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“Nice but expensive”

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Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in National Harbor
Reviewed 1 February 2011

Our family, including 9 & 11 year old children, decided to take a local vacation to National Harbor & the Gaylord in the middle of what turned out to be a long break from school thanks to weather & teacher workdays at the very end of January. Our visit was 2-nights. There were no large conventions or events during our stay, and I would guess that occupancy was, at most, in the 25% range on Saturday and most of that appeared to be local children's birthday parties. Sunday night occupancy appeared even lower.

The property is beautiful and HUGE. Rooms and common spaces were clean and generally well maintained. Our 2-queen deluxe room was tight - just room to get around the furniture. The clock battery cover and the make up mirror were broken. Beds & pillows were softer than I prefer, but fine. Some bath towels are extra-long, which I loved. Another reviewer mentioned no safe, but they are in the dressers and are outfitted with plugs for charging electronics - nice feature.

As another reviewer mentioned, if you self-park, you should be prepared for a HIKE and to carry your bags from the entry to the main registration desk because the desk at that entry was not staffed, and there were no bell carts. That hike, by the way, takes you down an escalator.

We were able to get a great deal - a $259 rate on an upper-level atrium room (or $179 on an outside view was also available) for the first night, with a free second night. There was a $15/day resort fee and $19 self-parking fee added on, along with taxes. Final room cost was right around $370 for two nights. That's where the great deals ended.

The restaurants are crazy expensive. Our first night, three were open - Old Hickory Steakhouse, with its very limited a la carte steakhouse menu, started at $40. It is not child-friendly, so it wasn't an option. The sports bar was more reasonably priced, though hot dogs were $9. We weren't thrilled at the idea of eating with the kids at a bar, though. So, we ended up at the third, Moon Bay, which is seafood themed. The restaurant was nice, the food was decent (though the Caesar dressing was seriously lacking), and our server was outstanding. They were very accommodating of the children, with a reasonably-priced children's menu & coloring pages. Our server surprised the kids with beautiful cones of cotton candy while my husband & I reviewed the dessert menu. With tip and one of their cheaper bottles of wine, we came in right at $200 - and that's with one child whose meal was $7, my salad for dinner, 2 regular entrees and 1 shared dessert. No appetizers, no extra sides. The second night only the steakhouse and sports bar were open, but we had planned to eat off-site anyway and walked to Baja Fresh.

On Sunday, we enjoyed brunch at Pienza, the final restaurant. It was a big but typical hotel brunch. Lots of options, including omelet & waffle stations, a carving station with over-cooked prime rib & ham, basic breakfast offerings, fruit, a small hot lunch bar, salads & cold shrimp, and a good variety of desserts. Table service was good; line service was surly, at best. At $36/adult and $17/child, I found myself piling on the shrimp trying to recoup some of the cost, since one child had nothing but cereal, milk & strawberries.

Entertainment options were limited, but the kids were easily entertained. The fountain show was a little lame but never failed to capture their interest. The pool was nice. The "arcade" was a wall of games designed to take your money. All but two were the kind that give you one or two chances to win an item but are rigged to be nearly impossible to win.

Overall, it's a nice place. Had we not gotten the great room rate, we would not have eaten on-site at all. Highly recommend staying at the property and enjoying a walk at meal times.

Stayed: January 2011, travelled with family
Thank KateWillTravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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4,072 - 4,076 of 4,609 reviews

Reviewed 1 February 2011

Exceptional service, lots of dining choices, and the ability to handle very large (4,000) conferences with ease make this gorgeous hotel a stand out. Watching the sunset through the enormous (10 stories or more) windows was a great treat.

Location is a bit remote, with no tube station in the area. There are probably other options for getting around that I did not fully explore. Would definitely be pleased if my group held their next conference here.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled on business
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Thank Chris G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 January 2011

Had a great time at the Gaylord National Harbor. Went there because a bad snow storm knocked out our electricity. Got off-season bargain rates so it cost no more than a mediocre hotel. Enjoyed visiting Cadilac Ranch and Bobby McKey's for live music shows (they are just across the street from the Gaylord). Very few guest were in the hotel with us so there were no lines at the desk and we had the olympic-sized pool and the hot tub all to ourselves half of the time. Enjoyed Poses disco in the Gaylord with its great penthouse views. Also had fun at the disco in the nearby aLoft W hotel, where my son and I crashed a "girls night out birthday party" and got to do a lot of dancing.

Stayed: January 2011, travelled with family
Thank SkateLegs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 January 2011

I grew up in a farm house, we shared virtually everything, including rooms and beds.
Wow, how times and my life has changed. Many years, much education and the sweat of my brow landed me at The Gaylord. The trip, 40 years in the making, sure was worth it! What a gorgeous facility, to call it a hotel is not fair to other hotels, it is a small city, complete with a park, streams, stores....all in a controled environment that makes Mother Nature look like a rookie! I have very humble tastes and needs due to my background and upbringing. I would feel guilty staying here alone, but boy am I happy to be able to bring my family to a paradise like this! Well done Gaylord!

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled on business
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Thank CopperheadVABeach_VA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 January 2011

Hotel and the location is great. First room was a little dissapointing due to the fecal matter the toilet. Too bad housekeeping didn't clean the toilet.

  • Stayed: January 2011
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1  Thank sabtraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center

Address: 201 Waterfront Street, Prince George’s County, National Harbor, MD 20745-1135
Region: United States > Maryland > National Harbor
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in National Harbor
Price Range: RM858 - RM1,915 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center 4*
Number of rooms: 2000
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated along the banks of the Potomac, the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center is a monumental addition to the national capital region. With 2,000 luxurious guest rooms, including 110 lavish suites, and 470,000 square feet of meeting, convention and exhibition space, it’s the largest combined convention center and hotel in National Harbor and on the Eastern Seaboard. Here, guests will also enjoy four signature restaurants, a 20,000-square-foot spa, the area’s hottest ultra lounge, elegant retail shops and a magnificent waterfront promenade boasting a full-service marina and views of nearby Washington D.C. and Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center is the cornerstone of the National Harbor project, a 300-acre waterfront destination offering world-class dining, retail and entertainment venues in Prince Georges County, Maryland. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Gaylord National Hotel Oxon Hill
Gaylord National Resort And Convention Center
Gaylord National Oxon Hill

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