This hotel was converted from a historic post office building. From the outside, it looks like many of the other historic federal buildings...you feel like you are walking into the Smithsonian instead of a hotel. The interior is also unique for a hotel, with extremely wide hallways and incredibly high ceilings. There are many historic aspects left intact, such as a huge spiral staircase, and other interesting details. The "feel" is definitely different, which is what boutique hotels are about.
Great location a very short walk to China Town, Verizon Center, Gallery Place/China Town Metro station, movie theater, and numerous restaurants and bars. It's also very close to the National Portrait Gallery. If you want to be in the China Town area, this is one of the best choices.
Unique look and feel, including soaring high ceilings in the guest rooms and hallways.
Friendly, helpful staff.
Maybe because of the nature of the buildings interior, with high ceilings and vast expanses of space, it seemed like sound traveled. This was more evident when in the hallways than in one's room, but there was a lot of noise from staff pushing carts, moving around furniture (some minor interior construction was occurring on the 4th floor), picking up carts, and so on. Sound seemed amplified.
The wide, long halls, high ceilings, and somewhat dim lighting made for an almost Gothic experience when walking around this hotel. It was a little creepy at times in those empty hallways... I wasn't sure if I felt that the uniqueness factor outweighed the haunted old building factor...
While the room was nice, the bed was nothing special. It was adequate but nowhere near the comfort of the upgraded Marriott beds.
To enter the hotel, you must walk up stairs. This is a bit inconvenient with luggage.
I was fortunate not to have stayed in the sub-ground floor (Floor 1), but having walked down there to look around, I would definitely think that it's a less than optimal situation. It seemed sort of musty down there, and who wants a hotel room where the windows are at or below street level? Too much like a basement for me. Avoid Floor 1 unless you get a great deal. Floor 2 is actually street level.
Overall, I would probably stay here again if looking for a place close to China Town. It's not perfect by any means, but it's definitely different (mostly in good ways).