Rated 5 out of 5 by Anissa Excellent Hotel
Great hotel location, nice lounge with fantastic views. Rooms are very "W" and marvelous!
November 26, 2012
Rated 4 out of 5 by Tes11 great hotel
overall the hotel met my expectations and the staff were very helpful.
May 13, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by RemoMD Fun way to see DC
My wife and I had a great time. The staff couldn't be better. Great location.
December 5, 2012
Rated 5 out of 5 by hs2012 Solace in A storm
I checked in during Hurricane Sandy and the staff was very accomodating
November 2, 2012
Rated 5 out of 5 by Bobe Hi-end service
Great hi-end lodging. Buy your soda elsewhere- $10 a can is a bit much.
June 28, 2012
Rated 4 out of 5 by gtr02 Great place for the young and the hip
Bathroom facets were lame! Acura car service is excellent.
April 24, 2012
Rated 5 out of 5 by lm2013 great location
location extremely comvenient to business
April 29, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Cris Excellent
The bed is very confortable. And the view amazing.
March 14, 2013
Rated 3 out of 5 by Brenda4 This was our / my first W stay, overall i'd say very disappointed versus my expectations
overall visit was disappointing
May 20, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5 by LFCorsten You can almost touch the white house
Amazing view from the roof top. Always a good party.
July 29, 2012
Rated 5 out of 5 by Gnat W Washington
Great location. Great Food. Great service.
February 27, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Ameen86 Cool hotel
was nice stay , thanks for late check out .
December 23, 2012
Rated 4 out of 5 by jojo Great location & helpful staff
Staff was very helpful during our stay!
March 10, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by TB66 This hotel is such a comfort
I felt so at home. I will be back.
April 3, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Flashheart W is the place to stay
Excellent experience and hotel!
March 26, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Eric Happy Easter
Wonderful and friendly staff.
April 2, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5 by Vincos High on Design, A Bit Less on Comfort
OVERALL IMPRESSION: Very positive interactions with every member of the staff we encountered made for a very personal and pleasant stay. I would cite, in particular, our “ambassador” Mustapha and our concierge, “Kim” who both went above-and-beyond.
SPG RECOGNITION: It was New Years Eve so I am willing to cut slack on this one. We applied for a Suite Award upgrade but were not successful. As it was, we received a one category upgrade. The Breakfast amenity was for a continental in the restaurant. The space was beautiful, the breakfast OK.
THE ROOM: Tiny with a correspondingly tiny bathroom (no tub/single basin/no toilet compartment).
LOCATION: As good as it gets in DC.
EXCEEDED EXPECTATIONS: The design and decor of the public spaces was exceptional - even for a W! I love how reminders of the hotel’s important history as the former Hotel Washington were integrated into the new design scheme - like the old reception “cage” on the ground floor, the funky portraits of Presidents and the Washington silhouette lamp in the guest rooms.
DID NOT MEET EXPECTATIONS: The room (“Spectacular” category) was very small and cramped. The light-colored shag carpeting was not only naff but filthy and made me feel uncomfortable about the cleanliness of the room in general - unfounded or not.
January 4, 2013
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 2 out of 5 by RJS78 Nice hotel, but guest service needs improved
I like staying at this hotel. Stay here on a regular basis each time I'm in DC. However this particular stay I was dissatisfied with the guest services.
Upon check in, my SPG platinum wasn't ackowledged and they proceeded to give me keys for a standard room without even asking about which amenity I would like. So then I said, do you have a upgrade, so he went back and checked and said this is best room they have in my category. There are only suites left. So I said, well I am platinum and entitled to suite upgrades. So he had to check with someone else.
The next person came and after a few seconds then told me, all the suites were booked, but they have a fabulous to put me in, right under the suite. I said, ok fine if that's all you have. Still wondering how they are sold out on a cold DC sunday.
After handing my keys to me, the same guy went to next desk to help another guest and over heard him talking to him about the cost to upgrade his room to a suite, which he would give him for $300 instead of the normal $600.
At that point I said to myself, you just sat here and told me all the suites were booked, but yet now you are "selling" and upgrade to someone else after you told me there were non.
That is unacceptable customer services to a platinum member and a repeat guest at this particular hotel.
January 6, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by LadyA Great service!
We were coming up to DC for just one night and wanted a hotel that was located near the White House, with easy access to great food and museums. We checked in a bit early, and were pleasantly surprised both rooms were ready. The check in process was seamless and quick. We were greated by a hotel Ambassador who escorted us to our rooms, and explained the features in them. He gave us a detailed overview of dining options both within the hotel and nearby. I wish I had memorized his name - because his brief tour and welcome was one of the best parts of our stay. The rooms were wonderful. High ceilings make them seem more spacious than they are, and the attention to detail made them comfortable and warm. W decor and styling is more modern than most, but that the historic grandeur of this particular property was incorporated nicely. The Lincoln nightlight was a nice touch ! Our kids got a kick out of the various lighting options, and the multiple movie options as well. We had a great view of the South Lawn and National Christmas Tree from both rooms. The beds were exceptionally comfortable and well dressed. We spent most of our time away from the hotel, as we had limited time on this visit. We were very impressed by the service we received from the staff at each encounter, and hope to return in the near future to try the restaurant and spa. A+
January 15, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5 by BETtv Valet Issues
The hotel was good as always however I had an issue with the valet company this hotel hire to run parking. Me and my production crew (BET) had a 6am call time and when went downstairs to get our car from valet @ 5am one of the valet workers said his co-worker was down in the garage with the "only" key to get in and out of garage. He said he was down their for at least an hour from the time we arrived and he didn't come from the garage until 6:04am. He ended up coming out of the garage being driven by a female in a large SUV. We can only assume what he was doing for the two hours but me and my crew were late to our shoot and had to pay overtime for the rest of our crew because we wasn't able to start on time. About 5 Delta Sorority members were also late for their engagements that morning. Luckily they were able to take a taxi to save time but we had equipment in our truck so we couldn't leave without our vehicle. The W. Hotel service was good but I didn't like how the hotel handled the situation. I feel if you hire a company then they are your responsibility and the hotel wasn't willing to take that responsibility. I had to pretty much beg the valet supervisor to provide his company info, this is something the hotel should have and should have been able to provide. I will say that if I or anyone from my company (BET) have a rental car I will avoid staying at this hotel. To make it even worst the next morning it took the valet 30 minutes to find my keys!!
On another note the Fitness Center is too small and need a variety of machines.
July 22, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by SFLaura WOW
I was upgraded to a wow suite, and that is exactly what it was! I was with my two girls, and they went crazy when they saw the room. I have stayed at a five star, one bedroom suite before, but this was by far the coolest decorated! I felt like a rock star! Loved the bathrooms, and all the bliss products.
The staff was warm, friendly, and fun. My make-up case ended up in lost in found, and I ended up talking to staff while waiting for security. Then, security accidently broke the top of it when he took it out of the plastic wrap. I told them it was a free case that came with the Elemis products I bought, and we had a good laugh. Poor man looked horrified at first, and I don't think he could do more than a nervous smile, even after I made fun of it.
Excellent fitness center for any level. Couldn't see anything missing; they even had foam rollers, which top athletes use to warm up.
Breakfast service was very nice. I liked the convenience of having a check list of choices and times, and they picked it up outside the doorknob after 1 am. Service was on time in the morning, and the waiter was 5 star.
Before leaving, I looked behind the bed. There was a compartment that had a xxx booklet, which I threw away. I don't believe it was part of the wow amenities. When I checked out, I couldn't say anything about it, because I felt I was going to say something embarrassing, so I ended up telling about the bath needing to be caulked again (it's was unnoticeable unless you are soaking in the tub, but I'm sure it's fixed now).
Best hotel stay ever!
July 21, 2013
Rated 1 out of 5 by marcandterri Great restaurant can't make up for terrible room and customer service
We chose this hotel for a romantic weekend because of the location and the wonderful roof-top lounge/restaurant. We're huge Starwood Hotels fans (and Gold SPG level) but were very disappointed by this W hotel. We reserved the room well in advance, using points, and requested a room on a high floor with a good view. The night before check-in, we noticed that somehow our reservation had been changed (not by us!) to specify an "accessible" room. When we checked in, we were assigned a low-floor, inside "accessible" room with no view despite our immediate request not to be booked into one - in fact, the only window was covered with frosted glass to hide the HVAC equipment. The only words to describe the room are "weird" and "depressing". The bathroom door would not close completely, there was no door on the shower, everything was placed much lower than normal, and the lighting was extremely dim throughout, including at the sink, where lighting is important. We asked twice more for another room, offering to pay to upgrade, and were told by the same receptionist who checked us in that the hotel was full (although we checked in at 11 a.m.) and that there was no other option - not even offering to wait-list us in case a room opened up. We will never return to this hotel because of this experience and the remarkably low level of customer service (which has definitely created an unfavorable impression of W hotels!)
April 15, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5 by Elaine123 Wonderful staff
My family actually stayed in the W Washington DC twice within a two week period. Both times there were issues which could have clouded our stay. However, due to the attentiveness of the W staff, both of our stays met high expectations. I feel that in both situations, staff members went above and beyond what was expected.
The bed was beyond heavenly in comfort.
The modern decor is relaxing.
Everyone we encountered greeted us and was friendly.
Location is central. There are several great restaurants within walking distance. There are good shopping opportunities close to the hotel and within walking distance.
Metro Central is a block away. You can get anywhere in DC easily.
The Acura experience was great and helped with transportation.
Staff member Kathryn actually came to my room to address an issue.
Housekeeping isn't wonderful. Our bathroom floor had lots of little hairs upon arrival. I mentioned it to housekeeping, nothing was done. Once I contacted the Anytime/Anywhere staff, the problem was promptly taken care of.
The rooms near the elevator are noisy when the elevator is going up and down.
Interior rooms have a view of a brick wall and a boiler.
The hotel is crowded on the weekends. The club is in full swing. Entering and exiting the hotel can be difficult when the club is in full swing.
Overall, it is an older hotel; however, I would not hesitate to stay at this property in the future.
March 20, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by PatriotBob The best hotel stay of my life!
I spent only one night (that's my biggest regret) at this property before transferring to a conference hotel for work the following day. I arrived late at night and was upgraded to a WOW suite. As you'll read from others, WOW is exactly what comes out of your mouth when you enter this room. I watched the NFL playoffs on the big screen TV while ordering room service and awoke to the President's marching band rehearsing for the inauguration right outside my window.
The location could not be better if you are interested in seeing the sights. I had a few hours before work and went for a run around the National Mall and back up to the White House. I feel like I saw everything within steps from the front door. Time well spent.
I stay in hotels frequently and I almost always forget about them. This stay was different. I was treated like royalty from the moment I walked in the door. The staff was helpful, friendly, and generous. In fact, I was not entirely loyal to one brand over another until this stay. Since then, I've vowed to stay at Starwood hotels whenever possible because of this singular experience.
I can't say enough about the impact this short trip made on me. It set the tone for my entire conference. It set me up for success. That night, I was not just another guest... I was "somebody special."
I'll be coming back with my entire family in a few months. I wouldn't think of staying anywhere else. Look no further than the W Washington DC for your next stay. Regardless of the room, you won't be disappointed.
Thank you to the incredible staff. This was beyond words... Your management should be very proud.
July 27, 2013
Rated 3 out of 5 by cait6236 Lots of glitz - little substance
I know W Hotels are known for their boutique feel and exceptional service... However, this trip was a bit of a disappointment. The hotel has an exceptional aesthetic - truly beautiful mix of modern design, contemporary art, and classic DC architecture. The downside? 1. Rude staff (I don't think I've ever waited so long to be checked in while the front desk chatted up a client - only be hastily rushed out of the way to serve the next client. The check-in process is in desperate need of a revamp – you can’t have guests blocking the hallway waiting in line unless you want them to feel like they are blocking hotel operations and like they’re more of a nuisance than a welcomed guest. If the architecture of the space doesn’t allow for a redesign, that’s fine -- just welcome them with the Friday glass of champagne while they wait in line… or, staff the three desks instead of two and have some sort of organization. The saving grace for the staff – one bell hop! I wish I caught his name, but he was unbelievably nice, well-mannered, and helpful) 2. The rooms are pretty small – but it’s old DC architecture so what can you expect? I was okay with this – they were beautifully designed and well decorated 3. Club Scene – It’s a W.. I was expecting a club/lounge vibe and was very open to it; looking forward to it even! What I wasn’t expecting was a bouncer who proceeded to rotate me to the rooftop elevator line even after I showed him my room key (which he thought was a license??). Only when I asked for a second time. “Even though I’m a guest and I want to go to my room,” did he note his mistake – he obviously didn’t feel it was necessary to offer an apology – a little uncomfortable. When I made it to the roof deck later that night, I ordered a cocktail from an extremely rude bartender who spilled my drink all over the bar – what was left was tasty.. but then again how to you mess up prosecco and st. germain? Finally, I get it – people get tipsy and order room service at 3 AM – by check out the next day, it may be worth removing the trays from the hallways… you know so guests don’t have to step over stale french fries on the way to the elevator. Even after some trays were picked up, the food remained.. gross. Overall, in my opinion, this hotel was overrated, overpriced, but had potential.
August 19, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5 by MissM So Much Potential But "Where's the Execution?!
I will start on a positive note. Arrived and was upgraded to a lovely suite. Went to dinner in the Wine Bar where where an amazing bartender- shame on me for not getting his name- noticed I barely touched the organic chicken that had sounded so good but not tasted that great. He offered an optional entree- the seared Cod which was phenomenal and a complimentary glass of wine. This is what I expect when staying at the W as a Platinum mmeber who spends over 40 weeks per year in SPG properties.
What was very disappointing was the Whatever/Whenever program in DC. Having been at the W in London just a few months ago- I suggest you do some cross-training to learn a few basics like... DO NOT send an email to a guest offering to help arrange events or dinner if you have no intention of executing. I thought I would arrive and have suggestions and/or reservations that I had asked for only to discover that no one apparently read my response and I was on my own.
Next my big hope was for a massage. Long week- a little TLC would be appreciated. Called the spa- got vm. Tried the web booking- apparently no services were available on March 14th. Big bummer for me. When I stopped at the W/W desk, I was told the woman attending the desk would check on the possibility of getting into the spa for me since I couldn't get through on the phone. I never heard back.
So, as long as you are independent and don't expect or need help from the concierge the rooms are lovely, and the hotel has a nice atmosphere. If you are a celebrity or politician I'm sure you will have everything you need- the everyday platinum business person is apparently just the bread and butter- a necessary evil to help fund the ego of DC. I would go back to London in a heartbeat- DC will have to win me back and prove you do care about customer satisfaction and the average business person.
March 14, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by DreaD Wonderful experience
My husband and I recently stayed at the W hotel in Washington because of its close proximity to where my office holiday party was being held. We received an e-mail before our arrival from the hotel confirming our reservation and asking if there was anything the they could do for us during our stay. I requested a reservation with their Acura Experience driver so that we could be dropped off at the party. This was handled smoothly and efficiently.
When we arrived at the hotel, which was beautifully decorated for the holiday season, we were greeted at the front desk pleasantly and enthusiastically by Kyle. Kyle upgraded us to a spectacular room from a wonderful room (with options for the 4th or 9th floor – with explanation that the night club above the 9th floor gets loud on weekends in order to assist in our decision), offered us a late check-out time, provided us with a drink ticket and presented us with glasses of champagne to enjoy right then. Once we arrived at our room, we noticed it was on the small side which was not a surprise as the description on the website states how large the rooms are, but that it was well appointed. As we were hanging around and getting ready for our party, I did notice that the one flaw was that the walls are a bit thin as I could hear the people in the room adjacent to our talking. I could not make out exactly what they were saying, but I, also, wasn’t trying. Once I turned on the television this became a non-entity. My husband had forgotten a shoe horn and requested one from guest services and received courteous and efficient service.
We left our hotel room at our appointed time to meet our driver and experience the Acura Experience. The car was gorgeous and our driver very pleasant. After our party, we arrived back to our hotel room to find that “neighbors” were smoking (a, not at this time, legal substance) in their room. Now, while to each their own, it wasn’t just in their room, nor the hallway, but pretty prevelant in our room. After my husband tried to speak with them and was rudely rebuffed, I did call down to the front desk to make a complaint. Within minutes of my call, security was at their door and speaking with them and, I believe, the hotel activated something to help clear the air.
When we checked out, we were offered sincere apologies for the incident and I have since received an e-mail addressing and also apologizing for the situation. Very professionally and well-handled by the hotel and its staff.
Overall, we had a wonderful time and would definitely consider staying at this hotel again.
December 5, 2012
Rated 5 out of 5 by JMHuang A very pleasant stay
I'm a platinum member with starwood, so I'm not sure if I got special treatment or not because of my status. But nonetheless, it was a great experience. Things I'd like to note about the people: There's a really popular rooftop bar at the W Washington DC, so the higher level floors can get a lot of noise during the weekend (noted from a previous stay 2 years ago). When I made the reservation, I asked them to put a note saying we wanted a quiet room. When we checked in, I liked how the lovely front desk lady, Jenny, reiterated that to me - cause to me, that means all ends did their job to meet my needs. Upon arrival, we were in a bit of a rush to get to the Cannon House to pick up our passes for the White House tour the next day. I was feeling lazy and cheap, so I didn't want to take the metro nor a taxi (haha). Jenny was so kind to take us to the Acura desk to see if there was any availability. They guy there, Theo, was so kind to squeeze us in on such short notice. I thought both were very professional. It's one thing to just take us to the desk and leave, but Jenny stayed with us to make sure our problem was resolved. Theo was thorough in checking his schedule to squeeze us in to make sure everything worked out. He also walked us out to the car - again, one thing to just squeeze us in, but when they walk you out, it's the next level. The following-through really makes a difference. Another aspect of Jenny that took my experience to the next level was the fact that she remembered my name and would always make sure we had everything we needed. They were a full house that weekend, so it really took me by surprise when someone would make an effort to remember us and ask us about things like the White House tour. Jenny was just so friendly it made the experience so much better. Thanks, Jenny! The venue: Like with all Ws, the decor is very hip and modern. The lobby/living room area was very clean and spacious. I must admit, we didn't spend much time there. I also remember the downstairs bathroom being quite clean as well. Lots of seating and even a bar downstairs. We had breakfast at the restaurant in the hotel, J&G Steakhouse. Breakfast was good, but it was expensive for what it was (as expected). Would probably eat at a more popular restaurant in the DC area - there are tons. The rooftop bar is called POV for Point of View. And on a clear night, the view of the Washington monument is beyond AMAZING. There's an outdoor area and an indoor dance area. Three bars (from what I can remember) on the roof. Because we went in February, the outdoor part was closed off, but I'm so glad there were those space heaters! The room was good too. Not going to lie, the bed is actually really comfortable. I usually dislike hotel beds, but the W beds are always comfy. The room was clean. Can never go wrong with the Bliss products. I think we got an upgrade; the rooms are usually pretty small. One thing I liked about the room was that there was a DVD player even though we didn't use it. It was nice to know that it was there. LOTS of drinks and snacks, but be careful, they all cost money! They're like little money traps! The only thing that was complimentary was the Nestle bottled water. There's Fiji water that's $5, and boy was I tempted! Not sure if this is in all the Ws, but this one has these "peek-a-boo" showers where it's a fogged glass making up the walls of the shower. So everyone in the room can basically see what you're doing in the shower. It's not see-through, just fogged. The iPod dock was for the old Apple products - not sure who I should be mad at, Apple for changing their chargers or the W for not being up to date. (Kidding of course. Wasn't a big deal). Plenty of outlets which is so nice these days. The location is AMAZING too! Right by the white House and a lot of the monuments are within walking distance! So convenient! Depending on how you see it, I thought it was a perk being next to the White House because lots of protests happen in front of it. And I find protests very interesting...or maybe just entertaining. Overall, a very pleasant stay. :)
February 27, 2013
Rated 2 out of 5 by rae379 Stay in a suite, or don't stay at all.
I have a unique perspective on this W hotel because I originally had a Fantastic room, and was then upgraded to a Wow suite after there was a leaking problem with my shower in the Fantastic room. This review will not focus on the shower leak - I understand that things happen and the leak is not the reason for my negative review. And just to give you some background, I am a late twenties business professional who stayed at the W for both work and pleasure for 8 nights.
First, understand that this hotel is a money factory for Starwood. This does not have to be a bad thing - I subscribe to capitalism. However it is a bad thing when it is so obvious that it drives people like me (a platinum member and thus their bread and butter) away. Want the gross box of "muchies" removed from your tiny room to give yourself more space and not have the temptation? That will cost you. Need an HDMI cable, since it is explicitly advertised in your room that they will "wire you up" if you just call Whatever/Whenever? That will cost you. They are always "out of HDMI cables" and instead will offer to buy one and put the cost on your bill while charging you a procurement fee... How convenient! Thinking about ordering room service? Here are the fees that are added to all room service orders: a 16% service charge, 5% administrative charge, $5 delivery charge, and tax. By the end of it, a $20 burger will suddenly cost about $35. How about taking advantage of the P.A.W. program and bringing your dog? You are looking at a nonrefundable $100 cleaning fee plus $25 per night. Want a Coke or Pepsi? There is no vending machine (purposefully) so be prepared to pay $5.50 plus all those fun "service" fees to get a soda from room service. The list goes on.
The only thing that was truly complimentary was the Acura drop off service, though the hours are limited. Tuesday through Saturday, the hours are 12:00 to 8:00. Sunday and Monday, hours are 11:00 to 7:00. But as a free service, I don't mind the limited hours and I took advantage of it a number of times. Much more pleasant than a cab!
On check in with my platinum status, I was upgraded to a Fantastic room with a view of the Treasury building on the 7th floor. Thinking an upgrade meant a room larger than a shoe box, I was sorely dissappointed when I got to the room. The room is so small that the sink is in the bedroom - not a good layout if you are traveling with another person(s) and you are on different schedules. And this was an upgrade! I can't imagine what the lowest level room looks like. Thankfully I was traveling alone, and I can live with a small room. However it was not clean - the white bench in the room had plenty of spills on it so I would not touch it, nevermind sit on it. The furniture is cheap and not reflective of the cost of the room - the drawers are just like those "build it yourself" furniture items you get from Ikea. Essentially my first few nights in this hotel were like staying in a dorm room while giving someone hundreds of dollars per night to do so.
Then came the leak. I let the staff know about it, as well as the cleanliness problems. They upgraded me to a Wow suite. What a difference! No more cheap furniture. Tons of space - perhaps 600 square feet. Two bathrooms! Amazing views of the Washington Monument. However my negative review is based on my original room, which was still very expensive and was what I paid for. I cannot imagine what this suite would cost. It was beautiful, though not the most comfortable. But that's W's thing and should be expected. I appreciated the hotel correcting the inconvenience of the leak by upgrading me, and the front desk staff is very nice. That is what bought the hotel 2 stars under "service", because the service was otherwise not good.
Even with this beautiful suite, all the nickle and diming exhausted me by the end of an 8 night trip. My husband joined me for the weekend of my trip, and to put the nail in the coffin, my husband and I made the mistake of visiting POV, the nightclub on the roof on Saturday night. The staff had SUCH an attitude. As a well dressed, classy couple who also was ready to spend money, we were shocked at how rude the staff was. The staff clearly had no interest in having us there as customers, so we left after only 1 drink and went elsewhere. The poor service at POV is a common complaint on this website, however don't expect the service to improve... the lobby is packed with people trying to get up to POV on Friday and Saturday nights, and these people seem to not mind being treated like crap. The hotel is making tons of money with this service model - the model is just not built around discerning hotel guests.
If you can afford the suite, great. At least while you are being charged for things at every turn, you will have a beautiful and spacious room to enjoy. Otherwise, stay away from this hotel. There are too many other great choices in the area, plus other Starwood hotels just a few blocks away.
December 9, 2012