Sunday, June 29, 2008

Hilton Alexandria Mark Center

I think I wandered, unknowingly, into Bizarro World when I got to the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center.

For starters, it's not in Alexandria, per se. It's in the Mark Center. The Mark Center is a development with office buildings and this hotel distributed around a park like area. It's quite nice, as long as you don't feel like walking somewhere. There are no sidewalks, nor are there any nearby retail establishments.

The entrance and the place you park are separated by the hotel itself. You have to drive all the way around and enter in the back.

Check in was interminable. There were two people working the front desk, but in addition to checking you in - which required that the check-in person manually enter your driver's license number (?) into their computer - they had to answer the phones, too. It took a long time.

I was assigned an "accessible" room on the 6th floor. (That's what the checking in people called it).

I have now officially given up trying to figure out hotel floor numbering systems. (See National Conference Center, below). The sixth floor, where my room was located, is actually only one flight above the lobby.

The hallway makes you feel very presidential - which makes sense, given the proximity of the hotel to the Whi...well, nothing really.

I don't know why they messed up the nice little table arrangement by the elevators with a cheap chair, but so be it.

The room itself was directly across from the elevators. Which would've been fine, except for the 10 or 20 thousand teen-aged girls who checked in around 10:30 and decided to use the elevator area as a communal "Oh my god ... did you see Emily with Biff" gossip central, since they couldn't possibly fit into each others' rooms.

Back to my room. For "Accessible", read: for people in wheelchairs. You know this because the shower area and the bathroom area are unseparated by a lip, step, or moat.

That's fine with me. What wasn't, though, was the mold everywhere.

On the wall

On the floor

On the wall again

Under the fold-down seat.

The hotel restaurant is quite good. Make that very good. I had dinner there, as well as breakfast the next morning, where I found these hieroglyphics on the back of my menu.

Oddest of all was the shirt a Japanese fellow was wearing. I should mention that the hotel is heavily populated by tourists and the military. While most of his shirt was standard Engrish it featured a very unfortunate turn of phrase, namely, over his left breast was written: "All Japanese 7 December".

Hmm. I think the guy wearing it had no idea that he was advertising Pearl Harbor Day in a completely inappropriate manner. I hope he wasn't one of those ultra-nationalist Japanese types who wanted to poke his finger in our barbarian American eyes.

And, of course, the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center charges for internet.


Jennifer said...

There is no excuse for mold. As a crippled person, I am especially offended.

You've Got To Be Kidding Me said...


This is why I travel with my own travel size Scrubbing Bubbles Shower Cleaner.