More about Hotel Madera - A Kimpton Hotel
I travel to DC frequently for business and the Hotel Madera is a refreshing change from the usual boring corporate hotel. It's innovative, stylish and has a convenient location. The rooms are clean, modern and fun- with stereos, fantastic products (e.g. Aveda), comfortable beds, and high-speed internet access. Dupont Circle is a block away, and in minutes you can hop on the Metro. The restaurant downstairs, Firefly, is a fantastic place to have drinks after a long day.
Whether it be for business or pleasure, Hotel Madera delivers a unique hotel experience. I refuse to stay anywhere else when visiting the DC area.
Great location, great room, great service
My partner and I visited Washington, DC for three nights one hot August weekend and we stayed at the Hotel Madera. We got excellent rates through their website. Their “Hot Dates, Great Rates” deal was for an amazing $129/night.
The first thing you need to know about the Hotel Madera is its perfect location. Two blocks from trendy Dupont Circle – where myriad restaurants and chic shops abound – but on quiet New Hampshire Avenue, the Hotel Madera gives you the best of both worlds. The hotel offers overnight parking at a hefty price ($24/night); so if you can, leave the car at home and take the DC’s magnificent Metro – which takes you almost everywhere you need to go – from Union Station or Washington National Airport. The nearest Metro station (Dupont Circle on the red line) is also conveniently located two blocks away.
Although a bit of a disappointment, the hotel’s lobby is perfectly fine. There’s really not much of a lobby to speak of, but they’ve clearly done as much as they can, given the dimensions of the space: put a desk, plop a banquette, use lots of dark, hip colors, and douse everything in soft lighting. If you arrive in the early evening, you’ll most likely be greeted by a few guests taking advantage of the complimentary wine hour (a nice and friendly touch). A couple of small elevators off the lobby will take you to your floor where lively carpeting and surprisingly harsh lighting await you. Each door is topped with a decorative molding that’s incongruous to the hotel’s modern décor, but it somehow works.
You open your door and discover where the Hotel Madera really shines. We’ve stayed in many boutique hotels where rooms are barely bigger than the beds, but our room at the Hotel Madera was comfortable, beautiful, and spacious. And very quiet, which is definitely a plus. The room’s décor was modern and hip without being too painfully so. Someone definitely paid attention to the details, down to the woven wallpaper. Our king-sized bed was comfortable. And the room came with Internet access, cable, and a nice CD-stereo system. The bathroom was small, as others have pointed out, but just fine. The multiple-setting massaging showerhead more than made up for that shortcoming. The one thing that kept our room from being absolutely perfect was the air conditioner. Maybe it was just too hot outside, but for some reason, while it was comfortable, the room was not getting cold. We had to keep turning down the thermostat to get to a nice temperature. This was a small flaw in an otherwise excellent room.
The staff is extremely friendly and helpful. They strike a good balance between being professional and casual. There were a few hitches (one day, I had to wait a while for my car, but the next day, it was there in no time), but service is overall good. The staff may not always run like clockwork, but service is always delivered with a friendly smile, and that goes a long way in my book. An example: one early morning, while I was waiting for my car, an alarm went off at the front desk and the clerk turned it off and made a call to a room. That was a wake-up call! Yes, a clock at the front desk keeps all the wake-up call requests and they actually call the individual guests. I had to try it the next morning and sure enough, I got a call at the appointed hour with a human voice on the other line greeting me with a happy “Good morning,” instead of a computer coldly telling me this is my wake-up call.
The hotel’s restaurant, Firefly, features a great room dominated by the large “Firefly” tree in the middle and a wall lined with birch tree trunks. While the food was not the best we had in Washington, it’s certainly good and the room is worth the visit. I had a chilled tomato soup that was perfect for a hot summer evening, and a juicy braised lamb shoulder that hit the right spot. Diners should check their low-carb diets at the door and try the truffled Parmesan fries; it’s the sophisticated salty childhood treat you never had. If you can’t come for dinner, at least come for drinks. The lounge area is the perfect place for a cosmo and quiet conversation. Service at the restaurant was similar to the hotel, slightly imperfect (I couldn’t hear half of what our server was saying), but professional and always warm and friendly.
The Hotel Madera is that small boutique hotel that’s perfect for the traveler who’s willing to forego the usual amenities (room service, fitness room, grand lobby) in exchange for warm and friendly service and beautiful, comfortable rooms in a perfect location. This was our first Kimpton hotel and I have a feeling it won’t be our last. Note to pet owners: the Madera is very pet friendly, down to the water bowl by the lobby.
A great place to stay!
I would definitely recommend this hotel! It was exactly what I was looking for. Everything was great, from the attentive service to the view we enjoyed from the balcony of our room! Rooms are very tastefully decorated and of good size A fine taste for detail! Great location. A must stay!
fabulous little oasis...
I stayed for 4 nights october 1-4. Lovely botique hotel. Very well kept, extremely clean, friendly and accomodating. Restarant is delicious. Everyone was so nice, my stay was delightful. The bar scene at night is friendly, I met some nice locals who invited me to share a dining table! Oh, the location is perfect, close to everything.
Strangest rooms I've stayed in since 1995
You'll never forget your room at this apartment building converted into a hotel. I stayed in two rooms during a recent trip and each one had its quirks.
The handicapped room had no closet, just a hanging bar for clothes below (my) waist height in the bathroom. The double queen sized beds left little space for maneuver around the room and both I and a guest were kneecapped by one of the bed. There was an entire room attached to my room that was EMPTY - not a stick of furniture or a closet. This was probably once a kitchenette, judging by the power hookups along the wall. The bathroom's hand held shower sprayer would not stay on the sliding hook apparatus, leading me to switch rooms.
My second room still had no closet, just a higher and longer clothes bar running along the wall that separated the room from the bathroom area. There was no safe in this room, and when I called the desk on this, a safe was toted up to my room and put (unsecured) on a shelf. I guess they figure that anyone running through the lobby with one of these 2'x2'x2' metal boxes would attract attention, and that's how they would protect your valuables. The staff person who brought the safe box up agreed that it would be a good idea to fasten these to something in the room and said that management "was looking into it."
On the plus side, I liked the high speed internet that was included in the room rate. And the linens, towels, and toiletries were all excellent.
Not so boutique
This hotel was disappointing and as a frequent traveler to DC I know that for the price and the area one can do much better. This is one of the Kimpton chain that advertises their properties as "life style" hotels. I have stayed in many of these around the country, and have liked most except this one. This property received more of a make-up job than a re-do and feels more like a fancied-up motel than a "life style." For example, the old gouged door mouldings have simply been painted over. The rooms are on the small side; mine was configured in a very strange way and was noisy. And, it was not cheap. The contracted restaurant on the first floor served me inedible food for dinner and the "free" buffet breakfast turned out to be neither. When I complained by email after the fact, management was unsupportive. If you like Kimptons, try the Monaco (and get a goldfish). Otherwise, check Tripadvisor for one of the many other very nice hotels near Dupont Circle.
great deal on nice hotel
I stayed at Madera 3/25-3/27 and loved it. True the bathroom is small, but the dressing area is quite spacious. The rooms are thoughtfully decorated. All of my requests were honored, including a corner room on the top floor. The complimentary in-room internet and wine reception are nice touches. I found the bed to be very cozy. As a former DC native, this hotel is quite a find if you get the best rates, often offered during the weekend. The Firefly restaurant is a favorite of natives and tourists alike. Dupont Circle area can't be beat for entertainment, food, shopping, etc.
Not up to Kimpton's Standards
I'm a native to D.C. and enjoy the area's hotels, especially the Kimpton chain, but I wasn't impressed with the Madera. Stayed for 1 night, 3/25-3/26 and was disappointed. The front desk staff was extremely courteous and helpful, however the room wasn't up to par. Our King room was clean & stylish, but very small compared to the other 3 nearby Kimpton hotels (Topaz, Rouge & Helix).
The decor is stylish, but the color scheme is bland. As a previous poster mentioned, the molding on the doors & walls is gouged & looks sloppily painted over, not repaired, and the sink/counter was outside of the bathroom ....something I'd expect in a Days Inn, not a Kimpton hotel.
The in-room honor bar was merely a large Igloo-type cooler that wasn't even cold, however, it was fully stocked with juices, sodas, beer, vodka & champagne. The bathroom had the usual Aveda bath products, a shower cap, large towels & a bathrobe. There was also a Madera logo-ed umbrella in the closet, which could be purchased for $25.
We had lunch at Firefly, the hotel's restaurant, and it was fair. A little overpriced for what you get, but again, the service was very good & staff were friendly.
The best thing about Madera is the location on Dupont Circle - it's close to many restaurants, lounges, bars & the Metro (subway). But for the money, I think Kimpton's Topaz Hotel, which is on the other side of Dupont Circle, is a much better option.
An individual hotel in a pleasant location
We just spent three days there as part of our honeymoon in Washington DC. Upon arrival, check-in was speedy and the reception was very friendly and welcoming. The staff were extremely courteous and helpful, our porter explained how all the in-room features worked: these included a large-screen TV with (pay per view) movies and TV on demand, safe and mini-bar. The bed was large and comfortable. In general the room was elegantly decorated although the bathroom was very small; the tub was pointless and would have been better replaced by a high-quality shower stall.
The hotel hosts a free wine-tasting every evening 5.30 - 6.30. There is only ever one red and one white and it only changes monthly so in effect this is an hour of free wine, and again the staff are very helpful and actually on one occasion let us take a bottle back to our room.
There is complimentary broadband internet in the room via an Ethernet port, but if you haven't got a laptop with you then there's a small room with a PC you can use, a useful touch.
The Firefly restaurant is cosy, friendly and very high quality, with prices to match. I had a spicy steak with possibly the world's best mustard mashed potato, while my wife had a very delicately-cooked monkfish. The wine list is small but well-chosen. One point to note is that the front desk said we wouldn't need reservations but when we went to dinner we were lucky to get one: I would recommend sticking you head round the corner and making sure of a nice table.
The Dupont Circle area is one of the nicest in the city with interesting shops, pleasant restaurants and a generally safe feel. There is a 24-hour drugstore only 2 minutes walk away. The Madera is a five-minute walk from the nearest Metro line and for non-locals the message is leave your car at home: the safe, clean Metro is the best in the country and the hotel will arrange both pickup and return to Dulles or Reagan airports (although they need 24 hours notice of this).
To conclude, the hotel is a fine choice for a few nights of relative luxury in the capital.
what hotels are close to the Holocaust Museum?
Re: washington stay
There is a boutique hotel called Hotel Madera that is the closest, but also not far is the Holiday Inn Capital, the L'Enfant Plaza, the Mandarin Oriental, and the Hotel Washington. Depending on your state of health, they are all within walking distance to the museum.
Re: washington stay
There is also a Hilton Garden Inn in downtown, not sure exactly how far of a walk it is to the museum, but it can't be that far and if it is take the Metro.