Rated 3 out of 5 by ShaggyMEB First W Experience: Several Pros, A Few Cons.
I celebrated my wedding anniversary this past weekend, and to celebrate I decided to redeem some Starpoints and take my wife to Washington, DC for the weekend, and booked a room at the W Washington DC for three nights. This was our first experience at a W property.
I spent a good bit of time reading reviews of the hotel prior to booking and arrival, and the reviews were split about 50/50 of people who either loved it or hated it. Many of the negative reviews seemed to be disappointed with the style, or the noise, or some combination of the two. I think that with the W brand, you need to know what you're getting into before your stay. It is a luxury brand, but one that provides a very electric, hip atmosphere with lots of loud electronic music and interesting design quirks spread throughout. It's not typical, and it doesn't want to be. It's obviously geared towards a younger crowd, and isn't meant to be kid-friendly. If you're into that trendy sort of vibe, then you'll probably love the brand. If you aren't, then you probably won't. For what it's worth, my wife and I (both under 30) really enjoyed the scene there.
The hotel is a historic hotel, formerly the Hotel Washington, and has been completely renovated and transformed into the W. The location here is amazing, right across the street from the Treasury building and just a couple hundred yards from the White House. Easy walking access to museums, monuments, the National Mall, and Metro stations. The design of the lobby space is beautiful and modern while keeping many of the historic touches of the original (the archways in the lobby are beautiful, and the original check-in desk was kept intact, with the area behind the counter transformed into a sitting area). We spent some time at POV, the rooftop bar, which offers phenomenal views of the White House and National Mall. The cocktails are expensive ($15-18), but they're tasty, and really you're paying for the view. The rooms are smallish, but are very well appointed with shag carpeting, great accent lighting and Bliss bath products.
We were greeted at check-in by a wonderful crew member (I believe Dila was her name) who was exceptionally friendly and informed us that we had been upgraded to a Fabulous Room overlooking the Treasury Building and the White House. She did inform us that we were on the 9th floor, just two floors below the rooftop bar POV which turns into a club on weekends, and told us that the noise and music can be loud until around 4am. She offered to let us keep our original room on a lower floor, or take the upgrade to the nicer room. We rolled the dice and took the upgrade, and we were glad we did for the view. The music was audible at night, but we did not find it so loud that we were unable to sleep. If you're a light sleeper, though, your mileage may vary. Dila also found out that we were celebrating our anniversary, and after returning from dinner that evening we found a plate of fresh strawberries and accompaniments on the desk in our room along with a handwritten card, compliments of the staff. It was a great touch from the crew there.
The room, I thought, was beautifully designed. I loved the accent lighting, the carpeting in the room, and thought that overall it was laid out well to have been renovated from a former life. Some people may take issue with the fact that you essentially enter the room through the bathroom, or the fact that the sink is located in the room, but I didn't find that to be an issue. The shower, as some have mentioned, is essentially a frosted glass box in the room. The frosting isn't particularly thick, which leaves little to the imagination. For a romantic getaway or someone flying solo, this is kind of cool, but again, not somewhere you want to bring your kids. The bed was super comfy, and as mentioned, the view was great.
With all of the good, I did find a few things that bothered me. The sheets on the bed had several small tears in them, showing major signs of age and/or wear. The WiFi in the room was slow and sometimes unreliable. The remote control for the television was very difficult to work and seemed sometimes unresponsive. There were also times where design may have taken precedence over function. My wife commented that the lighting above the vanity, while pretty, wasn't very bright or functional even on the highest setting, and caused her to take longer getting ready to go places in the morning than she would have liked. Also, it seemed like everything in the room had a price tag attached, which at times made it feel like the hotel was nickel and diming us into spending more money. It almost made me feel afraid to touch things in the room for fear that we would be charged for something. These negatives may not seem particularly major, but for a hotel that's charging $300-400 for base rooms, I expect things to be perfect. The W Washington DC missed the mark a little in that regard.
Every staff member we encountered was very friendly and eager to please, which we really appreciated. We utilized the complimentary Acura Experience a couple of times to get around town, which was excellent. There are only three vehicles in the fleet and it's first come first serve, so we usually tried to make reservations in advance to have the car take us to dinner, and we never had a problem with availability. Also of note: the lobby gets very crowded on Friday and Saturday evenings with people heading up to POV, but flashing a room key gets you priority access to an elevator.
Overall, the W experience is something unique and unlike what most other hotels are doing. It's designed as a luxury experience, but one one that is much more lively, energetic and modern design focused. I like the brand, and overall enjoyed my experience here and would recommend to others, but I hope that the W Washington DC can correct some of the negatives that we experienced with our room, because they are largely preventable things that detracted from what was otherwise a great experience.
October 6, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Renewd Fabulous Queen Room...Excellent!
This room was very comfortable for my family. we spent one night and we had 3 adults and a 17 year old. My two daughters shared 1 queen and my husband and I shared the other. We are not small people yet the beds were spacious and comfortable. The room had a wing chair and ottoman to relax in as well as a short settee/bench and desk chair. We did not feel cramped at all, not even when we had guests in the room for a short time. We were looking for a hotel close to the White House as we had an evening West Wing tour and were only in town for that reason.
August 5, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by PickyPickyTraveler Hip and practical
The W has a good location for both business and leisure travelers. At check-in and check-out, the staff was friendly but neither process was efficient or streamlined. Room comfort is good, wake-up call came exactly as requested, and the shower in the bathroom is excellent. Some may consider the room cramped. I was traveling solo and it was fine for just one person.
The rooftop bar has a beautiful view, but I found it both annoying and insulting that there was no table service for drinks (you only get table service if you want to order a bottle). I don't like having to fight my way through a crowd for the privilege of paying outrageous sums for measly-sized drinks.
August 18, 2012
Rated 2 out of 5 by Mike98765 Terrible
I had no idea I would be staying in a "nightclub". My wife and I were coming back from dinner through the main entrance. As I walked past the front desk I was grabbed by a "bouncer" and told to show my ID. I had no idea it was W Hotels policy to allow "bouncers" to assault their guest. As well the walls are paper thin in the rooms and people hang out in the hallways after leaving the many bars in the hotel. And my wife's favorite part, a couple of short hairs on the pillow as soon as we checked in.
I just recently switched our company to Starwood hotels, I've been a member for a month and have 10 stays, I hope my customers are not having the same experience I had.
March 12, 2013
Rated 1 out of 5 by Nickname007 Disappointing 4th of July
I reserved here for the sole purpose of seeing the fireworks on the mall. I called after making reservations to confirm that I would be able to see the fireworks from my room. I was told I needed to upgrade to anther room to do this, so I did. When I arrived to check in, I was told that while such rooms existed, I did not get enough of a room upgrade, and those rooms were now booked. I would have been happy to pay whatever it cost. Instead, I was made to pay extra for an "upgrade" that did not get me what I needed. Now I am stuck in DC, with my dog, paying $600 to listen to the fireworks around the side of the building. Horrible, horrible, horrible. Very dissapointed.
July 8, 2012
Rated 4 out of 5 by pmstr604 Meeting Trip
There were a few issues. A single cup of brewed coffee in the lobby was $6.50? That seems ridiculous. The lamps on the sides of the beds are unusual in the way they turn on, and were frustrating in the dark. The closet door handles are too slick for doors that don't want to open without a bit of force.
On the other hand, the hotel is beautiful. The rooms are small but efficient, though a table or shelf in the bathroom for personal items would be helpful. Our meeting rooms were very nice, and the catered meals were quite good.
I would recommend this hotel again to tourists (great location) and for professional events.
March 28, 2013
Rated 2 out of 5 by EMC76 Paper thin walls, lots of noise
Front Desk Staff, Bliss products, and bed all FANTASTIC. Unfortunately, though, this hotel is just old, and the walls are paper thin. I could hear everything my neighbors were talking about, and since I was on the 9th floor, I could hear the music from the rooftop lounge pulsing into my room until 2am each night. I ended up having to call to request ear plugs, which arrived 45 mins after my initial request. Also, the room service menu left little to be desired, although I am wondering if I only had a partial menu in my room. It's a lovely hotel, but one of my main needs this weekend was to get some sleep after two very exhausting days. The noise levels were almost intolerable.
May 19, 2014
Rated 1 out of 5 by stl4 Poor customer service
I made several phone calls directly to this hotel to confirm particular rooms and locations that we desired. When I arrived, they told me those rooms were not available and gave me other rooms. I was pretty much told to take it or leave it as they had no other rooms available, I was furious. Then when I went to check out, I found out they actually charged me for the more expensive room which they failed to give me. Talk about some nerve. As we were waiting in the lobby one afternoon, we heard them giving someone else a room they hadn't requested. Obviously, they are more interested in making things easy for themselves rather than accommodating the consumer. I would never recommend this hotel to anyone else.
July 12, 2014
Rated 4 out of 5 by CAP62 Nicely restored hotel
This is a well located hotel with wonderful staff. The restaurant is being renovated so we couldn't rate that but the staff helped us with good dinner suggestions nearby.
The hotel needs to tell people that it is The Washington W hotel as we drove around the block three times before we saw the small W sign. It's nice the historic name is preserved but the letterhead and email didn't give a notice about the name. Anyway we found it and enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone.
August 12, 2014
Rated 1 out of 5 by RNM2041 THE WORST W HOTEL
I have stayed at this hotel twice this year and both times been let down. The first time there were stains on the furnishings and ceiling. This time the door staff stood around and did not offer to help and my room had mosquitoes in it. Whatsmore they decided to email me while I was midflight from London to Washington to tell me that they had no room for me at the hotel! I wrote to the manager twice and he did not even bother to respond. I will not be staying at this hotel ever again! The worst W Hotel of the lot!
August 4, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Jetlag Great Location and helpful staff
Was a bit nervous about staying here given some of the negative reviews but our recent stay was excellent. The staff were very friendly and helpful and made us feel very welcome for the five nights we were there. Be sure to stop by the concierge desk to get complimentary 'no-wait' tickets to the Holocaust Museum and to ask about the tickets for the Newseum. The Acura complimentary car service is also an excellent resource. The rooms are typically small but they are well designed and very clean. Our stay included a Friday and Saturday night and although the hotel was very lively, we had no trouble with noise.
April 2, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by JACSLF Staff rocks!
I've stayed at The W Washington, D.C. for several years. I'm always impressed with the professionalism of the staff and the quality of service. It's the small things that make a stay superb--like the bellmen always recognizing me and asking about my family, the front desk staff's warm welcome and efficiency, the never ending desire to meet the needs of road warriors. One rainy day, I ate at a restaurant across the street and when I came out the door to return, a bellman grabbed an umbrella and ran across the street to walk with me, keeping me dry. That's the difference that matters and keeps me coming back.
October 24, 2013
Rated 3 out of 5 by AK32 Hurricane W
I checked in to the W DC when Hurricane Sanday was due to hit the DC area hoping that it would give use a nice place to relax while the storm attacked. The reason I chose the W was because the have generators in the event of a power outage. The Front desk rep Dag was nice. However I was disappointed once I got up to my room. The AUX input on the TV did not work for my playstation and I recieve very poor service trying to fix it. The radio and IPOD did not work and the TV when ordering movies gave us a lot of issues. In a storm these are the things that keep you busy and either could not use or had difficult time using any of them and the staff was not helpful at all in my opinion
November 2, 2012
Rated 4 out of 5 by RachelsAuntie cherry blossoms
But room wasn't ready until 4:30p vs. 3p check-in. We waited for a bit, then asked that our bags be taken to room while we were out touring. Worked out fine.
The only other negative is sort of a positive for you... it was very difficult to get through the line in the lobby to get an elevator to go to our room, as large crowds were trying to get to the rooftop terrace. And the music was POUNDING at night. I was glad I was there with my sister, not any of our older relatives. LOVED the nods to yesteryear, keeping some of the Hotel Washington signage, fixtures. Thank you for a lovely visit.
April 15, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by SPGLifetimePlatinumDBO Never disappointed...
I have stayed in several rooms and suites in the hotel and was fortunate enough to experience the Extreme Wow Suite this week.Simply put...awesome! I always find the staff very professional, friendly and accommodating. On my last visit, they put together a great party theme for my Birthday. I can honestly say that most hotels do not go out of their way to do this. I will not argue that some of the rooms are small, but you find that with any property in an older building. I’m an avid runner and when unable to run outside, I think that the gym is great. The POV Roof Terrace shouldn't be missed, with it unparalleled views. I recommend this property to anyone staying in Washington DC.
March 29, 2013
Rated 2 out of 5 by shane1974 Great public areas, mediocre rooms
This hotel has a great lobby and excellent bar. Staff are fantastic, as they are at all W hotels I visited around the world. The rooms, unfortunately, are the smallest and most pokey I've stayed in. It's just not laid out for the business traveller. Also the rates are ridiculaous for what you get. I also stupidly signed up for the 'green option' when I checked in, which means you get no cleaners through-out your visit. For the rate this sort of thing is annoying, even after I complained I didn't understand what I signed up to, the answer was it's too late to change since my spg card had been creditted.
December 2, 2012
Rated 5 out of 5 by LaraLuLu83 Amazing
I stayed here for New Year's Eve in a Fantastic Suite and the entire experience was top notch. One issue is I had to drive to Union Station to park my oversized vehicle that valet could not accomadate but no fault of their own, it's DC. I didn't make dinner reservations and everyone I called was booked but the concierge for me reservations at the most amazing restaurant I've been too in DC and I don't know how. Would for sure stay here again!
January 4, 2012
Rated 4 out of 5 by PAdutchMuffin W DC is refreshingly cool, hip, and low key
I stayed at this hotel for a quick weekend stay. With its great location and excellent facilities, there's not much to not like. The lobby is beautiful with lounge and cocktail bar. A dee jay starts spinning around dinner so it livens up. The POV bar has breathtaking views of the White house and the Washinton Monument(the night view is even better). The outdoor dining is nice at POV or the steakhouse. (overall food quality is good. I would add there are much better food options close by). The POV nightclub is small and with the VIP taking up half the room it feels like a house party with a guestlist
September 12, 2012
Rated 3 out of 5 by StephfromMI First TIme to W in DC
I am a frequent SPG hotel stayer and have stayed in mutiple W locations around the US. Typically, I travel for business, but this last trip to DC was for pleasure. The hotel's rooftop lounge is a beautiful enhancement to the hotel (had lunch there the first day), but proved to be a complete nuisance during the evening. When returning to the hotel, my family and I waited for almost 20 minutes to get to our room due to the line for the club. The woman controlled the flow of guests told us we needed to wait for the single elevator to the left. This also occured our next night as we waited for 15 mins.
September 6, 2012
Rated 5 out of 5 by GratefulMother533 Amazing Staff!
This hotel has amazing staff members who will help you with your every need. From the housekeepers, to the concierge, from the desk clerk to the doormen, the people are friendly, knowledgeable and incredibly helpful. Our visit was 5 days long in a city we had never been, so we relied on the staff of the W Hotel to guide us in making good choices for meals, sightseeing and transportation. The property is beautiful and located in the best area for families who plan on sightseeing all over Washington DC. Thank you for the wonderful accommodations and service. We couldn't have asked for anything else!
June 28, 2012
Rated 3 out of 5 by Chocstar17 The W standard
I had high expectations when booking my room for my sorority's 100th anniversary and wanted to stay where the standard was high. Unfortunately my stay did not measure up to the typical W standard. There was a cobb web on the lamp in addition to a red stained towel brought to my room when I requested additional towels. The only other thing I would say is that the experience is not consistent. For example, I noticed people were being offered champagne upon check in; however I wasn't but asked for a glass the following day. Depending upon your lodging needs, it will probably be an "okay" experience.
July 15, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5 by Andi Great location and great service
I recently stayed at this hotel before the Shamrock Shuffle. I found the location to be excellent. Just one block off Michigan Ave and in the heart of great shopping and eating. The room was nothing special but clean and comfortable. The staff was very kind and welcoming. We had an issue with our closet door being off the tracks and it was immediately fixed and the matience team was very kind. I would definitely stay again. The only recommmendation I have was that there needs to be a better location to check bags at with the bell hop. It was a busy weekend and there were bags all over the lobby.
March 29, 2012
Rated 2 out of 5 by c2088s President of LLC
For the price of the room, I would have liked a coffee machine. Lighting was too dim. It was difficult to figure out how to turn on bedside lamps. Shower was nice. I was put in a handicap room and was not notified ahead of time so I did not have a bathtub. I take daily baths. I did not have time to return to check-in for a room change. Until about a year ago, I traveled 80 days per year. The hotel, which I stayed at previously, was a big disappointment. I have eaten at the steak house before and thought it was quite good. No food and beverage this time. Location is great for sightseeing.
April 26, 2014
Rated 1 out of 5 by achanson Tiny Rooms, bad service
My daughter and I checked it. It was her first trip to D.C. and she was excited. I am a SPG gold and asked them for a room upgrade. They "upgraded" me to a tiny room facing the street. I had requested the upgrade in my reservation, but the desk agent did not acknowledge it. I can only imagine what the other room would have been. We had 5 p.m. reservations for the Rooftop Terrace. They were not busy. It was a while before we could order. We ordered one set of drinks and did not see the waitress again. We waited to get our check and I finally had to flag someone down to get it. They next day we left early and when we returned to our room at 5 p.n., it was still not cleaned by housekeeping. I do not think I will return to this hotel.
June 29, 2014
Rated 3 out of 5 by LC29 Kelsey is a star
This was a reward stay, using Starwood points. Upon checking in, my husband and I were very disappointed in the room. Besides being small, the sink was outside the bathroom, the closet was too small to hold our clothes, and the window contained etched glass, so we couldn't see outside. I expected more as a Starwood member.
We mentioned this to Kelsey at the front desk, and she made a special effort to get us a larger room with a much better layout. We even had a window with a view. Kelsey was very helpful. She is a great employee.
July 14, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by AandD29 Excellent Service
From the moment we walked through the doors, we were treated like royalty. They immediately met every request and offered amenities without our asking. Everyone was extremely helpful and no one waited around for tips. It was like they didn't expect me to tip them and were extremely gracious when I did. We could not have asked for better service. And the view from our room was simply incredible.
January 13, 2012
Rated 2 out of 5 by MinneYogini Not a good hotel for biz travelers (disappointing service; noisy)
"Whatever/Whenever" is meaningless. I wanted to use the house car to go a business meeting on Monday morning but was told that it doesn't start service until 11 AM. When I checked in, there was no recognition or thanks for my loyalty to the SPG programme, unlike many other and nicer hotels that I've stayed at. Also, the front desk refused my government ID but was given no options to solve the problem. At 7 PM on a Sunday, I wasn't going to hunt for another hotel. I had to ask staff what's available. They clearly had rooms so I don't understand why they couldn't accommodate me this one time.
April 8, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5 by CN53 Excellent location - convenient to everything.
Hotel personnel are friendly. The cleaning team needs improvement. One day fresh towels were not left. Another "spare" pillow cases" were left in our room. Another day no bath mat was left.
Drink prices in the roof bar are very expensive (overly so) where I won't go back there.
May 26, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Marty50 Great spot in DC
Very hip, happening place. Very comfortable rooms - awesome shower. Front desk staff was awesome!
August 23, 2014
Rated 1 out of 5 by DenisSRiley Not a nice weekend at all
We checked in on Friday night after flying in. I had ordered flowers for my wife's birthday and had indicated on the Delivery that we were arriving late and please deliver to the room. The flowers arrived sometime on Friday and were left in the box somewhere "out back". When I asked for them, I was told "Oh yes. They are out-back". After a 15 minute wait, the clerk arrived with the flowers still in the shipping box. It was a pretty poor presentation to my wife for her birthday.
I found the decor of the hotel to be marginal, not very warm and inviting and the room to be quite small with a shower that leaked out onto the floor. Overall, a very disappointing stay at what I thought would have been 5 star.
November 17, 2013