Every time I visit the Washington D.C. area, I’m reminded of how crazy expensive it is to visit. Many museums and attraction are free, but hotels and food can tax a budget, especially during the high season of spring and summer. One often overlooked way to save in D.C. is by staying outside the city core and finding a hotel that provides good value-added benefits. Sheraton Suites Old Town Alexandria fits the bill.
Unlike many hotels in the region, Sheraton Suites Old Town offers complimentary airport pick up from nearby Reagan National Airport. The shuttle runs on a schedule (roughly every 30 minutes), but it doesn’t hurt to call the hotel to see how far away the shuttle is. Alternatively, take the Metro blue or yellow line two stops (they run parallel that short distance) to the King Street Station, the hotel offers a shuttle to and from there as well. Alternatively, a cab from the airport to the hotel will run you about $20.
Old Town Alexandria is located in northern Virginia, about eight miles from the nation’s capital, and an area full of shops, restaurants and cafes, and theaters. It’s a historic and walkable neighborhood, with lots of brick and ivy, and the hotel blends right into the neighborhood.
Sheraton Suites Old Town makes a good first impression, a lovely brick exterior, lots of windows in the front lobby, a charming brick interior patio. I’ve stayed at this hotel a number of times, and the lobby fills up quickly if it’s peak check in/check out time. For some reason, the front desk process is slow, not sure if it’s a system or personnel issue, but hopefully, they’ll get a handle on it soon. Till then, though, don’t cut it too close when you’re watching the clock.
On my most recent stay, I stayed in a standard suite with a king bed. The suite consists of three rooms, a small living room with a connecting French door to the bedroom, and a bathroom-dressing room area. Each room can be closed off from one another for privacy, and the French door has a drape that adds additional privacy. The living room makes into a bed providing extra space and sleeping room for families, and a small hospitality area in the living room has a refrigerator, microwave, coffee service, and sink. The decor is attractive and practical, with colors of dark green, burgundy, and cream, and although I wouldn’t put it in the luxury category, it was comfortable. Wi-fi is $7.95/day, but free to all SPG members, so sign up and save this charge.
The Fig and Hoof Bar and Grill is open for all-day dining. It’s fine for breakfast, but with so many great restaurants in the area, I’d pass on it for lunch or dinner. The courtyard patio, however, is a nice spot for a drink, weather permitting. There is an executive club which offers breakfast and snacks for top-tier loyalty program members.
With a refrigerator and a microwave in the room, it’s easy to stretch your budget with a trip to a local grocery. A 24-hour Harris Teeter market is on the next block, and Trader Joe’s in another block farther. The convenience of picking up snacks, drinks, and food that can be easily warmed up, make staying at this property full of value for travelers on a budget.
When you’re ready to splash out a bit, head to King Street for evening dining or back into D.C. for one of its The hotel offers a complimentary shuttle to both the metro and King Steet, check with the front desk for a schedule.
I don’t recommend a car if you’re staying here, with easy public transportation there’s really no need. If you need a car for the day to go explore a little farther afield, there’s a car rental desk on property. The price may be a little higher than if you shopped around for a bargain, but the convenience outweighs the differential and the $28/day self-parking charge. You can reserve in advance if you know your schedule, or request one on a walk up.
The Sheraton Suites Old Town Alexandria is located at 801 North Saint Asaph in Alexandria, Virginia. It is a pet-friendly hotel.
Rates start around $179/night with great discounts during the winter months. Expect to pay more during spring break time and during the summer. With so many ways to stretch your travel budget, this price represents substantial value if you’re traveling in the D.C. area. Book your stay directly online at the hotel website or go through a site like Priceline or Expedia.