The SpaceIn preparing the guest suite for you, we made sure to include amenities typical of a nice hotel (waffle-weave white bath robes, organic personal toiletries for you to keep, fluffy white towels, crisp white bed linens, chocolates on the pillow, a range of pillow types and blanket options, etc.).
We also put a lot of personality and personal touches into the space. There are some of our favorite board games, books, and magazines in the suite for you to enjoy during your stay. We placed a good sized parsons desk and a 3-way task lamp in the bedroom in case you need to get some work done. There is a surge protector with tons of outlets for all your digital devices.
The sleeper sofa (purchased May 2016 along with the matching loveseat) has a queen sized memory foam mattress and was the nicest we could find. I mean, it's still a sofa bed so clearly it's not going to be as comfy as the "proper" bed in the bedroom. But still. Not awful. Also - the coffee table is on casters so you can easily move it to pull out the sofa bed mattress. There is a door in this room which connects the suite to the main house; the door locks (on your side) so you can control whether it's open or not. The 55" flat screen "smart" 4K TV in here is brand new and just for your use during your stay (we have another TV in the main living room for our family's use). We've set it up with our Netflix and HBO GO logins, and you also can access the cable. We have a PS3 and numerous (non-violent) video games in our main living room. If you'd like to "borrow" the PS3 and games for use in the suite during your stay, let us know and we're happy to set it up for you. (Our son would love the challenge of a new player, if you are interested in a little friendly competition.)
The upholstered bed (purchased May 2016) is pretty comfy! You have your choice of pillows including down or down alternative, and soft or firm. There's a down alternative comforter, so no worries about allergies. There's a bookshelf with an open shelf for your use. Although the blinds are good at blocking sunlight, we do provide complimentary sleep masks (yours to keep) for those who really need total darkness. As of October 2016, we have added a mini-fridge to the bedroom.
The suite has its own HVAC zone! This means, there is a thermostat in the bedroom which allows YOU to control the temperature of the entire guest suite. Like it subtropical? Prefer it to feel like a meat locker? Fine. Just promise to reset the thermostat to its "normal" setting when you leave.
The walk-in closet in this room is stupidly big. You can't fill it, no matter how large your suitcase. It's got plenty of hangers, an iron and ironing board, a proper luggage rack, and a dresser. The linen closet has all manner of supplies (extra toilet paper, soap, tissue boxes, spare toiletries, etc.) as well as extra linens, pillows, etc. This is all conveniently accessible as a courtesy. Please only take what you need for use during your stay.
The bathroom is quite large. When my sister got married, all the bridesmaids got ready at once in this bathroom. There are double sinks, a silly amount of drawers (some will be empty for your use, others will have handy things like cotton balls and swabs which you can take as needed). There's a window for proper ventilation and light. The shower has a tiled seat in it. Parents of young children, please please take note: THERE IS NO TUB in this bathroom. We do have a few bathrooms upstairs with tubs, but those are not available to you unless special arrangements have been made in advance. It's a lovely glass enclosed shower, spacious enough for two (oooh la la) but, we repeat, NO TUB. The toilet has its own little room (also with a window) with a locking door within the larger bathroom, which is convenient so multiple people can get ready at once without embarrassment. As far as hot water goes, if everyone in the house takes a shower at the exact same time (and there are 4 full baths in this house), we can run out of hot-hot water in about 15 minutes of continuous showering. This isn't a hotel; we don't have unlimited hot water. If the water does cool, give it a little while. It heats up again pretty fast.
We probably didn't think of everything, but we did try! If you need something during your stay and we failed to provide it, just give us a shout. We're happy to accommodate you if we can. Guest AccessBeyond the private suite, guests may choose to access these "shared" indoor spaces: kitchen, pantry, game cabinet, and main floor powder room. (You may also freely enjoy the front and back yards.)
We have all the usual utensils, cooking implements, and appliances -- including a KitchenAid mixer, Vitamix blender, rice cooker, double ovens, gas range, dishwasher, etc. Tons of counter space. Please return the kitchen to the state you found it.
Within reason, our snacks are your snacks. Grab a bag of chips, a granola bar, some cheerios and milk. We're operating under the assumption that you will be courteous and won't abuse this privilege. Please don't ruin it for everyone. If we have guests who literally eat everything in sight, we'll have to lock the pantry in future. That's no fun!
Because the laundry room is on the second floor and is directly attached to the owners' master bedroom, guests may only access the laundry room after requesting permission from the owners -- either by pre-arranging a time or by verbally checking in with the owners before entering the space. Eventually we are going to put a washer/dryer combo in the guest suite to avoid this in the future. Thanks for your patience and understanding in helping us navigate shared use of laundry facilities in the meantime. We have no issue about you using the washer/dryer and want it to be a convenience for you, but understandably we cannot allow guests to traipse into our private area without a heads-up!
We keep a gas grill in the basement. Please ask in advance if you want to use it during your stay, and we'll bring it out to the back yard and ensure that it has enough propane.
As a standing rule, our guests are asked never to enter or use the family's home office, main living room, dining room, private bedrooms/baths, or basement. Honor system, people!
A note about the gym and pool access:
Within easy walking distance, there is a club house, playground and open field, large outdoor pool and toddler wading pool, and small gym. The clubhouse/gym is accessible using a key fob between 5 AM and 11 PM, for use by adults only. The pool areas are accessible from Noon to 7 PM Tues-Sun (closed Mon) in summer only, and guests may only be granted access when escorted by an owner. We are happy to escort you to the pool as our guests when we are at home, just ask. We have lots of pool noodles and pool towels that you can grab. Unfortunately our neighborhood rules dictate that guests cannot go unaccompanied to the pool so please take this under consideration when deciding to book based on this particular amenity. Interaction with GuestsIf you want to play some board games with us or chitchat with us about the local area, we can be down for that.
If you'd rather pretend we didn't exist and keep your door to the suite locked at all times, that's cool too.
Tell us the level of interaction you prefer, and we'll honor that.
You will be our only guest(s) in our home during your stay. This isn't a boarding house or one of those places with lots of rooms that are rented to different people on any given day. This ensures that you always know exactly who is going to be in the house with you. The NeighborhoodOur neighborhood has lots of families. Kids ride their bikes all over the neighborhood and people are friendly but not nosy. You often see folks taking a morning or evening walk around the neighborhood. There is a neighborhood watch organization in place. We especially enjoy the view of conservation woods behind our house -- you often see deer right at the edge of our backyard.
There is a nice shopping center nearby with a movie theater (with reclining, comfy seats!), grocery store (with Starbucks!), restaurants (ranging from fast food to upscale), Target, Costco, dry cleaner, etc. Getting AroundWe are an easy, straight shot up Route 5 to the Branch Avenue Metro Station (15 minutes, max).
Unless you plan to Uber everywhere, we'd strongly suggest having a car given our suburban location.
We have the perfect central location to serve as a "home base" as you take outings within the area to DC (30 mins to Union Station), Alexandria (25 mins), National Harbor (20 mins), Annapolis (45 mins), etc. Keep in mind that DC has some of the worst traffic in the country, so these travel times are based off of avoiding rush hour. Do not try to get anywhere fast between 8-9 AM and 4-6 PM M-F! Other Things to NoteWe have two tween-aged kiddos whose safety is paramount to us. They will not be left alone in the house with our guests at any time, for everyone's sake.
We have one cat, Leo (full name: Leonardo DiCatrio). He's your classic cat: mostly indifferent, prefers not to be picked up, always acts as though he is starving, enjoys a good head scratch. If you are allergic to cats, please don't stay here. We keep him out of the suite but the rest of the house is his domain. Also, because Leo is already in residence, unfortunately we are not able to allow other animal visitors.