The Gaylord National is located in National Harbor, Maryland. The property is just far enough away from Washington, DC (a top summer travel destination) to get the relaxing resort feel yet conveniently close enough to the attractions and monuments. I checked out the property and enjoyed the experience so much that didn’t want to leave.
The Rooms: I checked out all the room types during my visit, but I experienced the overnight luxury of an Executive Suite. I’ll admit it was very roomy for just one, but I sure did feel spoiled! I had an atrium view balcony and enjoyed morning coffee plus a bit of writing time in between activities. The rooms are decorated in elegant shades of red, white, and blue and the bathrooms have granite countertops and signature amenities. The suites are like their own little apartment, but even the standard rooms are spacious and luxurious, each with a mini-fridge for keeping your drinks cool.
The Property: The Gaylord National is such a large property that I never even realized there were conferences going on during my stay. I explored the grounds, both inside and out. It is located in the National Harbor, which offers various dining, shopping, and attractions in a pristine area. The atrium is 20 stories tall and is climate controlled. The outdoor grounds offer breathtaking views of the Potomac River and in clear weather you can even see some of the taller DC monuments. Gaylord National is a destination in itself and if you’re looking for a place to relax but still near the hustle and bustle of Washington, DC, then you can’t go wrong with a stay at this property. Families with children can take advantage of all the kid activities available onsite.
Dining: There are several restaurants to choose from at Gaylord National and each one is a winning choice. The Pienza Italian Market serves buffet style fare, but my favorite meal was enjoyed at Old Hickory Steakhouse, the property’s signature restaurant. Old Hickory even has a Maitre d’Fromage and cigar patio giving diners that little bit something extra. If you would rather surf over turf, then reserve a meal at Moon Bay Coastal Cuisine. Looking for something more casual? National Pastime Sports Bar and Grill serves burgers and more in a laid back gaming atmosphere. I didn’t eat at the sports bar but I did check out the indoor golf range.
My Mama Moment: The water shuttle from Old Town Alexandria, Virginia crosses the Potomac to National Harbor. I stood on the front deck of the ship and let the wind blow my hair every which way and thought about the historic image of Washington crossing the Potomac. I felt very patriotic and proud to be an American at that moment.
Pros: There are so many pros to staying at Gaylord National. I enjoyed the fine dining which is outstanding and won’t disappoint visitors. The atrium itself is like a little destination, yet you never have to worry about the weather. There is a fountain show in the middle of the atrium and various events that are held throughout the year at the property. My most favorite pro has to be the onsite Relâche Spa which boasts the best view of any spa in the DC area.
Cons: The dreaded “resort fee” charged by many properties. However, this includes internet, bottles of water (limited number), newspaper, phone calls (limited time amount) and access to the fitness center.
Great For: Couples, Families, Girlfriend Getaway, and Groups.