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“Mod style, mixed results”

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Kimpton Donovan Hotel
Ranked #31 of 141 Hotels in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
37 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Mod style, mixed results”
Reviewed 14 September 2013

This hotel has a fun concept – a 1960s, James Bond-era style – but it comes with a few kinks. On the plus side, the location is convenient to restaurants on 14th Street and if you don’t mind walking, you can walk to Metro Center and the mall/museums. The staff is friendly and helpful, the wine hour is great, nice lobby and there’s a rooftop pool and bar that are nice. I also hear the restaurant is great, though I only had a couple of their appetizers (which were good). Our king room was fairly small and smelled a little musty. The mod style is carried into the rooms with mixed results. The furnishings are fun, but the shower is a frosted plastic cylinder that juts into the room. While showering, the person inside can be seen in silhouette from the room. The downside is that if you go to use the bathroom at night and turn on the bathroom light, the whole room is illuminated. Suddenly everyone’s awake. Also, there is only 1 hook for a bath towel. They need to add a second bath towel hook and a hook for the hand towel. Just some odd inconveniences that could be easily fixed. Overall, it gets points for personality making it a decent place to stay, especially since we got a reasonable price.

Room Tip: Rooms in the front will have better views. Also, rooms on the top floor will probably have a lot of...
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank nwilkins
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Abe L, Assistant General Manager at Kimpton Donovan Hotel, responded to this review, 20 September 2013
Hi nwilkins,

Thanks for your review of our Hotel.

Seemed like a mixed bad on this stay. I appreciate the good with the bad and will put some work into addressing the issues you mentioned. Unfortunately, the design of the shower will remain even after our rooms renovation. Many people enjoy the design and find it iconic in a way, but I do understand where you're coming from. I'm working on the towel hooks too.

Cheers,
Abe

Abe Liao
Assistant General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (425)
Date | Rating
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  • Dutch first
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 September 2013

Fantastic hotel in a great location and for a great price. From arrival to departure the staff were professional and courteous and couldn't do enough for us. Room was bright and airy, clean and comfortable, The rooftop pool and bar area are spectacular. Didn't use the restaurant so can't comment but will definitely be back!

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank mrssnips66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Abe L, Assistant General Manager at Kimpton Donovan Hotel, responded to this review, 19 September 2013
Hi mrssnips66,

Thanks for your review.

Seems like had just a great stay with us. I know, very sad the pool is closed for the season now. We'll be opening back up around Memorial Day, 2014. Also, you have to try Zentan! We've got a great new menu about to roll out for fall.

Cheers,
Abe

Abe Liao
Assistant General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Southfield, Michigan
Level Contributor
593 reviews
88 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 191 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 September 2013

Our stay at the Donovan House in Washington DC was absolutely enjoyable. I loved the multicultural multiethnic influences reflected in the appetizers, the restaurant menu and the friendly, highly professional staff.
When entering the lobby, check out the James Bond action film clips being projected on the upper wall. Hotel staff sported imaginative code names on their work badges. When we arrived in our mod-style room, we even found leopard and tiger skin color cloth bathrobes in the closet! Great fun!
Our room was simply beautiful with a panoramic window view overlooking Thomas Circle. The interior was clean, modern and toiletries were restocked, and refreshed regularly. The lighting was unusual and interesting. Our king bed mattress was very comfortable. Added thoughtful, extras include a large umbrella (found in the closet) that allowed us to walk this pedestrian-friendly city during the occasional rain shower.
We took advantage of the complementary wine hour with appetizers in the hotel lobby. We did not use the roof top bar, however it looked very well done and active.
Free wifi is available as long as you sign up with Kimpton hotels.
I highly recommend this hotel and will return when we visit Washington, DC again.

Room Tip: John, at hotel reception immediately asked us how close we wanted to get to the active bar scene on...
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Green Features: Use of in-room LED lighting is probably longer on energy conservation than lighting. It was hard to find random objects close to the closet because the lighting there was so poor.
  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank VaporK8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Abe L, Assistant General Manager at Kimpton Donovan Hotel, responded to this review, 13 September 2013
Hi VaporK8,

Thanks for your review.

What a great time! Other than hitting the Spy Museum, you really lived it up, Secret Agent style. When's your next assignment in DC, or........is it for your eyes only?

Confidentially Yours,
Abe

Abe Liao
Assistant General Manager
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New York City, New York
1 review
Reviewed 10 September 2013

I can't emphasize enough how amazing the Donovan House staff were when I stayed there over the Labor Day weekend. Joon went out of his way to make us feel really well looked after – with amazing touches like drinks vouchers for the pool bar on the day we were spending the afternoon up there and a gorgeous bottle of wine in each of our rooms. It really was another brilliant stay with you guys and I appreciate it enormously!

I’ll be back with some National Theatre colleagues in November, so am looking forward to it.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Khughes79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Abe L, Assistant General Manager at Kimpton Donovan Hotel, responded to this review, 13 September 2013
Hi Khughes79,

Thanks so much for your review.

Sounds like an AMAZING time. Speaking of amazing, Joon is the man! Appreciate you sharing the experience.

Cheers,
Abe

Abe Liao
Assistant General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BRIGHTON ENGLAND
Level Contributor
244 reviews
56 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 127 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 September 2013

I was really looking forward to staying at this Kimpton, my third in a two week East Coast tour. Despite being an in-touch member no little extras were offered at this hotel. Granted these are not to be expected but the guys on the front desk were not even that pleasant. We had opted for the upgrade that had been emailed prior to the stay and were glad we did as the two bed queen did at least give us a bit of extra room not sure what the other room would have been like, as this room was not exactly large.

Front desk were incredibly slow to react any requests. After the first night we requested they change the hairdryer, a hairbrush was left. So had to ask again. We also requested a sewing kit a further call had to be made to get this, then within five minutes a second kit arrived. The overall impression of the front desk is the men are all a bit up themselves and think themselves a bit cool and above their guests. The only one who was friendly and helpful was a young lady who gave us directions to get to the mall and how to use the Metro. Top marks to her the guys need to go back to charm school and learn some manners.

We had daily issues with the room key which involved a return visit to reception on the first occasion I was asked for photo ID. Had to explain that my only ID was my passport which was locked in the safe in the room to which I had no access. This information was not received well, I was questioned further and made to show the credit card I had presented at check in. While I do not flatter myself that I am unforgettable a bit more courtesy could have been extended given that we were the one's being inconvenienced.

A big deal is made about the rooftop pool and bar, the pool is very small. On consecutive days arriving in the afternoon there was not a lounger to be had. In conversation with one group of four guys only one was actually staying at the hotel, the others were friends who lived in DC. Yet we were quizzed and made to produce our room key when we tried to get access to the pool area.

Overall, I would say I was disappointed with this Kimpton stay. I'm not put off staying at Kimptons just think I made the wrong choice for me this time. I think there are two maybe even three others in DC which might have suited me better.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Sharon L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Abe L, Assistant General Manager at Kimpton Donovan Hotel, responded to this review, 13 September 2013
Hi TRAVELCHICK48,

Thanks so much for your review.

Yikes, I am so sorry about your experience. We typically receive such positive feedback about our staff being genuine, easy going and very warm. This was not your experience and I feel terrible. Could you possibly contact me at Abe.liao@donovanhousehotel.com and share some more specifics? I would really appreciate it.

Look forward to chatting,
Abe

Abe Liao
Assistant General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
91 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 September 2013

So Donovan House is the Kimpton's Spy Hotel in DC. It means that the decor looks like 1960's era Bond-chic, also I had an envelope addressed to Agent Campbell, which I thought was a nice touch. The lobby is dark and of decent size. Check-in was easy.

I had booked a suite for a staycation as there was a great suite price. The king suite was nice, however the room had some issues. There were stains on the comforter. Looked like red wine. The leather sectional was nice but there was a section that someone had cut into. There was no view, asides from the sitting area for the senior center next door. And sadly the windows were filthy. I'm sure that cleaning them can't be easy, but seriously they need to get on that.

The lady was excited about the pool which is truly a gem in DC. It's a lot smaller than it looked in the photos, but I think most of the people come to lay out. I'm a pale man, so that's not my game, but they had shade. The bar opens up at 5PM and serves some good cocktails and has decent happy hour prices from 5-7. All drinks served in plastic due to the pool and concerns over broken glass.

I enjoyed the bar perhaps a little too much and woke up at 5AM with a headache and incredible cottonmouth. The bathroom cold tap was more lukewarm, sadly, so I went looking for an ice machine or a soda machine on the floor, but didn't find one. Went downstairs and the night desk clerk said that I could find a cold drink in the minibar. Not exactly what I was looking for. I hit up the 24-hour CVS across the street for a much better deal.

Overall, I love Kimpton. I'm an In Touch member. I would like to give them 3.5 stars because the staff is excellent, and the hotel while a little long in the tooth, is really nice. I just wish they would fix the few errors.

Room Tip: Ask to face 14th St, or the Circle.
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank GCC14173
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Abe L, Assistant General Manager at Kimpton Donovan Hotel, responded to this review, 13 September 2013
Hi GCC14173,

Thanks for your review.

Looks like we've got a Kimpton Fan on our hands. We appreciate your loyalty and your feedback. You're right, it's time to freshen things up around here and we are. Starting at the end of this year, we'll be renovating our guest rooms. This should hopefully fix many of the errors you speak of.

I appreciate it,
Abe

Abe Liao
Assistant General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto
Level Contributor
167 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 September 2013

The room , the employees, the extra touch are all outstanding feature in this hotel. However this " modern style hotel" is more industrial modern hotel.you have to create a worm feeling, a soul to make it a great place.i will bring some examples. The wine tasting is nice event and suppose to create a friendly atmosphere , however, no one from management was present to introduce him/her self, you missed an opprtunity to get to know how you can become even a better friendlier hotel. The bar on the 14th floor is a great location, however when you serve wine, please remember that a napkin is maybe helpful, and while I understand that the informality is the message, you have to remember that it can not be on account of the service.
It also would be nice that when a staff member regardless of his/her position would acknowledge a guest, simple hello/ good morning/ good night would be greatly appreciated.
This are only some points that can make a very nice hotel, wven a better place to stay.

Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank MidnightinParis8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Abe L, Assistant General Manager at Kimpton Donovan Hotel, responded to this review, 13 September 2013
Hi MidnightinParis8,

Thanks for your review.

Overall, it seems like you had a good stay with us. I did really appreciate all your suggestions. To sum it up, almost like points of thoughtfulness and genuine care. I'll be sure to share this review with my team. We stress just this kind of thing, but would be lying if I said we hit it every time. That's the goal though!

Thanks again,
Abe

Abe Liao
Assistant General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Kimpton Donovan Hotel

Property: Kimpton Donovan Hotel
Address: 1155 14th St NW, Washington DC, DC 20005-4111
Phone Number:
Region: United States > District of Columbia > Washington DC > Upper Northwest
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#16 Green Hotel in Washington DC
#18 Luxury Hotel in Washington DC
#24 Business Hotel in Washington DC
#41 Romantic Hotel in Washington DC
#56 Family Hotel in Washington DC
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Kimpton Donovan Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 193
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Also Known As:
Donovan Hotel a Thompson
Donovan House Washington Dc

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