by Wendy Irvine
The Holiday Inn is — and isn’t — an okay choice for families. You might think it’s a good choice for the easy and free parking, the very nice, large indoor pool kept at a balmy 86 degrees, the free Internet, the in-room fridge and the terrific laundry room with free machines (no coin slots in sight). And, of course, the alluringly low nightly price. Wow, I can hear you saying, sign me up!
Not so fast: let’s talk the Holiday Inn’s location. It doesn’t have one. The hotel is not inside the Old Town Alexandria hub so you cannot walk to the King Street Metro, the King Street Trolley and all of the King Street action itself. This Holiday Inn also does not provide a free continental breakfast, but does offer a full restaurant. The guest rooms are tiny with full-sized beds but very clean.
So with the one elephantine negative — no location — why choose the Holiday Inn SW? Well, it might work for your family if you want to avoid the hubbub of King Street and you’re looking for a fabulous hotel deal. (Did I mention that kids eat free in the restaurant?) So if you choose the Holiday Inn SW and want to breeze in and out of D.C. on the Metro (Eisenhower Metro Station is nearby and just one Metro stop away from the King Street Station), you can park for free at a Metro-operated lot on weekends and federal holidays. And happily finding a parking space is easy on most weekends.
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Our Editor Loves
- Large heated indoor pool
- Onsite restaurant
- Kids eat free
- Free Breakfast
- Free Wi-Fi
- Game Room
- Onsite Dining
Stayed for my second, and last, time at this Holiday Inn, which is convenient to where I need to work. Slow check-in and the front desk is understaffed. I reported a runny toilet and then had to report again. Finally, the flapper valve was replaced and the old one was really bad. The hotel would rather have runny toilets than maintain flapper valves. My second day at the hotel the cleaner skipped my room. I insisted at night when I got back to have my room cleaned. They didn't have a cleaner on staff but the person bringing me towels told me that I was the second complainant that day who didn't have the room cleaned. When I reported and said that I wanted the front desk person to put this complaint on the record and I asked if she heard me when she didn't respond, she hung up on me.
My accommodation receipt had been split into two separate payments and I asked for them to be merged into one and to be ready on my checkout. Of course at checkout another huge line and I asked the lady if she had it ready. She didn't know anything about it. Given the choice between getting the printed receipt I was promised after waiting in a long line or getting to the airport on time, I chose the latter.
Breakfasts were terrible for a vegetarian. Oily, fatty cooked items and fructose-rich break products. Every frequent traveler appreciates healthy tasty options, which are in short supply here other than the fruit.
The hotel is surrounded on most sides by freeways and restaurants in the air are not great. The best thing about the hotel's location is its close proximity to DC Metro's Eisenhower Station and thus just a several-minute ride to DCA. However, I am done with staying at this place.
I travel to Alexandria often, the company I work for has a number of local restaurants. This is by far the worst experience I have ever had. I am a member of the hospitality industry and exceptionally understanding of service issues but the number incurred at this hotel have forced me to write this review. Upon returning to my room after a long day at work, I found that the maid had neglected to refill my coffee dispenser with pods for the next morning. I called down to the desk and was told they were now locked in a cabinet that no one in the hotel had access. I asked that they take them from a vacant room and bring them to me and was told this could not be done either. When I asked to speak with a manager as I found this hard to believe, I was put on terminal hold and no manager ever came. I then went to turn on my TV and could not get any channels. An "engineer" was sent to my room and he determined that the signal was too weak to reach my floor. Really? I then tried to log on to the WiFi and couldn't either. I believed that it might be an issue with my computer so again called the desk to ask who their WiFi provider was or their Internet Service Provider in the hope that I could get to a help desk that might be able to assist. I was again told that they did not know who this was and that there were often problems with their WiFi reaching the upper floors. Again, Really? All of this at an average price of $279/night. I cannot believe that this hotel still carries a Holiday Inn franchise. On top of all this, while not the hotel's fault, this address seems to be a black hole for ride share services. Every single one had issues finding me.