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“Good Business 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
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
86 helpful votes 86 helpful votes
“Good Business Hotel”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2014

The Mandarin DC is a good business hotel with comfortable rooms and several large conference spaces. The highlight of my experience was the view offered by my relatively small corner room – I could see the Washington Monument not just from the bed, but also from the over-sized tub in the bathroom. Although the bedroom was smaller than I expected, it offered two walls of windows (the other window overlooking the Jefferson Memorial), and the bathroom was most spacious with a separate large shower (with a bench) and bathtub.

The food in the hotel is decent, and I enjoyed prompt room service for breakfast as well as a very good dinner catered by the hotel. The conference rooms are large and definitely a notch above your mainstream, rather dated conference rooms at less luxurious American chain hotels.

My points of criticism concern the hotel’s location and the unreliable front desk service. Firstly, although my room offered one of the better views at the hotel (I assume), the room was right above train tracks. Yes, train tracks. This did not make for the soundest sleep. Secondly, the check-out process what indeed a process.... Despite only one other person waiting in line with me, it was an easy 15 minutes from the time I stepped behind this other guest and from when I was finally out the door. I was also disappointed to see that the hotel made an error on my bill and over-charged me. For some reason it took a long time to make the correction, and for some other reason, they were unable to print out a copy of the corrected bill. I never received the invoice via email, and had to follow up twice to resolve the issue. While this was certainly a hassle, I did find the staff otherwise professional and very friendly.

While I recommend this hotel for larger groups, business travelers, and for event spaces, it does not come without flaws, and you must remember to ask for a room away from the choo-chooing of the trains. For those seeking a romantic getaway, I would probably look to one of the smaller establishments near Farragut West / McPherson.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Timothy H, Manager at Mandarin Oriental, Washington D.C., responded to this review, May 10, 2014
Dear NYEm,

I am delighted to read that you thoroughly enjoyed your conference and banquet dinner with us. Moreover, I was excited to read your comments about our fantastic views from the guest rooms.

However, I apologize if any noise sensitivity detracted from your overall stay. Had we known of the issue, we would have offered to move your room away from that side of the hotel immediately.

Could I ask that you contact me at tharleth@mohg.com with your reservation number? I would be delighted to ensure that your preferences are noted for the future.

We look forward to welcoming you back soon!

Warm regards,
Timothy Harleth
Director of Front Office Operations
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804 reviews from our community

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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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English first
Longview, Texas
Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2014

The hotel location is excellent. We were able to walk to the Tidal Basin to see the Cherry Blossoms and walking in the other direction led us right to the Mall. The Metro is a 5 minute walk away. There is a Starbucks and a sandwich shop just across the street. The hotel does serve complimentary coffee in the lobby each morning AND it's REALLY GOOD! Our room was large and comfortable with good linens and a/c. The bathroom was especially nice with a separate tub and shower. The concierge was a little disappointing to me. On Saturday I mentioned to him we would need dinner reservations for Sunday night. He told me he would be back on duty Sunday morning at 6 am and I should stop by sometime Sunday to make a reservation. There was no one else around. He should have been happy to make our res right then and there. He was NOT there Sunday morning so knowing we would not be back until late afternoon Sunday I made my own reservation. This same concierge told us Saturday morning about a boat ride the hotel was offering that night - open bar, dinner, ride down Potomac and a stop to watch the fireworks. Cost $150 pp. We signed on. We felt if Mandarin Oriental was putting their name on it we could have a very nice experience. The boat turned out to be a 1947 wooden boat built by the Navy. Not as bad as it could have been but still disappointing at $150pp. Dinner turned out to be baked chicken and turkey meatballs with a cold pasta salad. NOT what we were expecting. Probably came from Sam's or Costco. We were to leave at 6:30 but for some reason unknown to us we left at 7 pm. We parked to see the fireworks but were a very good distance away. All in all this was worth about $50 pp. We felt like we'd been taken.
We did have dinner at their restaurant Cityzen. I was not aware it was price fixe (my fault for not seeing that on their website). I do not like price fix because I cannot eat that much BUT we were there so we stayed. I must say we did enjoy it. The food was a wonderful - interesting menu and fun to try new things. It is a slow evening though - about 2-1/2 hours for us and they were not crowded. So if you like price fixe I would certainly say make a reservation. We had a good stay except for the disappointing boat ride/dinner.

Room Tip: Ask for a water view room.
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  • Stayed April 2014, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Timothy H, Manager at Mandarin Oriental, Washington D.C., responded to this review, May 10, 2014
Dear Robbinwood,

I am truly delighted that you enjoyed the location of our hotel. Moreover, I was excited to read that you loved the hotel’s coffee! We carry Lavazza throughout the entire property, including the complimentary station in the mornings.

CityZen is one of the best restaurants in our nation’s capital! Chef Eric Ziebold delivers an incredible dining experience. I have passed your comments along to the team. They are thrilled that you enjoyed your evening with them.

We look forward to welcoming you back soon!

Warm regards,
Timothy Harleth
Director of Front Office Operations
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Bronxville, New York
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2014

This is a perfectly fine, 4 star hotel with a location close enough to attractions but otherwise remote from evening entertainment and restaurants. In fact the neighborhood is partially developed with vacant retail and commercial space. The hotel service is fine and I felt a fair value for my rate but there were many elements I thought were highly unusual for this aspirational hotel chain. We were very surprised to find no PAy Per View movie service which the kids and I enjoy, especially at a place far from entertainment. I travel a lot and this is unheard of at quality international chains that compete with Mandarin. Secondly, I was unable to get a New York Times paper...wait, maybe I will try the gift shop, simply follow the signs...only they point down a lonely corridor which might make a nice home for a shop when this hotel grows up to be an actual business class hotel. Finally, if you are a light sleeper request a room farthest from and highest above the active rail line which hosted numerous, very long freight trains rumbling by. To quote the corporate speak of a somewhat disinterested concierge who was nice enough to offer to send someone out to buy me a newspaper, this is a hotel "in transition."

Stayed April 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Louis Park, Minnesota
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2014

The Mandarin Oriental in D.C. is is a beautiful hotel in a perfect location; I wish I could have stayed longer. The staff was very friendly and anxious to accommodate us with anything we needed. The room was absolutely beautiful and extremely comfortable. I look forward to returning to D.C. and will definitely book my stay at the Mandarin Oriental.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
    • 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.
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Top Contributor
68 reviews 68 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2014

we stayed at the hotel last weekend.. Our room was a very nice room, the bed was great, the staff very attentive but if you're a light sleeper, this hotel is directly next to a heavily used rail line that woke me up 10 or more times per night... Room service is unrealistically expensive to those who object to a 50 dollar breakfast.. The lounge could be a lot bigger and if you want to enjoy the afternoon with a cocktail it's very difficult to do because High Tea takes precedent..

Room Tip: stay away from the trains
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2014

Disappointed - the only way to sum up my stay at Mandarin Washington DC.

I have previously stayed in the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park (London) and enjoyed it. In September 2013, we stayed at the excellent Jefferson Hotel in Washington D.C. For my recent visit to Washington in March, I decided to try the Mandarin Oriental. How foolish to base my expectations on previous stays at the Mandarin Oriental London. I had expected Mandarin DC to be on par to the Jefferson Hotel in DC, but it fell short of colleagues' experiences at the Hilton, Four seasons, Ritz and even Marriott for similar tariffs.

I could not have been more disappointed. It was shocking to learn that breakfast was an extra at the Mandarin Washington D.C. -- at a five star hotel and certainly included at the Mandarin Hyde Park London. And at $28, the breakfast was merely average -- with cheeky supplements for certain items. I have had better complimentary breakfasts at the Marriott or Hyatt hotels worldwide!

Neither coffee nor tea in room, nor even an executive lounge with evening drinks or canapes were availed for my stay -- minimum requirements from previous Mandarin (London) and Jefferson (DC) stays -- even the Marriott! I enjoyed drinks from the lobby bar and felt these were reasonable value, but still surprised to find no coffee, tea or evening executive lounge service- at a 5 star hotel no less. Add to this -- $49 daily parking charge.

The room was basic, though of a good size. The bathroom was excellent, and well maintained. The check in staff excellent, bar staff very good, but the concierge was rather indifferent. No free wifi in room or in the hotel at all – shocking miscalculation to charge $15/day for wifi – at a five star hotel in the 21st century during conference season??

And imagine -- third night free offer via web / tripadvisor, but not offered during my 3 night conference stay!

I will certainly not stay at the Mandarin DC unless management convince me otherwise. We are due to travel to Washington DC again in May this year, and on several possible future trips there over the next year, but The Jefferson will get our vote in DC!

Summary --

poor value compared to the Jefferson, Four Seasons or even the Marriott DC.

Disappointing compared to our previous stays at the Jefferson DC and Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park.

A five star hotel, particularly of Mandarin Oriental calibre, should not stoop to charge for (1) breakfast (2) internet wifi (3) tea/coffee (4) lack of executive lounge...couldn’t even access Tai Pan -- at a minimum, you should consider your competition during conference season. We all have a choice of where to stay, and I will advise others to look elsewhere in DC.

Dr R Chung

Room Tip: stay somewhere else!
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled on business
    • 2 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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Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2014

We loved staying at the Mandarin Oriental in DC. The staff were so attentive. Their courtesy was apparent and wanted to help in anyway they could. The room was lovely - great lighting, good view. There were no glitches at all except for the weather, but I didn't think they could do anything about that.

The spa was great and relaxing. Tanya did my nails - and she was wonderful! I was surprised that they only had one nail technician, but I can understand why she is consistently booked.

Room Tip: The room was quiet - we were on the water side. We were on the second floor and had a lovely view f...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled on business
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Timothy H, Manager at Mandarin Oriental, Washington D.C., responded to this review, April 6, 2014
Dear Shari C,

Thank you for the wonderful comments!

We have shared your comments with Tanya & the team. Everyone is truly delighted that you were able to find your Zen, despite the inclement weather.

We look forward to your future stays with us!

Warm regards,
Tim Harleth
Director of Front Office Operations
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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:
#19 Luxury Hotel in Washington DC
#22 Business Hotel in Washington DC
#42 Romantic Hotel in Washington DC
#47 Family Hotel in Washington DC
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Mandarin Oriental, Washington D.C. 5*
Number of rooms: 400
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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