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“Superb location, historic building, nice rooms, great staff”

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Willard InterContinental Washington
Ranked #13 of 141 Hotels in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Reviewed 5 April 2010

Stayed here for 4 days on a recent trip to DC. The hotel is very centrally located to most of the big tourist sites, although there are a lot of sights in DC. It is about 1 block from the White House, and is about a 10 minute walk to the National Mall, with the Smithsonians and the major memorials and monuments. Check in was fast and efficient and we were given a corner suite on the 8th floor as a Royal Ambassador. The room was very nice, as it used to be 2 rooms, but had been merged into one large one, with a small hallway linking the two sections. The decor is typical of an old style, historic hotel but is largely functional and useable. The bed was very soft and comfortable and the bathroom was well stocked with shampoos, soaps and other amenities. Housekeeping was efficient and never bothered or disturbed us while we were in the room, which is a nice change from some hotels where they nag you to clean the room. The lobby was very nicely decorated with cherry blossoms, as they were blooming at the time. The only downside was a very subpar room service, where the food took more than double the time we were told and some of it was cold upon arrival. Otherwise, the hotel made an excellent place to stay. Location was excellent and was about a 10 minute was to the Metro.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled on business
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Thank antonius66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,858 - 2,864 of 3,253 reviews

Reviewed 4 April 2010

I traveled to DC with my wife, two sons, and elderly mother. Our trip from home to hotel was approximately 12 hours. Like another review I read...upon arriving to the hotel we waited in line for 15-20 minutes, with three people working the front desk. When it was finally my turn to check in, I was told that the hotel was full and that none of my rooms were ready (as we have reservations for a suite and adjacent room.) I explained to the front desk staff that my family had a very long travel day, and that my youngest son, and elderly mother had to get into a room to rest as soon as possible. I asked if one of the two rooms could possibly be ready soon. I was told that they would make the non-suite ready within the hour for us. I asked if we could store our luggage until we returned, and was told yes. In contacting the bellman, and relaying what the front desk had said, I was told, "Just bring the bags over here (indicating from the front desk to the bell desk.) I was shocked to the lack of service that the bell staff was giving. After moving some of my luggage, one of the bellman came over to help with the last couple of pieces (as we had seven good sized bags.)

We went for lunch and burned some two hours with sights in the area, and rented some bicycles. Upon returning to the hotel, I again attempted to check in, but was again told the same news (that none of my two rooms were ready.) I again explained how exhausting our trips was, and informed the front desk clerk of what I was promised by the previous front desk clerk (of at least one of our rooms being ready within the hour, and how over two hours had passed.) I was turned over to the assistant manager, who could do nothing buy apologize, and offered no remedies. I was then told that one of the two rooms could be ready within another unbearable hour. I was also told by the assistant manager that she would take my family up personally to the rooms when they were ready.

During the wait, I contacted the concierge to see where I could store the bicycles. To my surprise, I was told, "I'm not sure, let's check with the valet people who are contracted." I was then told that I had the option of bringing the bikes to the garage (which was on the other side of the block), or taking them to my room. I decided to take the bikes to the rooms, as the garage was very inconvenient. While waiting in the lobby for the rooms to be ready, I was approached by another staff member, who pointed out that the bikes were "somewhat of an eye sore" for the lobby area, and if we wanted them to store it. I explained that we were taking the bikes to the rooms as soon as they were ready. I was then asked by this staff person when the rooms were going to be ready. I was again shocked as to the non-communication between staff at this hotel, and told this person whenever "you, the hotel" gets them ready.

When finally presented with one of the rooms' keys, we went upstairs. At no time did the assistant manager escort us as promised, or follow up with how our rooms were. This was the beginning of a six night stay. Needless to say, the rest of the week was horrible at the hotel.

The rooms were barely cleaned on a daily basis. Vacuuming was never done (as hair and crumbs from the previous guests were never cleaned.) Tables were not wiped. We did have one night of room service, and the meal was delivered by a very professional waiter. The food was not what you would expect at this hotel; therefore we dined out for the rest of the week, and was pleased with restaurants close by.

Upon check out, we were hounded as to what time we were leaving, and if we were checking out soon. I was contacted by housekeeping twice, the front desk once, and even a "bar checker" came knocking at my door to check the room bar (which we did not partake in.) Again...shocked to the unprofessionalism and lack of communication between staff and departments.

Aside of the lack of cleanliness, the rooms were well appointed, and the beds were comfortable. The location was very central to the Metro, and sights of DC.

Location of the hotel was the best, but service and professionalism of the hotel's staff was horrible.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled with family
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18  Thank tyinfo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 March 2010

Our family went to Washington, DC on March 20, 2010 and stayed at the Willard. We arrived at the hotel after my wife's marathon and lunch with some of her running friends around 2:00 PM. We waited in a slow moving line while one then two front desk people took 15 or so minutes per guest for check in. When it was our turn we were told the Hotel was full the previous evening and we would have to wait no more than 1 hour for our room. We were asked if we could come back in one hour and our room would be available. I explained that my wife had completed a marathon that morning and wanted a comfortable place to rest for a little while and change out of her marathon gear. We were assured that the room would be available. We walked to the White House, Washington Monument and then the National Mall where we wandered through the American History Museum then walked back to the hotel. The Willard is well located and a very comfortable place to stay. When we returned at 4 or 4:30 we waited in the slow moving line once again and we were told that the Hotel was full the previous evening and we would have to wait no more than 1 hour for our room. I explained that we had been told that when we checked in and were now back for our room. I explained that my wife had completed a marathon and wanted a comfortable place to rest for a little while and change out of her marathon gear and now added - that she would like to change before we went to dinner. We were told that they were very sorry but the hotel was full the night before......

An hour or so later (close to 5PM) we were beckoned to the front desk and given keys to a very comfortable well appointed room. There were no problems with the room save the fact that the coffee supplies needed to be replaced after two requests because the cream had been opened, used and then replaced in the original box as if the contents of the box had not been used.

In sum the Willard is a great hotel (physically) with a great location and at the beginning of our stay a hotel with very poor service. The following morning coffee arrived without any issues and at the time promimsed. Coffee was well brewed and good.

I was asked about the our stay the while checking out the following morning and was told that the manager would look into the above referenced complaints and get back to me. I have not heard from hotel. management. I hope that the service issues are resolved because we all like the hotel and would go back and reommend the hotel to others if we knew that the service issues were resolved.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled with family
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5  Thank cvillelawyer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 March 2010

I was in DC for business...stayed 4 nights. This is a nice hotel, don't get me wrong. If you can get a good deal on the place, it's definitely worth it. It's not worth anything more than $175/night. It's all about location, it's a joy to be a 5 minute walk from the White House and very close to everything. I requested a high room floor the day before and received it. I could see the Lincoln Memorial from my room which was great. Being that I got the gov't rate, it's hard to judge the room since gov't travelers usually get funny rooms. It wasn't the biggest, actually it was kind of skinny...but the bathroom was all marble, had a tub and a shower, fantastic. It was a King Bed room. Everything was very clean, and the room didn't have any wear and tear like other reviewers have commented.

There was a nice spa within the hotel. The service was great there, they were able to fit me in for a massage the same night I called. Otherwise the service was poor for the rest of the hotel. Not that I'm in my room all the time, but I couldn't even watch the Oscars because the TV was snowy and there was no sound. I called their "Special One-Touch Service Line" and said it wasn't a big deal, just have it fixed when I get back to my room tomorrow night. It was never fixed. How hard is it to get a local station, I could have hooked up my own antenna and gotten better reception. Inexcusable. The housekeeping was poor also. I only had 1 washcloth in my room, and I had to call the front desk after 3 days to get a replacement. All of this was mentioned when I checked out, never heard back from a manager or anything. Just a I'm sorry. Again, if this was cheaper and a 3 star, not that big of a deal. Also, the Willard Room restaurant is closed, but they still had it listed in their guest room book. It seems that this place is getting lazy and living off its reputation.

The lobby is great to just sit and watch people. The valet is expensive but expected in a big city. The french restaurant is ok, but not worth the prices. Eat somewhere else. The hotel bar is neat, tucked away and the Nest lounge is great. If you're debating between this place and the Sofitel, take the Sofitel.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled on business
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1  Thank BurningSnow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 March 2010

Everything about this hotel is amazing. It is not often that I stand in awe of a hotel lounge, but this one certainly did it for me. The Willard's design is of a period of American might and money that was only seen by the rich and the famous. Just walking into it wisps away any doubt about the cost of a room. The staff were quick to any needs, and had the concierge provided top notch recommendations of how to get around.

We were in DC for the July 4th fireworks (a must see at least once) which causes the city to be flooded with droves of people. The hotel is only short walk from the National Mall, which allowed us to quickly return to our rooms once they were over instead of battling the hundreds of thousands of spectators. Keep in mind that they will need to check your key to let you into the building during major events such as July 4th. You will understand when you see the number of people on the streets.

Our room was much larger than I even thought it would be. Perhaps I got upgraded and did not notice, but we had more room than some apartments have. I got to see into some of the suites, and they are well worth it if you have the extra money (but a bit too pricey for me). Expect to pay for internet (its an InterContinental... they all charge) and for parking if you bring your car. I recommend just flying into DC and taking the metro or a taxi. Its cheaper, and way more convenient then trying to find parking - then paying a lot for it.

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled with friends
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Thank Thadorian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 March 2010

Really awesome historic hotel with a great location. Only 1 block from White House.

Stayed: October 2009, travelled as a couple
1  Thank KimberlyS14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 February 2010

The Willard, one of the oldest hotels in Washington DC is a step back in time. We had a lovely suite, all-be-it at the rear. The rooms are enourmous and very comfortably furnished. The two large double beds were fantastically comfortable. I think I particularly liked it for it's very sympathetic restoration. It is not trying to be a modern hotel, but wonderfully old fashioned.
The staff are typically American, that being unfailingly helpful and polite. I know that some people find the 'have a nice days' anoying after a while, I, coming from London, find it refreshingly charming.
Breakfast is everything you would expect, in the lovely Cafe Du Parc, which for the rest of the day becomes a French bistro.
The Round Robin bar if perfect, as is the Occidental Grill (a must visit).
I defy any hotel in Washington to have a better location, almost next to the White House, with the Capitol at the end of the street, and all the museums and the Mall just a short walk away.

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Nick P
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
#6 Family Hotel in Washington DC
#8 Business Hotel in Washington DC
#8 Luxury Hotel in Washington DC
#9 Romantic Hotel in Washington DC
#25 Green Hotel in Washington DC
Price Range: £153 - £474 (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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