Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center
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Lesson of the day: Always try the beer sampler if you can. It’s totally worth it.
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PS. When I was posting this entry, I had a bit of a mixup with my pictures and they didn’t load with the proper titles and captions. The caption under the picture of the mummy ended up being, “Isn’t it gorgeous? I want to take it home with me…” Do with that what you ...
... routes, time schedules or hostels and it was thus a real adventure! We would simply go where the road would take this, and on Thursday, that was Hershey! Hershey is the chocolate town of the states where the chocolate factory of Hershey’s Chocolate is located. All lanterns were Hershey-chocolate-shaped and the Chocolate Factory as well as the Hershey museum were located along Chocolate avenue. Aka, this town seemed to be Willy Wonka’s paradise rather than just another place ...
... dates or years. The nation at war exhibition also seemed more than a little imbalanced. Three rooms told the story of the American Revolution and big Abe freeing all the slaves (take a look at Memphis for a different perspective on that), one panel covered the use of the atom bomb, one room covered the Vietnam war and strangely made no mention of the use of Agent Orange at all. Mattie did enjoy the cars in the history of transport (11) but Susie was even more annoyed by a exhibit ...
... us all round the city and over into the historic Georgetown area, by far the nicest part of DC, and it took up the whole day! The next day, we did our first batch of laundry in the morning after eating a mountain of chocolate chip pancakes at the diner below our hostel. In the afternoon, we went to the cinema as we'd seen everything the day before and it was all still shut. We saw the new Romeo & Juliet, it was really good, ...
... with real non fatty meat. They also change the menu so you don't see the same things every day.
We had dinner across the road in a nice pub style restaurant and settled back into our room at about 10pm and caught up with a bit of local area news before calling it a night.
Thursday: With the bus just outside our house, it was a short 10 minute ride to down town D.C. where just about everything in Washington is located for the thirsty tourist. Our hosts kindly ...
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Historical Traveler Reviews Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center Oxon Hill
Don't Go Now- Maybe Later
This property is far from ready to be open. I was there a week ago and they were painting and putting up wall paper on the hall on my floor. The room smelled, which I think was from new carpet and wall paper. The A/C never got cool enough, and showed 3-5 degrees warmer than what is was set. A staff person walked into my room unannounced and then claimed she did not know the room was occupied.
When I arrived the signage was terrible. I ended up in a construction area and when an employee came into the area refused to even acknowledge me- obviously lost standing there with bags. $19/day parking is a ripoff considering they have a multi-level deck that was less then 1/2 full.
The reception desk is over staffed but obviously not trained- the lines are long and it seems it takes 3 people to check someone in or out. The wait staff is not well trained at all. Sloppy is what comes to mind.
You can expect an expensive ride if you want to get into DC. The hotel is across the river in the middle of no where.
This hotel needs to close, finish construction, re-train staff, and get it together. I'd wait at least 6 months or more before I'd stay there again to see if the kinks can be worked out. Hopefully the mice will move on too. Stay in DC or Old Town Alexandria.
New Hotel Opening
My stay at the Gaylord National was from March 31 thru April 3. I have stayed at the Gaylord Texan and am aware of their emphasis on "customer satisfaction". The sky is the limit. This was the first week of the hotel's opening and anyone staying during that time should know that problems will arise during a hotel startup.
The concierge service was excellent and went beyond the call in helping us.
Good Luck Gaylord National--I know that you will continue the excellience that your sister hotels offer.
Seeing through the growing pains
Well, I must tell you that I was scared going into my conference at the Gaylord this past weekend after reading all of the horrible reviews. I am pleased, however, to write that our experience was a rather good one.
One thing that helped me was when the front desk told me that the hotel wasn't open to the "public" as of yet. It is pretty much conferences that were allowed in. I went in with the mentality that our conference planners knew what they were getting into, and that this was a new hotel/resort with lots of kinks to be worked out.
From a conference point-of-view things went very well. The food was good (we ate as a conference) and the meeting rooms were very nice. My room was beautiful and comfortable.....and no mice. They were still wallpapering the hall when I arrived, but that was done in a day. There was no room number on my room, but I looked at it as an adventure, and it worked out fine. The grounds were very nice, with some construction still going on. Prices were expensive in regards to food ($3.00 coffee), and they tend to nickel and dime you with resort fees, but I reminded myself that this was the Gaylord in DC! It ain't the Comfort Inn in central VA! Don't stay here if you don't have money to spend. No "deals" here, but such is life in nice resort type hotels in metropolitan areas.
So overall, I see lots of potential for this place. Be aware that if you stay here before the end of the summer, or later, you are part of their "test" group and you will have some inconveniences and construction.
While I realize that this hotel has only been open for 2 weeks, I don't see many of the problems we experienced being due soley to that fact. Yes, the mice are still there and no, they won't reduce your room charge even if one runs across you in bed at night (happened to one of our conference attendees). The service is terrible, far too few of their employees have been trained on how to service customers, or even what their jobs are. We were given incorrect and/or conflicting information constantly. My room was never vacuumed the entire time I was there and my TV had a timer issue which I could never resolve that resulted in it turning on at 2:30am by itself (I ultimately resorted to unplugging it). Two of our conference attendees were trapped in their bathrooms due to the door handles not functioning and two other attendees had everything in their rooms stolen (laptops, clothing, etc). It is $0.73 per minute to use the business center computers and $6.00 to print out your boarding pass. I could go on, but I won't. I also won't stay at this property ever again and I recommend that you don't either.
Do not waste your time or money
Let me start with agreement with most of the previous reviews except to ask,...How can a resort open when it's not even close to being ready IN ANY WAY????Then to add insult to injury the management has the audacity to host conventions and other private guests when people are getting ill??? I would never consider returning to this resort or any Gaylord resort in the future because in the end it's the top management making the worst decisions.As for the staff working there-I would think long and hard about working for a company that would put me in a position of constant negative and angry customers.
They're not ready to open
We attended a convention the first week the hotel opened. They used our convention as full paying "test" customers. We began to make a list of all the problems, but it became too extensive: incorrect directions to hotel on hotel website, ignoring us at the check-in counter, construction jack hammers working in guest areas until after 11:00 pm, mice in the guest rooms, a novavirus outbreak, giving our valet parked car to the wrong people, many areas unfinished-they were still installing emergency exit signs, too few places to eat and vastly overpriced food to name a few. They should refund our money and pay us for the use of our time to train their staff.
Norovirus and Mice
Having just returned from a convention at Gaylord National, I have to say, it is the worst experience that we have ever had in a hotel. We arrived on April 5th, and left on April 9th. The previous guests who had just left had the Norovirus, we had mice. We originally thought that they were get it together, but it never happened. If anything, it got worse. For us, it started with little things, the bags not arriving via the bellhop (this took an hour and three calls/trips to the desk). Then it was a three hour wait to get a water taxi (they were a fantastic crew) ticket to Mt. Vernon. We knew before arrival that there really wasn't any food to speak of in the hotel, unless you were prepared to spend at least $35 a head. Since we had found this out earlier, most people attempted to bring coolers. Gaylord in turn, confiscated the coolers, which then led to the convention gooers to simply leave the hotel. A few that had no means of leaving cheaply, ate there, and became ill. Some arrived at the hotel to find out they had no room furniture, or even a mattress to sleep on. And then of course, there were those little furry mice. I might call then rats, since the descriptions that were given were much larger than what I would call a field mice. We never saw them, but heard then on our last night there. You could hear them rustling around in the bags, and munching. The exterminator had been in the day before laying sticky pads next to our refrigerator, and air conditioner. Isn't this a health hazard in itself? The gym was functioning; the pool wasn't. On our last peek, it was still full of boxes, as was the garage full of furniture and mattresses (a gathering place for mice, I'd say). You can't sleep, as the music gets loader from the atrium, the higher the floor, the louder it gets. Asking them to turn it down never worked. The maid service is overwhelmed. They came twice out of our entire visit, then took the soap and towels, and never returned. They also never left the two bottles of water that you were supposed to get as part of the resort tax. Upon checkout, the system was down, so alot of people simple had to leave, and catch back up with them after they arrived back home. After all of this, they still didn't want to give you a discount for putting up with the place.
After 32 years of military travel, this is the worst experience, and we hope we never have to return. They need to go to another Gaylor hotel and take lessons on how to operate a hotel.
Okay but some Problems
This resort just opened it doors on 29 Mar 08. I stayed for 2 nights (5-6 Apr 08). Hotel still has a long way to go to work out the bugs before the opening around 27 Apr 08. Took about 45 minutes to check in as my reservations had been lost. I had printed out a copy with my reservation number - that helped that I had proof. The staff were very helpful and tried to fix the problems.
Be sure and check out the hotel web site for updates concerning current the norvirus alert. No one in my group got sick. However I did have a mouse in my room. The hotel did place mouse traps in my room and I did not see or hear any the next night. I was not the only guest to report the mice sightings. My room was on the 11th floor. When I checked out the parking charge was deducted for the inconvenience of the mouse. This is an adult hotel not kids friendly. Couples yes. I did not go to the spa due to the short time I was here but just looking at what was available -it sounded nice. The view from the room was great. Even though my experience was not perfect I do hope to go back when all the bugs are worked out.
Lots of glitz, lacking on basics
First of all, the phone service is lousy! I had no cell phone reception anywhere in the building. So, I had to resort to using the room phone. None of my incoming calls rang, and I would find out from a "message light" on the rare occasions the caller was able to leave a message. Then, when my wife tried to call me after 10pm or before 7:30 am, there was no one answering at the desk to connect her to my room.
After my first day there, I had severe gastrointestinal problems. I then learned that 60 people who checked out the day before me were found to have norovirus. I felt better in a couple of days, but I'm still not sure that I also didn't contract this horrible illness from the hotel or it's employees.
For such a huge, glitzy building, the basics were definitely lacking!!
House of Mouse
I am just finishing a stay at this new hotel right outside of DC. The hotel is visually stunning--beautiful atrium with a view out over the potomac--but it still has really significant bugs that it needs to work out. A few of the inconveniences: Wake Up Call system still doesn't work correctly; calls to front desk went unanswered for over 5 minutes; intermittent power outages; leaky roof; ongoing construction in common areas.
The hotel restaurants are incredibly expensive ($19 for a buffet breakfast) and the service is slow. Food was good, but not a value at these prices.
Also, there is a "resort fee" that I was not informed about at booking. The front desk kindly explained that this fee covered "amenities" like wireless access in my room, my morning newspaper and access to the gym/pool. All of these are generally considered free at my local Hampton Inn or Marriott Courtyard.
Most significant issue: rodents. I found a mouse in my room--twice. The front desk acknowledged that this was an ongoing problem and that others have complained. They claim "maintenance" investigated the problem, but I saw no signs of it (and given all the other issues around the hotel, I doubt maintenance had time to deal with it). I'm frankly shocked that the health inspectors would allow this place to open, knowing that there was an infestation. Front desk did knock half my room price off the bill, but only after I complained loudly and forcefully. Otherwise, they weren't willing to make any acomodation (not even a mention of moving me to another room).
The hotel will be nice, if they can get the bugs (and the rodents) out, but I'm not sure it will ever be nice enough to warrant the $300+ a night that they charge.