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“Wonderful: new favorite”

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Mandarin Oriental, Washington DC
Ranked #15 of 141 Hotels in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Washington DC, District of Columbia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Wonderful: new favorite”
Reviewed 3 March 2012

The Tai Pan Premier Water view room was fantastic. The hotel is wonderful, and was quite an experience. It's certainly expensive and not how I usually live, which perhaps made me appreciate it all the more. The Tai Pan Club amenities are a nice treat. It was a great place for a special, romantic weekend. (It is unfortunate that there are train tracks next door, but I thought other things about the hotel made up for that).

Room Tip: Rooms higher up are probably quieter vis-a-vis the trains; if you're on a lower floor, you might...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank s g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MO_Washington, Public Relations Manager at Mandarin Oriental, Washington DC, responded to this review, 2 April 2012
Dear "S G,"

We are thrilled to be your "new favorite," a designation we wear with great pride! We appreciate you taking the time to post and share your thoughts, which we have most certainly shared with our entire team!

Safe travels and we hope to welcome you back very soon!

Mandarin Oriental, Washington D.C.
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (388)
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Eastern Virginia
Level Contributor
30 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 February 2012

I am a Ritz Carlton fan, so I was was hesitant to leave my comfort zone, but my partner has been coming here for business for the last couple of years and has raved about it. So I joined him for a long weekend. Wow, what a property. It's within walking distance of the Mall, but is tucked back in a culdesac on the water, so on the weekend, you feel like you have your own little world. (It's so quiet, in fact, that the next-door sandwich shop is closed on weekends, and the Starbucks across the circle is closed on Sundays.) Beautiful lobby and lounge. Had a spacious corner room with a view of the water and big picture windows. Very quiet. The bathroom was huge, with a wonderful shower (big enough for two) and soaking tub. Slept better than I have in a long time on a perfect bed with very comfy bedding. Staff is professional and friendly. We had the breakfast buffet in Sou'Wester one morning--good, but limited options for this vegetarian. Menu would probably be the better way to go next time. Also did in-room dining for breakfast one morning and that was efficient, elegant and tasty. Foodies cannot miss CityZen for dinner. Yes, it's pricey. But you get what you pay for. Can't wait to stay here again!

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank donnadwood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MO_Washington, Public Relations Manager at Mandarin Oriental, Washington DC, responded to this review, 2 April 2012
Dear "Donnadwood,"

WOW - thanks for the amazing review...you could work for us since you captured the highlights of our hotel so well!

We do believe that our location sets us apart, so we appreciate you taking the time to highlight how peaceful it is in our location, and that you also took the time to enjoy CityZen, its vegetarian offerings are the best in the area, hands down!

We look forward to having the pleasure of your company in the near future.

Safe travels,
Mandarin Oriental, Washington D.C.
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bbcbearuk
Level Contributor
25 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 February 2012

This was a repeat visit to the hotel as a non-resident guest. Afternoon tea is served from Thursdays to Sundays inclusive in the Empress Lounge, the main lounge off the lobby. A light airy space overlooking a small garden, it has a good mix of patrons: the odd single, ladies having tea, couples and friends meeting up for a drink. Tea costs a basic $35 plus tax with an optional $10 for a glass of Veuve Clicquot, bargain!

Tea is from a buffet and is an assortment of three open sandwiches, a chocolate dip, scones and patisserie. I like the fact you can go up as much or as little as you like, which is an aspect that seemed to have escaped some of the local patrons who insisted on piling their plates with food.

A good presentation of food, my only criticism is that there is a lack of balance with not enough savoury items and a few too many sweets ( and this despite having a sweet tooth ). Possibly extra sandwiches or a hot Asian savoury item like a spring roll, a samosa or a curry puff?

Staff and service are great, although the initial greeting and seating are a little erratic as there is no hostess station. As it was a Sunday, I did take a quick peek into Sou'Wester which does a Sunday brunch a la carte, but it was deserted at 3:00pm.

All in all, a great oasis in the middle of Washington and highly recommended.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
7 Thank bbcbearuk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MO_Washington, Public Relations Manager at Mandarin Oriental, Washington DC, responded to this review, 2 April 2012
Dear "bbcbearuk,"

We are so grateful that you chose us for your afternoon tea experience, and that you also took the time to post about your experience.

We know that you have several choices in town, so it's appreciated that you chose to spend an afternoon with us. We have taken your comments and shared them with our culinary team for consideration - it's a great suggestion!

We hope to have the pleasure of your company very soon!

Kind regards,

Mandarin Oriental, Washington D.C.
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NYC, NY
Level Contributor
378 reviews
101 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 181 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 February 2012

It was hard to rate this hotel since the the room, location, and common areas are fabulous but I was less impressed with the dining experience. The hotel rooms were fabulous - spacious, wonderful bed, wonderful bedding, outstanding bathroom, soft towels, etc. Service also very nice - they brought me a coffee pot and made my day!
But the meals were considerably less impressive - and that was all three meals that I had in the hotel. I had a room service pizza which tasted microwaved (yuk). I had a pretty lousy hamburger for a lunch - which arrived cold and with a wilted salad (which I had asked to replace fries and they charged me extra for the salad without letting me know). And then dinner was horrid, not only was the food bad but they kept pouring tap water into my expensive sparkling water!
They need to raise their dining experience to the level of the hotel.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank harlemfamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MO_Washington, Public Relations Manager at Mandarin Oriental, Washington DC, responded to this review, 2 April 2012
Dear "Harlemfamily,"

We appreciate you taking the time to share with us your experience during your recent stay. We know that you have so many things to focus on when you return from a trip, so when you take the time to post about your visit, we are thankful!

We have taken your comments about your dining experience to heart, and have shared them with the appropriate team manager so that they can be addressed.

We hope to present a better dining experience to you when you return for your next stay.

Safe travels,

Mandarin Oriental, Washington D.C.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Littleton, Colorado
Level Contributor
14 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 23 February 2012

Worked out very well for us, I had to go to DC for a meeting so we decided to pack up the family (mom, dad, 5 month old little one) and make it a family excursion. It was perfect for the 3 of us and the location was perfect for both convenience to my meetings and also easy access to the Metro. I will definitely stay here in the future.

Room Tip: N side provides a good view of the Washington Memorial but also lets in a lot of noise from the comm...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank PhoebeTobi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MO_Washington, Public Relations Manager at Mandarin Oriental, Washington DC, responded to this review, 2 April 2012
Dear "PhoebeTobi,"

It's always appreciated when guests take the time to share their experience about their stay with us, and we are thrilled to hear that you were able to turn your business into a stay that included your family...a bonus!

We hope to have the pleasure of your company in the very near future!

Safe travels,
Mandarin Oriental, Washington D.C.
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Level Contributor
29 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 February 2012

Great location. Hotel was beautiful and very clean. Service was very good. Can't wait to return ! Right up there with Ritz Carlton.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mrsboo24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MO_Washington, Public Relations Manager at Mandarin Oriental, Washington DC, responded to this review, 2 April 2012
Dear "Joyzelin"

We appreciate you taking the time to post about your stay - short but sweet, and we couldn't be happier!

We hope to welcome you back in the near future!

Safe travels,
Mandarin Oriental, Washington D.C.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Alexandria, Virginia
Level Contributor
16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 February 2012

I've stayed at the Mandarin in DC three times over several years, and found the service to be consistently excellent. The property is located a bit off the beaten path - it's got a view of the water on one side, but is actually tucked away in a group of Federal office buildings just off the National Mall. This is not a bad thing for the following reasons:
- quiet location, especially on weekends, doesn't feel like a typical downtown/city hotel
- minutes (metro or taxi) from Capitol Hill, restaurants, and shops
- easy walk to the Mall and Smithsonian museums - one of the closest hotels, in fact

ROOMS:
I've stayed in a standard room and a Tai Pan 'club level' room. The standard rooms are very nice, but very small by American standards (average size by European standards). The standard room had a tall, fluffy queen bed, plus a work desk, 'dresser' with a flat-screen TV, minibar, and storage drawers, as well as a chaise lounge-type sofa and a view of the water. The bathroom has a glassed-in shower and a tub deep enough to soak. The Tai Pan club double room is somewhat larger, though again not 'huge' compared to many standard American upscale hotels. Depending on whether you have one or two beds, it's the same basic layout as a standard room, but some have a regular loveseat sofa and a small coffee table. At night the turndown service will put a white cloth mat by your bed, laid out with the hotel slippers (unless you bring your own) and bathrobes.

TAI PAN CLUB: The hotel has a club level that offers a large room on an upper floor decorated like a nice living room/dining room. It has windows overlooking the city, and a small patio with tables and chairs. There is a bar with barstools, and an array of small tables seating 2 o 4 people, where snacks and breakfast and happy hours are served. The main sitting area has a tall fireplace, oversized stuffed chairs and two large sofas, and several other sitting areas. There is a 'library' room with built-in bookcases and chairs, where you can literally sit and just read in quiet... however, it is often closed for 'private functions' on weekends. If you book on the Tia Pan floor, you automatically get breakfast at the Tia Pan club, which is an international breakfast with the typical hot eggs and sausages, plus fruits, breads, and a selection of meats and cheeses, and some international offerings too. Throughout the day there are snacks out - and around Happy Hour time, they're hot, and good enough to make a small meal if you've missed lunch or are dining late. There is also a dedicated staff in the Club, where you check in and check out, and they also provide concierge service. They are wonderful... You want a special champagne in the room when you arrive? no problem. You need help getting tickets? no problem. While they're not better than concierges at other fine hotels, being able to sit with them in a club room environment instead of standing in the middle of the lobby is a nice alternative.

SPA: The spa at the Mandarin is one of my favorites. Make sure you leave plenty of time to relax... even if you just get a pedicure or facial, you'll be able to enjoy the steam room, plunge pools, and regular pool before and after, as well as a relaxation room with dim lighting, tempurpedic-style loungers, and fluffy robes. (Small personal lights are provided so you can read easily.) The treatment rooms are small and modern, but very comfortable. The therapist will adjust the color of the room lights to your preference, and the wraps and massages are some of the best I've had. My mother has severe arthritis in her feet, and was terrified of a pedicure because of the pain, but the therapist was extremely well-trained, and reading her intake form, gave her a relaxing foot treatment and never once did she have any pain.

(NOTE: my mother weighs around 300 pounds, so I called ahead to talk to the staff... they got her a men's large robe, which fit her perfectly, and never once did she feel awkward or self-concious during her visit - it was the first time she ever set foot in a spa, and was very nervous, so kudos to the staff for making it perfect.)

RESTAURANTS: We booked Cityzen on one visit for a special occasion. It did not disappoint. Some people feel it's overrated, but we thoroughly enjoyed it. We ordered the tasting menu, so perhaps that had something to do with it, but all throughout the wait staff was chatty and friendly but unobtrusive, and the sommeliers were helpful without being the least bit snooty with us wine novices. The biggest complaint is the tasting menu has a lot of food - and the larger courses are served last, which made it hard to get through everything. In celebration of a combination anniversary and birthday, the staff gave us complimentary champagne, which was a nice touch. We've eaten at Restaurant Eve, Citronelle, and other highly-rated establishments in the city, and Cityzen ranks as one of our favorite meals ever. Sou'wester unfortunately I can't say the same. The food for us was unremarkable, and the service was fine, but not what I expected given the hotel's overall service level and Cityzen's food. I've tried it several times, and just have given up. Hopefully they'll figure it out - the views are fantastic from the dining area!

BEST COFFEE IN DC... SOON TO BE GONE: Silk Road is a small coffee shop with sundries on the ground floor, and it's one of the best-kept coffee secrets in the city. To my great dismay, the hotel is not extending the lease and it will close come March 2012. This is a huge mistake. The reason? There's a Starbucks opened in the courtyard across from the hotel, so the hotel is going to let people drink that crap, and do something else with the space. Bruce, the guy who runs Silk Road, is a mad scientist of coffee - a passionate artisan, and literal scientist who pre-measures his beans in test tubes, and calibrates the pressure of his machine based on the weather. I'm certain he's not the easiest tenant to work with, but in a Mandarin Oriental hotel I expect there to be something exceptional - and Bruce's coffee and home-made natural-flavored sodas are truly exceptional. My boyfriend and I literally will drive downtown just to have coffee at Bruce's shop. It saddens me that the hotel does not value the gem they have in the coffee shop and in Bruce. When my boyfriend was sick and Bruce didn't have any benedryl in the shop, he actually went out to his car to get us some, because the nearby CVS was closed. THAT, Mandarin Oriental management, is the kind of service I expect and usually get from your hotels... but if you tell guests as you walk by your coffee shop "Oh, but there's a Starbucks across the street", what kind of message does that send? Sorry to prattle on, but this really irks me.

OVERALL... I've stayed at Mandarin Oriental properties in other cities, and DC's Mandarin is a bit... sparse compared to them, but the thing I love about it is that despite the grand lobby and expensive bar and posh spa, the staff are totally down-to-earth. Some hotels make you feel lucky to be there, like they are doing you a favor. The Mandarin is totally the opposite - it's friendly (but in a respectful way), and surprisingly homey. The staff truly make you feel like they enjoy their jobs, and you feel like a true guest. I'm not surprised that it's a choice hotel for celebrities and dignitaries, as well as regular families looking for a getaway. I always meet the most wonderful people when we're visiting, whether for coffee or spa or a staycation. I'm giving it four stars only because after being at other Mandarin properties, it doesn't have quite the same 'wow' factor - but I don't attribute that to any failings on the part of the staff.

If only they'd appreciate their coffee shop a bit more ;)

Room Tip: Look for packages when the rate for the Tia Pan club rooms are discounted by as much as $300. Weeken...
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  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Bec215
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MO_Washington, Public Relations Manager at Mandarin Oriental, Washington DC, responded to this review, 2 April 2012
Dear "Bec215,"

Many thanks for taking the time to provide your very complete review of your stay! We love guests who enjoy their stay so much that they want to share it with everyone! We appreciate your comments and have shared them all with our team

Safe travels and we hope to welcome you back very soon,

Mandarin Oriental, Washington D.C.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Mandarin Oriental, Washington DC

Property: Mandarin Oriental, Washington DC
Address: 1330 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington DC, DC 20024-2100
Phone Number:
Region: United States > District of Columbia > Washington DC
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#5 Spa Hotel in Washington DC
#10 Luxury Hotel in Washington DC
#13 Business Hotel in Washington DC
#14 Green Hotel in Washington DC
#17 Family Hotel in Washington DC
#24 Romantic Hotel in Washington DC
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:5 star — Mandarin Oriental, Washington DC 5*
Number of rooms: 373
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Summer is when the Nation’s Capital is most welcoming. Visitors can fill their itineraries with fun outdoor festivals, live concerts, thought-provoking museum exhibits, professional sports, along with some of the world’s most recognized monuments and the nation’s most cherished memorials. As Washington’s only hotel featuring views of the monuments and the water, Mandarin Oriental, Washington DC is at the center of everything. Now featuring dramatically refreshed luxury guestrooms, MO is located just steps from the Jefferson Memorial and the beautiful cherry tree-lined Tidal Basin. Our honored guests also enjoy very short walks to the National Mall, museums of the Smithsonian Institution, Washington Monument, and the White House. Business travelers will appreciate swift transfers between Ronald Reagan National Airport, Union Station, U.S. Capitol, and House and Senate Office Buildings. Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group is famous for providing legendary service, excellent dining, arresting design, and immersive spas that rejuvenate body and mind. Our hotel presents you with an experience that is uniquely Washington and always mindful of our oriental heritage. Are you a fan? ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mandarin Oriental, Washington d.c. Hotel Washington Dc
Mandarin Oriental Hotel Washington Dc
Mandarin Oriental Washington Dc
Mandarin Washington Dc
Washington Dc Mandarin Oriental

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