Thanks to Hurricane Irene and Dominion Power, we spent two nights at this fine hotel located in the bustling metropolis of Arlington, Virginia. (At least we still have a home. Sorry 80s heart-throb, Sebastian Bach. If it’s any consolation, I loved you on the Gilmore Girls.)
Anywho, the location of Hotel Palomar is great…it’s very convenient to the Rosslyn metro station, which was pretty handy since I had to carry a roll-on suitcase to work on Monday.
Hotel Palomar is a typical Kimpton hotel – hip, young, boutique-y, with lots of attention to design detail. It has the evening wine reception between 5 pm and 6 pm, it has the complimentary coffee and tea in the mornings.
We’ve actually been to this particular Palomar before, for drinks and dinner at their Italian restaurant, Domaso. And, we’ve even stayed at a different Palomar (also a Kimpton) in DC itself.
We didn’t eat at Domaso on this occasion (there’s a pool bar nearby with awesome fried pickles, so….yeah, that won out), but we did have drinks in the dimly lit bar area – a negroni for me and a cosmo for my life partner, XFE. Word to the wise – do not be tempted to sit on the outdoor patio for drinks. It’s between two large office buildings and is a total wind tunnel. No incidences this time, but last time I tried to have a drink there, champagne flutes flew—and shattered–everywhere.
The building itself is kinda weird. It’s a shared building, with other offices and even condominiums. When you enter the front door, you have to go up the elevators to the registration desk on the fourth floor. Then, you walk to another bank of elevators to go to the floors with the rooms. And don’t even get me started on the weird maze you had to go through to get to and from the garage to the hotel – more elevators and stairs (up and down for some reason).
The rooms are Kimpton standard. We had King Deluxe rooms and stayed in two: 621 and 712. They were pretty much the same, with modern furnishings and art, warm dark wood furniture, and pops of orange for color. The bed and pillows were luxurious, the Frette sheets divine, leopard print robe – leopard-y. The room windows were very large and both nights our rooms overlooked the Potomac, Key Street Bridge, and the National Cathedral, which was nice. We’re part of their loyalty program so we had free Wi-Fi, and no issues with connecting.
The toiletries were Essential Elements, I think, and were refillable units attached to the shower wall. They did have hand soap and lotion in small, take-away containers, but the days of loading up on travel Aveda products are long gone at most Kimptons. That’s ok. We still have tons of products from the old days.
I used the gym both days and this was where this particular Palomar really shined. Usually, hotel gyms are pretty dismal. They’re really an afterthought. Or they’re just a big open room, which is weird. But this gym was gorgeous! It totally had a spa-like feel to it, which makes sense since this gym is also used for the condominiums. There were lots of machines, although I had problems with the treadmill tvs both days – the first day, I couldn’t figure out how to turn it on (there was an extra step listed on the instructions involving an input button that did not exist). The second day, the treadmill TV display kept breaking up and digitizing all weird. Yeah, I know that doesn’t make sense. Also, on the first day, my treadmill pause/stop button only stopped the machine. So no pausing or walk breaks for me! The second day, I didn’t even try to pause and just ran the entire time. Both of my treadmills had fans, which were very necessary.
There were plenty of gym towels and a water cooler, although they were out of cups my first morning. There was also a nice place set off to the side a bit for stretching. It really was a well-designed little gym and you never felt crowded or awkward. Not really sure how they did it, since there were so many pieces of equipment in there. I wish I had taken a picture, because the picture they have on their website isn’t it.
All in all, a very nice place to stay. Too bad our electric is back on and we were able to return home. I didn’t really mind playing Eloise and living in a hotel. Princess Petunia, however, was not pleased by our extended absence and has been giving me the cold kitty shoulder.