First of all, beware of the temptation to purchase advance reservations because the room rates are seemingly too good to pass up. It's one thing if you've been to this hotel before and were satisfied with the stay, it’s another to have never stayed here and find out that it’s a big disappointed and then not be able to cancel your reservation or get your money back because you got suckered into "the deal". Even as a Hilton Diamond member, which usually affords one some perks when dealing with hotels, couldn't get me out of this obligation. Read the fine print of the advance reservation purchase agreement or accept your lumps when you end up with buyer’s remorse like me. I would gather that Hilton offers these "specials" to those hotels that are harder to fill because believe me they don't have to offer them at the Hilton brand hotels that are newer or newly renovated.
I am a business traveler and I am a Hilton Diamond member. I accidently purchased advanced reservations at this hotel because of the price and because I thought the hotel I selected was a HI&S that I had stayed at previously -which was actually the HI&S Mt. Vernon/Belvoir, Alexandria South about 7 miles SW of this hotel.
As a business traveler for the past 5 years I have stayed in a variety of Hilton brand hotels but mostly Hampton Inns (HI's), Hampton Inn & Suites (HI&S), Hilton Garden Inn's (HGI's), Embassy Suites, and Hilton's. Hilton, like Marriott, has a list of differnt brands under its name sake and are tier-structured based on a standard variety of choices and amenities that the hotel offers. I listed the above from the lowest to highest tiered chains -although Embassy Suites are by- far my favorite. There has been a burst of new Hilton hotel construction and renovation of older Hilton brand hotels in the past 5-10 years so I have had the pleasure and some displeasure of staying at new HI&S hotels and unfortunately this hotel, which is obviously in need of a major room lift. Right now the lobby is undergoing a renovation and as much as I like entering a HI&S with the new modern clean style look, I would much prefer the money be spent on the rooms where it is definitely needed here.
I stayed in room 217 and the first thing I noticed was the old HI&S decor. It looked worn and outdated compared to the new HI&S standards. Most new and renovated hotel rooms have the room temperature controls via a thermostat on the wall. This room still has the push-button and dial controls on the AC unit mounted below the window.
Looking at the walls and ceilings you notice signs of damage that had been covered up with spackle or popcorn ceiling spray. There are old wall and ceiling outlets and switches that had been removed and covered with blank panels. Cigarette burns in the carpet or places where the carpet has bunched together.
Most new and renovated HI&S rooms have the dial-adjustable or memory foam mattress' on the beds. This room still had an old box spring and mattress set. You could actually feel the springs crinkle underneath you as you shift on the mattress. In fact, the mattress springs felt worn out and seemed to slope to one edge of the bed.
The furniture and bed linens, with the exception of the duvet, looked outdated compared to new and renovated HI&S's I have stayed at. The wall outlet cover nearest the desk was broken off and hanging by the power cord of the desk lamp that was plugged in and I experienced an electrical short when I moved the desk over to retrieve the trash can. There was only one phone in the room on the coffee table between the two queen size beds. Most of the newer hotels have another phone on the work desk.
Another pet peeve I have of most Hilton hotels is the hotel provided high speed Internet service and this hotel was no exception. It is so slow that I had to use my corporate aircard plugged into my laptop to get better service. An aircard uses the cell phone towers for Internet connectivity was almost 3 x faster than the Internet service the hotel provides.
Most newer Hilton hotels provide wired and wireless connection choices, my room at this HI&S only has wireless. I used SpeedTest.net and SpeakEasy.net to test the speed connection in my room and I got a measly .5Mbps or 512Kbps -which in this day and age is the equivalent to a dial up connection. As a business traveler I rely on the Internet to reach back to my corporate network through a VPN to do email, download presentations, documentation, and files necessary to do my job and at these paltry connection speeds I might as well not have any Internet service provided by the hotel. I would rather pay for a substantial connection then use what the hotel provides for free.
Unfortunately, this is problematic across most Hilton brand hotels. Most hotels purchase an already undersized Internet connection from an Internet Service Provider and then that bandwidth has to be shared amongst the number of rooms the hotel has. On top of that, to keep users from hogging bandwidth from others they put caps on the download speeds to each room.
If the Hampton Inn & Suites Alexandria Old Town Area South says they’ve recently renovated the rooms, then they must be talking only about the bathroom which does resemble the same style and décor of newer HI&S’s with marbled sink basin and counters, tiled floors and bathtub/shower.
Unlike Embassy Suites and Hilton Garden Inns which have cook-to-order full kitchens for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, HI&S’s serve only breakfast and it usually consists of the usual continental breakfast fan fare of dried cereals, juices, and fruits but they also have waffle irons to make your own waffles, some kind of processed egg product, bacon, and sausage. It also serves muffins, bagels, toast, and a small selection of yogurts.
I highly recommend that if you want to stay in the Alexandria area that you stay at the Hampton Inn & Suites Mt. Vernon/Belvoir-Alexandria about 7 miles up the road.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Newly renovated and upgraded two bedded rooms to 2 queen size beds. Free Hot Breakfast Bar each morning. Free shuttle service to Historic Old Town Alexandria and Huntington Metro Station. Meeting and banquet space to accommodate 250 people. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hampton Inn & Suites Alexandria Old Town Area South Hotel Alexandria
- Hampton Inn And Suites Alexandria Old Town Area South
- Hampton Inn Alexandria
- Alexandria Hampton Inn