My Birthday Weekend Getaway at The Alexandrian Hotel in “Old Town”- Alexandria, Virginia

Some things in life will never get old to me-  the smell of fresh lilacs, hearing Canon in D, freshly laundered sheets, AND spending a weekend away at Old Town! Ahh, I was so blessed to celebrate my 40th birthday in one of my favorite cities in the United States-  Alexandria, Virginia!  It did not disappoint.  Has me feeling that maybe my “40’s” won’t be so bad after all!

Alexandria, Virginia, also known as “Old Town”,  is a city south of Washington D.C. located on the Potomac River.  Even thought it is only a little over three hours from Pittsburgh, 2 hours from Philadelphia, and under 4 hours from NYC-  Alexandria feels like A WORLD AWAY!  It is such a culturally rich and vibrant area with endless outdoor dining options!  My favorite part is that everything that one might need for an enjoyable getaway is within walking distance.  Each time I visit, I just marvel at the beautiful 18th and 19th century architecture and brick sidewalks.  The first time I arrived here a few years ago, I instantly fell in love.  I love Alexandria!

 

SHOP THE POST!

 

King Street, named one of the “Great Streets” in America is lined with at least a hundred boutiques, specialty shops, and restaurants, and it is also home to my personal favorite spot- The Alexandrian Hotel.  It is seriously that GREAT!  I promise!

THE ALEXANDRIAN HOTEL

The Alexandrian Hotel is a part of the Autograph Collection Hotel collection, which means it is one of 200 unique hotels under the Marriott Bonvoy label.  It is a stylish and charming hotel with a boutique like feel- yet offers all of the amenities you would expect from a much larger hotel.  This hotel really set the stage for the low-key and laid back romantic birthday getaway I had been longing for.

In full disclosure, Scott and I were hosted by the hotel– but as always, all opinions I share are my own.

 

I absolutely loved sharing the “behind the scenes” of our getaway on my Instagram stories.   If you’re not following me–I would love for you to go follow now so you don’t miss a post!

www.instagram.com/jessicalayden

ARRIVAL

We arrived at The Alexandrian Hotel after a fairly quick 3.5 hour drive from the Pittsburgh area.  I say fairly quick because we weren’t traveling with our kids which usually requires stopping every 10 minutes!  Check in at the hotel was a breeze, and the welcome was warm.  Upon entering the hotel, I couldn’t help but marvel at the posh lobby.  Truly, the lobby is the perfect gathering place for old or new friends, and I absolutely loved the unique styling and decor at every turn.

Because of the virus, the hotel valet parking service has been put on hold so we had to self park in the parking garage on site.  The garage was extremely convenient to the location of our hotel room, and it was not a problem at all.  Alexandria (as I have already mentioned) is a walkable city, so once parked, there is really no need to retrieve your vehicle.  Everything you could want is within walking distance.  The location of The Alexandrian Hotel is really what sets it apart from other hotels in the area, and it is one of the best reasons in my opinion to stay there!

GUEST ROOM

For this particular trip, we stayed in a King Terrace Room with a Balcony.   I loved the balcony view overlooking the courtyard.  I could envision many memorable events being held in that space over the years– showers, intimate weddings, Sunday Brunch– Oh the memories made in that space!  It’s really special!

The balcony did not offer complete privacy so I did want to note that– but this really wasn’t a problem for us.  The suite itself was very spacious, and the bed and linens were very comfortable.  I do wonder however when I will learn to start traveling with my own pillow?  I am now 40 years old–  so you would think I would have learned this by now!  Any one else out there have pillow problems? Ha.

There was a large flat screen tv in the room that we never turned (am I strange if I don’t watch tv on weekend trips?)  and a mini fridge as well.   There was also an ironing board and iron in the room.  I mention this fact once again since I am a part of the the 5% percent of Americans who still iron.

I was very fond of the Calacatta Gold marble bathroom.  Seeing how it aged in such a historic hotel that has literally been around for years reaffirmed my decision of the fact that I decided on real marble at #thelaydenlegacy.  My only wish was that there may have been a little more bathroom countertop space– ’cause this girl travels with a lot of makeup and toiletries.   I loved the large full length mirror in the room, and appreciated the extra large work desk.  As a blogger, I now appreciate the desk in hotel rooms.  That has been a major change from my previous life when I actually used to ask myself the question of  who actually sits at these desks to work on vacation?

I couldn’t help but wonder while being at the hotel if any of our founding fathers stayed in our exact suite.  I mean, even George Washington stayed at The Alexandrian Hotel.  How cool is that?

CLEANLINESS

Unfortunately, as you are well aware we are still in a worldwide pandemic.  And because we were only at the hotel for the weekend, our room was not serviced during our stay.  I can tell you however that when we arrived our room was spotless and felt extremely clean and safe.  I appreciated the extra measures that are in place at the hotel to prevent the spread of the virus, and they did not go unnoticed.  The common areas of the hotel were sparkling and maintained beautifully.  Masks were worn in common areas, and I felt that everyone was doing their part to prevent the spread of the virus.

AMBIANCE

I wish I could convey through writing just how much I love the ambiance of The Alexandria Hotel and Alexandria, Virginia in general.  It’s posh yet not uptight.  It is charming yet still has the conveniences of a major city.   Hello- Starbucks is 10 feet from the hotel! Ha!  I mean Ross, Dress for Less is located a block from Lululemon.  If that doesn’t describe me perfectly, I’m not sure what would.  Ha!  It’s really such a romantic place and the perfect destination to reconnect with your partner!

FITNESS CENTER

So in case you are wondering, there is a fitness center on site.  I did check it out (after a huge dinner of course!) and it looked adequate.  I always say I will work out on vacation (I always pack my athletic clothes and sneakers) but I never actually do.  Also- for the record,  I have never actually seen anyone in a fitness center in a hotel so I don’t think I’m missing much.  Am I? Ha.

FOOD/DRINKS

Does anyone else go on getaways solely for the food and drinks?  Okay. Great.  Then we can remain friends.  It’s definitely not a secret around here that I love to eat, and Alexandria, Virginia in general is a culinary delight and a food lovers dream!  There are literally hundreds of restaurants of every kind to choose from!  On Friday evening we were so lucky to secure a reservation at the newly renovated Cocktail Garden at the King and Rye Restaurant.   The weather was beautiful and it was a night to remember!  The cocktail menu was great! I couldn’t choose just one.  The signature drink- Sippin’ Pretty- however stole the show in my eyes.  Wouldn’t you agree?  Trust me- It tasted as good as it looked.  Scott and I also enjoyed a Characterie board of cheese and spreads with our drinks.  It was a date night and experience I won’t soon forget.  The firepits, egg chairs, and casual and intimate dining experience was stellar.  The photo opportunities- endless.   Ahhh… If only I could go back this weekend!  The Cocktail Garden will remain open for the season until mid November, but be sure to make a reservation well in advance if planning a visit to Alexandria.  Seating is still somewhat limited due to the virus, and you don’t want to miss out on the best date night spot in Alexandria!


 

We planned to dine at the Waterfront area on Saturday; however, due to inclement weather, our plans had to change slightly, but it all worked out for the best.  Even the rain wasn’t going to stop me from having some good Mexican food!  We enjoyed a low key evening with Tacos and Margs at Don Taco.  You know I love my Mexican food, and this restaurant was an amazing choice!  The Chips and Guac were amazing, as were the specialty tacos.   (I might have even had three Margaritas– but who’s counting?)

 

 

OTHER POINTS ON INTEREST

The waterfront is a quick 10 minute walk away from The Alexandrian Hotel.  In non-Covid times it would be great to see live entertainment there.   The riverwalk experience is one I won’t soon forget, and we are sure to visit each time we come here.   There are lots of opportunities for “people watching” at Alexandria.  Bikes are also available if you want to see the city by pedal.  Like learning about history?  Alexandria is home to museums and many learning experiences as well.

There are many day spas in the area if you’re looking for a massage or a facial.  Boutique shopping is at it’s finest and chain stores are also available like Sephora and White House Black Market.  There is never a dull moment spent in Alexandria, Virginia.

FINAL VERDICT

Overall, I loved my 4oth Birthday Getaway to The Alexandria Hotel and Alexandria, Virginia.  It was the perfect weekend trip!  I actually think this destination could work for an even longer getaway to Alexandria alone, or as a home base to explore all that our nation’s Capital has to offer as well.

Thanks for following my blog and I hope you come back soon.

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