I've stayed over 1000 nights at this location during many stays, so this review comes with some experience at the location. It has always provided a great executive experience - clean, well-maintained, well-stocked kitchens, on-site dry cleaning and convenience store, a great shuttle service to the metro and government offices, and a friendly staff. When one is in an area for a short stay, it is so nice to have someplace feel like home, providing you will all you need in a small package - this is the heart of executive stay hotels. Oakwood was always my first choice when staying in the Washington DC area.
This trip showed a different Oakwood Executive experience, and one that does not speak well of this location or of Oakwood as a company. Upon arrival, there was no staff to welcome me, but a self-service lock box to pick up my own key. However, the emailed directions were to look for a fence in front of the main lobby for the lock box. As it happens, that area was blocked by construction when I arrived, so there was no way to actually get the key. There was no one to assist, leaving me to wander aimlessly with my bags outdoors in the heat.
After finally finding the hidden area after the construction crew moved away, I learned that my stay had been booked incorrectly, several days short of my intended length, contrary to an email confirmation I'd received. However, without reception staff to help out, I had to rely on remote phone service to address the concern. Unfortunately, Oakwood was unable to confirm any changes to my reservation by phone, either positively or negatively, deferring to a third party, and letting me know they would need to get back to me. I'm into the second day of my stay and have heard nothing.
As it turns out, the error in my stay length is fortunate, as the facility is not only without reception staff at present, but also not well supervised in the area of cleanliness or maintenance. My room smells, a strong musty, ammonia smell, that is forcing me outside. I'm fairly certain my sheets weren't cleaned from the last guest. I'm now up at 4 a.m. as a tractor starts work on the construction project in the courtyard. That Oakwood had also provided me with the wrong Wifi password (by email of course), with no clear way to resolve it, seems minor in comparison.
Some allowances must be made for the massive reconstruction project that the facility has ongoing. The property has been rebranded (Falls Green is the new name), and there is an unclear relationship between the old and the new. It is understandable that there will be growing pains during transition. So, early morning tractor noises, and disruption in physical space during construction I can understand. I can do without the pool, and walkways, and convenience store and dry cleaner.
However, when Oakwood cannot provide basic levels of support, like reception staff, clean rooms, correct booking, and ability to respond to basic customer needs, they really should have made the decision to close down the location and cease pretending to offer executive lodging. That they did not, and feel that this experience is acceptable for their guests, is quite telling of the company, I'm afraid. As a corporation, a decision was made, one that is putting me into meetings in three hours, after an international flight, without having the benefit of sleep.
My next 1000+ hotel nights will be elsewhere.