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“Cool place to stay in DC”

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Kimpton Donovan Hotel
Ranked #33 of 140 Hotels in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
NYC
Level Contributor
103 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
“Cool place to stay in DC”
Reviewed 7 July 2014

I've stayed at Kimpton Hotels before and have always found the service to be great. The Donovan House is no exception. The guy at the front desk, tall blond guy, was super friendly and helpful in finding me a place to grab lunch, as well as check in a little bit early. The room was clean, it's all very modern. The highlight of the place is probably the pool on the roof. Small but not overly busy with lots of lounge chairs. Reminds me a little of the pool at the Soho House in NYC.

The last memory from this hotel was an interaction that occurred at the coffee bar in the morning. Someone from the hotel had cleaned up the coffee area, but away most of the coffee, milk, etc when a wounded vet wheeled up looking for coffee. The hotel worker in a friendly tone asked if the vet would like coffee and said something to the effect of we always have coffee available. It was a small gesture, but the act of kindness/respect has stuck with me. This is the kind of hotel I want to be staying at.
Great job Donovan House employees.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank NYCtraveler33Nyc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Elif H, Assistant General Manager at Kimpton Donovan Hotel, responded to this review, 10 July 2014
NYCtraveler33Nyc,

Thank you for a great review!

It is so wonderful to read that you had a true Kimpton experience with us. It sounds like you were assisted by our Assistant Front Office Manager - Jonothan F.- during your check in process who is a great value to our team. I am also impressed to read about your great service experience during coffee service. We have a great team at the Donovan House who is always there to meet and exceed our guests expectations.

Please hope to see you again in the future.

Cheers,

Elif
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1,574 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (418)
Date | Rating
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English first
Hamilton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
42 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 July 2014

Firstly, the location - this was pretty good. Possibly a few blocks further away from some of the main tourist attractions but not too bad. The Metro was a couple of blocks away although make sure you come of of the right exit to get the quickest walk home at night. The hotel itself looked nice but some good points and some not so good. Our room was on the 6th floor and overlooked the residential property at the back and it was really quiet which was great. The room was attractive and comfortble. The bathroom at first looked nice and modern but the sliding door was so heavy that I resorted mostly to leaving it partially open ! The walk in shower is nice during the day but switching the bathroom light on during the night turned the whole shower screen (full length and right next to the bed) into a beacon capable of guiding aircraft - it was so bright ! A bit of a design fail. The toiletries were of pretty good quality. I won't spoil the surprise if you haven't stayed there but look out for the "interesting" bathrobes. We didn't eat in the hotel so I can't comment on that. I wasn't too impressed with the rooftop pool - it's very small and we couldn't even get two sunloungers together on a Thursday morning. I would have been dissapointed with a room on that floor since it seemed very noisy.
The staff were okay, nothing outstanding although it was frustrating to be presented with a bill for long distance telephone calls that we did not make. This was quickly resolved though. Overall, it was okay, no major problems but I think I would still look elsewhere if returning to Washington DC.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Joven19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Elif H, Assistant General Manager at Kimpton Donovan Hotel, responded to this review, 17 July 2014
Dear Joven19,

Thank you for your review!

I am very sad to read that we were not able to meet your expectations. If you will decide to give us another chance, please reach out to me at elif.hendrickson@donovanhousehotel.com.

Hope to have you back with us in the future...

Cheers,

Elif
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DC Area
Level Contributor
18 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 July 2014

Some great things about hotel:
All staff very nice. No problem with getting printed bill. Great location. Walk one mile and you are at the National Mall. Very quiet at night to sleep, even with busy roads. Shower was fun - and room was different and modern. We reserved the hotel for the night of July 4th quite awhile ago, and booked with 2 free breakfasts. Our 15 yr old son was with us, and they gave us another one complimentary without us asking. CVS across street, Jimmy Johns/Dunkin donuts less than a block for cheap food and supplies. Tons of good restaurants including our favorite, Old Ebbit Grill, within a 10-15 min. walk.

Some not so great things:
The pool area was really disappointing. We knew it would be small, but it was overrun with drunk 20-somethings that were not hotel guests - and it was way before 5pm. Then, you share the elevator with these people, which can make for along ride if you have kids. We even tried going to the pool very early on the 5th and it was already crowded. We talked to some of the patrons on the 4th around 4pm and they were not hotel guests- they were just there to party. I wish it was advertised as more of a nightclub/lounge area. We were under the impression that it was just a pool for hotel guests until 5pm and my son was disappointed that this was not the case. It was definitely not the place to take your kid swimming. Maybe this is just an issue on holidays?

Other con was the Wi-Fi. For a modern, downtown hotel it should be free. It is free if you are a Kimpton loyalty member (free to join) but you can only connect one device. I guess my husband could have registered separately in retrospect, but come on.... My husband was trying to get some work done and my son was wanting to play games (since pool was out of question) for an hour or two and it was just not possible.

Room Tip: We were on the 12th floor- no pool noise and great views of circle and of National Cathedral.
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank travelingwithboys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Elif H, Assistant General Manager at Kimpton Donovan Hotel, responded to this review, 17 July 2014
Dear travelingwithboys,

Thank you for choosing the Donovan House to celebrate the 4th of July Weekend. I do appreciate that you shared your comments in details as it allows us to improve our products and services. I am very disappointed to read that there were non-hotel guests at the pool area as it is restricted for hotel guest use only regardless if it is a holiday week or not. Please know that this is not the true Donovan House experience and hope you will give us another opportunity in the future.

If you decide to give us another try, please feel free to contact me at elif.hendrickson@donovanhousehotel.com

Cheers,

Elif
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Scotland
Level Contributor
24 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 July 2014

Amazing suite for husbands 50th Birthday! high floor with great views. Best suite we stayed in for a while with separate lounge, bedroom, large bathroom and another WC! It was like a mini apartment. Clean, well stocked, and gifts galore from front desk - sweets, chocolates, wine and free breakfasts thrown in when our room wasnt ready for check in!

Another great location, and a 10 minute run to the Mall and White House.

Walk a couple blocks north to a vibrant area of bars & restaurants!!

the wonderful bike service has a stop outside the hotel and is the easiest way to get round the city.

Didnt eat in restaurant or drink in the bar (as DC has so many fab other bars you have to try!!)
Would definitely stay here again!

Room Tip: Upgrade to a suite if you can!! Awesome rooms and great size!!
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank SuperScotsGal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Elif H, Assistant General Manager at Kimpton Donovan Hotel, responded to this review, 15 July 2014
SuperScotsGal,

Thank you for choosing the Donovan House to celebrate your husband's birthday. I am truly thrilled to read that you had a memorable stay with us. It sounds like you stayed at our Donovan House Suite which is our best and largest room.

Please come back and stay with us again,

Cheers,

Elif
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
57 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 July 2014

I was really looking forward to staying at the Donovan House. And it is an interesting hotel (particularly the nautilus-inspired showers, though they are more a fun idea than a useful shower), but after the customer service experience I had there I'm definitely not coming back.

First and foremost, I just got done with my FIFTH attempt to get a copy of my bill from them. FIVE TIMES! I asked for an emailed copy when I checked out ("Of course, we'll have it right away to you BlueBear"), I called twice to request the bill after the emails never arrived ("I'll get that right to you..."), emailed begging for a copy of my bill (no response) and just called again, frustrated. I received my bill but zero recognition of what a pain in the rear it was to get it "Maybe you misspelled your email in your profile or have you checked your spam filter or maybe you got it but deleted it..."). An apology for making me contact you FIVE TIMES to get a copy of my bills was not forthcoming.

Next, check-in sucked. Though there were two people at the desk (and only one helping another guest), the available employee waited four minutes until she acknowledged me, then impatiently waved me to the counter. "What's the name?" she said, as if I'd been keeping her waiting. I missed the evening wine reception by 10 minutes, but there was no chance of a glass of wine at this Kimpton (unlike most others in the area, which promptly offer a glass from behind the counter).

The floors are keyed to the room keys. Very secure, yes? Yes. But they are also very difficult to operate. I had to ride down to the ground floor twice to get someone to put in my floor - they said they've had some issues with "water damage" recently, whatever that means. Secure...but highly annoying.

When I requested a hot water pot and tea bags, that is precisely what I got - a hot water pot whose automatic turn-off feature (a fire safety issue) was either disabled or broken, and three tea bags. I requested decaf, anything without caffeine. I got English Breakfast, and two "light caffeine" bags. No cups for the tea. I put it in the water glasses and tried not to burn my fingers.

Guests arriving in the evening will get to share the lift with the drunken company of people coming up or down from the raucous rooftop bar/pool, which to be honest is pretty awesome looking if you're looking for a loud, lively party scene but is no good for anyone looking for anything quieter. Avoid the top floor rooms at all costs, it is not only humid and hot in the rooms (due to the proximity to the pool, of course) but plenty of guests looking for quiet spots are chatting on their phones, etc. in the spaces outside the guest rooms on the top floor.

In the morning it was difficult to find a place to enjoy the complimentary morning coffee due to the abundant number of people appearing to just be hanging out in the lounge using the outlets to charge various cellular devices, mostly cellphones. Not drinking coffee, just hanging out.

Overall, can't recommend this place in the slightest but if it weren't for the egregious issues I had getting a copy of my bill I would at least elevate this to three stars. Pro tip, Donovan House: even if you do force guests to bend over backwards to get copies of their bills, you can avoid 3500 character one-star reviews with a simple but sincere apology for the trouble caused.

Room Tip: Anything but the top floor.
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank BlueBear92
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Elif H, Assistant General Manager at Kimpton Donovan Hotel, responded to this review, 17 July 2014
Dear BlueBear92,

Thank you for your review.

I am so sorry to read about your experience. I would like to personally apologize for the inconveniences, so if you could kindly reach me at elif.hendrickson@donovanhousehotel.com, I would truly appreciate it.

Looking forward to hearing back from you.

Elif
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Beachwood, Ohio
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 4 July 2014

The hotel was great - excellent location, great breakfast. The staff was helpful and the room was quite nice and very clean. The people that staffed the front desk were very helpful to our group. We enjoyed the happy hour in the hotel lobby because it was a good way to connect with others from our bus trip.

Room Tip: We had a room that had a great view of the circle below.
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jo d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Elif H, Assistant General Manager at Kimpton Donovan Hotel, responded to this review, 9 July 2014
Jo d,

Thank you for your review!

I am very happy to read that you had an enjoyable stay with us. Our wine hours are absolutely the BEST and great way to connect.

We hope to see you during your future visits to DC.

Cheers,

Elif
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Derbyshire, England
Level Contributor
24 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 July 2014

Stayed in this hotel on a business trip in May.
We stayed for three nights.
Lovely bedroom, very spacious, clean and comfortable.
Nice roof top pool area with a bar. Great in the evening sunshine.
Very well located - short walk to lively bars/ restaurants and also to the touristy things like The White House and the museums etc.

Room Tip: Ask for a corner room...... And join their ( free ) loyalty club in advance to get free wifi includ...
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Moonzo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Elif H, Assistant General Manager at Kimpton Donovan Hotel, responded to this review, 15 July 2014
Moonzo,

Thank you for an excellent review. I am very happy to read that you had a great stay with us.

We look forward to having you back to Donovan House.

Cheers,

Elif
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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
#19 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
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Donovan Hotel a Thompson
Donovan House Washington Dc

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