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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Taking tacky to a whole new level

I spent the weekend - and end of last week - in DC for a conference. I love DC, but our conference was actually closer to Arlington, VA, at an incredibly tacky resort called the Gaylord.
Oh my gosh it was hilarious.
It made Vegas seem reserved and quiet.
Although there were nice views,
That's the famed colored fountain you see in this pic.

They were ruined by fiber optic lights at night and piped-in soft rock.
The hotel itself was a massive glass cube planted lushly inside; I cannot begin to fathom the air conditioner bill. Every surface was marble or pleather; there was a hysterical assumed air of eliteness (there was a way-too-cool bar - oops, I mean LOUNGE - that actually had all the guests names on a list, so the sunglasses-adorned bouncers could check your name on the list before letting you in. I guess some people get their jollies off being on a list?!).
Of course, like many such places, the actual service was kind of crappy. There were so many guests that the line to check in was crazy long, and I waited half an hour, then trudged to the tenth floor and through about 6 miles of hallways only to discover that my key didn't work. I repeated the entire process, but the key still didn't work and I ended up calling the locksmith. As it so happened the key DID work, it was just that the door was swollen shut so firmly it wasn't budging. He heaved his weight against it, called for help, and eventually got it open. Then we discovered why it was swollen shut: the temperature in the room was over 100 degrees! I cranked on the air, but it blew hot. Annoyed, I called the front desk, and we discovered that my AC was out of order and my room was not supposed to be used. The good news is that I got upgraded to an obscenely large suite.
Sorry for the Blackberry pictures, I didn't pack a camera!

The bad news is that the entire process took over an hour!
But I'm not complaining, because nothing says luxury hotel like having a formal dining room in your suite (and no kitchenette or fridge, so obviously you're serving take-out on your pretty polished table).
Instead of a chocolate, I got a card on the pillow. It said, and I paraphrase, "Please enjoy a good night's sleep. But first go look at our awesome colored fountain, provided for your delight" (the phrase about "your delight" is a direct quote).
I was at my conference from 6:15 am to 5:15 pm (seriously) Friday and Saturday, then had a half-day Sunday before I flew out. I arrived Thursday night, and David joined me Friday night, which was sweet of him. He brought his camera and has better pictures of our loverly resort, but his computer is having issues, so you'll have to wait on those. Don't get too stressed with anticipation!
So my question today is...
Which do you prefer to stay in?
1. A huge fancy resort, that is so all-inclusive that you never leave the premises to sight-see?
2. A cozy bed and breakfast with an heirloom ghost?
3. A no-frills Holiday Inn Express kind of thing - super basic, but has a business center and continental breakfast?


  1. Haha I've been to the Gaylord a couple times (I grew up right across the river from it). It's def not a typical DMV sighting! I like #2 :).

  2. What I really want to find is a B&B that isn't frilly and historic, but sleek and modern.

  3. I stayed at the Gaylord in Nashville and had a similar experience. Ridiculous. Really.

    I'm going with #2. I don't understand super fancy resorts. What's the point in going to a new city only to stay in a hotel the entire time?

  4. My husband stayed at the Gaylord in DC and had the exact same thoughts...I have to admit I like fancy. With 4 kids and a crazy life sometimes I just want someone else to do all of the work:)

  5. So, so funny. I was trapped in a Gaylord's one time in Memphis for a conference. And all those red hat ladies were there too..imagine! On the flip side, I do like the national harbor, in spite of Gaylord's!

  6. hmmm....I usually stay at basic places. As long as theyre clean I'm not too fussy on frills. I spend most of my time OUT of the room, so the money goes to other activities

  7. I stayed at the Gaylord Texan resort in Dallas for a work trip a couple of years ago and your description of this place is spot on!

    I think I would pick #2!

  8. Sounds super funky. I would have been cracking up too. I'd still pick #1 from you list though.