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“I wish I could rate this place highly but I can't”
Review of Tabard Inn

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Tabard Inn
Ranked #110 of 141 Hotels in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence
New York, New York, United States
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“I wish I could rate this place highly but I can't”
Reviewed 23 January 2013

The staff at the Tabard Inn are consistently and sincerely committed to being as welcoming as possible but unfortunately the building itself just doesn't hold up. Running out of hot water, lumpy mattress, and poor light in the room made our stay unpleasant. The hallways are narrow and the stairs are steep -- steep enough that it can be hard to wrestle even a small wheelie up a floor. I wouldn't send a friend there.

There are positives -- the attitude of staff is terrific, and the food and drink are excellent. My morning hash and eggs were about as good as I've ever had anywhere, and the scones were excellent. I like my coffee stronger than they make it but I think they are brewing it for their clientele, which runs a little older than some other places. The bar is cozy and warm, you can sit by yourself or quite easily strike up a conversation, and the bar staff are efficient without being overly brisk. The decor overall is quaint, and everything is scrupulously clean.

One suggestion: don't use the valet parking. They "forgot" that we wanted our car at 3 PM, and it cost us a half hour waiting time. Ultimately the hotel staff retrieved the car instead of the valet, and refunded us the cost of the parking, which was very decent of them; but I would have preferred to spend the money and saved the time (that is, after all, what valet parking is for).

The contrast between the helpful staff and the un-welcoming physical plant is almost heartbreaking -- if customer-friendliness were all that mattered I would give this place a "5." My "2" rating is assigned with some sadness.

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Thomas H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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322 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (83)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 January 2013

I've stayed at the Tabard Inn for years - for the reasonable rates, the quality of the sheets, towels and pillows, and the cozy, well-decorated rooms. The restaurant is world class and I have enjoyed many a dinner or lunch meeting there. The staff are a marvel of efficiency and attentiveness. Much of my work is in downtown DC or surrounding areas and it is always a pleasure to spend time in the lounge (a real fireplace) and a comfortable clubby feel and retreat to my room after a day of business in the District. I recommend this place - a real gem - to anyone who doesn't like the generic, antiseptic feel of chain hotels. The Tabard's a real country in in the city.

Room Tip: The Tabard has both private and shared bathrooms - choose according to budget.
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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Todd C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Winterville, North Carolina
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 January 2013

What a great place to stay during the inaugural weekend. This charming hotel is cobbled together from three old row houses. It makes the inn so interesting with its different nooks, lounges, and restaurants. The rooms are well priced and lovely. The food in the restaurant was incredible. Walking distance from everything!

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank busymomnc2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Portland, Oregon
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
Reviewed 13 January 2013

For our first trip to D. C., my husband and I took a chance and booked four nights here. The first night was a little noisy, but it proved either atypical or we simply got used to the sounds coming up from the restaurant. The location was ideal, close to transportation, shops and places to eat. Our room was charming. There are eccentricities in the decor, to be sure. I was initially taken aback by the glass brick wall between the bathroom and the hallway. Yes, if someone had wanted to look in, they could have probably made out our exposed forms. I draped a blanket over the glass and problem solved. We thoroughly enjoyed every meal we ate there and decided we stay here on subsequent visits. We recommend this hotel to anyone tired of chain hotels.

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Nicole R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chestertown, Maryland
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 January 2013

We stayed two nights at the Tabard Inn in January 2013. After staying in the penthouse on our wedding night we have returned periodically through the years after moving 1 1/2 hours away from the DC area. We have enjoyed the location, eclectic atmosphere and unusual assortment of "vintage" furnishings, but what we have in the past considered charmingly quirky has become dog-eared, threadbare, unkempt and unwelcoming.

On our prior visit we were in a room over a dining area, very noisy until late at night. So this time we requested a quiet room in the front of the hotel, and were given a room on the 4th floor. It was a real slog up narrow stairs with luggage and purchases (no elevator), to a room with no temperature control that was so warm we needed to open the windows, a very unpleasant experience since rowdy and noisy club goers traverse the block until the wee hours. The rug was threadbare and didn't look clean; as always the lighting in the bathroom and the room was horrible; outlets in inconvenient locations. No clock, coffee maker or iron in the room. Very uncomfortable mattress. No wi-fi as advertised.

The restaurant has always been a draw, and we have the Sunday brunch whenever we stay. The hotel will not book brunch reservations more than a month in advance, even for hotel guests. This visit we were joined by three guests for brunch, two of whom are Tabard veterans. We all agreed that the food was merely good, not the taste adventure the Tabard is (or was) known for. Perhaps their chef has changed, or he/she was on vacation. But when you add to the less than stellar food the mediocre service it is not worth bothering to mark your calendar to reserve a month in advance ... or not go to a different brunch venue. Since I had dined there several times, I had specifically requested a table away from the high-traffic area by the bar. The person I spoke with was contradictory and disagreeable and we were in fact seated exactly where I had requested not to be seated.

One of the still-attractive features is the cozy lounge areas. We decamped after brunch to a recently-vacated table in the front lounge. During the half hour we were in the lounge no one ever came to clear the prior patrons' glasses or clean the table. Our service in the lounge areas over the two days was so-so at best. Many of the servers (as in waiters/waitresses, not bus staff) and front desk staff seemed disinterested and disengaged, with a dash of superciliousness.

Hey Tabard Inn, the DC hotel and restaurant landscape has changed dramatically in the past 10-15 years, there are many attractive options in your price category. You are very much in need of a facility and attitude adjustment!

Room Tip: I wish I could!
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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank lulu21678
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Raleigh, North Carolina
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 January 2013

We stayed Dec 29 &30 at this historic Inn in Dupont Circle. I had always heard from friends how very much they loved dining there and were particularly fond of brunch on Sunday. So, as we were on our way to NYC, it seemed a half way point and we naturally decided to stay there.
Well, perhaps we stayed one (or even 2) nights too many. Parking was easily managed with the valet service but pricey (this is DC and we were informed by the Inn of the cost). The reception was covered by a "new" staff member who was unsure of some issues but was prompt in managing our check-in. Here is where things start to get difficult. Our room, #41, was on the fourth floor. We are by no means spring chickens and had a variety of bags and hanging clothing to carry as our trip extended beyond DC. When I asked for help, we were accommodated quickly by the general hotel maintenance staff (1 man). He was most helpful and fast. The climb up the stairs is daunting. Please do not book a room on the 4th fl unless you are fit and/or young and buff. That's the point where I should have asked for a room on a lower floor. I do believe we would have been accommodated. My error. The room--cold, no heat on. This is an old Inn with steam heat and the heat had been turned off. It took a good part of the night to warm up. Next day we needed a space heater-quickly delivered by the same general maintenance man who helped with our luggage the day before. The bathroom--well, not for anyone with limited mobility or balance issues. The design is slightly askew-desert sand tiles with a gold claw foot tub very difficult to get in and out. The design of the faucets and shower are completely without thought and the plug for the tub is a screw in metal plug located exactly in the middle of the tub. Suffice it to say, not safe and no hand rails for entry or exit. I must say, they need to replace the toilet seat. Enough on that. The entire sink faucet swings from right to left onto the sink itself allowing water to flow onto the floor. Tricky to manage but once you get water all under the sink, you figure it out.
The beds, the worst I have ever experienced in the USA. Slats that stick out from under the mattress. Mattresses that make you sleep on one side of the bed because the other is so uneven, you roll back to the overused side. I love old hotels and unique overnight settings. Some of my favorites include the New Oriental Hotel in Galle Fort, Galle, Sri Lanka and tented camps in the African bush. The former were old but well kept with excellent service. The Tabard Inn in not well kept but does have good service. It is not shabby chic or chic or cute or unique or eclectic at all. It is old and run down and needs a makeover in order to make it shabby chic. No, I would not consider staying overnight there again.
The restaurant-very good. My husband had Brunch on Sunday and enjoyed it very much. I had the continental breakfast on the day we left and had lovely scones. Dinner the night before was so-so.
Sitting in the lounge near the fireplace was pleasant, but the sofa is so low, it is difficult for non-spring chickens to get up when leaving--then to the 4 flights up. Lighting is a problem in both the rooms, stairwells and the lounge. I could not read a book sitting near the fireplace. It was difficult to read in the rooms as well. The lighting is a problem. I think, had I brought these issues to the attention of the management, there would have been some change. But, I guessed, 2 nights and nevermore, I would rough it. Research your room thoroughly before booking. It is a great location in DC and so close to tourist attractions, it is too bad it did not offer the comfort we sought. I think it is a great gathering place for DCers for a drink, brunch or to listen to the occasional live music with friends. Overnight, not so much.

Room Tip: Nothing on the 4th floor if stairs are a challenge for you. Adjoining rooms have paper thin doors b...
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  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Aberdares
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cleveland, Ohio
Level 5 Contributor
91 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 January 2013

This historic hotel is well located, close to Dupont Circle and an easy walk to the White House, etc. however the "shabby chic" look seemed more shabby than chic. Our first issue was the service, which was not terribly friendly, and the valet was simply unavailable for 2 hours (parking in the area is very challenging). We stayed in a queen room with a private bath and while it had some nice touches, such as the filtered bottled water, the sink was located across the room from the rest of the bathroom, quite odd. The tempurepedic bed was very firm and uncomfortable, to the point where my arms fell asleep and I woke up whenever I wanted to turn in bed. The rooms are also fairly noisy, esp on a Saturday night. The lounge area is pretty neat, with a fireplace, but the lighting makes it impossible to read. Breakfast was ok, nothing special but the coffee was surprisingly good. We did not eat dinner there but the restaurant does have an excellent reputation.

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jewelross
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Tabard Inn

Property: Tabard Inn
Address: 1739 N Street NW, Washington DC, DC 20036-2801
Region: United States > District of Columbia > Washington DC > Dupont Circle
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #110 of 141 Hotels in Washington DC
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Tabard Inn 3*
Number of rooms: 40
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Comprising a trio of late-1800s townhouses, this traditionally furnished hotel is a 6-minute walk from the Metro and 1 mile from the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. The elegant, antiques-filled rooms are individually decorated, and provide free Wi-Fi. Some have private bathrooms or sitting areas. Rooms are stair-access only. Continental breakfast is included, as is access to a nearby gym. There's also a bar and lounge with occasional live jazz, plus a New American restaurant with a seasonal menu. ... more   less 
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