On a recent trip departing Washington Dulles (IAD), I had a chance to stay at the Hyatt House Sterling/Dulles Airport-North and this was my experience.
On the outskirts of Washington DC, this location is at the doorstep of Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD). In Northern Virginia’s myriad of suburbs (NOVA) the property is not far from Reston Town Center, though a trip into the heart of Washington DC will take considerable time (40-45 minutes) and, if driving yourself, add significant cost when using the toll lanes. For access to Dulles, the property is well located.
Address: 45520 Dulles Plaza, Sterling, VA 20166
Phone: +1 703 435 9002
I was impressed, upon arriving at the size and exterior of this Hyatt House, one of the larger I have seen from the chain. The hotel was built to a high standard but maintaining that standard appears to have been problematic.
Hyatt House properties offer free breakfast to all guests regardless of status. This is a combination of cold and dry items as well as a hot breakfast buffet.
Hot breakfast items were in a rough state and reminiscent of a Holiday Inn Express or the nearby (and less expensive) Comfort Inn. There was some “bacon” (maybe Canadian bacon but it looked like ham to me), scant potatoes, boiled bag scrambled eggs, and a self-serve waffle iron.
The person running this area was doing her level best, but the breakfast area was not overrun, replacement items were nonetheless hard to come by. At 10:00 on the dot, the juices had been removed as she made her way down the line. Guests were still eating but breakfast closes at 10.
I am sometimes criticized in hotel reviews for not covering the breakfast experience, this one, however, reminded me why I often skip the option altogether – it’s just not worthwhile.
The hotel offers a few amenities but one of the features is a shuttle service to the airport. The ride is just 10-15 minutes depending on traffic, it departs on the hour and half hour and runs from 5 AM to midnight. The hotel also offers digital key card access from the Hyatt app, and free wifi for all guests.
With regard to the streaming abilities, I have used this feature in other Hyatt hotels and enjoyed it, allowing me to pick up where I left off on shows I am watching on Hulu or Netflix. However, at this property, the TV only partially faces the bed or couch (it swivels) and the streaming did not work properly. I inadvertently started broadcasting to another room because it was mismarked. Rather than continue through the list, I opted to watch on my laptop instead.
The Hyatt House offers an outdoor pool (an interesting choice for Northern Virginia), welcome in the summer months. There is also a fitness center with some free weights and a couple of machines.
If I was the owner of this hotel, I would be upset with the entirely manageable problems it presented. Some were maintenance and some were housekeeping. I can appreciate both roles are tough to fill right now, but some items just demonstrated a lack of effort or willingness to address.
For example, this beautiful hallway (at least for a Select Service hotel) had noticeable dust accumulation. Another hallway had ceiling panels missing but no evidence that work was afoot.
A laundry room is available to guests but half of the machines are inoperable, and the others require change to operate. This is not universal among Hyatt House properties but I can understand why the hotel requires payment for the service.
This property offers a basketball court, the first time I have seen this at a Hyatt House.
But one of the rims was broken and needed to be replaced.
In addition, the entire property reeked of marijuana (is it legal to smoke indoors in Virginia?) and upon opening the door to my room I was greeted with the undeniable stench of body odor (bad, bad, bad body odor) that called into question just how clean the room could possibly be.
World of Hyatt Benefits
Though the only room left to book was a room with two queen beds, I requested a king suite if possible and I was granted that upgrade without having to ask at the front desk. I appreciate it immensely when a hotel honors a status request when it is able. As a benefit of my World of Hyatt Globalist status, I was also able to secure a late checkout that better aligned with my flight’s departure time. This too was granted without question. Globalists are offered two bottles of water at check-in daily but do not confuse those at the convenience store (free for Globalists) with the Evian bottles at the bedside in the room – on sale for $5/each. I was also able to use my Globalist free parking benefit before a flight, saving me the cost of parking at the airport.
The king suite I was offered (627) was petite but had all the amenities I hoped for including a full kitchen with a large refrigerator.
The kitchenette featured a microwave, sink, dishes and cups, a stove, dishwasher, full-size refrigerator, and dual-use workspace and table opposite the living room area.
The TV faced the kitchen and workspace, it swiveled to the couch and bed but extremes on either side wouldn’t be able to watch it due to its proximity to the wall.
The bedroom (not a closed-door suite) was satisfactory, though plugs on the bedside lamps worked inconsistently.
The bathroom was split with a vanity outside of the restroom with a large closet opposite for extended stay guests to be able to fully unpack and hang clothes.
The shower stall was ample, and the toilet was opposite the shower. This property uses bulk toiletries affixed to the wall.
This is such a tough property to grade for value. On one hand, whether the back of a chair has been dusted or ceiling panels replaced is not really that big of a deal and perhaps I just had a stinky room and other guests won’t experience the absolute plumes of weed flowing through the hallways. On the other hand, what could have been an excellent hotel stay was marred by these types of attention to detail issues. The room was selling for $134/night during my stay or 5,000 points. On the basis of 2¢/point, this is a good value hotel and it served my purposes and would others looking to use their points for this stay. That said, I probably will try another area hotel next time I am in the area, due to the issues with the property and my experience.
What do you think? Have you stayed at the Hyatt House Sterling/Dulles Airport-North? How was your experience?