Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Hotels and Places to Stay > Marriott | Marriott Bonvoy > Starwood | Starwood Preferred Guest
Reload this Page >

GONE: Fairfax at Embassy Row, Washington DC, Left SPG 12 Oct 2015 [Master Thread]

GONE: Fairfax at Embassy Row, Washington DC, Left SPG 12 Oct 2015 [Master Thread]

 
Old Feb 15, 08, 9:20 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 2,387
Arrow GONE: Fairfax at Embassy Row, Washington DC, Left SPG 12 Oct 2015 [Master Thread]

Here are my pics of a newly renovated room at the Westin Embassy Row. The front desk clerk said only 15 new rooms are currently available for guests. They add more each week but not on a fixed schedule. Enjoy.

For reference, these are pictures of Room 407.

View of the room upon entering.

Looking back at the main door.

Inside the room from the foot of the bed.

The Heavenly bed.

Window beside the bed. They did not close properly and leaked a lot of (cold) air.

Closet with mirror on inside of door. There was a little light inside with a pull-cord but it did not work.

View of bathroom. I received an accessible room. (I'm assuming because of the support bars on the bathroom walls and the hand-held shower.)

Shower.

Sink.


Looking back at the bathroom door.

Flat screen LG LCD tv, drawers, snack and mini-bar center. No HD channels and right now only showing local channels (ABC, NBC, FOX, etc.), no cable channels (ESPN, CNN, TWC, etc.) The old rooms have all the channels available.

"Closet" - No door. Just an opening with a shelf for an iron, ironing board, and hair dryer.

Door to adjoining room (#406) that was open when I arrived and did not lock. After I asked, the front desk said room 406 was not available to guests. I was still a little concerned since anyone could have entered my room through the other one.

View outside window. Mostly construction vehicles in the alley down below. Also the employee smoke area was right outside the window so that caused a problem later in my stay.

View of Room 407 from outside. That open door on the left leads to a set of 3 other rooms. The outer door has it's own key reader and can be closed while the inner doors remain open and provide the guest with a 3 room suite where they can freely roam without anyone walking in on them via the hallway.

New hallway.

Old hallway.

Clearly still more work to do...



Oh, there is still no wireless in the rooms. Only in the lobby and restaurant as mentioned in earlier posts. I think it was mentioned on this thread that it was free in those areas but I was told it was pay-per-use by the Front Desk. I didn't actually use it to confirm however. The in-room (wired) access is still fee-based. I was told the plan is to add wireless access after all renovations are complete which is now estimated to happen July, 2008. The fitness center will also be updated at the very end.

Long day so no review. I'll post that later this weekend.
yashan is offline  
Old Feb 16, 08, 1:29 pm
  #2  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: New York, NY
Programs: Delta - Gold; Starwood - Platinum; HHonors - Diamond & Avis Preferred
Posts: 10,869
yashan, thanks for the review.

PLUS....

I have some interesting news to share - later!!!

I HAVE A SECRET
KENNECTED is offline  
Old Feb 19, 08, 11:01 pm
  #3  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,720
I also received a newly renovated room but I think it was a bit larger than Yahshan's and it was not an accessible room as the shower was not hand held -- nor was it the double headed Westin shower.

For the price I paid $99 including valet parking and breakfast -- it was a steal. Remember it was a Travelzoo promotion.

But wait, you say that everyone gets breakfast. How true.


But since my rate included breakfast, I was able to get room service breakfast off of that menu in bed in the morning for nothing!! So, I ordered the lox platter and a side of ham, including coffee and fresh squeezed OJ for zip, and the tax and service charges were subsumed in the price = $0.00!

Second, as others have noted, room service for dinner was 1/2 off thru the renovation. In addition to the now reasonable prices, I asked if there were any specials. Why yes.

Sauteed Lobster with vegetables - cracked lobster claws and tails -- a little over done but mostly moist, which came with a chopped salad and a small choocolate cake and vanill ice cream.

Cost - $40. Real charge - $20, plus tax and tip and delivery charge on the non-dsicounted amount.

Total cost for overnight stay including dinner for two (we both ordered the lobster) breakfast, taxes, etc. = $202.00

I think this was a great price and the location to my wife's DC office and the Phillips collection which is showing its new acquisionts was fantastic.

Finally, 15-20 rooms are fully renovated. It is taking so long because they have decided to re-do the renovations and it is unlikely to be completed before January at the earliest.

So, the the near and long term, it looks like free breakfast for all, and 50% off the room service and restaurant menus!

Can't comment on the non-renovated rooms, but if the deal is good, given this location, I would go with it.

One caveat: I was there from a Saturday night to a Sunday afternoon, so there was no renovation noise because of likely no work being done.

Finally, the workout room on the 2nd floor as only one piece of aerobice type equipment per acitivity = treadmill, stairmaster, etc.

Many of the rooms on that floor leading to the exercise room are being renovated and open to any visitor so you can see what they will look like if you do not get a renovated room.

CHEAP ELITE --

I'd like to know your secret!
NJUPINTHEAIR is offline  
Old Feb 20, 08, 9:40 am
  #4  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: New York, NY
Programs: Delta - Gold; Starwood - Platinum; HHonors - Diamond & Avis Preferred
Posts: 10,869
Originally Posted by NJUPINTHEAIR View Post

CHEAP ELITE --

I'd like to know your secret!
NJUPINTHEAIR, No pictures?? Do BlissWorld and I have to do everything?

My secret....Well heck, I'll just say it. I was able to take a "unofficial" tour of the hotels "closed floors" [AKA - I snuck up in the elevator with a nice worker] and took pictures of almost every darn tootin' room in various states of renovation. I pray the Westin ER folks don't read FT.

I'll put the pictures up as soon as I can.

Now for the bad news. When the renovation/restoration is complete, according to the new assistant manager, they will only have 6-8 suites. YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST, DO NOT EXPECT UPGRADES TO A SUITE ONCE THIS PROPERTY IS REBRANDED The number of rooms at the hotel is increasing by 52-59 rooms, the exact number is still undetermined as renovation of the Mass Ave. wing of the property hasn't started.

Many of the "suites" have been divided into single rooms. Let me tell you, these rooms are postage stamp size. Also the floor plates are not the same on each floor. For instance on the fourth floor, the rooms that you enter across from the central elevator bank are two single rooms, on another renovated floor those same rooms are suites (two of the 6/8).

In the two new renovated sections of the hotel, they will upgrade you to a "Junior Suites", which are really "extended kings". I don't like giving out room numbers, but since the hotels rooms will be renumbered after the conversion, I can say I was in a King room (Junior suite) across from yashan, but with a different layout. The room overlooked the service entrance.

I think I'm going to start a "The Fairfax Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel" master thread and put that information there.
KENNECTED is offline  
Old Feb 20, 08, 10:27 am
  #5  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,720
Cheap Elite --

So you did stay there recently? So what were your thoughts? I liked it quite nicely for the price I paid , but thought that it might be somewhat overpriced when it is fully renovated.

Besides the rooms size that you speak of, I was somewhat dismayed with the granite sink countertop -- Don't get me wrong, I like those, but have seen them at Doubletree hotels, etc., and would have thougt that a LC property would have used marble, like the Sheraton Rockville apparently used -- at least it looked like that to me!

Upgrades are nice, but for this Gold, I do not expect them. The staff at the hotel were great, and I forgot to mention that at least on Sunday afternoon, they had cookies and tea waiting in the lobby.

Finally, ask for a copy of the history of the hotel that they have printed up for distribution to the general public -- very interesting, even if it probably was written 10 years ago.

Last edited by NJUPINTHEAIR; Feb 20, 08 at 10:37 am
NJUPINTHEAIR is offline  
Old Feb 20, 08, 10:55 am
  #6  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: New York, NY
Programs: Delta - Gold; Starwood - Platinum; HHonors - Diamond & Avis Preferred
Posts: 10,869
Originally Posted by NJUPINTHEAIR View Post
Cheap Elite --

So you did stay there recently? So what were your thoughts? I liked it quite nicely for the price I paid, but thought that it might be somewhat overpriced when it is fully renovated.
Yes, twice this past weekend (Friday and Sunday) and you’ll get two reviews from me. Yet I need to review pictures as I write my reviews, as I always include notes to myself in the pictures.


Originally Posted by NJUPINTHEAIR View Post
Besides the rooms size that you speak of, I was somewhat dismayed with the granite sink countertop -- Don't get me wrong, I like those, but have seen them at Doubletree hotels, etc., and would have thougt that a LC property would have used marble, like the Sheraton Rockville apparently used -- at least it looked like that to me!
I knew in advance I could not complain. I like the beds and TV, the classic old school décor sucks to me, but for $99 bucks and free parking I had to bite my lip. I too thought they “skimped” on the fixtures since this will be a LC property. Those sinks look like they were borrowed from an airport Sheraton. And one is up with the non matching night stands?


Originally Posted by NJUPINTHEAIR View Post
Upgrades are nice, but for this Gold, I do not expect them. The staff at the hotel were great, and I forgot to mention that at least on Sunday afternoon, they had cookies and tea waiting in the lobby.
The new members of the staff have a much better attitude than some of the people from the past. As a fellow Gold, I never expect upgrades, I’ve just (have) had good luck getting better rooms. Yes, in the evening they have coffee and tea on the round table in the lobby. I interpreted this, as this hotels version of a “refresh station” and I took a picture for BlissWorld, as I'm going to be adding that information to my trip reviews going forward.
KENNECTED is offline  
Old Feb 21, 08, 4:27 pm
  #7  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Los Angeles & Orange County, CA
Programs: Wouldn't you like to know?!
Posts: 23,820
FYI. This property will go up to a Category 5. Even with the renovation (from the pictures I've seen), it's a total rip off
BlissWorld is offline  
Old Feb 22, 08, 6:38 am
  #8  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: New York, NY
Programs: Delta - Gold; Starwood - Platinum; HHonors - Diamond & Avis Preferred
Posts: 10,869
Originally Posted by yashan View Post
During my stay I was quite surprised to see many partially renovated rooms "open" on the floor I was given a room. They weren't secured at all and many did not even have doors that shut. Potentially dangerous to snooping FTers.
I said the same thing! I kept replaying the "terror alert" in my head. LOL Although, there was security there one day I was there and two of the security gaurds were on the floor as I was taking pictures. When I was about to exit a room, I heard and saw the guardd so I went into the adjacent (or connecting) room, and hid in the bathroom, as the security guards simultaneously checked both rooms. I think the construction worker ratted me out! It was my Jason Bourne moment!

Originally Posted by yashan View Post
What am I, chopped liver?
Potentially! We'll see how your future trip reviews rate!

Originally Posted by BlissWorld View Post
FYI. This property will go up to a Category 5. Even with the renovation (from the pictures I've seen), it's a total rip off
100% agree since they are decreasing the number of true two room and super large one room "suites"

Last edited by KENNECTED; Feb 22, 08 at 6:44 am
KENNECTED is offline  
Old Feb 29, 08, 8:33 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: New York, NY
Programs: CO Plat, Hertz PC, Starwood Plat, Hilton Gold
Posts: 39
Has anybody recently had any problems with the stay credit and points posting for the Westin Embassy row using the $99 winter rate?

I recently stayed there on Feb 24th (sun) for 1 night and have yet to see the stay credit post (am trying to re-make platinum again this year and this is pretty important.

William, can you help here? My folio number is 446879. Thanks in advance! Please PM me if you need any additional information about the stay.

I'd like to get this resolved as soon as possible since I have another reservation with them for this coming sunday and will take my business elsewhere if the stay does not count.
shadow007 is offline  
Old Feb 29, 08, 9:40 am
  #10  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,720
Exclamation

Originally Posted by shadow007 View Post
Has anybody recently had any problems with the stay credit and points posting for the Westin Embassy row using the $99 winter rate?

I recently stayed there on Feb 24th (sun) for 1 night and have yet to see the stay credit post (am trying to re-make platinum again this year and this is pretty important.

William, can you help here? My folio number is 446879. Thanks in advance! Please PM me if you need any additional information about the stay.

I'd like to get this resolved as soon as possible since I have another reservation with them for this coming sunday and will take my business elsewhere if the stay does not count.

Yes, the hotel misidentified it as an opaque rate in my case. I simply called SPG cutomer service and adivesd them that it was a legitimate rate through Travelzoo and the rep saw that it was and made the necessary changes. It appeared correctly within the day.

If its any consolation, I have had this happen at other hotels on valid SPG pre-paid rates, as well, advertised solely on SPG -- apparently either the front desk staff or the accounting department views such deeply discounted rates erroneously as opaque booking rates.

SPG customer service could easily see that it was indeed a legitimate rate for which points, and stay credit, and associated bonuses, were due.

Hope this helps you and report back for others!
NJUPINTHEAIR is offline  
Old Mar 1, 08, 8:27 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: New York, NY
Programs: CO Plat, Hertz PC, Starwood Plat, Hilton Gold
Posts: 39
well, the issue was resolve and william has notified the hotel to change the eligibility for that rate. hopefully the stays credit automatically in the future. we shall see.
shadow007 is offline  
Old Mar 1, 08, 10:57 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Northwest NJ
Programs: Starwood Platinum,Marriott Platinum, United Silver
Posts: 2,303
We have to go back to DC the first weekend in April for a family event. I'll need three rooms.
Right now it seems only the Embassy Row is available on Cash and Points. We would be there from Friday to Sunday. So-

1. Any construction on weekends?
2. What can I expect as an upgrade during this construction?
3. As long as they seem to be giving out breakfast during the construction (or so I read on this thread), do they do it for rewards stays too?
4. Any recent stay experience? Are we better off at the Grand or (forgive me) the Embassy Suites, where breakfast would be included?

Any other thoughts would be welcome. Thanks.
stevens397 is offline  
Old Mar 1, 08, 11:23 am
  #13  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: New York, NY
Programs: Delta - Gold; Starwood - Platinum; HHonors - Diamond & Avis Preferred
Posts: 10,869
Originally Posted by stevens397 View Post
We have to go back to DC the first weekend in April for a family event. I'll need three rooms.
Right now it seems only the Embassy Row is available on Cash and Points. We would be there from Friday to Sunday. So-

1. Any construction on weekends?
2. What can I expect as an upgrade during this construction?
3. As long as they seem to be giving out breakfast during the construction (or so I read on this thread), do they do it for rewards stays too?
4. Any recent stay experience? Are we better off at the Grand or (forgive me) the Embassy Suites, where breakfast would be included?

Any other thoughts would be welcome. Thanks.
I guess I'll have to do a follow up review. Will post later. You kids are lucky I like you!

In the mean time, here are quick answers to your questions.
  1. Yes
  2. What is your starwood level, and what do you expect? Seriously, who knows what you will be assigned as many rooms are still under renovation and off line (you see examples in my review) along with not knowing what occupancy rates actually are, nobody can predict what you will be assigned at check in. Also, if you're checking in three rooms, don't expect an upgrade for all rooms on the room the elite member is in. However, your experience may vary on that.
  3. Yes, everyone gets the free breakfast.
  4. Yes, and that depends on your needs. Booking the ES, atleast you'll know in advance that you'll have extra space in each room. I just did a review of the Westin Grand.

Now, once I do a review, will you do one after your stay? Come on now, BlissWorld and I can't be the only member to consistently post trip reviews.
KENNECTED is offline  
Old Mar 1, 08, 2:20 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Northwest NJ
Programs: Starwood Platinum,Marriott Platinum, United Silver
Posts: 2,303
Thanks Senor Elite!

I had hoped to be able to use an SPG50 for the suites. The hotel is clearly very reasonable due to the construction. It also happens to be a thre minute walk from my oldest son's apartment. Just called and they wanted well in excess of the rates available online. Oh well. My daughter has twins and the suite would come in handy. As for my wife and me, we're just spoiled! We can put my youngest son in a regular room. The best rate for the suites are about $15 more than the Embassy Suites so we may choose to stay at the ER, especially with free breakfast for five of us. The room for my youngest can be Cash & Points so it could work out well.

Last month, we put our kids up in the Grand while we stayed in a suite at the Park Hyatt next door. I'll make sure to post my thoughts about their rooms and their stays right now!

Thanks again.
stevens397 is offline  
Old Mar 1, 08, 3:12 pm
  #15  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: New York, NY
Programs: Delta - Gold; Starwood - Platinum; HHonors - Diamond & Avis Preferred
Posts: 10,869
Post Trip Report: The Westin Embassy Row

This is part one, of a two stays over the weekend. I did this to maximize stays since I'm enrolled in the Q1 and Pain Regional bonus promotions.

Since the property is under heavy renovation and I’d stayed here previously I didn’t expect much.


RANKINGS
Check-in/Check-out [4 out of 5]
Better than the past, as there are new employees training in preparation of this property becoming the The Fairfax Hotel. The agent actually told me he was giving me a room that was just released about an hour ago. He also explained about half the floor is done and that the property is still fine tuning things in room recently returned to inventory and specifically asked me to look for anything that they might have over looked as I'm a returning guest and my last stay resulted in an unsatisfactory review.

Common Areas [1]
Many of the common areas are under renovation, the main elevator entry is hit or miss. On one floor part of the floor is renovated and the other section not. Also the Massachusetts Avenue corridor hasn’t been renovated on any floor. This property provides a refreshment center in the lobby. When I was there they provided, Coffee, tea, cookies and fruit.

Guest Rooms [2]
This was a renovated room. The décor is that of a hotel that my grandparents would stay in.

Overall First Impression: Yuk, old school! Not my style. Why is this room so oddly shaped and where does that door lead?
Bed: Very comfortable, linens are very nice.
Furniture & Decor: Nice furniture, in an old school traditional decor. I thought the settee was nice
Closet Space: Large closet with deep shelf. The is a built in safe smack dab in the middle of the closet that takes up space.
TV: New Flat panel TV. But the HD was not activated as of yet. Nice chest, much better than the armoire that housed the TV and media components in the older rooms.
Lighting: the room was well lit and didn’t feel crowded
Workspace: Very small desk not much work space. There are a decent amount of electrical sockets.
View: The view is of the back of the Palamar hotel
Radio/Audio: Another horrible clock. Dear Starwood, please upgrade your clocks.

Guest Room Bathrooms [2]
Standard bathroom. It feels as though this is where the cut corners. They reconditioned the countertops and cabinets. Not “luxury” by any means and not inline with the luxury collection brand image.
Sink: Decent space but still feel its very cramped. You can't see in this picture, but it appears the just took the doors of the old cabinets and reconditioned.
Shower: No separate shower.
Tub: Standard bath, no big deal
Toiletries: Typical Westin toiletries. Note: There are Westin toiletries in the bathroom, but no hardware, since this property will rebrand a Luxury Collection once renovations are complete.

Housekeeping N/A
No issues as I only spent one night in the property.

Club Level/Lounge N/A
No

Fitness Center [1]
The fitness center is lacking, I forgot to ask if it too will be renovated. It’s very eerie!

Pool [N/A]
No pool

Business Center [2]
Business center with two PC, but limit time as they cut off every 20 minutes or so. You can print to the reception desk. IIRC, there might be a fee.

Concierge [N/A]
Didn't use, but there is a concierge on staff located in the lobby across from reception.

High Speed Wired/Wireless Internet Access [1]
Free wireless in the lobby, restaurant and Business Center. Wired in the room but I don’t know the cost. Once renovated, there will be wireless on the guest floors.

Parking/Valet [5]
Vastly improved. Called down and the car was ready. I think since most of the property is off line there aren’t many cars to handle.

Dining [2]
Only had the buffet which is the bare minimum, with three stations. Since free, it is often crowded. I suggest going early to avoid crowds and kids. Breakfast is complimentary for all guest.

Miscellaneous
Under renovation so construction is going on and starts & stops at various times of the day, including weekends.



FINAL IMPRESSION
Overall hotel cleanliness:
Hit or miss since the property is in the midst of a renovation.

Staff attitude, conduct & support:
I’d say improved. The new employees are helpful and appear to be proactive in finding you a good room, valet was more responsive.

Location:
Excellent location near Dupont Circle. Convenient to public transportation, restaurants and other basic needs.

Would I return?
Not sure. My last stay I clearly screamed “avoid”, with new rooms coming online and the improved employee attitude along with the cheap rate, I could deal with the negatives. Once rebranded, I have no idea if I would return.

Would I recommend this as family friendly?
It’s a toss up. If you’re not looking for a pool or other stuff to keep kids entertained, then this might work. But its close enough transportation and sites to make up

Good for business travelers?
It’s a toss up, based on where you need to be.

Good for a romantic get away?
Some might find it romantic or nostalgic.

Would I recommend for someone looking for Dining/Nightlife?
Sure, as mentioned above

Would I recommend restaurant?
NA

Value for price paid?
Excellent

Overall property rating on a scale from 1 to 10 = 4
Although the room I was assigned is a vast improvement over my last stay I rate the property low because the new motif and no wireless in rooms is not to my standards.

Last edited by KENNECTED; Mar 1, 08 at 3:21 pm
KENNECTED is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread