My wife and I stayed here over a long weekend (2 nights), in order to be close to the main sights of DC. In this we were not disappointed - the American Guest House is absolutely close to everything. We were but a 15 minute walk to the Capital, to the Memorials, to the museums - perfect for our needs!
But looking over these gushing 5 star reviews, I feel a moral obligation to stay something. We've stayed in many, many B&Bs. It's a thing we love to do - in fact staying in B&Bs is a large part of why we travel - nothing beats the care, comfort, and local knowledge of a B&B ran by a caring inn keep. So, these are our qualifications - nothing professional, but certainly not our first rodeo.
All that said - this B&B was luke warm, at best. It gets a three star, instead of the two we had wanted to give, if only because the location is so ideal. First of all, the inn keeper Bernardo was not friendly. I don't know how else to say this. He just...didn't care. Bored? Burned out? Who knows? If he wasn't "about to step out" and obviously hassled that we turned up 30 minutes early, or correcting a lady at breakfast that "actually coffee is not a food" (no, he wasn't playing along - that little nugget dropped an awkward blanket over the whole table), or my favorite, interrupting our conversation with another guest to "invite us to take the conversation to another room" because "the dining room was closed". The "dining room" is a room that sits open and unused during the day, just FYI. He just wanted us out of his way so he could clean (or have the maid clean).
So, beyond the unfriendly inn keep, this B&B has "honor system" boxes planted all over the place. They ask you to pay for snacks from the dining room. Bread (or whatever) from the refrigerator, and yeah even money for pieces of paper when you use their printer.
Really? Here's an idea. Bump the rates up a hair and just go ahead and makes these services free. We don't mind paying a little extra - we aren't looking for rock bottom rates.
Which leads me to the accommodations themselves. These rooms are like stuffy little closets. Seriously, the pictures make them look exotic, old-time-y, even adventurous. They are all of these things - and they are also cramped and poorly furnished. The bathrooms are decorated in so uninspiring a fashion as to have been modeled from a Motel 8, and the towels? Yeah, the towels did not match. At all. Seriously? Even Motel 8 can match their towels. Best of all? Those used books you read about on their web site? Honor system box. $1 a book. Not "give a book take a book" - nah, straight up "give us more money". WTF?
Anyway, I could easy go on but the fact is a B&B experience is a personal thing. You will have your own experience, and perhaps it will be amazing. We hope it is - nothing beats staying at a B&B you love. And maybe this B&B represents the best of what's available - in DC? Or maybe we just caught this B&B at a low point?
In any case we hope you enjoy your trip, no matter where you stay.