The pros: The location is unbeatable, just off busy M Street in Georgetown, seconds away from the picturesque C&O Canal and its towpath, but also nearby posh shops and fun restaurants and bars. Staff is cheery. Suites are quite spacious (studios measure 500 sq. ft., one-bedrooms 800 sq. ft.). All have full kitchens, which in 2014 received new flooring, cabinetry, appliances, and granite countertops. The same renovation replaced old bed frames with platform beds, changed out desks and dressers, added luxury linens, and installed a new state of the art wireless internet system. The hotel is also “working with a design team to assist with updating artwork, wall covering and color schemes in the guest rooms,” says Pam, director of sales. The expanded and updated lobby lounge is the location for a complimentary continental breakfast. The hotel’s second location, at the Harbour Building on 29th Street, lies just across from the Washington Harbour Complex, whose attractions include tour boats that cruise the Potomac River and an ice skating rink that is the largest outdoor rink in the city. The Harbour Building was also renovated.
The cons: The hotel will always have a whiff of college dorm about it, thanks to its architecture and layout, and a clientele often made up of college-visiting students. The noise of traffic and revelers is an annoying factor for rooms on the lower floors of the 30th Street building, despite the hotel’s recessed position off the street. The Harbour Building lies right next to the Whitehurst Freeway, so rooms facing the freeway get those unattractive views and the racket of traffic.
Conclusion: You won’t find better value in the city, and certainly not in Georgetown. At the 30th Street location, ask for a room on an upper floor, or, if budget allows, consider one of the two-level, two-bedroom town houses or one of the penthouse suites, whose terraces overlook Georgetown rooftops. At the 29th Street location, ask for a courtyard-side suite.
- Elise Hartman Ford