I had several issues, from minor to moderately annoying, even if overall my 4-day stay with 3 children was satisfactory.
The rooms are billed as "water view", and the Mandarin website gives you the impression that you will overlook the Jefferson Memorial and the Tidal Basin. This is grossly misleading. We had a sliver of a view of the Potomac, and most of our view was actually brick wall (the hotel itself, since it is shaped like a tight V).
The room and bathroom were fairly standard - nothing wrong with them, but not especially stylish or luxurious-feeling. The bathroom had too many different textures and items that didn't gel together, and was visually busy rather than relaxing. The TV annoyingly reset to the house channel every time it was turned on, and the channel guide was hard to use and un-informative , an issue if you are with children.
On one occasion (March 28, 9:45 am) my children and I went out the front door wanting a cab. There were several hotel staff outside but none of them paid any attention to us, so I raised my hand to call for a taxi from the nearby taxi line. No response from the staff or from the taxi, so we walked to the front cab. The driver was missing, so we went on to the next one, and got in. When our cab tried to pull out, the driver of the first cab (who had been engaged in deep conversation with the hotel staff, which is why no one had noticed us) suddenly came running and blocked our way, threatening our driver. The hotel staff (who I later learned included a security man, a doorman, and a bellman) did nothing, allowing the two drivers to argue. Finally we had to get out of our cab and walk back to the doorman to demand a cab. The hotel staff refused to give us the cab we had just gotten out of, and insisted we get yet a third cab. Our poor driver (of the cab that we had boarded first) was sent away as punishment for daring to "steal" a fare from the first driver, evidently a chum of the hotel staff. Though we were clearly being impeded and verbally threatened by the first driver, the hotel security man never made an attempt to intervene. All the Mandarin staff seemed more interested in protecting their friend cab driver than in getting my children and me on our way.
The hotel has over 400 rooms (vs. 200 at the Four Seasons, which we also stayed in for four days, see my review), and felt impersonal, not warm or intimate. The lobby and adjoining bar area alternated between totally empty, and crammed with people. That said, other than the cab incident, most of the staff were pleasant and helpful.
For a business trip, there are probably good reasons to choose the Mandarin, but for a personal visit I wouldn't recommend it.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- When autumn comes and the weather cools down, Washington gets down to business as it becomes more walkable and much livelier. It’s the perfect time to plan a trip with fun outdoor festivals, live concerts, thought-provoking museum exhibits, along with some of the world’s most recognized monuments, and the nation’s most cherished memorials. With newly renovated guest rooms and only hotel featuring views of the monuments and the water, Mandarin Oriental, Washington DC is at the center of everything. Our guests enjoy short walks to the National Mall, the Smithsonian Institution, and Washington Monument. Soon, guests will be able to stroll over to District Wharf—a brand new development along the waterfront featuring over 20 restaurants, an exciting concert venue called The Anthem, nightclubs with live entertainment, fun shopping, and luxury residences. Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group is famous for providing the finest service, dining, design, and spas. 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