I write this review having literally just walked in the door from staying at the Kalorama Guesthouse in Washington, D.C. The previous review, written three months ago, states that rooms were 70 to 80 dollars a night. After having stayed at this guest house for two nights with my husband and feeling somewhat disappointed, I can definitely say that the price was right....three months ago. Jack, the owner and host, charged us DOUBLE the price, nearly 150 dollars, and that was with a Tripadvisor discount! Unfortunately, there is no evidence that he has doubled the service or amenities.
In the end, the place is no better than a 50-dollar-a-night motel. The amenities and food offered are on par with the most basic of lodgings. Don't get me wrong: my husband and I would not be above staying here again - we were comfortable - but we felt that we did not get our money's worth. If the place were cheaper and matched the level of services offered, we would gladly book again. However, for the price we paid we expected more and will look elsewhere the next time we choose a place at this price point.
The positive about this place is true: The location is in a very upscale, beautiful neighborhood with tree-lined streets. Houses are gorgeous and run over a million dollars. You are one block from the zoo, two blocks from a bike rental location, and only three blocks from the metro station, which is on a main avenue holding a variety of non-chain restaurants. The location can't be beat.
However, it's a shame the place doesn't live up to its surrounding neighbors. It's shabby - ripped chairs with stuffing coming out, poorly-done bathroom renovations, ugly decor (think velvet Elvis posters!!), paint coming off, burn holes in the rugs. The breakfast is basic - think scrambled eggs, bacon, hashbrowns, bagels and single-serve Philadelphia cream cheese. Rooms are either small to average-sized with very small old bathrooms. Towels are scratchy. No conditioner. Essentially, it's like staying in a Motel 6.
Jack, the owner and host, seems very hospitable, open, warm and generally eager to please. However, a few odd things happened that revealed how surface-level the hospitality runs. The first thing was that I made sure to book a room on the top floor to ensure no one would be walking above us. When we arrived, however, we found we'd been given a different room. I showed him my printout but he'd already given that room away to other guests. He did allow us to choose a different room, but it was smaller and had the ripped chair and burn holes in the carpet and by the end of our stay, we heard every single person go up and down the stairs. To top it all off, at checkout Jack charged us a higher price than what we were quoted. I again showed him my original printed out receipt (thank goodness I had that thing), and he did change it, but he left an impression of a smiling, skeevy landlord.
Also, some things are not well advertised on the website - if at all - like the fact that there is NO PARKING near the place. You must pay 15 dollars a day to use Jack's parking permit or else you will be ticketed. There is also nothing in the room besides a bed and a desk - no TV or any other electronics. We wish we'd known these things up front.
Lastly, let me say that my husband and I are not picky travelers. We have slept in hostels, trains, Days Inns and a wide array of bed and breakfast homes. We've also stayed in many countries: France, Thailand, Japan, Sweden, Mexico. Thus, we can confidently say that the Kalorama Guesthouse offers only average service at best.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The host Jack is horrible. He smiles all the time. Offers food & drink to everyone. Makes breakfast even when breakfast hours is over. He upgrades to larger rooms. He offers free parking permit. Bakes fresh cookies every afternoon. He always says make yourselves at home. He says to eat & drink whatever you want and whenever you want. He let you check in early. He introduces you to all other guests in the house and engages in good conversation. He takes guests for Marriott gym for work out. He takes guests for run. He takes guests out to eat. He has the lowest room rates in Woodley Park.
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If you like my horrible habits, please join me for a good laugh. You won't be disappointed. In my Buddhist culture, I can't criticize others, I can only criticize myself. 700 BC Buddha got slapped for smiling too much. But he kept on smiling.
Your Host: Jack
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.