The W Washington DC is a top pick for sightseers, located just steps from the White House and Washington Monument with historic architecture and contemporary interiors, but standard rooms are small and oddly shaped
- The oldest hotel in Washington, DC, this 1917 Beaux-Arts building boasts a coveted location right on the National Mall, only 1,300 feet from the White House, and 2,950 feet from the Washington Monument.
- Thanks to a $55 million renovation, art is everywhere, including the walls of the double-story lobby, the headboards of beds, and even hanging over the bar.
- I stayed in the standard Spectacular King room over the holidays with my family and found it well-priced for the time of year, but oddly configured and small. I wouldn't hesitate to return for the great location, terrific views, and appealing amenities, but I would upgrade to a larger room for a more comfortable stay.
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If you didn't know going in that the W Washington DC was once called the Hotel Washington, you could be in for some initial confusion. The 1917 Beaux-Arts building reopened in 2009 as the W, with its single-initial logo perched between red-and-white-striped awnings, but the original signage remains due to historic landmark regulations. And the Hotel Washington sign is more front-facing and visible than the W.
As a result, I did a double-take and checked with both my ride-share driver and the doorman: Was I in the right place?
Thankfully, I was. Located downtown on the National Mall, the W is ideal for those who quite literally want a monumental experience.
The luxury boutique hotel, with 326 recently renovated rooms and suites, is only 1,300 feet from the White House and 2,950 feet from the Washington Monument. You can't stay closer to history than if you sleep in the White House itself
Of course, lodging next door to the political seat has its downside - demonstrators and activists, picketing and performing, all take place nearby. However, they usually go home after 5 p.m.
On the other hand, so does everything else. Because it's a business-oriented area, the immediate neighborhood doesn't offer much after rush hour. Fortunately, the hotel has a variety of dining and drinking options, and is a quick walk to a Metro Station.
Rooms and suites are categorized by overweening adjectives - Wonderful, Spectacular, Fantastic, Marvelous and Wow, with varying views and, accordingly, price tags. They start at $254 and can rise by a few hundred dollars at peak times. Suites start at $587 and seem more difficult to procure unless you book months in advance.
For more hotel recommendations in our nation's capital, read our list of the best hotels in Washington, DC
I stayed with my husband and two college-age children for several nights over the holidays and was pleasantly surprised to find rates in the low $300 range. We booked two rooms, a Wonderful and a Spectacular standard King, and found both rooms to be smaller and more awkwardly arranged than expected. Overall, though, the hotel is a lovely mix of historic architecture, contemporary interiors, with a prime location and unfailingly hospitable service.
I'd certainly return, but would plan to upgrade to a Fantastic, Marvelous, or Wow suite, starting between $587 and $646, if all four of us were coming back. For just my husband and myself, I'd happily book the "Spectacular" room, but only in the off-season or with a deal. At full price in high season, I'd check comparable hotels for value first.
- The first impression
- The room
- On-site amenities
- What's nearby
- What others say
- What you need to know
- The bottom line
- Book a room at the W Washington DC starting at $254 per night
Keep reading to see why I was so impressed by W Washington DC.
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