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“Very Much a Business Hotel, not a Luxury Experience”

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Mandarin Oriental, Washington DC
Ranked #15 of 142 Hotels in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed 30 March 2013

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.

Room Tip: To get a good view you need to select their Premium Water View.
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  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled with family
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Thank MannyG2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,347 - 1,353 of 1,905 reviews

Reviewed 30 March 2013

Stayed here a few months ago on business. The location of the hotel itself is just fantastic, and there are very few other properties literally on the National Mall. However, I found the hotel to be just average. The lobby itself was terribly crowded when I checked in and I found the room to be just so-so (for a luxury hotel).

Then again, I find a lot of DC hotels to be just mediocre.

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled on business
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Thank Urbane_Biz_Traveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 March 2013

I stayed at this property last week for a business trip. I had never stayed at a Mandarin property so I was super excited about my stay. Despite a few minor preferences and a bad dish from room service, I really enjoyed my stay. See details below.

Food - I had a tight meeting schedule so I was only able to order room service. The service was accurate and fast. I ordered the Sea Bass and a salad. Unfortunately, I did not care for the fish and the in-room dining staff graciously removed the charges from my bill without me asking them.

Service - Generally speaking the service was on par for a luxury hotel. The check-in staff was wonderfully and very friendly. The only surprise was the staff in their Taipan Lounge! I COMPLETE FAIL. I wasn't greeted upon arrival with my enthusiasm nor was I offered water, nuts, ect.... (REALLY BAD SERVICE EXPERIENCE).

Gym - doesn't open until 5:30 which is somewhat problematic when I'm on-site for a conference and I need to work out before my attendees come down
.
Spa - I didn't have the opportunity to fully experience the spa this time but I will be back.

Atmosphere - I love the decor and vibe. Very trendy but not over the top.

Location - In terms of proximately to downtown the locations is off the beaten path but a short 10/15 minute cab ride.

Little Things - So here's where the SNUB in me comes out. They did not have any plugs near the nightstands...I HATE this. My welcome amenity was below average (a box of mini-chocolates).

Price/value - NA

Return(ability) - Yes, I will be back and would recommend for the business/leisure traveler that doesn't mind being a distance from center city.

Room Tip: Ask for water view or 8/9 floor rooms.
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  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled on business
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Thank Ask_Tiff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 March 2013

We really enjoyed the luxury and convenience of this hotel. We were in the area for a charity event, and this hotel fit our needs perfectly. We also had a wonderful evening out with friends and slept very well on the extremely comfortable bed. Fortunately we had a car so that we could get around the city. We rarely interacted with the staff, but when we did so, they were polite and accommodating.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank bweis13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 March 2013

We stayed four nights in a water view suite. We were dropped off by our daughter, who the doorman referred to, on and off as we encountered him, as "the princess." He knew (I am not sure how), and correctly pronounced my last name (not an easy task). Very cordial. The staff at the front desk were polite and always helpful, as was the concierge. The suite was beautiful, quiet, and clean. Our suite included a balcony, which overlooked the Potomac and the Pentagon--a very wide view. We tried the MO in Boston a couple of years back, and made a point of staying at another when we got a chance. This one didn't disappoint. If you like places like the Peninsula or Ritz-Carleton in Chicago (our frequent favorites), you will probably be very happy with this MO. One thing worth mentioning: the hotel is in a quite area of the city, 3-4 blocks south of the mall. We found it very pleasant and conveniently located, and it will be our D.C. hotel. If, however, you want to stay in a more bustling part of town, this might be too quiet for you.

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank profofphil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 March 2013 via mobile

I have come here 3x for conference and 3x for pleasure. I always enjoy my stay. I wish the gym opened earlier for us morning folks. The oncerence facilities are great. No complaints with food. Great place to stay for a special weekend or uber important client.

  • Stayed: March 2013
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1  Thank AlohaShirt_1906
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 March 2013

I took my girlfriend there to celebrate her birthday, and I let the staff know. They had not one but TWO bottles of champagne on ice waiting for us. They also had chocolate covered strawberries that said Happy Birthday (it was made of chocolate, and it was delicious). They also left us a small box of some locally made DELICIOUS chocolates. The staff was very friendly and helpful. The room as absolutely amazing. It was clean, large, and comfortable. It felt very homey and from the minute we walked in to the minute we left, the experience was perfect. We didn't want to leave. We had drinks at the Empress Lounge, and even they were near perfection. The cocktails were well crafted, and even though they were very busy, I got my drink very quickly. After a few drinks, we went to Sou'Wester. She had the rock fish, I had the BBQ chicken. Everything was perfect. The server and the staff were very friendly, and the food came very quickly.

Overall, excellent experience.

Room Tip: Corner suites are epic.
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  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Shadi K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about 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:
#6 Spa Hotel in Washington DC
#9 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: £218 - £615 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Mandarin Oriental, Washington DC 5*
Number of rooms: 373
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

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