amerigo88

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About amerigo88

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  1. Spent the 5 nights at the Hampton Inn - DullesCascades. It was very nice, especially having so much shopping nearby. Breakfast was quite good with eggs to accompany the usual Continental breakfast fare every day. It's tricky to find the place, especially since Google Maps hasn't quite got McClellan Way down yet. The best way to find this hotel is on its website http://www.hamptoninndullescascades.com The hotel staff is very hit and miss with directions to it. The easiest way to get there is: from Route 7, go North on Cascades Parkway about 150 yards, turn right on Cranston, follow that until you reach a Staples store and turn right in front of the store. Drive past the Sports Authority at the other end of that strip mall and then exit the parking lot. There are two streets labeled McClellan Way, but the Hampton is only on one of them. As you exit the parking lot, there is a McClellan Way directly ahead of you that you should follow South to its end about 200 yards on. The Hampton will be on your left. Note that it is 6 stories tall and is the closest hotel or store to Route 7, so it can be seen from a good distance around. If you haven't driven in the Loudon and Fairfax Counties of Virginia before, just get used to this kind of crazy navigation. I ended up on a street called Sugarland Drive about a quarter mile East of this hotel. I ended up late to church because I discovered that Sugarland Drive actually runs in a complete circle! I thought it was an East-West street.
  2. Dates are May 17 - 22, 2009 I shopped this one for a few hours and used the links within betterbidding a couple of times, but I am sure I did NOT use the link to HOTWIRE as I was actually making the buy. I will try harder next time. After a while, HOTWIRE, PRICELINE, betterbidding, Orbitz, carrentals.com, etc starts to run together. :)
  3. Hampton Inn - Cascades - Sterling, VA Amenities before booking: Complimentary Breakfast Fitness Center Pool(s) Business Center Laundry Facilities High-speed Internet Access Golf Nearby Hotel rate per night - Hotwire hot Rate: $46.00 Nights: 5 Total charge is $258.88 I wanted the Hampton Inn at 22700 Holiday Park, but am saving a bunch of money, even with a 5 day car rental. Hamptons are usually quite nice.
  4. Additional minus: I mailed a bill payment and daughter's birthday card by handing them to the person on the Aloha Desk on Monday, March 9. Today is the 19th and neither one has reached its destination. Another bill I mailed via the front desk of the Hampton Inn (22700 Holiday Park Dr, Sterling, VA) has already had the check clear. I called the Aloha Desk recently and they said "It should have gone out..." Again, I would not recommend the Aloft.
  5. Did not like the Aloft Dulles North overall. Pluses: New (commissioned in December 2008), bar next to lobby, big windows in the rooms, deer browsing next to parking lot. Most of staff is very attentive. Minuses: Driving distance to EVERYTHING, no place to walk to. The shuttle service was TERRIBLE. (See below) The only nearby restaurant is the one at the Hilton Garden Inn next door. I washed my clothes only to learn neither of the dryers works and had not since they were installed. Cleaning staff kept forgetting to provide a coffee cup for the in-room coffee maker and the lobby coffee was minimum 3 dollars per cup. The swimming pool is so tiny as to be humorous. The hotel bar is a local "hot spot", so the lobby area is noisy and pretty :) on Thursday-Saturday nights. SHUTTLE PROBLEMS: They have a single Chevy Tahoe that comfortably seats 3 passengers to serve a 5-story hotel. The shuttle broke down one day and I got picked up a half hour late by the Embassy Suites shuttle. In frustration with the Aloft shuttle, I finally booked a rental car (Hotwire) which I would pick up at the Dulles Airport. The lady on the "Aloha Desk" basically said I could not get a ride to the Airport that morning because another guest had paid to run the shuttle to a business site 11.9 miles from the hotel. So much for "5 mile radius" for those of us who didn't think to buy an exclusive for the shuttle service. She also said I couldn't ride on the adjoining hotel's shuttle, even though it is owned by the same company. The adjoining hotel is a Hilton Garden Inn and these guys also own a nearby Embassy Suites. The manager fixed me up with some snacks by way of an apology. So instead of spending 4 dollars per day on shuttle tips, I got to spend 30 dollars per day on a rental car and gas (took zero insurance). But hey, I got some soda and chips. Lesson learned, pay the extra money and get the hotel walking distance to the business site. I ended up spending the same amount and wading through Northern Virginia traffic twice a day. I would not choose the Aloft Dulles North again.
  6. On the Feb13 HOTWIRE I saw the Aloft Dulles North (Hotel) listed as "$49 3* with No-smoking, Fitness, Pool, Laundry, and Internet" in the Dulles IAD North zone on Hotwire. I booked 14 nights Feb 28-March 14, 2009 at $766.53 which is $54.75 per night all taxes included. Amenities: Non-smoking, Fitness Center, Pool, Laundry, High-speed Internet Access. (Nothing about Continental breakfast or a restaurant.) Their website keeps touting a snack-bar at the hotel, so it definitely doesn't look like there will be any kind of breakfast included. I found the website so trendy and non-standard as to be barely useful. A good feature is Aloft has a free shuttle for a 5 mile radius, so I may not need a rental car now. Maybe they are trying to make up for the lack of a restaurant onsite. Does anybody know of some places to eat or a supermarket near this hotel?
  7. Just booked 14 nights Feb 28-March 14, 2009 at $766.53 which is $54.75 per night all taxes included. HOTWIRE put me at the Aloft Dulles North. Amenities: Non-smoking, Fitness Center, Pool, Laundry, High-speed Internet Access. Rates along Holiday Drive in Sterling/IAD North have gone up about 50 percent since I stayed there in September 2008 and I could not get a another $68 per night including taxes like before. As a bonus, Aloft has a free shuttle for a 5 mile radius, so I may just be able to get to Holiday Drive each day after all. (Must go to conference center there.) I probably don't need a rental car now! Will post again after the stay. Note that www.kayak.com kept listing hotels along Holiday Drive for $71 per night. I would then click the link and land on Orbitz which listed "Average price per night: $71" I would then choose the radio button for the room and the price would leap to $149 per night with a message about "due to a change in the availability of rooms, the average price per night for this room is now $149" Same thing was happening also on www.cheaptickets.com I called the Orbitz toll free number and they basically told me that the prices I was NOW seeing on the Internet are correct. I call "Bait and Switch". Waste of time.
  8. Stay is from Sept 11 - Sept 20. Shuttle pickup at IAD was prompt. Driver stops on lower level at 2A and 2H.
  9. $62 plus $65.21 tax recovery charges and fees - Total $69.25 per night shuttle, pool, business, fitness, laundry, restaurant The "discount rate" I was quoted by a company with a bulk deal there was over 100 per night. Thanks.