VA Travel Guide
The Key Bridge Marriott in Arlington, Virginia--Marriott's second and longest-operating hotel--let us know that the hotel is "finally moving into the 21st century" by joining with AT&T to put fast WiFi in all the guest rooms, suites, meeting spaces and the lobby.
Due to the switch, guests can get online faster and have up to 12 times more bandwidth and reliable connectivity. To celebrate the new wireless provider, the hotel is offering free WiFi for all guests in the guestrooms on May 16 and May 17. The only catch is the WiFi will only have a 2-megabytes per second (mbps) capacity.
Nothing says the mountains of Virginia like some floral decor!
Yup, 2012 is a leap year, which means not only do we gain a whole day in February, but also that we'll be seeing hotel rates 'leap' down in celebration of the quadrennial occasion. Like at the 3,000-acre Homestead in Hot Springs, VA, where guests are being offered a buy-one-get-one type deal for all of 2012.
With a booking period that lasts only from tomorrow until Friday January 6, anyone who books a room at the hotel will receive a second night starting at just $29. Gee, kinda makes us wish it was March 1 that's considered the leap day, and not February 29, so we could bring that number down to a nice clean $1. But we don't make up the calendars!
The fruits of the renovation debuted five brand new design concepts from the check-in area to the restaurant and of course, up in the guestrooms. We were able to peep at some of the new designs via computerized renderings but we've only just noticed an actual photo of Hilton's new Technology Lounge pictured right here.
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Making the internet rounds yesterday was the story of Joy Bricker, a 79-year-old woman who has spent the past ten years living at the TownePlace Suites Falls Church. And not 'living' as in, she commuted every week between the Virginia hotel and her home. No. The hotel itself was her home, and she loved it.
As she numbered off to the Washington Post the perks of living in a hotel—no utility bills, free breakfast, free wi-fi—we were suddenly struck with the idea that we, too, might enjoy the prospect of life in an extended stay property.
For starters, the cleanliness! We'd never have to do another house chore in our life. And if we chose our room carefully, we might wind up with a killer view right next to our bed—now that is something we'd never get tired of.
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Our own Eloise, Josh Flagg recently took a trip down to Virginia where he made friends with a very interesting hotel restaurant"employee." Read on to find out more!
Have you ever met a cow by the name of Faira who serves you cheese table-side? Well I have!
If you visit the uber-chic Inn at Little Wahington (which incidentally is not in Washington D.C., but in Virgina), you will have one of the best meals of your life in this quaint hotel.
The Inn at Little Washington is basically in the middle of nowhere. Driving there, I was sure I had made a wrong turn. Amongst all the goats and tractors, and old abandoned barns, I was sure I was not on my way to a Relais & Chateaux five-diamond resort but alas, all of a sudden, there it was!
This is a day that HotelChatter has long been anticipating--the day when Hilton Hotels & Resorts reveals a new look for their hotels. And all that should be going down today at the Hilton McLean in Virginia.
That's where Hilton will unveil five new brand design concepts ranging from the check-in area to the restaurant and up in the guestrooms. These design options will not be rolled out immediately in all Hilton hotels but they will be an option for owners to place in new and existing hotels if they want.
We've been waiting for Hilton to up their game, especially after their competitors Marriott, Starwood and Hyatt threw down the gauntlet by deflagging under-performing hotels and introducing new brands like Aloft, Element, Edition and Andaz Hotels.
It's not often hotels beat their projected opening dates, and it's even more remarkable from the Renaissance Arlington Capital View because the hotel
is already* will likely be LEED certified, a process that's ordinarily more complicated than Charlie Sheen's interview schedule. Last we heard, the place would open in April; they're now taking rezzies for March 9 and on.
The Renaissance corporate blog says the opening date for the hotel—situated a four-mile cab or short Metro ride from the heart of D.C.—is March 9 and promises "grand opening deals." Our initial test bookings revealed no such thing, with weekday rates starting from $299 whether you're shopping for next week or April. But punching in promo code SB4 reveals weekend stays for as little as $139, including breakfast for up to two adults and two kids.
Btw, it must be coincidental but there's some humor in the fact that the hotel's website URL contains the word "waspy." Doesn't get more Arlington than that!
*Update: The hotel's PR writes to clarify that "the Renaissance Arlington Capital View has been designed to receive a LEED Silver Certification, which we hope to receive later in the year," meaning it hasn't actually secured the LEED oak leaves just yet. They also confirm an opening date of March 9—it was initially listed on the corporate blog as March 16—putting the property ahead of original schedule.
Whichever way things swing in 2012, one thing's for sure: a new Renaissance is headed D.C. way. Well, a Renaissance Hotel, at any rate. The new hotel, scheduled to open next March or April is actually in Arlington, VA, but conveniently close to Reagan National Airport and just over the Potomac from D.C.
The Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel will be LEED-certified and, according to its website, have "the soul of a boutique hotel with the location and amenities suited for business in and around the nation's capital."
Note: We are working on trying to bump up the volume on the vid a bit. Stay tuned!
The Cambria Suites Roanoke in Virgina has filmed a very special edition of Pitch Your Hotel just for us. Here is Joy Barlow, director of sales, letting us know why guests should stay Cambria Suites on their next trip.
Here are some highlights--all-suite accommodations (see below), a huge lobby space for socializing, an indoor pool and spa and our fave, free WiFi. As is to be expected, all this goodness means rates are a bit higher than the other Choice Hotels, around $129 a night. But new hotel + suite + free WiFi = A-OK in HotelChatter's books.
Have you stayed at a Cambria Suites lately? Tell us what you thought!
If hearing that Tiger Woods' divorce settlement could cost him $750 million made you consider trying to get your own money career in golf, Keswick Hall can get you started with its Keswick Club's Golf School for the Novice.
Okay, the new golf school doesn't promise you'll be swinging clubs like Tiger, but you'll learn the basics, like choosing the right ball, hitting it out of the bunker and even talking like a golfer—apparently only amateurs say, "I'm going golfing"; proper par parlance is "I am going to play golf."
Wine-pairing dinners at a hotel restaurant? Wine tastings in the lobby? These are all things we can get behind but we'll raise our glasses even higher to the newest hotel trend: hotel vineyards.
The latest hotel to get planting is Virginia's Orient-Express jewel, Keswick Hall, where they expect the first harvest in the fall of 2011 or 2012, depending on the quality of the vines.
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More Hotel Halloween Doggies! What more do you want on this Friday afternoon before Halloween? These awesome photos come to us from the Hotel Monaco Alexandria, which held its Howl-o-ween Costume Contest on Thursday. And just to show anyone worried about puppy labor laws that canine concierges do have a chance to clock off and get loose, here is the hotel’s Director of Pet Relations, bichon frise Charlie getting into the Halloween spirit. He’s dressed as chef Derek Simcik from the hotel’s restaurant Jackson 20—right down to the tattoos.
Then there was Scooby, decked out in Oktoberfest lederhosen, who took home the Top Dog award of the evening. (Kudos for hitting two October festive occasions in one, Scoobs!)