Poor rooms, despite the nice pool and restaurants A review of DoubleTree By Hilton Williamsburg

We opted to stay at the Marriott this week because of its close proximity to the amusement parks. In the past, we've stayed at hotels closer to Colonial Williamsburg (like Embassy Suites), and had never had a bad experience. In retrospect, we should have stuck with what we knew, because we paid about 25% more for a relatively cramped room that was overall loud and unpleasant.

The Loud: if you didn't jiggle the toilet handle after every flush, it made a loud leaking noise. And the air conditioning/heating unit sounded like a freight train. We opted to sleep without air conditioning (in July!) in order to avoid this noise.

The Unpleasant: the rooms are small and not well lit, compared to other (cheaper!) chain hotel rooms in Williamsburg. The furniture was so small, and so piled up with appliances, that there was absolutely no room for the room service tray (though we considered moving the lamp and phone off the desk to make the room). We had to put room service on the floor.

Now for the commendables: the staff was excellent, and the main part of the hotel (lobby, restaurants, gameroom, pool) was so great that I'd be tempted to stay at this Marriot again one day, if only they'd update their rooms (or let us sleep in the lobby).

The Harvest Room restaurant has a decent range of very good food, and you can order that food from the Pitchers bar (if you want to eat in a more casual environment) or from Room Service. There's also a coffee lounge restaurant that serves Starbucks coffee and has a nice range of foods to eat there or back in your room.

This is important in Williamsburg hotels, because so many of their hotels have restaurants that specialize only in a particular kind of food (like spicy barbeque, or pancakes), which means you'll be wasting your vacation time looking for restaurants, so I really appreciated the range of "normal" good food at the Marriott.

But back to the bad -- the part of the hotel where you actually sleep is basically in another building (across from the outside pool area), and the layout of that building is terrible. You have to see it to believe it. I seriously got lost more than once in the poorly lit, labyrinthine halls, and it wasn't unusual to run into guests who were trying to find their way back to their rooms.

It's quite a hike from your room to your car, unless maybe you get one of the rooms at the very back of the building (near the trash dumpsters). And oddly enough, you have to use your key card to get in and out of the building, even from the gated pool area.

The rooms on my floor (ground level) had water leaks in the ceilings, poor lighting, inoperative appliances (like the phone), and overall an unmaintained air about them. And your laptop may not stay connected to the internet due to line noise (that may have just been my room, though).

If you could sleep in the lobby, this would be a five-star hotel. Unfortunately, when the pool and bar closes, or when you need to change clothes, you're "banished" to the Dark Labyrinth.

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DoubleTree By Hilton Williamsburg
366 reviews