Busy hotel or empty hotel?

So, I’ve narrowed it down to 2 hotels for a short staycation. Both are old, historic buildings near water, in an area with walkable restaurants so there’s a lot of opportunity to just walk around outside and see neat things. The question is, one hotel is on the waterfront and is definitely popular even with less patronage. I know b/c on weekends in summer most of their fancy rooms are already booked. But, a few blocks away, not on the water, is a very similar hotel that has all the historic charm. All of their rooms are still available on all dates I’ve tried. I get the impression that their main clientele are people going to visit at a close by college, but that campus is closed to all visitors. So, they may be really empty. It seems a no brainer to choose the empty one b/c of less risk of covid but…will it be sort of rusty from disuse? Will things be gross? I have no idea. I don’t know if the water front view is worth being around more people, when I can walk to the water in about 5 minutes. The person I talked to at the front desk of the empty hotel sounded strained and unhappy. I think he hated having to tell me things like that the restaurant in the hotel is closed.

Does the empty one have any recent reviews on Trip Advisor?

I think you’d be able to relax there better, but don’t want it to be gross! Sounds like you have takeout options so just make sure whatever amenities are closed won’t be too annoying.

Yes, there are a few from the last few months, and one from yesterday. People seemed pleased.
Overall the hotel has very little bad feedback. The water front one, however, has good reviews overall but one thing that worries me—many people mention no hot water. That would be a real downer to a luxurious staycation, although I tend to use the water at less popular times so it might not be an issue.

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So sounds like it really comes down to this decision? If you plan to be in your room at lot, the view might be worth it? Or will being around more people stress you enough to make it not worth it?

The hotel not on the water has a view of the state house and some other nice buildings, so it’s not 100% devoid of view (if I ask for the right part of it). I like the balcony option b/c that gives me a door that I can open to get ventilation occasionally. I forgot to ask today, but I seriously doubt the windows in the rooms open, at either place. As much as I’d like a balcony at the one with the water, I would have to wait a long time for one to be available.

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I don’t know if anyone is still following this thread, but at the moment I’m leaning towards the busier hotel simply b/c the staff at the empty one was straight up rude to me on the phone when I called to ask questions. Some of their bad reviews mesh with the attitude I got…and I no longer am thinking of this hotel as the oasis I originally thought it was.


Sounds like a good decision!

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I stayed in an empty hotel once. It was kind of creepy. Like am I going to get murdered? Why is this place empty? (half) joking aside, the service wasn’t great.


Eek, scary. :open_mouth: In my case I looked around on the web enough to figure out that my “empty hotel” has a clientele mostly of people coming to visit the nearby college, which is currently completely closed to anybody who isn’t a student or worker there. So, I’m worried about things like pipes that haven’t been used in awhile and musty beds. No thanks. It’s also a wedding venue that probably hasn’t been used in awhile. I’d love to stay there, IF they get some more current good reviews, maybe in a year or two. It’s a lovely historic place. But so is the “busy hotel.”

Mine was on a small island in Greece before peak tourist season. They didn’t have the kitchen open, had just opened the pool etc. It was so weird. The people were nice. They brought us to a local restaurant so we could eat some authentic food.

Wow! So much more interesting than my 2 hotels, which are about a 20 min drive from my house. I’ve thought about just going there and checking them out before booking, but I still think they wouldn’t be comfortable enough with someone just walking off the street to show me a room etc. People in the whole DC area are still very much more on edge about the virus than a lot of other places (b/c it’s been so bad here). Also, I kind of want to have an element of surprise to my staycation, in that I wouldn’t go there until it was time.