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“Wonderful Experience” 5 of 5 stars
Review of W Washington DC

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W Washington DC
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   515 15th Street NW, Washington DC, DC 20004 (Downtown / Chinatown)   |  
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Ranked #66 of 133 Hotels in Washington DC
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Wonderful Experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2009

My partner and I stayed one night in the W Hotel Washington and I only wish it could have been longer.

The courteousness of the staff is exceptional. Every single staff member we encountered was impeccable polite and kind and genuinely seemed to go out of their way to make us have a pleasant stay.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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1,385 reviews from our community

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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
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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English first
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2009

I was in DC for business and my travel agent booked the room b/c the JW Marriott, where I usually stay, was booked. I was worried when I read the initial Trip Advisor reviews.

The hotel is very well decorated, the rooms, though small are well fitted. I was able to work on WiFi from my room, the cleaning crew worked around my schedule (they once managed to clean my room around 7pm, when I stepped out for a quick sandwich). The first room I was given faced the ugly, internal courtyard. I immediately asked for another room, and my request was accommodated. There was an incorrect charge on my bill at check out, which was quickly resolved. The staff seemed to go out of their way to greet me when I entered & exited. I was surprised that they didn't have a club level for SPG though.

The main problem is that the rooftop terrace is the town's new hot spot. Lines started forming in the lobby around 11am and didn't stop until midnight. I was able to gain easy access by flashing my room key, however, was never able to get a table and told that I needed to book one on opentable.com which is just dumb. I don't mind the party scene, but was happy my room was on the on a lower floor and and around the corner, so that I didn't have to hear all the music from the bars at night. I'm hoping that once the terrace has become old news in DC, things will die down enough for staff to really focus on giving quality service to its guests.

The location is fantastic. I lived in DC for several years, but in Adams Morgan & G'town. Staying this close to the WH was new for me, but I really enjoyed walking to everything. My husband joined me for a few nights and enjoyed it as well.

Overall, it was a good stay and I'd rebook there on my next visit. I think that the staff are trying, but still have to work out the details of treating hotel guests vs the terrace visitors.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Washington, DC
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2009

Although i didn't stay at the hotel the walk through the lobby, the customer service and attentiveness has made me make a mental note in my head to stay at the W! I was there for a spa service at Bliss Spa which is located on the lower level of the hotel. My treatment was amazing! And after completion on my way out i contemplated booking a room just to deepen my relaxation!

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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New York, NY
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2009

Great design + atmosphere. Loved the suite room. The bars are fabulous locations and experiences with good food and cocktails. The previously very classy, chill rooftop terrace lounge though was better before- it wasn't so club-bouncer-annoying. Make sure you tell the staff you're hotel guests and your treatment could be better. Room service is not fast. The secret gem is JG's steakhouse and the wine bar downstairs.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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1 review
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2009

It appears as if my W Washington experience was similar to that of other posters. First the good: you would be hard-pressed to beat the hotel staff for courteous, helpful assistance at every step of the way. From the doorman to the bellhop to the front desk clerk, all went out of their way to be responsive to any request.

The rooms: yes they are small. But they were small when this hotel was still the Hotel Washington. Starwood has done a good job of optimizing space. Bottom line: if you need a large room, you should stay at another hotel.

Now the bad - the restaurant (POV) and rooftop lounge hostesses need some serious customer service training. As was the case for many, when my colleague and I arrived at the roof we were told that space was at a premium and that we would only be able to use a standing table. Not a big deal...or wouldn't have been had there been more than a dozen people at both the restaurant and bar.

Then, it took about 10 minutes to get the attention of the wait staff, as they were too busy playing with each others' hair (no, I'm not joking) to notice that new customers had arrived. When I finally managed to flag down someone to ask to place a food/drink order, I was told that she would have to send over a server.

C'mon! Anyone who has ever worked in a decent restaurant -- which POV is -- learns in Service 101 that in a case such as this, you take the customer's order and relay it to the server, especially when it is a simple sandwich/beer order.

The good news is this is a nice hotel. And these problems can easily fixed. Moreover, Starwood is a good company and I'm confident management will address these issues. But the key is to do so quickly -- otherwise the result will be a customer base that visits once and then goes elsewhere.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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New Jersey
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
91 helpful votes 91 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2009

What a great looking staff. All well dressed, eager, and oh so young and hip. Too bad several of them have no clue as to how to treat their hotel guests. On more than one occassion I had to finally push my way through the line of people waiting to get into their rooftop bar and lounge. One would think the hotel would make sure their paying guests could easily get to the elevator from the 15th Street entrance without having to force their way through the 20-something hip crowd. (My six year old even asked "why won't these people move?") They are concerned about getting those bar patrons upstairs. Would it be so hard to make sure they leave some space between the entrance and the guest elevators?

One would think the hotel would stop bar patrons from using the two elevators designated for hotel guests as they are leaving the rooftop bars. No such luck. On more than one occassion we had to wait several minutes for an empty elevator to get from our floor to the ground floor because the bar crowd had it filled on their way down. One night we had drunks screaming on our floor around 1 in the morning. Security did come up when called. But, where were they to stop them from getting off on a guest floor in the first place?

We had a concierge willing accept the $80 fee we paid for tickets to the Washington Monument with the specific instructions to NOT get the tickets for 1 p.m. as we had plans and we told him so. So of course, he gets them for them for 1 on the dot. He then makes up for it by getting us a table at 7:00 p.m. in their roof-top lounge. Completely ignoring the fact that the bar is off limits to those under 21 after 5 and he knew we had two young kids with us.

At one point we waited for an elevator for about 8 minutes. The bar was crowded that night so I guess they needed two of the three elevators for their bar patrons. My daughter and I finally get on the elevator along with two other guests. To our surprise a hotel employee gets on with two people destined for their bar and proceeds to overide our floors and express the bar patrons to the top floor. (He picks up a few more for the ride down.) He was polite though when I asked why are they giving priority to those visiting a bar instead of those who paid over $400 a night (plus tax) to stay at the hotel who just waited several minutes for an elevator.

The room we had was a nice size and was comfortable for the four of us. Though the lack of closet and drawer space is a problem which will require any family to live out of their suitcase if staying for more than a few days. Four small drawers and two medilum sized ones simply won't cut it if more than two are in a a room. (The closet is actually a half closet that might hold at most 3 dresses. This was a problem for my wife.)

You can't complain about the location which is just across from the White House. We did eat lunch twice at their rooftop lounge POV. The food was very good and the view is one of the best in town. I can understand the appeal of those looking to hang out and drink in a nice setting.

To be fair, we could not hear the music from either upstairs or downstairs in our room. But, if considering a stay here, I would ask about the noise level at a 15th street facing room on either the first or last floor of guest rooms.

If you are young and want to be in "the scene" you will probably love staying here. 10 years ago sans kids, I might have enjoyed it. But, now that I'm out of the under 30 demographic and with two young kids in tow, not a place I'd pick again. For economic reasons, they seemingly have decided the bar is where the profits will come from and they act accordingly.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Washington, DC
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2009

I am a loyal SPG member and have always enjoyed my stays at W hotels. After hearing all the buzz my husband and I decided to treat ourselves to a night at the hotel. The doorman and welcome desk attendant were all very friendly but that's about where the service I've grown accustomed to at Starwood properties ended.

First I have to note that the rooms are tiny! They're smaller than NYC hotel rooms which are notoriously small. I booked the room using points and automatically got a room that was 200 sq ft. When I asked to be upgraded -- an automatic feature for spg members -- I was the proud guest of a 237 sq. ft room. As you can imagine that additional 37 sq. ft didn't make much of a difference. They do maximize the space well and the shower is great (equipped with rainfall shower head). But my so-called King bed was more like a full - no joke!

Second, we also got rude service when trying to have a drink on the terrace, which they know is the key attraction for everyone. I tried making a reservation but found out there was an event that evening. So we were willing to go to the inside bar on the terrace which was open to the public. Well, first we were told that it was "at capacity" which I thought was weird given that it was only 9:30 pm on Saturday night. We asked to speak to a manager and lo and behold there was suddenly room. We were escorted to the "we don't value our guest" elevator without the requisite velvet rope and directed to the hostess upstairs. Again, we were interrogated about whether we were hotel guests and finally led to the inside bar where we were instructed to the standing room only section. Consistent with previous reviews, it was far from crowded w/ many open tables. We ordered our $15+ drinks which were good but far from memorable, during which one of the staff asked if he could replace my chair (we scored seats after a couple seated at the bar left) with a rock hard one so he could give the more comfortable chair to one of their more valued guests seated at a table. The view was great but the whole experience was disappointing.

Finally, it is impossible to make a reservation at the spa. I guess from their perspective it's good but it took multiple calls and several failed attempts to make an online appointment to even get a live person. Perhaps I would have had more luck had I been able to get through the first time!

I live in DC and would be hard pressed to direct business associates, family or friends to stay at the W in DC. Maybe they'll work out the kinks soon and become more characteristically Starwood whose brand is always been about great customer service.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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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Additional Information about W Washington DC

Address: 515 15th Street NW, Washington DC, DC 20004
Phone Number:
Location: United States > District of Columbia > Washington DC > Downtown / Chinatown , Penn Quarter , Upper Northwest
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Spa Hotel in Washington DC
#27 Luxury Hotel in Washington DC
#49 Business Hotel in Washington DC
#71 Family Hotel in Washington DC
#72 Romantic Hotel in Washington DC
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — W Washington DC 4*
Number of rooms: 317
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to W Washington DC, a hotel beyond expectations. Next to the White House, the most powerful suits - pinstripes and black lace-rendezvous at W Washington DC, where Italian Renaissance meets modern cool. With commanding rooftop views of major landmarks, W-Gate is all about stately indulgence. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
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