I found myself here for a weekend in March when my girlfriend had to be in Chapel Hill for a nearby conference.
In terms of proximity, it's a short, ten minute cab ride into town; or a longer walk, if the weather is nice and you're feeling up for it. For convention-goers, it's rather close as well and walkable.
Upon arriving, I found that the lobby regularly hosts a dj night. Honestly, I found it pretty obnoxious. I'm not used to having to yell at the front desk staff to ask questions and communicate with them. It is unpleasant and impractical. It was too loud. Period. There's really no need…ever… for a dj in the lobby. It is not a club. There's no dance floor (thank god). And if you're shooting for the whole loungey vibe, then a good, mellow cd will do nicely. Not a full on welcome-to-our-hotel-aural-banghra-assault. Not a good first impression.
Not that they can help it, as it's a corporate design decision, but I found the front desk to be a bit odd. It's a small circular, two-person apparatus. I felt bad for the two gentlemen forced to share about five cubic feet of space. And from a guest's perspective; it does not inspire the confidence that I have their full attention; when there is no order or line and when anyone can just walk up to any part of this weird circular desk and ask for attention; thereby interrupting my check-in process.
The lobby also has a bar. It's small, but adequate and they seem to have pretty decent drink prices.
The whole place is a bit over the top neon and bright. It's not my style, as it doesn't relax me. But that's one man's opinion.
The rooms themselves were done in a similar vein, but not quite as bright and attention grabbing. In a good way though. I found the room comfortable, with all available space well utilized. Kudos to housekeeping too, as the place was spotless. The beds were comfortable. The closets were a nice design. There's a nice big tv for when you feel like lazing around. Free wifi was another appreciated amenity; though honestly, it's rather stupid of a hotel NOT to have it in this day and age. So I won't give too much credit for that. Thanks for doing what everyone should be smart enough to do, I guess. Also, even though the room faced the street outside, I really didn't hear much of the traffic. We weren't up high, either. So…sound insulation. A good thing.
The shower door leaked copious amounts of water. I called down to have it resolved, but it was not attended to. I did mistakenly leave a "do not disturb" sign on the door, but I mean…. I called the desk. I told them "I will be leaving in ten minutes. Anytime after that, you may enter and fix the shower door problem". Really, it took about four towels to sop up all the water that leaked out. That's a lot of water. Probably around a gallon or so. Instead, they brought me new towels. So they entered my room to give me replacement towels….but they were too lazy to remove the old towels and fix the problem? That is inexcusable.
The shower itself was lovely. The water pressure was wonderful and I found the little body wash and shampoo/conditioner wall pumps to be much less of a hassle than having to fiddle with some minuscule bottle and then ask for more later on. Not to mention it saves plastic and packaging. At first, I thought "Jesus…. a shampoo/conditioner combination? Like Head and Shoulders? Cheap." But it wasn't that bad, actually. Though if I was finicky, I wouldn't be terribly impressed.
The front desk staff were half and half, in terms of attitude. For amenities left at home, they had toothbrushes, but not deodorant. About half the people I encountered, either by phone or in person were very friendly and helpful. One guy I spoke with (I didn't get anyone's name) was just sort of stone-faced and looked as though he didn't particularly want to be there. Not that I ask for the cheerfulness of a waiter at Fridays or anything. But maybe crack a smile and say hello, like the others are doing.
The gentlemen (and ladies) in valet were always very pleasant and helpful.
All in all, I was not terribly impressed with my stay. I'd tell someone to explore their options pretty well before staying here. I probably would not return.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Aloft Chapel Hill is by UNC's Campus, area universities, Research Triangle Park, and RDU Airport. Our hotel has 1,600sq ft of meeting/event space, free wifi, an indoor pool, and w xyz, a bar/lounge. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Aloft Chapel Hill Hotel Chapel Hill
- Aloft Chapel Hill North Carolina