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“hotel with 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)   |  
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Ranked #97 of 130 hotels in Washington DC
Santa Cruz, California
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“hotel with character”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2012

Loved the stay at Tabard Inn in Washington. It is a hotel with oodles of character. We were overlooking the historic church, walking distance from everything, and adored the lovely garden terrace, antique bar, and amazing brunch. The staff were super sweet and gave us a great "local" restaurant recommendation. I couldn't have been happier with my choice. If you want a break from sterile hotel chains, you can't beat the Tabard.

Room Tip: We had top floor room with bathroom in the hall next door and loved it.
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  • Stayed October 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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197 people have reviewed this hotel

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 (49)
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English first
Canberra, Australia
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2012

Scenesetter: on our US trip we looked for unusual accommodation with a bit of character.

The Tabard Inn fitted these requirements exactly.

When we booked, the room size we wanted wasn’t available for all four nights, so we agreed to take the more expensive ‘penthouse’ room for two nights, and hope for a cancellation. Turns out there wasn’t a cancellation, so the hotel staff put us in the penthouse for all four nights but without charging us extra – great service.

The good stuff about the penthouse and the Tabard Inn more generally:
• excellent staff & service
• the penthouse is utterly enormous; fittings were an eclectic, delightful mix of vintage and modern furniture, wall art, ornaments, and plenty of lamps for indirect lighting
• two queen-sized beds with fabulously comfortable memory foam mattresses
• bathroom has a free-standing clawfoot bath with a shower fitting in it
• fast, free wifi
• powerful airconditioning
• really good restaurant for dinner
• really good bar; free live music on some nights
• comfortable lounge areas for patrons
• breakfast included – plain but good, additional menu items can be purchased
• short walk to downtown, hire bike stations, a rail/bus stop

To be aware of:
• there’s no elevator, and the stairs are steep and narrow. So if you have mobility issues, make sure you book a ground floor room and ask ahead for assistance with your luggage
• there was a kitchenette, but everything was locked up – clearly you weren’t encouraged to use it.

Small things:
• the shower setup could be improved – the curtain was ill-fitting, leaking water all over the bathroom

The hotel is clearly a local hotspot not only for accommodation but also entertainment; the restaurant/bar/lounge was full of locals on dates or meeting friends. If you’re travelling alone, it’s very convivial.

Room Tip: If you have mobility issues, make sure you book a room on a lower level
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Easton, Maryland
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2012

This is clearly a very cool, eclectic inn with a rich history. If you let your imagination go for a bit, you could almost feel that you're in a english lodge when relaxing by the fire. The ambience allowed for great conversation. The dining was perfect, the wine delicious. The pleasure of not having a TV in the room was certainly a big plus. However, be careful, the bed felt a bit too flimsy.....

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
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Virginia
Top Contributor
90 reviews 90 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2012

Tabard Inn is a landmark, and it is fun walking through the labyrinth of halls with old and dusty furniture. The restaurant is very popular and usually booked for dinner and brunch. The lunch of pumpkin soup and beet salad was well done. We stayed in Room 54 which is large with a seating area in the front of the building. The bathroom was fun, but needed better lighting. The bed was comfortable enough with nice bedding. The building is quaintly creaky and voices carried through the walls. Breakfast that came with the room was pretty good. The lounge is very nice with a real fireplace, but not enough lighting for reading. Some of the staff were not service oriented and minimally friendly. Street parking is pretty much unavailable, unless you are very lucky. Valet parking is an extra $25/night. A clearer fire escape plan would be appreciated since the building is very old. It is feeling a little tired, so the Tabard Inn could use a good cleaning, better lighting, and a bit of updating...all of which would contribute to its charming ambiance, because it is a cool and fun place in the heart of DC.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Germany
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2012

It lived up to the reputation. A very nice old hotel. The room was small and for 2 it could have been a bit clostrophobic .
TheI had a shared bathroom but I think that there was only me using it.
Tjhe rooms could be a bit nisy noisy but what do you expect from an old hotel.

Room Tip: Ideal if your looking for a hotel with no TV's
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Waynesboro, Virginia
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2012

This hotel has wonderful history and definitely has or had tremendous potential. Having been in the hotel business for years, however, your first impression is very important and the staff all should go through training in how to treat guests. Both the front desk (if you can find it) and the restaurant staff except for the hostesses that were helping us were simply not trained very well or just didn't get it. The noise level at dinner and at breakfast destroy any ambiance that is definitely there but has been lost when your wait staff is clearing tables and just throwing the dishes in black tubs.

Cost is relative but this is a reasonable place to stay in DC because of the proximity to key locations and Dupont Circle has its own charm apart from the Mall and the ongoing security madness that has occurred since 9/11. Parking could be a real challenge and don't expect any help from the staff at the Tabard, but the Topaz staff were outstanding and we are thankful for that.

I've read most of the reviews and I don't think "charming" is the word I would use - I've been to many B&B's throughout the United States and this one needs an overhaul from management. Quirky/ different is wonderful, but when all is said and reviewed, you come back to service with a smile and this is not a happy staff - and that goes back to management with a capital M.

Dinner was well presented and was good. Breakfast for a guest is okay - nothing out of the ordinary but adequate. However, at one point, I really wanted to just stand and ask everyone to take a deep breath and lower their voice one decimal so that everyone in the room could hear one another, or use something on the walls to absorb the sound.

Bathroom is a funky experience, and we had warm water, but we were thankful to be in room 5 and not have to negotiate the steps. Lighting is definitely limited and having coffee available in your room would be a "nice touch" or something for the early morning risers in the lounge area.

Overall, some very simple cosmetic work could be done and you would truly have a quaint, charming B&B which would be very unique to Washington.

Room Tip: Check out the rooms and definitely do not share a bathroom. Be prepared for very steep stairs if yo...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
London
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2012

We stayed here with the whole family, and it is a very nice and much more personal experience of DC than usual. It is quaint, old-fashioned, and a throw-back to another time. I came here first in 2007, and it feels nothing has changed since then - which is a good thing.

The one thing we're unimpressed by is the breakfast service though...

Room Tip: Room 7 can be noisy on weekends.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 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
Phone Number:
Location: United States > District of Columbia > Washington DC > Dupont Circle
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #97 of 130 hotels in Washington DC
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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