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“Memorable atmosphere with lots of character” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Tabard Inn

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Tabard Inn
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1739 N St. NW, Washington DC, DC 20036 (Dupont Circle)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #98 of 133 Hotels in Washington DC
Bangkok, Thailand
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
“Memorable atmosphere with lots of character”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2012

This is one of those unique boutique hotels which i'll remember long after I checked out. The Inn has been operating for almost 100 years, but the rooms are very clean. The bathroom is very narrow, but very clean and refitted with modern fixtures. From the outside the Inn looks small, but once inside you can get lost in the maze of twisting corridors and "hidden" rooms. The decor is quirky and almost spooky at night, with old portraits, paintings and posters everywhere. There is a Japanese themed sitting room, and a tiny "Elephant Room" sitting area. Furniture in bedroom is antique. The outdoor garden dining area is very nice with a parachute hanging overhead. Service was efficient. Location is convenient near Dupont Circle and walking distance to the Mall area. Will come again the next time I'm in DC.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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207 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (52)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
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English first
York, England, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2012

I was coming to DC for a conference alone, and really wanted something with a bit of character. I have stayed in many chain hotels in the US and whilst they have everything you could need, somehow you are left feeling you could be 'anywhere'. The tabard inn has real character, fantastic comfortable bed, loads of space and a vintage bathroom. There is no TV or iPod docking etc but that's OK for me! It was nice to have the option of a quiet drink and a read. It has great free wifi everywhere too. Great location, right in the heart of things, but down a quiet street. Also I used the free gym pass round the corner- a real bonus! I would definitely stay again and would recommend it, but like previous posts have said, it may not suit everyone. If you want all the tech gadgets and facilities then book a modern hotel, if you want a taste of something unique with a period feel to it them this will be for you!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New England USA
Top Contributor
109 reviews 109 reviews
70 hotel reviews
Reviews in 52 cities Reviews in 52 cities
110 helpful votes 110 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2012

I stayed here a night as I had a business meeting and dinner with my client. We ate at the restaurant and the food and service was great! The hotel was different. Some reviewers called it Querky or some other "odd" characterization. As you review other hotels nearby, they have a typical modern look with bright lights and bright colors. Not here. I call the experience "Vintage."

Why Vintage? This building is OLD!! Not in bad repair but it was built in the 1800's, around the time Grover Cleveland was President and the statue of Liberty was being dedicated. The property is situated in an historic area close to Dupont Circle. I learned that the property was part of George Washington's original survey, and the buildings were once homes. The neighborhood has TREES! And it is a Neighborhood very close to the action near Dupont circle and Mass Ave. You can walk down the tree lined street to find Embassies, offices, and other people's homes. This is NOT a Marriott/Hilton stay.

So, like most homes in the 1800's, lots of brick, heavy colors, and the walls are full of really vintage pictures and paintings. My room was furnished with antique furniture and time period bath fixtures. The website pictures don't give the great look and feel I got entering my room. The window air conditioner was the only modern appliance to find in my room besides the electrical sockets. It was like an art museum! Of importance, it was several homes combined together, you can get lost quickly with all of the separate stairways and nooks/crannies. And since it was a home, there are no elevators! So, if you have heavy bags, you have to ask the front desk to get someone to help you. You will not find an active Bell service as there are only 40 or so rooms. The room I stayed in had a private bath. Some rooms, at a much lower price, had a shared bath and toilet, much like what you would find in YOUR own home. I found some negative reviews came from the people who saved money by staying in a shared bath hotel room. As I suggest below, book a room with a private bath or get what you pay for! Again, the feel of this place is that it was someone's home and for those who want that 1800's experience, this IS THE PLACE!

It is clear the owners decided to be DISTINCTIVE, as this is a very different stay than the marriotts and other standard, priced hotels I review. It is almost like a bed and breakfast. Reviews of other nearby hotels are rated by people who want to pay for a predictable and more expensive experience. I went "out of the box" to stay here, and was not disappointed. When I read Tabard's reviews some loved it or hated it. I enjoyed it. Walking up 4 flights of stairs to get to my room was most daunting the first time with bags. But after two or three trips, I was acclimated to the effort, but LOVED the pictures on the walls! Again, you have to love staying in a vintage, not modern hotel if you book a room here.

Continental Breakfast is included, but if you want to enjoy one of their full breakfast items, be prepared to pay royally for it. My Single Omelet with 3 items and no toast or potato was over $20, with tax. I later learned other hotels have a similar pricing model. I ate outside in their patio area, finding it refreshing you can eat outside in Washington DC! Again, the property was someone's home, so having fine dining in a romantic atmosphere is vintage stuff.

Their restaurant is first class. I ate dinner with my client there, and I was not disappointed with the meal or atmosphere. They have a lunch and dinner menu and I can see why people love to have meetings or gatherings here. The REAL fireplace in the sitting area, the quiet ambiance of quality, romance and history imparted throughout the building made it homey. The Staff are friendly and the bar is well stocked. I found the restaurant very busy and if you did not have a reservation, you had to go elsewhere. I do suggest if you book a room you also book a reservation to the restaurant as it is worth it. If you don't get a reservation, there are tons of restaurants 1 block away.

I saw a number of families staying here. My reaction is both positive and negative. You won't find an indoor pool or recreation room for the kids to play in. There are no TV's in the rooms (I asked) so keeping bored kids busy is going to be hard here. However, if you want them to experience the history of Washington DC, this is a place to stay and soak in the ambiance this facility has to offer. So if you read reviews of people with kids not liking the place, you now know why! One other thing, the hotel ran out of hot water for morning showers. The front desk was aware of it and tried to settle some upset people. I later learned their thermostat was broken and once quickly replaced, hot water flowed again.

I was wavering to give the hotel a 4 or 5 and chose five because those who really appreciate the history and ambiance would give it a 6! This is not a BAD hotel, if you stay in the right room.

I finish this review with a few suggestions: 1) Book the more expensive rooms with private baths, if you can afford it; 2) Book a dinner reservation along with your room reservation; 3) If you have kids, make sure you understand the limitations of "Kids Space" as there isn't any; 4) if you can't walk up stairs or have heavy bags to carry, remember this hotel has no elevator; 5) Don't be surprised to find "famous" people walking up or down the stairs because this place is so distinctive and vintage, and they avoid the general population found in other properties. The Tabard INN is NOT for everyone, but is a very safe and enjoyable stay for the right person who appreciates Washington DC history and wants to experience a time period long ago.

Room Tip: Stay away from the Shared Bath rooms! Book a dinner reservation with your hotel stay.
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 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
    • 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.
, General Manager at Tabard Inn, responded to this review, July 11, 2012
Thank you so much for writing this review! The Tabard Inn is not your average hotel and it is so gratifying to find someone who really gets what we're trying to do here. People don't always know what to expect at the Tabard and I love that you used both "vintage" and "historic" to describe our little hotel. Most people don't realize that the Tabard Inn is unusual in that it has had only two owners since it was established in 1922. My parents, Edward and Fritzi Cohen, saved the Tabard from demolition in the 70s when people didn't value historic buildings. They are the true heroes. The pictures on the walls that you mentioned are the result of my parents' passion for collecting art. I am so glad that you enjoyed it. I am so lucky to have been the General Manager for the last 18 years. My children and their cousins have grown up playing hide and seek in the nooks and crannies that you mentioned just as my brother and sister and I did in the 70s. We are so happy that you enjoyed your stay and your meals and we appreciate your patience with some of the downsides that come with staying in a very old building. We hope that you will come again!

Jeremiah Cohen
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Virginia
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2012

Wow! No TV, incredible atmosphere, delicious complimentary breakfast, antiques-filled bedroom...and so on. A really special place...we stayed in room #1 on the first floor and it was very private with a pretty bathroom and killer water pressure! We will definitely return, and hopefully for longer next time. It was 103 degrees in DC and such a great place for a respite.

Room Tip: #1 was a great room for 2...first floor and very private...minimal street noise
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, Virginia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2012

I recently stayed at this unique hotel for 4 wonderful days which began with perfect complimentary breakfasts in a charming courtyard and ended with absolutely delicious dinners However, if you cannot live without television then this is not the hotel for you.
I really did feel as though I was staying in a friend's house with great food, friendly and quietly efficient staff, cozy sitting areas and even use of a nearby gym/swimming pool. There are many reasons why this hotel has a loyal following and is considered by many to be the #1 small hotel in DC. It was utterly delightful and I can't wait for my next visit.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2012

For a few days stay in DC, this does the trick. Location is great and it is by no means a standard/chain hotel or inn. Recommended, but was a tad pricey for what were small (but charming) rooms. Food was ok and the drawing rooms downstairs were irresistible to relax in.

Stayed June 2012
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decatur ga
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2012

this is a fantastic little hotel in convenient dupont circle, with a bohemian air abour it. it is not your typical
chain hotel, but rather a delightful step back into yesteryear,the room was verysmall but comfortable with antiques and a great bed and good a/c, i travel on a budget and the
shared bath was clean with a great power shower and nice fluffy towels.
the breakfast had an option for eggs and bacon included in the price
of the room. i ate one lunch and one dinner and the food was superb.
with the exception of one neighborhood regular who boorishly demanded
everyone move down a place at the bar, i really enjoyed my time there.
the female bartender with glasses and the bar manager were both
very nice and cordial.everyone at the front desk was extremely helpful
and polite. this is an excellent choice at a great price, just don't
expect flat screen tv's and minibars rather a trip your grandmothers
house, and isn't that what nice memories are made of.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Tabard Inn

Address: 1739 N St. NW, Washington DC, DC 20036
Location: United States > District of Columbia > Washington DC > Dupont Circle
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #98 of 133 Hotels in Washington DC
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 40
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Tucked away on quiet side street only five blocks from the White House and steps away from Dupont Circle, Tabard Inn is an old and charming hotel for anyone seeking a European-style oasis on American soil. Our eclectic yet refined atmosphere is the perfect compliment to our award-winning restaurant and bar, weekend jazz sessions, and beautiful, intimate special events. ... more   less 

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