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“A secret treasure” 5 of 5 stars
Review of William Penn House

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William Penn House
515 East Capitol St SE, Washington DC, DC Washington, DC (Capitol Hill)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #27 of 49 Washington DC B&B and Inns
Toluca Lake, California
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“A secret treasure”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2013

I had never been to DC before, but I had an extra day to tag on to a business trip. I picked this place for location, price and the tripadvisor reviews. What a lucky find! The facilities were adequate to my needs - I wont quibble about getting bumped from the 4 bunk to the 10 bunk room to accommodate a group - but I do wish they had bigger lockers, I could barely fit my lap top in it! But it really is about the location. It's an easy and charming walk from the Eastern Market stop on the metro - there is also the most ridiculously funky breakfast dive on the corner. There are bars and restaurants and a little market, not to mention the Eastern Market nearby. And best of all, its about 4 blocks to the Capital, the Library of Congress, 2 blocks from the Shakespeare library. I could not be happier with this choice and will definitely come back.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
William Penn H, Manager at William Penn House, responded to this review, January 27, 2014
Thanks for taking the time to write a review, and for being so understanding about switching rooms. I'm glad you liked enjoyed our Capitol Hill neighborhood, and found Jimmy T's!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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15 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
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    10
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (2)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Ann Arbor, MI
Top Contributor
118 reviews 118 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2013

Enjoyed the friendly staff, comfy bunk, and most of all, the location on Capitol Hill. Within 10-mins' walk from Eastern Market, this place is a dream come true. I enjoyed meeting other guests and taking in the quiet 1/2-hour Walking in the Light from 7:30-8 AM. Overall comfy space.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2011

I was in town for two days on business and I brought my 13 year old daughter along. We chose to stay at WPH after reading the reviews of fellow travelers and we were not disappointed at all. The accommodations were clean, the staff was friendly, the location was excellent, and the experience was unique! Thank you, WPH.

Room Tip: Any room with other travelers.
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maryville, Tennessee
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2011

First experience of staying in a hostel and wasn't disappointed. Breakfast was self serve cereals, toast hot coffee/tea, beds were comfortable and shower was hot.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madison, Wisconsin
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2010

The William Penn House is a quiet but friendly hostel with reasonable prices, clean accommodations, and the best location for all the Federal sights.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Walla Walla, WA
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2010

A fellow Quaker told me about this hostel. Like others reviewers I found the staff to be friendly and helpful. The location is a big plus. It's a 20 minute walk from Union Station and it's located about 6 blocks east of the Capitol Building, easy walking distance to the National Mall. I was able to always find at least one of the three bathrooms open.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
massachusetts
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2009

I stayed here on a one-night layover after a trans-Atlantic flight in a four-bed women's dorm. As the other reviewers said, the staff here are wonderful, the value is great and the location is second to none. I slept well in my bunk bed; my roommates were quiet and courteous. I even got up early enough to attend their 7:30 am Quaker worship service, at which you simply sit in silence and meditate - a tradition I appreciated. The breakfast was simple: bread (with a toaster), jams and peanut butter, a few cereals, a mixed fruit bowl, packets of Quaker (appropriately enough) instant oatmeal, coffee and tea. It was plenty for me. Clean linens and a towel and washcloth are provided, and the rooms are air-conditioned. The house is beautiful, too, and even has a library.

My main problem was that my four-bed dorm shared just one tiny bathroom (toilet and shower) with a neighboring eight-bed dorm. Fortunately, I was extremely jet-lagged and was able to take my shower at an odd hour in the early morning; I don't see how this system normally works, especially when the rooms are full. Of greater concern to me was the fact that the bathroom was, unlike the rest of the house, not at all clean, which is inevitable when so many people are using it.

The limited check-in time (9pm, though they do offer to keep the office open later for a fee) and the limited breakfast time (8-9 am only) may make this place inconvenient for some travelers, and the lack of lockers may make some uncomfortable, though it felt perfectly safe to me. If you're looking for inexpensive hostel-style accommodations in DC and need a later check-in/earlier breakfast/lockers/etc., I would suggest checking out the Hostelling International hostel, where I have also stayed and which I also highly recommend for travelers of all ages.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about William Penn House

Address: 515 East Capitol St SE, Washington DC, DC Washington, DC
Location: United States > District of Columbia > Washington DC > Capitol Hill
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #27 of 49 B&Bs / Inns in Washington DC
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The William Penn House is a hospitality center on Capitol Hill grounded in the Quaker faith. We provide overnight accommodations for travelers from around the world in an affordable community-based setting. Rooms are shared with 4-10 beds per room, and cost $40-$45 per person. Included are linens, towels, hot showers, and access to internet and computer. Our cooking facilities include, tea, coffee, microwave, toasters, and fridges. Books, games, meeting and living rooms available. We also serve a simple breakfast and can accommodate gluten free, lactose and vegan diets if given advanced notice. In addition, we work to engage people from all walks of life with issues of peace, social justice, and environmental awareness, through inward reflection, service, education, and community building. ... more   less 
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