Gaylord National Hotel

I headed to the Gaylord National Hotel yesterday evening for a wedding.  It was my second visit to the hotel in the past year or so and I was happy to see that the area was starting to grow a pretty good sized crowd because my initial impression was that even though the space was beautifully construed, its location seemed a bit daunting to me (it is a bit far away from the city) and I found myself initially wondering if it was a sustainable venture.  The initial signs seem positive.

Cost – $$$
I was a bit shocked when I dished out $28 for about three hours of valet parking.  In fact, the last time I’ve been that surprised at the cost for a service was two years when I was visiting Monaco and found out that I was about to pay 44 euros for two Heinekens.  The national waterfront is definitely not Monaco.

Service – B-
I am a bit surprised that the investors would have poured so much money into developing this beautiful establishment but not into developing the staff who works here.  I honestly expected a premium level of service through the hotel and felt like they were plucking people off the streets.  The service during dinner was apocryphal.  They brought out half our dishes and it was about thirty minutes or so until the other half came out.  In fact, they were starting to serve dessert by the time all our entrées made their way out.

Food – B
It was decent.  The steak might have been much better but having waited until everyone was served (which took thirty minutes as I mentioned) it was a bit cold by the time I bit into it.

Decor – A
It is a beautiful space.  The massive window facing onto the harbor is really incredible (especially after a few glasses of wine).  It is worth visiting just for the view alone.

Feel – A-
Visually, you feel like you are in a premium establishment but the service detracts from the overall experience at the place.  You want to feel like everyone who works their kisses your ass and instead you find yourself wondering if your going to get jumped by the bellhop and kitchen staff.  It is definitely worth a visit if you haven’t been there and I’d even recommend the venue for work functions or other events (it was a great place to host the wedding).  Let’s stay optimistic that they’ll pick up the level of their service.

The Gaylord National Hotel is located at 344 Waterfront Street in Oxon Hill, Maryland.  They can be reached at (301) 965-4000.

7 Responses to “Gaylord National Hotel”

  1. Carrie April 6, 2009 at 3:18 pm #

    That window is stunning! I was just there for a conference, and had a pleasant time. Unless you’re used to the layout, it can be a bit confusing as to what is where (lobby vs. atrium vs. ballroom), but I found the service to be good. The location was a real stinker, tho, and many of the attendees complained about the distance from the city. It seems as tho they are still ironing out details and kinks, but hopefully the place will rise to multi-star status as the months pass and as the surrounding area continues to grow…

  2. Justin April 6, 2009 at 7:53 pm #

    Careful with the PG County Streets comment, you can find inexperienced staff just as easily anywhere else in Maryland, DC, or VA.

  3. Brandon April 7, 2009 at 1:02 pm #

    That window is stunning Carrie! I haven’t been to the Gaylord yet, but I’ll have to check it out soon just to see that atrium.

  4. Jiyan April 7, 2009 at 2:01 pm #

    You’re right Justin. I just said that because it is actually in PG County…

  5. jj April 19, 2009 at 2:47 am #

    agreed @ Justin. unfortunately, as a long time Prince George’s County resident (went to hs (Roosevelt) and college (Uof MD)) there, it’s been a long time coming for the county to get premium development mainly b/c of perception that the inhabitants of the county, mainly black, are mediocre, poor and not deserving of nice upscale shopping and dining options.

    thus…i cringed a little when i got to the “pg county streets” comment. Im not a fan of PC so I’ll leave it at that.

    My hubby and I hung out at that club on the roof once (sometime in 08) and had a fabu time and vowed to return, tho b/c we live closer to UM, the distance made it a deterrent. we havent’ been back since. 🙁

  6. Discount Hotels August 1, 2010 at 4:12 am #

    Actually, you feel like you are in the establishment of a premium, but the service to detract from the overall experience in the area. Want to feel that every person who works kisses your ass, and instead find yourself wondering if he was going to get jumped on and kitchen staff slippery slope. Definitely worth a visit if you were not there and even recommend a place to work tasks or other events (it was a great place to host the wedding). Let’s remain optimistic that they will pick up the level of service.

  7. Elizabeth T February 21, 2011 at 9:03 pm #

    Gaylord is beautiful and has a great environment. I love the pool and the ballrooms. Also The restaurants, shops, and the view are breath taking.
    Public parking/meter fee is reasonable. Valet parking can be expensive as it is everywhere else.

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