Residence Inn at Carlyle, Alexandria, VA Reviews

Residence Inn at Carlyle, Alexandria, VA

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Residence Inn at Carlyle in Alexandria, Virginia - All The Comforts of Home.

May 8, 2012 (Updated May 8, 2012)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Decent location, competitive pricing, nice rooms, spacious, clean, comfortable, free quality meals.

Cons:Parking lot small and slightly expensive for the area.

The Bottom Line: Within walking distance of Old Town, but is not quite in the heart of the action.  There are nearby restaurants, but most attractions are ten to fifteen minutes walk.


I recently had the pleasure of staying at the Residence Inn at Carlyle in Alexandria, Virginia.  My daughter was accepted into a summer internship near Washington DC, so I needed to find a hotel nearby that would honor a free night certificate I had earned from Marriott.  The certificate was good up to a Category Four.  This hotel is a Category Four hotel and fit my needs perfectly.  The normal nightly rate at this hotel is $249 or higher, although they have weekend special rates as low as $119 per night.  The hotel is located at 2345 Mill Road, Alexandria, Virginia.  It is about a ten minute walk into Old Town from the hotel, which is not a difficult walk. 

Parking at the Residence Inn At Carlyle is limited.  There are four spots at the back of the building set aside for check-in parking.  There is no room near the front entrance of the hotel for parking, although there is enough room for two cars to drop off guests prior to parking, if necessary.  The hotel has on-site parking in an underground garage.  The entrance is adjacent to the check-in parking.  This parking is open to anyone, but it appears hotel guests are given first priority.  Parking is eighteen dollars per day.  I arrived back at the hotel late one evening to a sign that said the parking lot was full.  I pulled into the parking garage anyway and was able to find a spot.  My visit was on a weekend when the hotel was not at full occupancy.  I would guess that parking may be more limited during the week.  There is another public parking garage nearby that only charges twelve dollars per day.  Hourly parking is two dollars per hour.

Check in at the Residence Inn at Carlyle begins at 3:00 PM.  I arrived a bit early on a Saturday, arriving at 2:00 PM.  I inquired at the front desk about checking in and was promptly given a room.  As a frequent Marriott guest, it has been my experience that the hotel will check you in early if they have rooms ready.  I wouldn’t push it much more than an hour early.  Check out time is scheduled for Noon on your day of departure. 

After getting my room assignment, I was given a small parking tag to hang from my rearview mirror.  The parking garage has several levels.  It is not a large parking garage, which makes access to the elevators fairly convenient.  Even if you have to park near the back of the parking garage, it is not a difficult trek to the elevators.  I was able to carry my bags, but the hotel does have a concierge or luggage carts available to guests.  The elevators require your room key to operate and you can go directly to your floor from the parking garage (I have stayed at plenty of hotels that operate a different set of elevators for the parking garage, requiring you to cross a lobby to get to the room elevators).  This was convenient.

My room was on the fourth floor, facing Jamieson Street.  The room was laid out similar to other Residence Inn hotels I have stayed at.  The room opened to a small kitchenette with a table for two.  The kitchenette was stocked with a small supply of plates, pots, pans, glasses and utensils.  The room included a dishwasher and cleaner designed for use with the dishwasher.  Because I was only staying one night, I did not take advantage of the kitchen. 

Beyond the kitchen is a bedroom/living room divided only by the different curtains hanging on each of the windows.  The couch was on the wall to the left while the King size bed was located to the right.  I pulled out the hide-a-bed for my daughter and was pleased to find that there was still plenty of room to get around.  The configuration of these rooms often make it very difficult to use the hide-a-bed.  The bedding for the hide-a-bed was located in the closet and included an extra pillow, blanket, sheets and mattress pad.  My daughter said the hide-a-bed was comfortable to sleep on, although I am not sure I would have had the same sentiment.  I was content with the regular bed, which was plenty comfortable.

The bathroom was split into two sections.  The interior of the bathroom housed only the shower, toilet and towel racks.  The sink and mirror are located outside of the bathroom in a small area that also includes a closet.  This allows one person to tend to their hygiene while the other is showering.  I like this set up since one person does not tie up the bathroom for an extended period of time.  The shampoo and conditioner were name brand (Paul Mitchell).  The bottles were adequate for three people, although I am certain the hotel would provide more if needed.

The room was comfortable and had plenty of room for three people.  There was a small workstation (desk and chair) between the kitchen and couch.  The room is equipped with free wifi.  Between the free internet and workstation space, the room felt conducive to getting work done, if needed.  It was also nice to have the free wifi for personal internet surfing.  The room also had plenty of electrical outlets for the numerous devices that three people need power for.  Between iPads and cell phones, we used plenty of juice.

If you are looking for dining or entertainment, there are plenty of attractions nearby.  There were several small restaurants within a few blocks of the hotel.  There is also a movie theater in walking distance.  While there is ample parking at that complex, it may be just as easy to walk.  There were several restaurants clustered together in this area.  Alternately, you could easily walk into Old Town.  It is no more than a ten to fifteen minute walk to a host of restaurants and bars.  There is also a World Market on Duke Street about five minutes walk from the hotel.

In the morning, prior to checking out, we enjoyed the hot breakfast buffet at the hotel.  The breakfast included several juices, coffee, eggs, sausage, potatoes, biscuits and gravy, yogurt, cereal, fresh waffles (do-it-yourself) and sweets.  The coffee is palatable, although it seemed a bit weak to me.  The breakfast was hot and filling.  The variety was decent for a free hotel breakfast.  The hotel also has free dinner during the week, with a meal schedule posted on the refrigerator in the guest rooms to help you plan.

During my brief stay, I did not have an opportunity to use the fitness center.  However, I did check it out.  The fitness center is better than your average hotel and a step below Marriott’s resort level hotels.  There were plenty of machines as well as free weights.  The hotel also has a guest laundry with more than a dozen coin-operated machines.

This hotel does allow pets, but charges a fairly steep fee.  If you are going for an extended stay, it is probably worthwhile.  For a short trip, it is prohibitively expensive.  Expect to pay a non-refundable $150 fee per visit in addition to a fifteen dollar daily fee.  At that rate, you might pay more for an overnight for your pets than the actual room costs.  There are plenty of green areas around the hotel if you do bring pets.  While the hotel is just off thoroughfare, the back side of the hotel has grassy areas for your pets to let some steam off (among other things).
 
The Residence Inn at Carlyle is a pleasant hotel with all of the amenities of home.  It is located close to Old Town Alexandria, although not quite in the “thick” of things.  The hotel is priced in the same range as most of the hotels in this area, although it is slightly cheaper than what you will pay on King Street in the heart of Old Town.  The parking can be hit or miss, but there are alternate parking areas nearby in the event that the lot gets full.  Eighteen dollars is slightly more expensive than other nearby lots, but not outrageous for the location.  Overall, I would stay at this hotel again.  Especially for free.  Four stars.


Recommend this product? Yes


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