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“Historic and beautiful hotel worthy of consideration”

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Willard InterContinental Washington
Ranked #12 of 142 Hotels in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Reviewed 12 July 2014

arrival at The Willard is fabulous - a beautiful, historic, restored hotel run with elegance. I stayed for a week on holiday and was very pleased with my choice. The Willard is one of those old fashioned, big overstuffed couches, fancy drapery, gold gilt frames, mosaic floor kinda places. If you are after quiet, sleek, minimalism this is not the place for you.
Service from everyone was very friendly and chatty - people seemed to know their jobs and ran things smoothly.
I had an ordinary king bed standard room and it was very generous! Large room, including large marble-tiled bathroom. work desk/chair; bedside tables; lounge chair with foot stool; round breakfast table and chair; minibar; safe; ironing facilities; shoe horns; robes and slippers; magnifying/shaving mirror, TV with 60+ cable channels, Keurig coffee machine, free daily newspapers. Toiletries were a nice citrus scent and included soap, shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, cotton balls, q tips, sewing kit, shoe shine cloth, emery board & orange stick.
The linen and towels were reasonable quality.
The strange things in the room included: there was no black tea for the Keurig. The pods were coffee/decaf coffee and lemon tea. On asking they could not supply black tea pods and so they sent up a water kettle and I supplied my own bags. They do provide boxes which include half & half/sugar/nutrasweet and stirrers - although this arrangement seems wasteful to me - I just wanted the sugar packet and had to rip open this box just for that. Eventually, I remembered to pilfer packets from another store. Also they do not supply ordinary milk - so I bought a glass of milk from the cafe downstairs and stored it in the mini fridge.
Which brings me to: this minibar is one of those that autocharges if an item is lifted off its pad. So every day, moving my milk, I generated a charge. Fortunately, the front desk very quickly removed those costs. Get them to remove the minibar and ask for an empty fridge if you do not want this. finally a minibar cost sheet was not included in the room - all I found was the empty cardboard holder and despite leaving it out for housekeeping to restock, it never was. although very well stocked, obviously minibar items were outrageously priced.
Re: the robes - two in the wardrobe - very nice - when I wore one - it was taken away and not replaced, never to be seen again. The same thing happened with the second one - and so i was very quickly out of robes. I suppose I could of rung and asked for replacements but it all seemed strange.
The bed has easily past its use-by date, requiring replacement. Just looking at it I could see the two deep dips. Whilst very soft I did not consider it bad enough to move rooms though. The bed comes with feather pillows - which I dislike - and foam pillows are available on request.

Some of the nice touches included a charging port for computers and phones on both the desk and bed side table. Extra magazines about local tourism were supplied. Although missing in my room - I saw other rooms which had a small bench at the foot of the bed. The shower head was fabulous. The room was very quiet and I didn't notice noise from other rooms. Street noise was more noticeable with the windows not sealed.
I utilised room service several times. I was very impressed with the speed - they came in far less time than quoted - the longest I waited was 15-20 minutes for a full dinner. Their cheese plate is superb! I ate at Cafe du Parc multiple times for breakfast lunch and dinner - all the meals were nicely cooked, generous servings but better than average. The breakfast buffet is extensive. Always easy to get a seat. The only hesitation is that this service is very slow. Nothing to wait more than 30 minutes for food service.
The location is great. easy walk down to the mall and all the smithsonian institutions and monuments, close to buses and metro, had a Big Bus tour bus stop out front. (btw there is also Signature Tours which have smaller enclosed air conditioned buses which would be far more comfy that the open air Big Bus and Old Trolley Bus tours in the sweltering summer).
All up I had a delightful stay - beautiful hotel - with a little gallery that tells the history and story. Staff service was excellent and prompt. I watched the website for months for prices and at about 2 months/6 weeks out the price came down substantially, even though including 4 July weekend.
I do recommend this hotel.

Room Tip: No really amazing views from any room- unless suites - all rooms are very comfortable. Ask for what...
  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank DownunderSugarglider
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,732 - 1,738 of 3,031 reviews

Reviewed 11 July 2014

My husband and I stayed at the Willard arriving on Easter Sunday. Everything smelled like spring .the ,front desk employees were very welcoming . We had a small dinner late in the historic bar ,located just steps away on the first floor.

Our room had everything in place. Great bed vey clean room ,excellent service. The housekeeping staff are what you would expect in an upscale hotel.

Breakfast evey morning could not have been better. Our waiter even asked the chef how to make one of the baked egg dishe and gave me the recipe the next day.

Over all,if you wish to be treated with class and respect stay at the Willard.

Innkeeper from kentucky

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank loveinnkeeping
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 July 2014

I stayed at the Willard for two nights on business. The hotel's common areas are beautiful and bustling. It's location on Pennsylvania Avenue would be perfect for travelers wanting to walk to major sites or biz travelers with meetings close to the hotel. The proximity to the White House and the closed streets surrounding it, combined with DC traffic, can make getting around by car difficult. Although the public areas were lovely, the guest rooms need an update. My only other complaint is that the back of house staff wasn't exactly fielding the "A Game". As a big fan of a good mini bar, I was disappointed that the fridge was either broken or set to "slightly warmer than room temp" (I couldn't find the knob to adjust that). The breakfast card wasn't replaced my second night. Now, I'm quite certain that had I brought these things to the hotel's attention, they would have been remedied swiftly. But, I was working, on a tight schedule, and quite frankly didn't want to deal with it. At the price point of the Willard, basic things like this should be handled without having to ask. And yes, I recognize that a bit precious. There was also an intoxicated or mentally ill person yelling intermittently from a bench on the sidewalk facing the hotel. It was likely louder in my room than most because I was on the second floor. Nevertheless, I kept thinking to myself, "They are going to say something, right?" Nope. The disturbance wasn't enough to overcome my reluctance to call the front desk, feeling quite awkward, and ask them to get the gentleman to quiet down. All that said, the bar is fabulous.

Room Tip: Don't know other than avoid second floor rooms. Proximity to the street is noisy.
  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank Jared L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
IHGCare, Guest Relations Manager at Willard InterContinental Washington, responded to this reviewResponded 28 July 2014

Dear Jared L,

Thank you for your feedback. We are pleased that you liked our location. Please accept our apologies if your stay was negatively affected by the overall condition of the room accommodations, amenities and noise encountered. We appreciate you bringing this matter to our attention as the feedback we receive from our guests like you, enables us to target problem areas and take the necessary actions to improve our guest services. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and we hope to serve you again soon.

Sincerely,

Zelyn N
Case Manager
IHGCare

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 July 2014

Old world charm and great location. Attention to detail is wonderful. The staff and the rooms are top drawer. Close to all the major tourist must sees. Our room had a view of the Washington Monument and we were able to walk to most places.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Kathryn B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 July 2014

Our family of four stayed in one room and were very comfortable. The rooms are very nicely decorated, not your standard plain hotel furniture. The beds were comfortable. The service was friendly and helpful. The front desk provided us with maps and excellent advice. The location is wonderful. It is right next to the White House and walking distance to the monuments and museums we wanted to visit. Most of the restaurants we liked best were a little farther than we wanted to walk, but overall, we liked the location and the elegance of this hotel. We would definitely stay here again. Our only complaint, they promised us a daily paper, and in the week we stayed, we got one paper.

Room Tip: Rooms in the tower over the lobby probably have the best views.
  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Grant A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 July 2014

Beautiful lobby and lots of history at the hotel. Great location within walking distance of White House and monuments. Our rooms were not ready at 2 p.m. when we got there. At 4:30 my husband went up to the desk, and they still weren't ready. We did request beforehand 2 rooms together. Finally, another staff person found 2 rooms together that were ready. Our room had a leaky faucet that could not be repaired during our stay. We had to call twice for maintenance to come and look. The other room had a bed that was broken. The maid didn't replace our glasses and two calls before they were replaced.
The valet and bellhops were very, very helpful. Once, one went down to the next block to get us a taxi. The bar staff was also very helpful and the food was delicious. The breakfast staff was also very good, and the buffet was very good.

I was disappointed in the rooms. I stayed here 13 years ago and thought the staff was more attentive.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank linadal1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
IHGCare, Guest Relations Manager at Willard InterContinental Washington, responded to this reviewResponded 26 July 2014

Dear linadal1,

Thank you for taking the time to write a review on your recent stay. We are very pleased that you enjoyed your dining experience at our hotel. On the other hand, it is regrettable that the room quality was a letdown, and that your check-in experience took longer than expected. Please accept our sincerest apologies for the shortcomings you have experienced.

We appreciate your feedback as this gives us the opportunity to improve on our guest satisfaction. Again, thank you for staying with us and we look forward to hosting you again.

Warm Regards,

Tracy V.
Case Manager
IHGCare

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 July 2014

Now, I am by no means saying that this property is bad. I am just disappointed- this hotel is known for its wonderful history, however I feel that intercontinental has washed away some of its character. Everything about this hotel felt almost exactly the same as my experiences with other intercontinental hotels. The bed was actually less comfortable than the one I had when I last stayed at an intercontinental in New Orleans earlier this year. I do have to say the room was quite large though. Book this hotel if you like staying at intercontinental hotels, I do not recommend if you are looking for a luxury hotel with character.

Also the breakfast service is pretty good, and the overall service experience seemed to vary a fair bit with each employees personality. I came across a few employees who did in fact go above and beyond and I think they were just helping me out because they are good people, not because it was their job! I recall the staff at the bell desk as being particularly good.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled solo
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank jouhou
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Willard InterContinental Washington

Address: 1401 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington DC, DC 20004-1047
Phone Number:
Region: United States > District of Columbia > Washington DC > Upper Northwest
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Spa Hotel in Washington DC
#8 Luxury Hotel in Washington DC
#8 Family Hotel in Washington DC
#8 Business Hotel in Washington DC
#9 Romantic Hotel in Washington DC
#26 Green Hotel in Washington DC
Price Range: £176 - £559 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Willard InterContinental Washington 4.5*
Number of rooms: 335
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in the heart of the nation's capital, two blocks from the White House, The Willard InterContinental Washington, D.C. offers 335 spacious and elegantly appointed guest rooms, 41 of which are suites, that exude a unique blend of contemporary luxury and historic charm. Many of The Willard's guest rooms feature views of Pennsylvania Avenue and historic landmarks like the Washington Monument as well as downtown Washington, D.C. The Willard has been the site of many prestigious meetings, conferences and social events for nearly 200 years. With 19 meeting rooms and over 22,000 sq. ft. of event space, The Willard features unique and elegant function rooms including several ballrooms from which to choose. Discover a relaxing counterpoint to the busy pace of Washington, D.C. as you savor the fare at Cafe du Parc, featuring delicious French bistro cuisine and exquisite house-made patisseries. Reserve a table on one of Washington's most popular terraces' or dine inside in a modern, sleek Parisian-style setting. Join us for a drink in the historic Round Robin Bar. Located just off the lobby of The Willard, the Round Robin Bar has been a lively meeting place for Washington's political and social elite since the days of Abraham Lincoln. Long celebrated as one of the best in D.C., this legendary bar was known as the nexus of "Rum Row" and the "E street Corridor" -- plying its trade to luminaries such as Mark Twain and Walt Whitman. Today, this fashionable downtown spot draws a smart, stylish cross section of DC movers and shakers. The Round Robin Bar is open seven days a week, Monday through Saturday from 12 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. and Sundays 12:00 p.m. to midnight. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Willard Intercontinental Washington Hotel Washington Dc
Intercontinental Washington Dc
Intercontinental Hotel Washington Dc

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