Charlottesville (Autograph Draftsman) - New Property/First Impressions

Discussion created by ssindc on Jul 19, 2018
Latest reply on Sep 14, 2018 by techie

First impressions of the new (only two months old) Charlottesville, Virginia property: the Autograph Draftsman:

  • Nice that Marriott has opened a slightly nicer (more upscale) property in the area - for decades, this has been a Courtyard-and-Residence-Inn-only zone;
    • location is more downtown than on the north side of town (where I normally stay);
  • minimalist, modern, attractive, comfortable room;
    • nice view (from my top-floor/10th room) - something that most Charlottesville properties don't offer;
    • bathroom (rolling barn) door - looks great, takes up less room, but ... but ... but ... you cannot access the closet while the bathroom door is open (and vice versa), which is a mite weird/inconvenient;
    • no in-room luggage rack ... and, indeed, nowhere (and I mean nowhere) to put your luggage (so I can only assume you're supposed to open (and unpack?) your suit case on your bed (or on the couch)???  and, to exacerbate the issue, the closet it very small/modest (and hard to access, see above);
    • nearly brand-new carpet already rust-stained by the metal legs/feet of the side table by my window?
  • there's a(n adorable) property dog - the dog was resting comfortably in the lobby (and, to some extent, greeting customers) when I arrived - a nice touch;
  • really enjoyed the adjacent/in-property restaurant, RENEWAL - a modern (probably hip) restaurant, with glass curtain walls that integrated nicely with sidewalk seating - also offering a (huge) bar/beer garden section;
    • I was lucky - my stay coincided with restaurant week - and the fixed price restaurant week menu was a steal - and the food was (very) good, beautifully presented, and interesting - I'm not sure I would have love my dinner as much as I did if the bill was $100, but (tonight) I ate like a king for a ridiculously modest amount of money;
  • no concierge lounge - alternative compensation was some points plus a small food coupon (which would be inadequate, if you aren't competing with a Courtyard);
    • to the extent that most of the local properties are Courtyard/Rez Inn's, that's not a huge surprise, but...
  • Still experiencing a number of growing pains ... when I checked in, there was a computer glitch; one of the elevator floor indicators isn't working correctly;
  • cute (somewhat unusual) seersucker robes - in two colors - in the closet - more here: Robes and Slippers? 
  • Minor coffee disappointment - the web page said (OK, promised) a Nespresso machine, but, in fact, the room had a Keurig - alas;
  • combined trash can-and-recycling bin - thank you!
  • very large flat screen TV;
  • Bigelow toiletries (which I've enjoyed at other Autograph properties);
  • (personally), I found the parking (only valet, in retrospect) unduly confusing and not terribly intuitive - if you know it's only valet, it might be more obvious.... 
  • lobby (which was empty every time I passed through), looked comfortable and interesting;
  • top floor gym is a mite sterile, but offers a nice selection of equipment.

Curious to hear what vaboywnder and others think....