My Kimpton experiment continued this week with stays in Dallas and Alexandria. Indeed, I have a queue of hotel reviews to post, but the Lorien Hotel & Spa, in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia is first up. This was a 1-night business stay, booked on short notice after a change in travel plans. While I typically prefer to stay “in the district” on business trips to DC, I jumped at the chance to book the Lorien when it was available for a few reasons. First, it’s a Kimpton. Second, it’s a very short walk to Metro for easy access to the city. Finally, I have always been fond of Old Town Alexandria. Case closed – The Lorien it was.
After a short walk from Metro’s King Street station, I arrived at the front desk around 4pm. Timing was perfect and I was immediately assisted. Within a few minutes, I was on my way to room 424, an accessible room which I think might have been all that was available at the moment I checked in. As usual, front desk staff were welcoming and polite.
Room 424 was a corner room, and slightly oversized given its accessible status. There was something about the decor of the room and the hotel in general that I liked. Can’t quite figure out what it is, but it was inviting and comfortable. I liked it. The bed was big and comfortable and the wi-fi (complimentary to Kimpton Karma members) was reasonably fast. If I had a complaint, it would be that there were no easily accessible power outlets on the desk. There was a power strip, but I had to crawl underneath the desk to plug in my laptop. That needs attention. Otherwise, I thought the room was perfect. I snapped a few photos for your perusal.
The only thing wrong with the room is that my stay was too short.
Around the Hotel
I had a very busy afternoon on arrival, so I was unable to visit the hotel’s gym facilities, which is something that I am truly trying to make an effort to do nowadays. Better luck to me next time. You can also check out information on the hotel’s spa here. Nor did I have time to explore beautiful Old Town Alexandria. I did take the time to accomplish one fun thing during my stay, a visit to the hotel’s fantastic restaurant, BRABO.
As most readers might remember, I used to live in Washington, DC, and this was not my first time dining at BRABO. I wanted to make a point of returning this visit, and I was not disappointed. I’m neither a food connoisseur or food photographer, so you’ll just have to take my word for it – BRABO is worth the trip. For that matter, so is the BRABO Tasting Room next door. The Tasting Room is a bit smaller and more casual, but still stands out with great food, respectable wines, and good service. I can personally vouch for the Charcuterie Platter which paired quite nicely with the selection of reds I sampled.
The Bottom Line
I’ve never walked away from a Kimpton Hotel feeling “meh,” and the Lorien Hotel & Spa did not disappoint. In fact, with easy access to Metro, great surroundings, and great restaurants, the Lorien Hotel & Spa will be at the top of my list when traveling to DC on business or pleasure.
Special Shout Out – A personal note from me. In 20 years of traveling with type 1 diabetes, I’ve only forgotten something critical to diabetes management once. I was running late on check out morning and I left something critical – two vials of insulin – in the mini fridge in my room. The scene shifts to about 5pm on Thursday while I’m sitting at the airport waiting for my delayed flight, and suddenly…it occurred to me, I left my insulin in the fridge. I could not lay hands on my folio from the morning at the moment so I did what any good blogger would do, I DM’d @Kimpton via Twitter. Within 5 minutes my cell phone rang. It was the hotel letting me know they had my insulin. With tons of time before my flight, I hopped on Metro and was at the front desk collecting what I’d stupidly left in my room that morning. Special thanks to the Kimpton Twitter team and the Lorien!
-MJ, June 27, 2015