More about Doubletree Hotel, Washington D.C
Better Have a Plan B
I had confirmed reservations at the Washington Terrace hotel for April 19, 2005. After having worked a long day, I arrived at the hotel at 10:30 p.m. only to find that they had oversold and that there was not a room available for me. Although they admitted that they had an idea at around 3:00 p.m. and my cell number was on the reservation, they did not call to alert me. They said that they made other provisions for me at another hotel and that they would take me. I told them that I had rented a car, but they insisted on driving me and picking me up in the morning. (I had a two-night reservation.)
So, at midnight, they drove me across town, literally, to a conference center on a college campus. As they had not called the conference center to tell them that I was on the way, I had to wait 15 minutes to check in. By the time I checked email, did a little work and went to bed it was almost 2:00 a.m. Imagine my surprise when I was awakened by construction at 7:00 a.m. the next morning.
Furious, I called the front desk and was informed that they could do nothing about the construction. The University was doing the construction on the floor below me. Enraged, I called the Washington Terrace and asked to speak with a manager.
The evening before, I was told by the manager on duty that they would pick me up in the morning at the time of my choice and bring me back. When I called and asked to be picked up, the manager on duty said that they would not have rooms available until after noon. He stated that they could pick me up, but I'd have to spend my morning sitting in the lobby, instead of working from my room as I had planned for the morning.
I am still displaced as I write this review. I would strongly encourage travellers not to place confidence in reservations at the Washington Terrace hotel. It is often difficult to find other accomodations in DC at the last minute (everything was sold out last night).
Great Location - Pretty Hotel
I really liked the convenience to the Dupont Circle metro stop. I could also walk to the Smithsonian Museums and monuments. The restaurant - 15 Ria had great dinner specials. The lobby was contemporary but also elegant. The front desk staff was very friendly. I would definitely stay at this hotel the next time I am in Washington.
The bed was great!
We wanted a weekend of rest, away from our kids. I thought the Tempur-Pedic bed would be great for my husband's back. The bed was great. The room was fine. The service was okay. We opted for the weekend getaway package which included parking and breakfast. We had breakfast delivered to the room both days and it was very good. We ordered sandwiches from room service for dinner the first night and ate at the 15 RIA restaraunt the second night. The food is good and extremely expensive, as are the drinks. However, we tried not to focus on those things. I looked forward to soaking in the "sunken bathtub" however, I was dissapointed in that the bathtub was very small. I am average sized however, I felt like a giant in the tub. Also, due to the tiles you could not lean back in the tub at all. The tub was not exactly clean and the stopper would not keep the water in. There was gum stuck on our alarm clock and the floor in the bathroom. There was a stain on our bedspread. We put the "Service Please" tag in our door as we left for a walk on Saturday and the room was exactly the same when we came back. We asked for and received fresh linens after two phone calls to the front desk (which is available about half of the time). I could go on-but all in all, we enjoyed ourselves, not entirely due to the hotel. Next time I will try the Lansdowne for a QUIET weekend away.
Expensive for what you get
Based on the reviews I had read before my trip, I was excited about staying in this hotel for a 3-day business meeting. However, I was not impressed by my small and relatively basic room for $153/night, the essentially useless concierge, the lack of real business center (two computer kiosks that charge $5 for 20 minutes of Internet time do not constitute a business center), and the seemingly ubiquitous sirens on Rhode Island Avenue every evening. I also heard from a fellow traveler that the food in the hotel's restaurant was mediocre (I chose not to eat there), so plan to get out for meals. But be prepared to walk a lot if you don't have a car (which will cost you $26/night to park at the hotel) and if you don't want to pay for a taxi. The nearest restaurants of any quality and quantity are on Dupont Circle, which is a healthy walk from the hotel. Make sure you bring a decent map with you because the concierge is of little help. The attitude seems to be that since the restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, why leave? I'm sorry, but the Washington Terrace is not a cruise ship and I wanted to see some of DC during my trip.
The nearest Metro station (Farragut North) is a fair distance away too, but still closer than the National Mall. According to the Washington Terrace website, the White House, K Street, and the Smithsonian are "easy walking distance away." Not so, my friend. The blocks in DC are huge! Save your feet for the long walk on the Mall and in the museums - ride the Metro to the Smithsonian station. Trust me, your feet will thank you for it (that is, as long as you wear decent walking shoes).
By the way, the nearest Starbuck's is two blocks away on P Street across from Whole Foods (between 14th and 15th St.). Unlike Seattle, Starbuck's isn't exactly "everywhere" in DC as one reviewer suggested.
Don't Stay Here
This is the loudest hotel I have ever stayed in. The walls are paper thin and the staff is so loud. The rooms near the elevator have the added bonus of the incredibly loud double ding every time the elevator goes to that floor all night long. The service at the hotel is also very poor. They gave away the room we requested and put us in a much smaller room. We ordered room service and it never came. The staff was very unapologetic when we called to find out that the order had never been brought to the kitchen. The only thing boutique-like about this hotel is the small size of the rooms.
Washington Terrace - Soon-to-be a Doubletree
I stayed here two nights for business, during a week where hotel rooms below $200/night were very scarce, so I was relieved to find an in-town hotel at a 'decent' rate ($152/night). The lobby has the 'hip' factor going, with plush seating and dramatic colors. The rooms are small, but the furnishings are nicely updated (CD player/alarm clock; marble in the bathroom; Bath and Body Works soap/shampoo/lotion; plush towels) and the bedding is comfortable. The fitness room has water and towels, six cardio machines, a universal weight machine, and free weights. As others have mentioned, the concierge staff is not very well-informed, so do yourself a favor and get acquainted with the terrific restaurant offerings of DC beforehand, such as via the Washington Post or another independent source. I had dinner in the restaurant (15Ria) one night, and the waitstaff was not helpful at all ('everything is good'), and tried to over-sell me with 'still' water. I settled on a salad only, so I can't speak broadly about the food. Hotel also has a bar/lounge area. I had a rental car one night, and parked on the street with no problem, saving the parking fee.
In all, this is a comfortable hotel in a 'becoming hip' area of DC (Logan Circle) for a decent price (at least on my visit). If you don't require staff assistance, you will have a comfortable stay. As noted in the review title, this property will become a Hilton property (probably a Doubletree) next month, so expect it to become more generic in the future.
Go for the suite
After reading the reviews of the regular rooms we decided to go for the suite and loved it!
Okay, so some of the hotel staff was not overly friendly, the concierge gave us incorrect information twice and the bartender a bit terse. However, there were a couple staff at the front desk who could not have been better and our over all experience was very good.
The suite was absolutely beautiful, the bed comfortable, the bathroom gorgeous, the towels and sheets high quality and everything was spotless. We did not experience thin walls - in fact it was wonderfully quiet. Just a few blocks from the metro - it was a great place to stay and I would definitely stay there again.
FYI: The price by far was found by booking directly with the hotel.
My Second- One Week Trip Here
This was my second one week stay. Last year it was the Washington Terrace. This year the Doubletree. They repaired the air conditioning and it worked very well. Temperatures were near 100 so that was important.
My one room King Suite was very nice and clean. The bed was exceptional.
We used three subway stations in the area that are within a moderate walking distance from the hotel. I also walked one day to the National Mall and the Smithsonian.
I agree with the other remarks about the concierge staff. The front desk personnel have improved.
A Caribou Coffee is about two blocks away. The Whole Foods is a nice grocery store to pick up essentials. Dupont Circle has several good places to eat. Georgetown is not a far cab ride away.
Good price for D.C. Nice Room. Great location. Nice stay.