I'm a Ritz-Carlton fan (although I admit to being an even bigger Mandarin Oriental fan), and I'm happy to report the the RC Washington DC justifies my fandom for the (now) Marriott-owned chain. I recently stayed at the RCDC for three nights (2 to 5 August) while on business in Virginia, and the hotel lived up to all of my expectations. I didn't experience any of the problem areas mentioned by other reviewers.
I hasten to add that I was able to book at RCDC at a government rate, which considerably ups the value factor. I wouldn't stay at the hotel for the regular online rates -- around $400/night when I checked a few weeks ago -- but five-star hotels in DC are generally pricey, and the RCDC is a world-class luxury hotel.
As I don't really have any negative point to share from my stay, I'll summarize the many positive aspects of my RCDC stay:
1. Room: I booked a regular room -- nonsmoking, but the RCDC is entirely smoke-free, which I also appreciate -- and was given a lovely, large room on the 10th floor. I had a decent view of surrounding West End buildings and could even see the tip of the Washington Monument. The room was immaculate and quiet; it seemed brand new, although the hotel has been in business for six years. The TV was a large LCD (42", I believe) with the usual array of channels. My rate included wired and wireless internet access, which was reasonably fast and otherwise worked well. My favorite feature of the room -- as has often been the case during RC stays -- was the bathroom: huge, marble, with spacious, separate shower and bathtub. The bathroom had Bulgari amenities, which I'd only seen before in RC club rooms or suites. Nice. The bed was very comfortable, and the A/C -- Washington was experiencing typical hot and humid summer weather -- worked very well. Some reviewers have mentioned that RC hotel have a "stuffy" decor or guests or both; I haven't found either to be the case. As with other properties in the chain, the RCDC eschews trendy design for classic, high-quality furnishings and appointments with up-to-date technology and luxurious touches.
Service: I didn't do much more than sleep at the RCDC (I hope to enjoy the amenities of the hotel when I stay again at the end of this month), but I found the staff to be polished, friendly, and helpful -- particularly Thomas (?) on the afternoon/evening shift at the front desk. The hotel offered usual RC touches such as free (and very tasty) coffee and tea in the small passageway between the elevators and reception desk, and apples, towels, and water (for joggers and, er, me).
Facilities: While a fairly small hotel, the RCDC has surprisingly reasonable (at least by international 5-star standards) 24-hour room service, and a highly regarded (and Zagat-rated) restaurant, which I didn't try this time but will at the end of this month. The hotel has direct access to (and an elevator stop for) the excellent LA Sports Club. I enjoyed free access to this as part of my rate -- I think the normal hotel rate for access is $15/day -- and can report that it has ample state-of-the-art machines and free weights, as well as a decent (but busy) lap pool.
Location: The RCDC is very well located in Washington, in the West End, withing walking distance or very short Metro or taxi rides from all major sights. The WE is fairly quiet at night -- it's mostly an office and academic area -- but within walking distance of Georgetown and Dupont Circle. While the hotel offers expensive garage and valet parking, there is (limited) free parking on some of the nearby streets -- although a 2-hour limit for nonresidents goes into effect from 07:00 to 20:30 on weekdays.
Conclusion: The RCDC is a beautiful hotel with lovely rooms and very good service -- what I've experienced with other RC hotels around the world. I would highly recommend it, especially for those on business, and particularly if you can benefit from a government or favorable corporate rate. Well done, RC.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Ritz Carlton, Washington, D.C. is in the middle of it all, with impeccable service, exceptional accommodations and exclusive amenities. Our hotel is one of the city's most refined luxury hotels - an urban retreat where you can relax within the charging energy of a powerful city. Located in the heard of D.C.'s attractions, we are less than a mile from The National Mall and 1 mile from National Landmarks and Memorials. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Ritz-Carlton, Washington Dc Hotel Washington Dc
- Washington Dc Ritz Carlton
- Ritz Washington Dc
- Ritz Carlton Washington Dc