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“For DC standards this is a very good hotel for Mandarin standards this is a bad hotel.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Mandarin Oriental, Washington D.C.

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Mandarin Oriental, Washington D.C.
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   1330 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington DC, DC 20024   |  
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Complimentary 3rd Night
Ranked #35 of 130 hotels in Washington DC
Brussels, Belgium
Top Contributor
68 reviews 68 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
83 helpful votes 83 helpful votes
“For DC standards this is a very good hotel for Mandarin standards this is a bad hotel.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2013

First of all i loved the location of the hotel which is truly fantastic. The view out of my room was gorgious. What i liked less was the hospitality of the people working here. When i checked in nobody informed me about the beautiful spa and nobody even told me where to find the elevator.
When i arrived in my room there was an extra bed for children which i didnt ask for.
The restaurant CityZen they have in the hotel is just perfection. One of the best restaurants i had in months.

Room Tip: Ask a room with city view
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 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
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Wellesley, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2013

First the location - it is very good, not great, but very good, its a short walk to the mall and good views of the basin and Jefferson Memorial with a good foot bridge that has you on the monument walk inside of 5 minutes - those who complain about the location are looking for perfection.

I feel that the hotel has the right building for a 5 star but the staff (except one who i will mention later) just lacks the training of a 5 star ritz/four seasons staff. They just couldnt seem to execute that wow service, no attention to detail. I will list the issues we had:
1- arrived 30 minutes after check in time begins and they have no rooms ready, they offered to let the family (we were traveling with our 2 kids) freshen up in the spa. That is great except when we get to the spa, kids are not allowed in, so my wife and i took turns and the kids could only use the pool bathroom. When we needed a brush to brush my daughters hair, the spa attendent brought us a brush from the spa... it had been used and had somebodys hair in it.
2- to make us feel better and to compensate for the 2 hour wait for a room they offered an upgrade... for $50 a night extra, so they wanted us to pay more for the mistake. Then when we looked at them like they must be crazy they offered us $90 for breakfast the next morining which was more apporpriate.
3- The rooms on the city side are directly above the train - and you hear it rumble by often. In addition, NEVER get a room ending in 34. We had 434 directly above the train and directly next to the service room so we had trains and rooms service carts EARLY in the morning clanging around.
4- We were able to get a better room on day 2 which was nice, we went out for the day and were told they would call our cell when we had a new room, move our bags for us and have a key waiting when we got back. At 5 we made it back to the hotel, they said they called our room to tell us we could move ourselves to a new room. A bit frustrated we went to our old room (no call had come in on our cell or in that room) got our bags and went down the hall to our new room. In our new room there was a message telling us we had a new room and could call down to have bellmen move our luggage. So they not only didnt call our cell, they called the wrong room...
4- The day before we were leaving I went to print boarding passes at their special kiosk, the printer was out of toner so i told the front desk, they said they would take care of it, went back the next morning to try again... no toner, told them again, went back at 2:00, no toner. I went to the concierge and asked him and he gave an attitude that he was asked to print it out. (on a side note, they cram 2 people behind a single person desk and the desk looks like an after thought and they never planned for 2 people at the concierge desk).
6- Our last day at breakfast they had 2 overcharges on our bill at Sou Wester and the waiter seemingly had no idea about the menu - in addition there was no continuity in the staff at the restaraunt helping us so it was difficult to deal with.
5- When i got my bill, they charged me for the easter breakfast twice (didnt they see that in billing?)

All in all I would say the staff just lacks training, they have a 5 star name and they just rest on that. Never heard from management or anything.

The single employee that should be snatched up by the Four Seasons or Ritz is the bellman Fillipe, he was honest and hard working and everytime we saw him he wanted to know how we were doing, worked to get our room changed (he showed us to our first room just as a train went by) and help in any way always asking what he could do to make our stay better, always concerned we were being taken care of. He is a class act and would go far at a better company.

Room Tip: avoid city view and make sure to be away from their very noisy service rooms.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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New York City, New York
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2013

This hotel failed to offer the services and amenities that are typically available at a hotel of this level. While I wouldn't say there was a single massive issue, it was just a host of small issues that made the overall experience disappointing.

First off, when we entered the hotel, no one offered to help us with our bags - given that we had a baby with us, we really could have used the help! Instead, I was only told that I had to move my car or risk getting a ticket. This was minor disappointment number one.

Check-in otherwise went smoothly, and the front desk clerk was cordial enough. But when we got into the room, I noticed that the soap and other toiletries were the same as the ones on offer at Club Quarters. Surely at multiples of the price of Club Quarters, the Mandarin DC could offer slightly better toiletries? Minor disappointment number two.

We ordered breakfast the next day, and all was fine, until my wife found a hair in the eggs. It was very clear that the hair was not hers or mine, and we called called room service to let them know. They were gracious, offered to replace the eggs (which we'd refused - we'd lost our appetite) and took the charge off of our bill. While that was a very nice gesture on their part, I would've preferred to have eaten our breakfast without seeing a hair in the meal. Minor disappointment number three.

Finally, there was nothing really special about the room. It wasn't particularly large, it didn't have any view and it was beginning to look a bit dated, and certainly was not worth the price.

We had a number of other issues along these lines, and ultimately, we felt this property didn't live up to Mandarin Oriental standards.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 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
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Whistler, Canada
Top Contributor
242 reviews 242 reviews
48 hotel reviews
Reviews in 53 cities Reviews in 53 cities
219 helpful votes 219 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2013

I had several issues, from minor to moderately annoying, even if overall my 4-day stay with 3 children was satisfactory.

The rooms are billed as "water view", and the Mandarin website gives you the impression that you will overlook the Jefferson Memorial and the Tidal Basin. This is grossly misleading. We had a sliver of a view of the Potomac, and most of our view was actually brick wall (the hotel itself, since it is shaped like a tight V).

The room and bathroom were fairly standard - nothing wrong with them, but not especially stylish or luxurious-feeling. The bathroom had too many different textures and items that didn't gel together, and was visually busy rather than relaxing. The TV annoyingly reset to the house channel every time it was turned on, and the channel guide was hard to use and un-informative , an issue if you are with children.

On one occasion (March 28, 9:45 am) my children and I went out the front door wanting a cab. There were several hotel staff outside but none of them paid any attention to us, so I raised my hand to call for a taxi from the nearby taxi line. No response from the staff or from the taxi, so we walked to the front cab. The driver was missing, so we went on to the next one, and got in. When our cab tried to pull out, the driver of the first cab (who had been engaged in deep conversation with the hotel staff, which is why no one had noticed us) suddenly came running and blocked our way, threatening our driver. The hotel staff (who I later learned included a security man, a doorman, and a bellman) did nothing, allowing the two drivers to argue. Finally we had to get out of our cab and walk back to the doorman to demand a cab. The hotel staff refused to give us the cab we had just gotten out of, and insisted we get yet a third cab. Our poor driver (of the cab that we had boarded first) was sent away as punishment for daring to "steal" a fare from the first driver, evidently a chum of the hotel staff. Though we were clearly being impeded and verbally threatened by the first driver, the hotel security man never made an attempt to intervene. All the Mandarin staff seemed more interested in protecting their friend cab driver than in getting my children and me on our way.

The hotel has over 400 rooms (vs. 200 at the Four Seasons, which we also stayed in for four days, see my review), and felt impersonal, not warm or intimate. The lobby and adjoining bar area alternated between totally empty, and crammed with people. That said, other than the cab incident, most of the staff were pleasant and helpful.

For a business trip, there are probably good reasons to choose the Mandarin, but for a personal visit I wouldn't recommend it.

Room Tip: To get a good view you need to select their Premium Water View.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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New York City, New York
Top Contributor
78 reviews 78 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2013

Stayed here a few months ago on business. The location of the hotel itself is just fantastic, and there are very few other properties literally on the National Mall. However, I found the hotel to be just average. The lobby itself was terribly crowded when I checked in and I found the room to be just so-so (for a luxury hotel).

Then again, I find a lot of DC hotels to be just mediocre.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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New York
Top Contributor
109 reviews 109 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2013

I stayed at this property last week for a business trip. I had never stayed at a Mandarin property so I was super excited about my stay. Despite a few minor preferences and a bad dish from room service, I really enjoyed my stay. See details below.

Food - I had a tight meeting schedule so I was only able to order room service. The service was accurate and fast. I ordered the Sea Bass and a salad. Unfortunately, I did not care for the fish and the in-room dining staff graciously removed the charges from my bill without me asking them.

Service - Generally speaking the service was on par for a luxury hotel. The check-in staff was wonderfully and very friendly. The only surprise was the staff in their Taipan Lounge! I COMPLETE FAIL. I wasn't greeted upon arrival with my enthusiasm nor was I offered water, nuts, ect.... (REALLY BAD SERVICE EXPERIENCE).

Gym - doesn't open until 5:30 which is somewhat problematic when I'm on-site for a conference and I need to work out before my attendees come down
.
Spa - I didn't have the opportunity to fully experience the spa this time but I will be back.

Atmosphere - I love the decor and vibe. Very trendy but not over the top.

Location - In terms of proximately to downtown the locations is off the beaten path but a short 10/15 minute cab ride.

Little Things - So here's where the SNUB in me comes out. They did not have any plugs near the nightstands...I HATE this. My welcome amenity was below average (a box of mini-chocolates).

Price/value - NA

Return(ability) - Yes, I will be back and would recommend for the business/leisure traveler that doesn't mind being a distance from center city.

Room Tip: Ask for water view or 8/9 floor rooms.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Indianapolis, Indiana
Top Contributor
86 reviews 86 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2013

We really enjoyed the luxury and convenience of this hotel. We were in the area for a charity event, and this hotel fit our needs perfectly. We also had a wonderful evening out with friends and slept very well on the extremely comfortable bed. Fortunately we had a car so that we could get around the city. We rarely interacted with the staff, but when we did so, they were polite and accommodating.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
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Additional Information about Mandarin Oriental, Washington D.C.

Address: 1330 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington DC, DC 20024
Phone Number:
Location: United States > District of Columbia > Washington DC
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#20 Luxury Hotel in Washington DC
#25 Business Hotel in Washington DC
#39 Romantic Hotel in Washington DC
#50 Family Hotel in Washington DC
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Mandarin Oriental, Washington D.C. 5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The hotel's unique location on the southwest waterfront makes Mandarin Oriental, Washington D.C. The only hotel offering views of the Jefferson Memorial and Washington Monument, Tidal Basin and Washington Marina. In addition to exceptional accommodations and gracious service, the hotel features the Forbes Four-Star Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Muze, with locally sourced, Asian-inspired fare and fabulous views, and the AAA Five Diamond CityZen. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mandarin Oriental, Washington d.c. Hotel Washington Dc
Mandarin Oriental Hotel Washington Dc
Mandarin Oriental Washington Dc
Mandarin Washington Dc
Washington Dc Mandarin Oriental

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