Residence Inn Rosslyn Virgina (Marriott Directory as Arlington VA)
Rosslyn Viriginal is one of my favorite places to stay when visiting Washington DC as there are very good views of Georgetown University, Kennedy Center and the monuments all located along the Potomac River which separates Washington DC and Virigina. Usually I stay at the Key Bridge Marriott as this property has absolutely the best view, and is a property that has been there since my college days when we use to go there to dance and drink as it was walking distance for us, so has many fond memories for me. Since this property is a Category 5, and all of the Washington DC properties are Cat 5 or higher except one that is in a horrible location on New York Avenue, this left the options of the Residence Inn or Courtyard in Rosslyn. The Residence Inn is closer to Key Bridge and the metro station, and since I use travel by train to DC and around DC by metro, I went with the Residence Inn.
At first, I thought this property might have been an old apartment building from the Marriott Directory picture that old college friends lived in, but when I arrived and walk up to the entrance I realized that it was not that apartment building, but perhaps was another. From the outside and lobby area, the property looks like a newer property with a very standard Residence Inn interior that had been very nicely decorated for Christmas with a tree, greenery and stockings.
It is a very short walk from the metro. Upon exiting the metro station, turn right and walk over to Wilson Blvd, and another right on Wilson Blvd. Walk past Fort Meyer to the next street which is Nash and turn left. Walk one block along Nash and it dead ends on 17th and you will be facing the side of the property. Make a short right turn on 17th and an immediate left before reaching Oak and you are in the small driveway and parking lot of the Residence Inn.
I arrived around 11pm and the doors were still unlocked, but around midnight - 1am the interior door is locked and you need a key card to access the property. The lobby is a typical Residence Inn Lobby. The front desk clerk was friendly and efficient but did not really acknowledge my status or my upgrade. Since I had friends joining me, I did ask if there was a 2 bedroom available, but none were left and they asked me if I preferred points or ammenities, gave me my key card and I was off to the elevator bank to the right of the doors that goes to guest rooms while the elevators to the left of the doors goes down to the garage.
My room (1009) was on the 10th floor of 12 floors, and right outside the elevator doors to the left, and directly across from the laundry. The room was a very traditional Residence Inn room except slight smaller, and slightly different angles which was the first clue that it was indeed a rehabed apartment builiding. The living area was the same layout with the exception that the kitchen occupied the left hand side of the room instead of having the entire room be living area, with a separate area for the kitchen that aligned with the bedroom. As a result you walk on a diagonal to the bedroom which is also slightly smaller than most. As you walk into the room you are facing the exterior wall on the diagonal, and need to turn slightly left to align with the bed. The furniture in the living room is also older, and was exactly the same as the furniture in the older Springhill Suite in Philadelphia. The rest of the room though was in much better shape than the older room in the SHS in Philadelphia.
Anyways, I was tired, so went to bed. It was ll very comfortable but a little noisy though not enough to keep me awake too long. From the bedroom you could hear the alarm on the dryer go off in the laundry room across the hall, and there is also the unmistakable noise of older plumbing that is not uncommon in most buildings in Washinton DC. It was not overly loud, but rather faint, almost a hissing sound.
I woke up around 9am, and was considering the nice hot buffet breakfast, when I realized I was a short walk from my favorite cafe in Georgetown so I got up, dressed quickly and bundled up in my oversized parka for a lovely walk through the snow flakes that were falling to Key Bridge backtracking along 17th (right) to Wilson (right) then past Fort Meyer and the Metro to Lynne (left). From there ist 3 to 4 blocks to Key Bridge, past the Key Bridge Marriott on the left. Just before the bridge is a very nice Welcome to Washington DC sign, and then one of my favorite walks across a beautiful bridge with beautiful views. On the DC side of the bridge is a nice plaque expalining that the bridge is named after Francis Scott Key. Turning right on M street, there is a very nice little park called the Francis Scott Key park with a very unusal round Pergola covering rounded cement benches set in a circle, and just next to the Pergola a silver christmas tree that also existed when leaving Georgetown on the other end going toward Pennsylvania Ave.
From there it was a couple of blocks to the intersection of M and Wisconsin. At the forner is Banana Republic which use to be the Rive Gauche, the best French restaurant in Georgetown. Across the street use to be Nathans, a very popular restaurant and bar. On the far corner is the old Riggs National Bank Building with the gold dome which is just a couple of miles from the old Friendship Heights branch where J. Willard Marriott use to go to do his banking, and everyone in the area knew him. He was very friendly and down to earth and would stop and chat with everyone.
Just one more block along M street, just past the Georgetown Smoke shop that is still the best place to select a cigar in their climate controlled room or buy cigarettes from anywhere around the world, is Pam Pam, one of my favorite french cafes, and the 3rd french cafe to be introduced to Georgetown after the Cafe de Paris (name after the one in Monaco but no longer in DC), La Ruche, and then Pam Pam. Of course if you say Pam Pam to anyone that wasn't there orignally they will not know what you are talking about, as the name was only etched in glass on the bottom of the two round windows facing M street. Several years ago the windows were replaced with square windows set in a wood frame and all traces of Pam Pam were removed and that is when I discovered its real name, Le Bistro Francais. Had a lovely lunch of my favorite Fish Soup Gratinee and Norweigan Eggs (poached eggs on very fresh smoked salmon with hollandaise sauce). All bread is made on the premises as are the French pastries.
After lunch, walked and window shopped along M street and then headed back to the hotel to meet up with friends.
We ended up eatting at one of the many Kabob places that have sprung up all over the DC-VA area, and it was like stepping into another world filled with newspapers written in Farsi, a room full of people dressed traditionally and speaking Farsi, and dishes like I would have been served by any of my Persian friends in their homes.
The next day we again opted to skip the hot breakfast and went to La Ruche, which is just around the corner from Pam Pam on 31st street. Had there Fish Soup which is more of a Marseille style Fish soup and a 'real' Croque Monsieur, topped off with a fresh fruit tart.
Absolutely a perfect weekend, but it ended all too soon and aI was off to Union Station for the train home.