by Wendy Irvine
There’s plenty to love at the Westin Alexandria — if you’re a business traveler. This beautiful Westin provides many amenities a professional would appreciate: a valet service, an impressive workout room with several new cardio machines, a whirlpool adjacent to the workout room, miles and miles of quiet (the place is a library), a full restaurant (albeit pricey) and a refreshing walk to the King Street Metro and King Street Trolley (although the Westin’s shuttle will zip you to both if you don’t feel like a stroll). Professionals won’t be thrilled to see the Westin’s parking and Internet fees, but they’re probably used to such annoyances. (And the lobby does provide a free Internet connection.)
But for a family on vacation? Not so much. The Westin Alexandria is near enough to Old Town, to be sure, but off the beaten path enough to feel a tad ghost-townish. (A small tumbleweed rolling through would have been eerie, but not surprising.)
The Westin Alexandria’s lobby is spacious and lovely with a giant marvel of a clock that is the lobby’s centerpiece. Yet, pretty lobby aside, I was concerned in the first moments of arriving that the Westin wasn’t designed with families in mind when a front desk staff person admonished — in a rather frosty tone — that I remove my boys from the revolving door. Mortified I said, “Oh, absolutely!” I quickly set down my bag, and marched off my two offenders (who think revolving doors are hilarious) with efficiency. Like a mom in charge, I ordered them to immediately sit quietly in the two chairs far from the revolving door or else! My two boys, looking hurt, slunk away and didn’t make a further peep. Later I felt bad that I’d let one woman’s tone make me feel like a scolded kid myself. So you get the picture: the Westin staff appears to be more comfortable with the kind of person who doesn’t take immense delight in a revolving door, um, revolving.
The Westin’s small indoor pool was a no-go for my kids. The boys might have liked the small backpack handed out to the kids with a colorful map, crayons, cute postcards and a sweet hat in it as part of the Westin Kid’s Club program. But the staff forgot to pass out the backpack to my kids.
The decor of the Westin is a head-scratcher too. I love understated decor with shades of light coffee and cream, but the Westin’s decor is plain to a fault. I’m not suggesting all hotels sport the bright designs that boutique hotels are known for, but somehow the interior design team missed the mark on this Westin.
The hotel’s restaurant, The Jamieson Grille, is pricey, so not a good choice for families on a budget, but the staff will direct you to a fabulous breakfast at Table Talk, which is an easy five-minute walk from the Westin. Locals are a regular part of this diner, the plates are loaded and there’s no revolving door in sight.
Westin is a worldwide hotel that features more than 30 specifically family-friendly resorts with exclusive amenities for kids. Learn more about Westin Hotels and Resorts, read Westin Hotels and Resorts.
Our Editor Loves
- Onsite restaurant
- Complimentary shuttle to King Street Metro and Trolley
- Indoor heated pool
- Connecting Rooms
- Family Room 5+
- Onsite Dining
Just left this great hotel. Came for a work conference and experienced so much more. Will definitely come back. Solomon- the free shuttle driver was a wealth of information and gave excellent restaurant and site seeing advice. The hotel cleaning staff was phenonmenal, and the service was great. Fantastic amenities within the hotel, great food, and atmosphere. I am coming back with the family!
by Andrew H
I have often stayed here for work but recently stayed here when running in the Marine Corps Marathon. The neighborhood is very quiet outside of business hours during the work week. The hotel is clean and modern and the staff was kind and helpful.
If you stay for the race, it's a great option- it's very walk-able to the expo shuttle at the Eisenhower Avenue Metro stop. On race day, it's a quick Metro ride from either King Street or Eisenhower to the start village at the Pentagon. Coming back is equally easy from either Rosslyn or Arlington Cemetery stations as most people are heading the other way to get into the City.
Also, the hotel is a quick taxi/uber ride or Metro ride to National Airport (DCA).