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 LDMassachusetts Fun decore; perfect location!
I was so sad to check out after only one night at the W DC. The room was much larger than I expected (as compared to W hotels in NYC and the one in Boston). I was high us and there was still a lot of street noise, but given the location it's to be expected.
October 5, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Fyvie This hotel has great features
Great location, great decor, great service.
October 1, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by MiJudge W, Rocks?
My wife and I were celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary and I was a little nervous about staying at this hotel because of some of the reviews. But I must say, we were not disappointed. The staff was terrific! Nice glass of champagne at check-in and everyone very friendly and accommodating. It is a little busy and loud, but FANTASTIC location.
September 30, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Mags167 Anniversary Celebration
The staff at the W were great every step of the way. They got us a reservation at P.O.V and brought us champagne, my husband worked with them to have flowers delivered to our room, and they upgraded our room. We will recommend the room to our guests and friends.
September 30, 2013
Rated 3 out of 5 by Surfer83 Staying in a night club
Next time on work travel I will stay in a hotel that is not more concerned with being a nightclub than a hotel. Wonderful room, but inconsistent housekeeping and very high traffic because of the nightclub and bar upstairs. Daily wifi in the room costs $14.95 and you can only use it on one device at a time or you get booted.
September 29, 2013
Rated 3 out of 5 by di53 Not up to the high end category
J&G was reopening and there was confusion over our reservations. Also - at this level I expect ammenities like cotton balls, etc. in the room. And I resent having everything in the room with a price tag - come on, you're charging me $5 for a bottle of water. No turn down. The experience didn't match the price.
September 27, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Commodities September 2013 Visit
The staff was very courteous and we felt very welcome. The location and amenities were first rate.
September 24, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by MKKNMB Great Location
Very conveniently located for downtown activities. Most places are within walking distance or short cab ride.
September 24, 2013
Rated 3 out of 5 by SPGFlyGuy Weekend Stay
W Hotels are normally my favorite, but this one is a bit different. The walls are pretty thin so if you don't want to hear your neighbors conversation and activities, better wear your ear plugs. Great location if you are in DC for touring the sites. Lots of night time activities going on the hotel bars which draws an interesting crowd.
September 23, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Picacho an upgrade to Wow!
I've stayed at W Washington DC many times, but on this visit was upgraded to a Wow Suite. It was.... Wow! SPG can upgrade me to Wow anytime. It's a terrific space.
More important, though J&G Steakhouse was closed for renovation, in-room dining was served quickly and the food was superb.
September 18, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by AndreaM1 WWWWonderful!
Loved this hotel, location is absolutely fabulous, staff couldn't do enough. I am definitely coming back and have recommended both the hotel and Washington to all of my friends back here in England. Washington is a lovely and amazing city and I think staying at the W hotel made the whole experience of visiting such a great place even better.
September 16, 2013
Rated 1 out of 5 by CK33 Not what I would expect from a W Hotel
When we arrived we were in a room on the 10th floor which was under construction. This is interesting since they were not at capacity and the reservation was made months in advance. I can only assume that because of the construction, the hallway was extremely hot and humid which we addressed during our stay, but it didn't seem to get any better. Everything in our room was damp such as clothes, carpet, bedding, towels, etc.
Additionally, everytime we called "whatever/whenever" (this would be 0 on your in-room phone) they never seemed to have what we were asking for such as a coffeepot, a fan, or a blanket until days later. The Hotel does offers a complimentary Acura Car Service but somehow that never seemed to be available when we wanted to use it.
We did enjoy our night at POV and the bartenders downstairs were awesome but you don't have to stay at the hotel to enjoy either of those things.
They are obviously renovating the hotel to make the rooms nicer but I would venture to say management needs an overhaul, as common sense would tell you not to put guests on the most uncomfortable floor during construction, especially when we were told, 2 days before we were scheduled to leave, that we needed to pack up our room and move to another floor as our current room was scheduled for renovation the next day. No that's not a joke. At that point we were over it and just wanted to go home.
September 13, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Jonna61 Fantastic, Plus Fresh New Style!
From the staff, to the lodging rooms, to the meeting rooms, and the great cuisine from the roof top bar - all our guests raved about their experience!
September 12, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5 by GB0904 DC Style
A great hotel in an excellent position. The "Whatever Whenever" concierge mantra lives up to its name - a very dedicated team who aim to please. Only downside was the 'rock star' attitude of the door staff at Rooftop Bar "POV", otherwsie a great experience of a stylishly cool hotel.
September 9, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5 by Drew500 Solid central hotel
The W in Washington is a very well run central hotel right next to main tourist sites. I enjoyed my stay. The roof top bar and restaurant offers unmatched views of the White House and monuments. The service and staff are also top notch. I would stay here again :).
The negatives are smaller than average rooms and the fact the elevators get packed with people going up to the roof bar in weekends. The hotel should reserve at least one elevator for actual guests so they don't have to wait in lines just to go to their rooms.
September 8, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5 by Sherkey DC Fabulous location and beautiful hotel!
We always stay at SPG branded hotels, and have stayed here before. The location is fabulous for taking in all that DC has to offer and has a great roof top bar POV with an amazing view! For the first time we used their car service to arrive at our wedding destination and that was nice!
September 3, 2013
Rated 1 out of 5 by pic2013 Among the best in DC
A truly lovely hotel. Location is excellent. There is a fun, hip vibe on the weekends. Can't think of a better place to stay in DC if you're under 50.
September 3, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Mgoines If you want chic the W is what your looking for!
Omg! I had the best romantic mini vacation at the W, Washington, DC. In addition to the excellent customer service this hotel is located in a prime location that offers tourist the best of both worlds. I felt like a Rock Star! Partying on the roof top lounge POV, which had the most amazing view, to relaxing in the hotel lobby. My romantic getaway was a success thanks to the W! The W brings SEXY back!
September 3, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by DuchessC10 Great Experience
I was extremely busy during my visit to D.C. but I was able to feel relaxed and in good company with the great staff and amenities at the W. I will be traveling to D.C. many times this year and will definitely stay at the W every time. The Spa is beautiful and the hotel vibe is very welcoming. The P.O.V. roof top lounge is lovely as well. It has a great view of the city, including the White House which is very close by. I would highly recommend this hotel to anyone!
August 30, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Ambiance2000 Fabulous Hotel, Location and Staff
First I would like to say the hotels décor and atmosphere is truly astonishing. I’ve stayed at several W Hotels and I can say W DC is truly beautiful. The vibe from the living room bar to the rooftop is amazing and the staff mirrors that. At check-in Robbie was very pleasant and knowledgeable; from there Marlon assisted by bringing extra towel and also mentioned a few places to visit. At breakfast Nomar was very pleasant and accommodating. I would definitely stay at W DC in the future and would recommend it to family, friends and business associates.
August 27, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by DavidTB73 Staff
The stay was flawless. I easily spend 150 nights a year in hotels, I found this hotel to be well beyond expectation. The rooms for a W were gargantuan- and I have never in life experienced more accommodating staff. The front desk/ supervisor made my visit. While a slight hiccup occurred at check in, the manager with out prodding "made sure I was Happy". I appreciate the sentiment and find it rare. I have never written a review but this establishment and more so the staff deserve it.
August 26, 2013
Rated 4 out of 5 by Jewel01 It was a good choice
I selected this hotel because of the location. Knowing it would be hot/humid, we wanted a location that would enable us to take a break during the day. Clare was very friendly when we checked in. The room was clean and altough small, it was still adequate for myself and my teenage daughter. As with many older hotels, you can hear the neighbors but the hotel did have earplugs. My only complaint was that we opted for every other day housekeeping and they missed the last day. I probably wouldn't have minded but with the smaller room and being hot and grimey from exploring all day, I was really looking forward to the clean room.
August 22, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by museums4 beautiful hotel in great location
Staff were very attentive to our needs, very nice hotel in location near the White house and museums.
August 19, 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 5 out of 5 by LenS Great location and Staff
You cannot beat the location - 1 block from the White House. The staff remembered our names and gave us a bottle of champagne when we mentioned that one of us was celebrating a birthday. They catered to our every needs without delay. Bob greeted us as we checked in and helped us all the way through checkout 2 days later. Give him a gold star!
August 18, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by BigEM Staff was exceptionally friendly and the location was amazing.
Even though this room was exceptionally nice, there were no window views as the room is facing a back ally way. In addition, if you are not a platinum SPG member you were charge a daily access fee, if requiring an internet connection. Considering the price point of this hotel, internet access should be free to all. However, the staff was exceptionally friendly and the location was amazing.
August 16, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by BC100 W Hotel Washington
Great accomodations - great staff.
One our favorite places to stay in DC.
August 16, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by skyyyyyyj Front Desk
Dila and Oliver are great.
August 15, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by Jay85 Awesome!
This hotel is amazing! We had a room with 2 queens and it was very spacious. Front desk staff were very friendly and the Acura experience was great! The beds were very comfy and we couldn't hear any noise at all! Would definitely stay here again! Our kids didn't want to leave!
August 13, 2013