Sheraton Pentagon City (February 2021)

Booking

This is another standard King I booked on a Bonvoy prepay rate. Per usual, I booked through the Marriott website.

Property

If you’ve been near the Pentagon, you’re likely familiar with the concrete Sheraton festooned with wireless infrastructure west of the Air Force memorial. One side of the building faces the Potomac River and Washington, while the other looks at Arlington.

Checkin

At checkin, the front-desk agent “upgraded” the room to a Potomac-facing King and for the Platinum breakfast amenity hand-wrote four food-and-beverage comps worth $25 each. At a time when many properties are still suspending food and beverage propertywide, this was the best Bonvoy breakfast benefit I’ve received in a long time (and far better than points).

Room

The room was spacious for a King, with a sink, closet, and separate toilet and shower to the right of the entry and the main room ahead. The large windows provided spectacular views of Washington.

Incredible views from the Potomac-facing King.

The room itself featured, besides the bed, a sitting area, a large flatscreen, and a pretty nice work table with chairs, which had USB-C, USB-A, and American power ports, the first time I’ve seen type A.

A USB C power port in the Sheraton’s work table.

HVAC is via a PTAC, which is questionable for a full-service hotel in my mind. It was, predictably, loud.

You know when the packaged terminal AC starts up.

Overall, a comfortable Sheraton room with an excellent view.

Food and beverage

The hotel provided $100 in food and beverage comps for the Platinum breakfast benefit, and I grabbed dinner and breakfast from the restaurant, both of which were decent.

Service

The service at the property was excellent, with a text message after check-in, checking on the stay so far. I felt bad for the woman working the restaurant, as everyone seemed to be using a voucher and no one seemed to be tipping.

Rating (out of five)

Three-and-a-half stars.

For going above and beyond on the service side and honoring Marriott’s commitments to its Bonvoy members.

The Chaedrol Hotel Guide does not provide “balanced” reviews of stays, but rather our reviewers’ experiences at properties. Star ratings are based on price, so that a luxury or budget hotel may both receive either no or five stars, and factor in extenuating circumstances. Your actual experience may vary.

Westin Dallas Downtown (January 2021)

Booking

I had originally booked this reservation for inaugural weekend, but with the January 6 events, DC went into lockdown, so I attempted to push it out. I did so by calling the Platinum line and pleading my case. The CSR finally called the hotel who agreed to move the date on a nonrefundable reservation gratis.

Naturally they still charged my card, and I’ve been fighting with the Bonvoy line ever since. The latest is they’re going to “review my call” to independently determine whether they owe me a credit. Meanwhile my itchy trigger-finger is ready to ask Amex for a chargeback.

Property

The property is downtown Dallas in a concrete-and-glass-type, mixed-use skyscraper. Have you ever been downtown Dallas? Then you know what to expect. If not, it’s a bit surreal and a bit underwhelming for a raging metropolis.

Checkin

I booked a traditional King, which they upgraded to a Deluxe Corner (this hotel also has three levels of suites). Supposedly Marriott brand standards were back, so I asked about breakfast as an option (no) and a lounge, which they did not have. The front-desk agent then caught on and thanked me for my Bonvoy membership.

Room

The room was better than expected, both because the ceiling was high and the windows large. This time there are pictures.

The entry was split from the rest of the room by a closet and a bathroom.

The entry and closet were split from the main part of the room.
Hallway leading to living area.

The “living” area of the room featured a bed, a desk, and a small sitting area. Not huge. True to the room’s description, it was a corner room with great views.

Living area of room
Views of downtown Dallas from room.
And again.

Food and beverage

There was a restaurant downstairs that allowed room charges, which was not a breakfast option. I forget what I had, sadly, so it was neither amazing nor terrible.

Service

Service was friendly, if sparse, as is common in the times of COVID.

Rating (out of five)

Two stars.

As it turns out, the property and Bonvoy will not acknowledge the waiver in changing the date.

The Chaedrol Hotel Guide does not provide “balanced” reviews of stays, but rather our reviewers’ experiences at properties. Star ratings are based on price, so that a luxury or budget hotel may both receive either no or five stars, and factor in extenuating circumstances. Your actual experience may vary.

Westin Washington, D.C. City Center (December 2020)

Boarded up downtown Washington, DC, somewhat near Westin

Booking

Used marriott.com to prepay for a Traditional King as a Bonvoy Platinum. Upgraded one notch to a Cityview King, surprising (in a bad way) for a legacy SPG property. Unfortunately, the unpleasant surprises didn’t end there.

Property

Yes, this is where Marion Barry uttered his infamous catch phrase, and the lobby is a throwback to brutal, semiatrium-style luxury. We all looked better back in the day, so there’s that.

Checkin

Terse front desk associate started off by scolding me for not standing directly in front of the plastic shield. She then explained the “upgrade” and that the hotel had no food or beverages, aside from the bottles water she handed me. Delivery drivers could meet me in the lobby, she helpfully pointed out.

Room

A standard Westin room at the midway point in the refresh life cycle. One “Juliet” balcony and no other windows. Fifty days here would be a bleak path to Platinum.

Food and beverage

Nope.

Service

Nope.

Rating (out of five)

There is a lot of hotel competition in DC, except right now. I’m guessing the Westin brand (and approach to revenue management) keeps this stale rooming house afloat.

Two stars.

The Chaedrol Hotel Guide does not provide “balanced” reviews of stays, but rather our reviewers’ experiences at properties. Star ratings are based on price, so that a luxury or budget hotel may both receive either no or five stars, and factor in extenuating circumstances. Your actual experience may vary.

Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa & Marina (December 2020)

Christmas decoration in Hyatt Regancy

Booking

I booked a Hyatt Prive rate through Live Luxe Travel Co. Prive is a Hyatt program booked through travel agents at its higher-end properties that provides benefits such as free breakfast, a room upgrade, and late checkout. I booked a standard king, and our upgrade to a Petite King suite confirmed shortly after booking. Also, in this time of COVID, Prive has been running a third-night free special, and the property was included, so off to shore for a three-day weekend.

Property

The hard product is strong for a Hyatt Regency and clearly early in the update cycle. It was also startingly vacant, with a number of outdoor pools and recreation activities, including golf. This being December and me being me, I stayed inside.

You are going to notice an absence of pictures in these narratives. For those, I encourage you to check out Yelp.

Checkin

Bored in the car on the way down, I toyed with the app (no, I wasn’t driving). I hit the checkin button and was offered an upgrade to a Chesapeake suite for $70 per night. Like a moron, I took it.

At checkin, my request for a waterview room was complicated by the suite upgrade. A golf pro was working frontdesk, and he exhibited the patience he surely gained there as he checked off each bay-facing suite. Essentially, a “living room” is connected to two “bedrooms” on either side, and two are sold as a suite.

He thought he found an open suite, but it was booked later in the stay. I took 700 square feet with a parking lot view.

Room

The room was large, with the bedroom noticeably nicer than the living area, which included a table, a bar, and a seating area with a television. There was also a full bath off the very large entry.

The room it was attached to was a Petite Suite in its own right, with a lot of space.

We had a lot of space.

As mentioned above, furnishings were in very good shape, better than I’ve seen in a while.

Food and beverage

We ate at the property the entire stay, and it was good, if not memorable. Think standard American fare, done better than average.

Service

The first full day of our stay was Friday, and we both had to work, so having the separation of the suite was convenient. At breakfast, however, I asked the frontdesk associate if we could move to any waterview room. She searched and located a Petite King suite, and we were allowed to finish working in the larger suite before moving to the Petite King. Very nice.

Service was excellent all-around at the level you would expect at a Regency resort. Staff clearly cared about guests’ stays, which is among the highest compliments I can give.

Rating (out of five)

Four stars.

A great trip is better than I expect, and this was one. A bow to the outstanding staff at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa and Marina. The $250 in comped food and beverage didn’t hurt either.

The Chaedrol Hotel Guide does not provide “balanced” reviews of stays, but rather our reviewers’ experiences at properties. Star ratings are based on price, so that a luxury or budget hotel may both receive either no or five stars, and factor in extenuating circumstances. Your actual experience may vary.