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“Expectations met at this hotel”

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Mandarin Oriental, Washington DC
Ranked #14 of 140 Hotels in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
126 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
“Expectations met at this hotel”
Reviewed 27 May 2009

As a first-time visitor to Washington D.C., I ordered a city view room but ended up with a river view room. We didn't fuss with them over this because it was all new to me anyway. So now I can tell you that the river view rooms are sunny (south facing), overlook the hotel terrace garden and the tidal basis of the Potomac. Except that your view includes lots of cars and freeways.

It's a very easy walk from the hotel's front door to the Mall, especially to the Freer and Sackler museums. The Smithsonian subway station is only 2 blocks (long ones) away. This station gets you onto two lines: the blue and the orange. You can get to Georgetown real quickly on the subway.

The neighborhood is quiet at night and weekends because the surroundings are all office buildings. In that sense, there is no urban street life. You'll be glad that the hotel has a great bar with live jazz and two really great restaurants. We had several dinners at the hotel. And the breakfast buffet is delicious. And there are always taxis outside the beautiful lobby to take you away.

For a downtown location near the Mall, I would definitely stay here again. The property is beautiful and stylish.

The only minus was that there were a lot of children in the hotel. It might just have been because of the school break. Let's hope they keep this place for adults.

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank LaBu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
50 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 May 2009

I really enjoyed my stay at the Mandarin. Maybe my expectations were a bit low since the reviews here are not so great, but I couldn't find much to complain about.
First, I thought the location was great for sightseeing. It is a short walk to the tidal basin and the Jefferson Memorial (10 minutes max), and only 2 blocks to the National Mall. I think if you are sightseeing you would be happy with the location. If you want proximity to nightlife and shopping you should stay in Dupont or Georgetown.
I thought the staff was very nice. Helpful, not stuffy. The lobby had a great vibe while we were there. Maybe b/c the cast of a movie was staying at the hotel and there was a whole Hollywood entourage hanging out in the lounge. (We saw Ben Stiller, Hank Azaria, and others - kind of fun and made me feel like I picked a good place.) I loved our room, 624. It was a corner suite with a view of the Washington Monument. Yes, I could see some buildings and a parking lot but this is a city hotel, so I am not expecting a great view. My friends were next door in a city view double room which was equally as nice, minus the view. On the 6th floor we were not bothered by noise at all.
Our room was clean and the bathroom was lovely. Very much on par with a Ritz or Four Seasons. Housekeeping did a great job servicing the room twice a day. We ordered room service and it was good. Spent one entire day in the spa and loved it. It really exceeded my expectations especially for a city hotel. 5 friends all had treatments and we were all very happy. And the gym is nice with good equipment, plus you are so close to great running along the water.
Last year we stayed at the Willard and we all liked the Mandarin much better.
I think this a great place to stay for a trip to DC. The only thing I would mention is that if prices were comparable (which I doubt they would be!) and I was bringing my kids I would rather stay at the Four Seasons b/c they have a pool that the kids can swim in. I am not sure if they allow young kids in the pool at the Mandarin. Plus the suites are better for families at the FS. But I would be very happy staying here again.

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank josiegrammer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
jpt1975
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 18 May 2009

While the Mandarin was a nice, clean, and well maintained hotel, it was not worth the price. Our small room was nestled over train tracks, and it also provided a nice view of a small wooded parking lot that appeared to be a shelter for indigents. The train was kind enough to roll past the hotel without blowing it's whistle, but if you are a light sleeper you will hear it rumbling past.

Nicely furnished, the room smelled like smoke when we arrived with no ashtrays in sight. The toiletries provided in the room were the same generic hotel ones you would get at a 2 or 3 star motel. Each room had an individual door chime, something the maid should learn how to use when she attempts to open your door at 9 AM - well before the noon check out time.

Room service was very disappointing, and laden with extra charges that made us wonder why we even tipped. We questioned an item that appeared to be incorrect when it arrived, and were dismissively told that it was correct - even though it was not. It was amended in 20 minutes with one phone call. Ultimately, the bill was $70 for a cheeseburger, a small personal pizza, and a bowl of thick cut french fries. Pizza Hut and Five Guys would have tasted much better and cost CONSIDERABLY less. I wonder what the $6 glass of chocolate milk would taste like? Yoo-hoo?

Overall, the bed was comfortable, the pillows nice, the staff was friendly enough... There was one small 32" tube television in the room. Our stay at the Hotel Palomar last summer was half the price at the time, the room was 3 times as big with a whirlpool tub, and it had 2 large flat screen televisions with dvd players (one television was viewable from the tub). Hotel Palomar also provided L'Occitane toiletries, which is what you would expect from a hotel like the Mandarin.

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank jpt1975
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Clermont, FL
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 May 2009

We stayed at the MO for four nights in March. When we arrived in the morning to check in, we had to wait but did not mind at all because we were able to watch Angelina Jolie being filmed in the hotel lobby . Our room was ready and we walked thorough the film crew in between takes. This was a wonderful start to our trip. We received a complimentary upgrade through our Amex. Our room had a view of the Jefferson Memorial. I am not sure what everyone is complaining about in regards to location of the hotel. The hotel is so centrally located and its only 2 blocks to the national mall. The subway is only a block a way but we never used it. The hotel has a walkway behind the hotel that drops you within a block of the Jefferson Memorial. I assume everyone on trip advisor who complained about the location may not be in the best of shape as we did not find the hotel far from any attraction. In fact the hotel is across the street from the treasury department where you can go on a tour to see how money is printed.
Our room was very clean. The breakfast we had was great and was included in our amex fine hotels and resorts program. We also received a $75 credit towards spa products. The hotel staff was extremely helpful and friendly. We used the hotel transportation to and from the airport. I had left some papers in the car and the driver made every effort to find me and return them to me. The drivers were so courteous and friendly. We did use a taxi at night to go to dinner at Capital Grill. The bellhops were great at getting us in a taxi and giving the driver exact directions. Would have no reservations in staying at the MO again. We had stayed at the Willard before but I prefer the MO, more modern.

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled on business
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Helpful?
1 Thank 2docs1kid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 May 2009

I really expected to be WOWED by this hotel.....NOPE!! Dont get me wrong; the hotel is emaculate. If you get a bad room you could be looking down at the local homless or the gravel parking lot out back. I will say the bathroom is a girls dream!!! My bathroom was bigger than my room. I also felt as if the staff was a bit SNOBBISH! There are two sides to this hotel...The view of our beautiful Nations Capital...and...The view of the former Murder Capital..cross your fingers and hope you get what you pay for. There are BETTER hotels for the money

  • Stayed December 2007, travelled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank kicking_roks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
41 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 May 2009

This hotel might have water views but it has been built on land wedged between a freeway on one side and a freight railway line on another. It is also poorly soundproofed resulting in either traffic noise for the waterview rooms or freight train noise, including the horn sounding, for other rooms. Even when there is an otherwise quiet period, it is inevitably interrupted by noise in adjacent rooms or in the corridor. I did not sleep well on my first night due to road works on the freeway being performed all night long. The hotel should have known about this.

The service is patchy. On check-in at 6pm I was shown a nice room on a high floor with waterview and the Jefferson memorial in the distance. But after unpacking I was informed that I was being moved elsewhere due to someone else having reserved the room! The room they attempted to move me to was darker and in a less desirable wing with restricted views. I rejected the room and after much negotiation was "upgraded" to a suite in the same wing, but with only a King bed and not twin beds as booked. The roller bed was comfortable though.

There is only one bank of elevators serving both wings of the hotel, resulting in lengthy walks if you are in the wrong wing (like I was). The hotel also needs some up dating as far as soft furnishings. Also, one of the towels in my "suite" was threadbare. The gym is adequate and the pool is great. The breakfasts are ordinary 4 star fare.

Overall, the hotel is located on the wrong side of the Mall although it is in within easy walking distance of the Smithsonian Science museums.

I was on a amex platinum package, but the price was outrageous considering this hotel, despite its name, is no 5 star hotel.

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank crdaus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Florida
Level Contributor
136 reviews
78 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 424 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 April 2009

Stayed at the MO in DC overnight midweek. The bell staff were incredibly gracious, after chatting on the way to our room our bellman called the front desk and asked for a better room. A better room was provided promptly. The bellman did this on his own accord after we mentioned which other MO's we have visited. The front desk staff were also gracious and provided hot towels at check in. Concierge was helpful too.

The room itself was nice with a great bathroom with separate tub and a large shower. The bed was very comfortable, the internet was fine (unlike other reviews say) though its cost $15/day, the decor was simple but elegant. The bath products were good.

We had drinks in the Empress/lobby lounge. The drinks were good, as was some food we had but the service was sluggish. The staff here seem annoyed at the world.

We missed breakfast but had a quick bite at a sandwich place next door.

Some downsides...

1. The location is far removed from most things. This would be an issue for tourists or those inclined to walk or take the metro.
2. There is noise from the trains and from jets going into Reagan National airport.
3. Price are high for everything and room prices are high for the inconvenient location and noise issue.

We booked a special rate from as an American Bar member at $295 midweek. That said for the quality of stay we had I can overlook the downsides. Of course, at published rates of $565+ I would be upset as there are better choices for those prices.

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank FlyOneWorld
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

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:
#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 (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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