Thursday, July 14, 2011

Comfort & Convenience at Local Sheratons

Thanks to Travel Onion, a site that features some of the "world's best travel blogs," I was invited to tour a couple of the Sheraton Hotels in Tyson's Corner and the Dulles Airport area. As much as I love to travel and as much as I consider the DC Metropolitan area, I was grateful for the opportunity to get to know these properties as they wouldn't have been on my list otherwise. I'm a fan of staycations, and in fact that same evening I was checking into a hotel in Dupont Circle.

Previewing the Sheraton Premiere as Tysons Corner Transforms

The first and last time I was at Tysons Corner, Virginia was about four years ago when I first started coming to DC for work. I had no orientation of my way around the city, let alone any of the suburbs, but I scored a ticket to the YouthAIDS Gala which happened to be in Tysons Corner. As we drove through the town's shopping center, I noticed that there wasn't just one but TWO Macy's, and not far apart from each other. I mean, I guess I understand about Starbucks having locations, some on the same block (to alleviate lengthy lines, they say), but what would justify two Macy's in the same mall? My friends informed me one was newer and catered to a more upper-scale crowd.

The indoor and seasonal outdoor pool help make the
Sheraton Premiere a great staycation location
Perhaps this is a similar goal for the city as a whole and the Sheraton Premiere. Tysons Corner will soon have not just one, but four stops along Metro's upcoming "Silver Line," which is no wonder since it is already home to the largest shopping center in the state of Virginia and the DC Metropolitan area. Pooped out super-shoppers can find a comfortable base that features not only deluxe rooms with gorgeous views, but two pools (indoor and outdoor), a racquetball court, whirlpool and sauna. And, while the Metro won't be stopping there for a couple more years, there is free parking and shuttle service ready to take you anywhere within the surrounding area.

Sherton staffmember welcomes guests
into the Club Level Lounge
The restaurant offers decent appetizers and a special concoction called the "Sheratini." The hotel also offers a Club Level with a gorgeous lounge serving breakfast or hors d'oeurves, beverages, newspapers and what seems to be very attentive service.

The $20 million renovations will begin in November and are projected to end February 2012. A few of the updates will include a more open check-in area, a larger Link@Sheraton (internet/business center) space, a swankier lobby bar/reception space and most exciting, a state-of-the-art gym and spa available for hotel guests. Unfortunately, there aren't plans to open the gym and spa to the public since there will be a 24-Hour Fitness opening nearby.

Quaint Convenience at the Sheraton Herndon Dulles Airport Hotel

Travelers to Dulles Airport generally have to add an extra 30+ minutes to their commute time in order to accommodate the long distance from DC, the expansive walking, extra-long security lines and those dreaded people-movers to get to the gates, which is even more extraordinarily painful for those crack-of-dawn flights. Luckily there's the Sheraton Herndon Dulles Airport Hotel with its convenient location and very special Park & Stay Hotel Package where guests can sleep in a bit longer in one of the comfy Sweet Sleeper Beds, hitch a ride on a complimentary shuttle and leave your car safely parked at the hotel for up to 14 days. Weekend rates begin at a mere $79 per night, which is a steal considering a taxi from DC runs about $75 each way and airport parking would cost about $20/day, it pays for itself in 4 days, let alone having the convenient location and luxurious night's sleep. When making your reservation, use Rate Plan code LPARK. Even if you don't have such an early morning flight, Starwood Preferred Guest members can enjoy a late checkout of 4pm, so you can begin your vacation before leaving for your vacation.

Sheraton's comfy Sweet Sleeper Bed
Both hotels offer the well-known Sheraton comfort, from the beds to linens to service. They're conveniently located for Tysons Corner shopping, long days or nights at the Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, Virginia wine country touring, or early morning flights out of Dulles Airport.

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