trademark Office!).
Follow up three weeks later. The hotel overcharged me by by about $80. I called once and was immediately transferred to the accounting office; I left a message that was never returned. I called back a week later, explained my situation to a front desk clerk and she agreed that I was overcharged, and assured me she would pass my information to the accounting office and all would be resolved. Another week went by with no change in my credit card bill and no return call or e-mail, so I called a third time. During this call the guy at the front desk (I think his handle was Kenny) again agreed that I was overcharged and said he could take care of it himself right away and that I would see the cash back in my account within a day or two. A week later, more of the same. Finally I just contacted by credit card company, filed a disputed charge claim, and let them deal with it. After all the traveling I've done in the past 15 years, this is the first time I've ever been forced to dispute a charge. Nice, Westin, real nice.
Suite Corner Room
This is probably one of my favorite all time chain hotel rooms. I can't give it the top spot but top three would be easy to argue for.
This is a new hotel that just opened in October/November 2007. So everything is still bright and shiny and new. The staff included.
They did not have a public self serve parking lot so valet was the choice. And I can tell you the cash I left in the car inadvertently was still there the next day. They even commented I shouldn't be so trusting elsewhere. Which I found funny since the valet was a last minute thing upon arrival and I was thinking about cleaning out the car.
The check in went very well. They were kind, attentive and very happy to see me. I'm just a lowly SPG gold but they upgraded me to a corner room junior suite. As you should always do in this situation I said thank you and was quickly told I am a gold and it was their pleasure to have me in the hotel. Overkill but a nice touch to think they believe the customer is a guest.
Unique Quality: This brings me to the room. 457. It is on a lower floor which usually goes against my wishes but the neighborhood is so quiet on the weekends that it was not an issue. But the room itself was AMAZING. The door is on the far left side so everything opens to the right as you walk in. Across from the door are the closets and the bathroom is all the way to the double right being the first part you come to. After the bathroom it opens up into the largest junior suite I've ever been in. Even bigger than the Hampton Inn Downtown Albany. In the room to the left is the TV which looks to be about a 50" LCD complete with AV hook ups. The Westin Heavenly king bed is on the right. The hall way is also the pivot point of the room as it is a corner but only about a 30degree corner. So the TV is slightly to your left as you are in bed.
There is also a full desk by the window in the bed area and a couple of chairs and sofa with a small table nearer the TV.
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