I just returned from a weekend stay at the Gaylord National Harbor property in Oxon Hill, MD. I had never stayed at a Gaylord property before but had toured the one in Nashville and was really looking forward to the stay. This weekend was supposed to be a romantic get away but I quickly learned this was the wrong hotel for that type of trip. The majority of the hotel guests were families with small children which were there for the Dreamworks Ice Attraction featuring Shrek. Throughout the day small kids were running throughout the Atrium area and there were lots of music and other loud noises which could be heard in your hotel room if you had a balcony which overlooked the atrium area.
When I arrived to the hotel lobby I noticed a special VIP Check in area for Marriott Elite Members. The VIP line was open to Silver, Gold, and Platinum Elite members. When I got in the VIP line there was about 12 people in front of me which is unusually long for a VIP line but it was still shorter than the regular check in line. However the VIP line was only being served by one agent and after a 20 minute wait another agent finally came out to assist with the VIP line. Prior to the second agent coming out some of the individuals in front of me took a chance and moved to the regular line and actually got served faster. When I finally reached the front of the line the desk agent did acknowledge me as a Platinum member and offered me a list of options to choose from as a welcome amenity which was similar to the offerings of a full service Marriott. During check in as I had suspected I learned there were no free breakfast options for Platinum members. The desk agent referred me to one of their restaurants in the atrium which featured a hot breakfast buffet for $20 per person.
The hotel room was mostly clean and comfortable although the bathroom shower had a chipped shelf and some mildew in the corners. Something that I thought was a little odd was the bed sheets were tucked in completely on both sides which left the boxspring exposed. We did experience some oddities with the Housekeeping staff . Despite having a "Do Not Disturb" sign on the hotel door someone from Housekeeping started knocking on our door loudly at 9am Saturday morning. After I got to the door I found two rolls of toilet paper and extra shampoo in a bag at the foot of the door. About 10 minutes later I got a call from the front desk asking if I received the toilet paper and shampoo that was requested. I told the agent that we did not request those items and were awakened by the staff member despite having our "Do not Disturb" sign out and she sounded confused but finally apologized for the inconvenience.
On Saturday afternoon we returned to our room following a walk around the Harbor area and shortly after we entered the room one of the Housekeeping staff members who was cleaning the room across from ours rushes into our room. Apparently she decided to make use of our cell phone charger and left her phone in our room while she was cleaning neighboring rooms. Later that day when we returned to our room from dinner we noticed Housekeeping dropped off more items (shaving cream, razor, toothpaste, and toothbrush) which we did not request. There was also turn down service but no chocolates were left behind.
The hotel charges $22 a day for self parking and a daily resort fee of $15. If you are Gold or Platinum the fee is reduced to $5 day. Included in the resort fee is internet, access to gym and pool faclities, and two bottled waters delivered to your room each day. Also note that the hotel offers video checkout between the hours of 7am and 11am. I tried to save myself at trip to the front desk when I was checking out but because it was 11:04am I wasn't able to check out on the tv.
National Harbor is an interesting area but I recommend visiting there when the weather is warm. Unfortunately we were there on a cold weekend and we did limit our walking around. There are fireworks each Friday evening and several interesting shops and restaurants in the area. If we ever decide to return to the area I think we will stay at the Residence Inn across the street from the Gaylord property. The Residence Inn has cheaper parking, larger rooms, and free breakfasts!
Here is a link to Photographs taken during my stay: http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/photoAlbums/1349