Monday, June 23, 2008

The National Conference Center at Lansdowne.

This is one weird hotel. For starters, you enter on what you think is the ground floor (it being on the same level as the parking lot and driveway) but soon discover is called the third floor by the owner/operator of this place.

Once you check in, you're handed a gaily colored map and, with various verbal and written directions, are pointed in the vicinity of your room. Map in hand, you discover that the conference center is a linked series of buildings.

Linked, I should point out, by underground hallways. In the vernacular: tunnels. Long tunnels.

After I passed these hallways (tunnels), and skirted the dining area (about which more later), I had to go down a more regular hallway,

Past this attractive seating area,

Past a bench with a hole inexplicably drilled in it,

Down another short hallway, and you've reached the door to my room. (And the penultimate hallway)

For before I could throw myself, exhausted, onto my bed, I had to go down yet another hall and make a left turn.

The air conditioning was broken in my room, but was fixed by a couple of cheerful maintenance guys within three or four hours.

The National Conference Center is like a beached cruise ship. Once you're aboard, you're aboard. All meals are included - all you can eat buffet-style food.

The overall design is very strange. One of my co-trapees said that the National Conference Center felt like minimum-security, white collar Federal Penitentiary. (Not that he'd been in one) Another said his room reminded him of a Navy berth, only without the rocking motion.

It was all so peculiar that I was only half-surprised to find out that no one claimed ownership of the place. Usually, a hotel is owned, proudly, by some other brand name. Not the National Conference Center. It was mysterious enough to lead me to believe the NCC was a US Government property. After all, they did have the audacity to claim National status.

But no. Once I got back to the office, I Googled(r) the place, only to find it's owned by Aramark - which explains the cafeteria style eating, I guess. But not the tunnels. Sorry, underground hallways.

By the way, if you do stay there, do not, under any circumstances, forget something in your room. Getting from anywhere else (like the front desk, or one of the meeting rooms) back to your room and back to your destination will take most of the morning. Or afternoon.


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

I've never met a conference center I liked.

And I always leave a trail of bread crumbs behind me.

mgmgrand said...

Snaps and personal experience shared are pretty useful and the conference hall snaps are bit clear.

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