Nice re-do, a few problems A review of Sheraton Suites Old Town Alexandria
I picked the Sheraton Suites, Alexandria, because with our 10 yr old, we wanted two rooms, an indoor pool(more about that later), closeness to DC and a more intimate neighborhood than nearby Crystal City.
We arrived tired about 9PM. Reviews here had already prepared me for the $16 parking charge but the rate was decent, $99 and though I feel this charge is outrageous, it is only 4 to 8 more than other hotels in the area. The lobby was nicely turned out for Christmas and felt modern with marlbe like floors, but average otherwise. Clerks were friendly, with a bellman was available to help with the bags. I asked for a higher floor room than the 3rd floor suite I was given, and the clerk explained that 4 higher floors were closed. Turned out the 10th floor was open but I was too tired to call the desk and ask to be moved.
There is an elevator directly from the garage to the lobby. The hallways to the suites are done in a modern yellow and gold, and are bright and attractive.
The suite was two small rooms, a living room with queen sized sofa, an upholstered chair, a desk with an ergonomic desk chair, a television, a small microwave and refridgerator, and a deep sink. The bedroom had a king size bed, a three drawer dresser, a full small closet, and a television. (The TV's have about 16 free channels, including HBO, but,
not Nicklelodeon or Disney). There are wide french doors joining the rooms in the middle with sheer door panels that give some, but not complete privacy. The one bathroom can be accessed from both rooms, a nice touch.
The less than one year old re-do of these rooms was quite stylish with designer touches. One bedroom wall had a textured, striped wall covering in deep blue. The duvet on the bed was striped as well in lighter blue tones, the couch and chair were deep blue, and the black out curtains were deep blue paisly. Nice lamps, a sleigh headboard on the bed, and nicely toned furniture, with mauve wallpaper on the other walls rounded the rooms.
Starwood, Sheraton's parent, has attempted to standardize their bedding, and these suites offered their new bed, made by Sealy. It was firm and supportive, with a decent pillowtop, but it was short of being luxurious. My wife found it a bit too firm.
Housekeeping was spotty, though the room upon arrival was clean. New cups were not put out every night, nor old cups washed, and the vacuum could have been used more efficiently.
When we ordered more pillows and towels, they arrived promptly.
In general front desk were helpful, and apologetic, when the time came.
In Virginia, you need a lifeguard to staff your pool. The hotel cuts its pool hours seasonally but does not advertise this on their website. When the long, 3 ft deep, nicely heated pool was open, the lifeguard was very pleasant, but because hours are not convenient to touring, we swam only once in 6 days, a big dissappointment. There are lifeguards willing to work other hours- this is simply a bottom line call on the hotel's part, and we were not pleased.
As others have noted, the restaurant's posted hours are not always respected, and we generally stayed away. However. front desk personnel were always helpful in their suggestions on where to eat, and there is a decent coffee shop across the street for reasonalbly priced breakfasts, as well as a small supermarket down the street for snacks.
Alexandria's King Street has a wonderful variety of small storefront restaurants, good small shops and a very pleasant atmosphere. We ended up eating most of our dinners here.
All in all, I tended to think of the hotel as above average, but the pool hours, the hotel's restaurant, and sloppy housekeeping downgraded my rating, and especially my wife's overall impression. My 10 yr old would have been happier with the Disney channel, and especially more swimming time.
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