First let me start off by saying that I rent homes or apartments twice a year, usually through Homeaway, when my wife and I take our children and/or grandchildren on vacations. I have a certain expectation when renting that was not met at this location. First the good: We rented a three bedroom unit which was absolutely beautiful, convenient to the tourist type sites, and in a mostly residential area. My wife and I brought out daughter, and their four children ages 2, 4, 6 and 8. There was plenty of room for all to sleep comfortably, and we love having a kitchen to avoid having to eat in restaurants with four kids. There was also a gym and game room on premise. Plenty of towels and a washer dryer in the unit which was helpful for us travelling with four children.
Now the bad: As I said above, I frequently rent homes and/or apartments and they always come with a page of information inside the apartment. Not this time. There were supposed to be two FOBs to let us into the building, game room and gym. They were not only not there, we didn't even know they existed. We only found out when we were stuck in the entrance way, waiting to try to get into the building with a sick child ( 102 fever), as the concierge was on some kind of break. After a few frustrating minutes, a resident who was getting her mail saw us ( maybe heard the crying 4 year old), walked over and let us in. That was when she told us there are supposed to be fobs for the residents. I then called StayAlfred and they informed me to look around the apartment again ( I did) and then said they would deliver them in 24-48 hours. Isn't there someone who readies the apartment and makes sure that the small details are taken care of? Apparently not since the stove top was filthy, a lamp in one of the bedrooms was broken, the dryer sounds like it is on life support with a loud annoying squeak. Other than the stove top though, the rest of the apartment was very clean.
Since this rental was only for two days, I figured we would never see the fobs. Anyway, the next morning I went to CVS to pick up children's Tylenol, and you guessed it, no concierge, and I had to wait for another good Samaritan to let me in. I then called Stayalfred and told the very nice people on the phone that they were not in Washington but would reach out to the property contact and have fobs delivered that day.
In addition to not even knowing that there were supposed to be fobs, I had to call
Stayalfred to find out where to dispose of our garbage? I was told that there is a shute somewhere on each floor. As I said, when I usually rent, there is info about keys (fobs), garbage, TV and DVD players ( for the life of me, we couldn't figure out how to open the DVD caddy, if in fact, that huge black mechanical item on the tv stand was in fact a DVD player and not just an additional part of the cable box).
Oh yes, one more thing. Since entrance to the apartment is by a numerical keypad, when we returned to the apartment after dropping our bags the first day, we found the front door unlocked. You apparently have to press the star button to lock the door behind you. We all sort of thought the door just locks automatically but shame on us for not checking, but shame on StayAlfred for not providing any instructions or information about this kind of stuff.
In summary, would I stay here again? Yes I would now that I have most of the logistics figured out. Would I stay at another Stay Alfred in another city? Not sure. The people at central Stay Alfred were very sympathetic and nice on the phone and helpful ( we got early check in and check out), but apparently, it must be hit or miss in terms of the local staff. I might give them another chance, or maybe try to avoid them. Normally, waiting for someone to let you into a building is not the end of the world, but when you have a crying four year old with flu like symptoms, four minutes seems like forever.
Neighborhood location is good to area bars and restaurants. Streets Market is close by for misc. food items as well as Beer & Wine & Bottled Water. Not too close to the Metro though! Our flight arrived in the morning and we were able to leave our bags in the room, even though the prior people had just left! The concierge also made a special trip to give us information on area Restaurants! I was surprised that the Master Suite had a Queen size Bed and the 2nd bedroom had the King size bed. Coming back from Museums, we found the Apt. linens changed and new towels in the bathrooms however there were dishes in the sink, crumbs on the counter and the living room rug as well as the bedrooms needed vacuuming, which we did with the vacuum in one of the closets. There were also dirty towels left on the laundry floor. We started to have an issue with the smoke detector, battery was dying. I talked with the concierge who told me I would need to speak with StayAlfred, which I did. Problem was that by the time I called them, it was Friday afternoon and maintenance never did show up. I took out the battery but by 5AM it was beeping once again. I finally was able to talk the concierge into giving me a 9 volt battery to install to stop the beeping. Good space in the Apt., Furniture was decent. Rooftop Terrace was really Very Nice and the Club Room was fun for Pool & Shuffleboard in our down time. Additional towels would be nice to have for people staying more than several days. Garbage room was located by 401.
We booked this apartment through VRBO and are very disappointed with our experience.
We arrived at the apartment at 10 pm, and immediately realized that the unit was not has described. The pictures online showed nice modern furniture, but the furniture in the apartment was cheap and flimsy. I would not have booked it had I known what the apartment really looked like.
What's more troubling is how filthy the apartment was. There was hair in the bed, mold in the refrigerator, and the floor had not been swept. There was even toilet paper in the toilet. Given the filthy state of the apartment, my family decided to move into a hotel close by. My family is also sensitive to bad air.
We called the company, who verbally committed to refunding our stay as well as paying for the hotel. They refunded the VRBO stay, but have yet to refund our hotel stay.
This truly was an awfull experience and I wish it to no one!.
This was my second experience with StayAlfred and I was just as pleased as the first. Our visit to DC was short and fast, this location worked fine for Uber pick-up and drop-off. We easily walked to Hank's Oyster Bar for brunch, about 15 minutes. A quick ride to the Bombay Club for dinner, afterwards Ubered back to our apartment to celebrate a family member's birthday, really nice to have a clean, comfortable and homey setting to open presents and enjoy a long talk into the night. The kitchen is well-stocked with tools/tableware/appliances, I especially appreciated use of a blender for my breakfast shake. The apartment is spacious, tastefully decorated, a place I would live in. The building was quiet, no problem with noise while sleeping. All instructions for arrival and departure were clear, lobby personnel were friendly and everything went as described and expected. Will definitely continue to use this company, hoping they'll expand to more cities (Houston perhaps?).
First of all this is a perfect location with wonderful surrounding restaurants, parks, etc. in a very nice part of Washington DC. You certainly can walk to many local attractions depending upon how ambitious you are Not exactly close to a Metro Station, but for a family of 5 an Uber is more cost effective any way.
The amenities of the apartment complex itself are great (game room, coffee bar, security/concierge, roof deck, and pool, etc). The unit itself was clean and the beds were very comfortable. While it had certainly been cleaned prior to our arrival it lacked some deep cleaning (the bathroom vent was full of dust, come of the corners were dirty and the furniture/rugs showed signs of wear and tear. It was still very nice though and we felt comfortable to host a dinner or local friends for one night.
Unfortunately, we were told by our booking agent that this pool was open year round and so we booked it based on that fact alone after confirming with our agent multiple times of its year-round openness status. We were saddened (kids actually were devastated) to learn that it was only open Memorial Day to Labor Day, which I understand is standard in the industry but the exact reason why I had confirmed this fact.
Stay Alfred was very responsive when I called and offered to relocate us to a property that did have a year round pool, but we were already pretty settled in by this point. Clearly we were in DC to do activities other than swim and so this was not devastating to the adults in our party.
This property is a great balance if you are looking to get away from the traditional hotel setting for more space and a kitchen but not quite ready to stay in someone's personalized home. We had groceries delivered by Peapod and this saved us a ton of money on restaurants and allowed additional time for exploring and fun. The game room and coffee bar was a huge hit with my kiddos and made up for the pool not being open.