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“very disorganized” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Diplomatic Stay

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Diplomatic Stay
4907 14th Street NW, Washington DC, DC 20011 (Upper Northwest)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #45 of 49 Washington DC B&B and Inns
Portland, Oregon
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“very disorganized”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2013

I booked a stay here last Sept. I called a month in advance to make sure I could stay there even though I am not a college student, that I would be in a female only dorm and also to make sure itnwas OK to check in around midnight since I had a late arrival coming come the west coast. I was assured it was fine on all accounts and was told where to find the manager when I arrived. I would never have known where to find him w/o that instruction since there is no check in desk. When I arrived he acted li,e he knew nothing about my reservation, short stay, lack of student status, late arrival etc. I offered to call hostelling international to see if they had an open bed but he said no, they'd work something out. I ended up in a coed dorm which wasn't the end of the world, but still, not what I booked. The manager was a nice enough guy, just not very organized and made me feel like he was doing me a favor by letting me stay there whenI had called ahead and even offered to go to a different hostel at midnight after travelling all day.

The room had way too many beds for the size, no windows and as far as I know no second egress. It was in the basement and did have a bathroom en suite which was nice given it wa scoed and I wasn't prepared to get dressed in mixed company. There were not enough outlets to go around, so I recommend bring an extention cord. The outlet closest to me was on an extention cord under the bed and I was on the top bunk. Beds did not have individual fans, or lights and the room had no lockers or place to store your things. It wa sfalse advertisement im regard to them saying they have everything a traveller needs.

They were on a good bus line with regards to getting to the Smithsonian museums. It took around 30 min but you didn't need to transfer which was nice. The busses that stop near there run quite often and the drivers were friendly and helpful. The hostel itself wasn't especially close to any restaurants or stores as far as I could tell, but to be fair I was only there 3 days and spent them at museums.

This experience turned me off of staying at any hostel that isn't affiliated with hostelling i ternational. It wasn't a great expetience and i would not stay there again.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    2 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    2 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    1.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    1.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    2 of 5 stars
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
75 helpful votes 75 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2013

This hostel is located in a gorgeous older house, with beautiful common areas & period furniture on the ground floor. Walk in, and it looks like a boutique hotel.

The location isn't as bad as it looks, as there is a bus stop just across the street that can take you to the metro or downtown pretty quickly.

Most guests seem to be long-term residents who are in DC for internships or for school, and they act like they own the place. They have their own rules and their own standards of behavior that may not coincide with those in most hostels (for example, they have no problem making noise and talking to each other in the rooms, even if short-term guests are trying to sleep). Management caters to these long-stays, with tourists being a bit of an afterthought.

More problematically, these young long-stay guests like to party, and do so in the back yard of the hostel. Even though the reception will tell you there is no drinking and the website says there is no drinking, management tolerates significant drinking by the long-stays in the backyard. I was there on a Thursday and a bunch of them sat up drinking and partying until 2am. When I complained the next day, a staffer told me that a few others had also complained and that I should call him if it happened again. On Friday night, they stayed up until 3am doing the same. I called the staffer and told him what was happening. The next day I found out that the police had showed up. Interestingly, another staffer was on duty that day, and he was more concerned about finding out who had called the police (I had assumed that the staffer I had called had called the police) than in apologizing for the noise or rectifying the problem. The manager also seemed unaware that the hostel website says no drinking is allowed and that new guests are told that no drinking is allowed. It turns out that they are currently in the middle of changing their policy, as drinking used to be allowed, but going forward from this point in time drinking will not be allowed. Hopefully the situation sorts itself out, but my time at the Diplomatic stay was not very good.

The management is haphazard. There is a reception area, but there's usually no one there. It usually seems to take at least half an hour for new guests to find staff and check in. Very inefficient. When I checked in I was shown to an empty bed. I had to ask for sheets, which arrived 15 minutes later. I didn't receive either a blanket or a towel, and eventually had to go look for them myself because there were no staff around.

There is also the issue of cleanliness in the rooms & bathrooms. Since you have long-term guests in standard dorm rooms, you get a lot of clutter and smell. This is probably unavoidable. But the bathrooms are also quite dirty: the shower curtain in my room was covered with black and red mold, and the caulking around the tub was black with mold. This is all a little weird, because the bathrooms look like they were designed with luxury in mind: there are mosaic tiles and jacuzzi tubs. It seems like this place was remodeled as a boutique hotel or something, and then converted to a hostel.

Also, the hostel seems to run on a cash-only basis.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Diplomatic Stay

Address: 4907 14th Street NW, Washington DC, DC 20011
Location: United States > District of Columbia > Washington DC > Upper Northwest
Hotel Style:
Ranked #45 of 49 B&Bs / Inns in Washington DC
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