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“Watch out for those add-ons!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Watergate Hotel

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The Watergate Hotel
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   2650 Virginia Avenue Northwest, (Closed for renovation until late 2009), Washington DC, DC 20037 (Foggy Bottom - GWU - West End)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #117 of 130 hotels in Washington DC
Vancouver, BC
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Watch out for those add-ons!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2007

We booked online and when we arrived, we were allowed to check in early and were provided with an upgrade to a Georgetown room. The room was huge, and very nicely furnished, but showing its age. The TV
was old and small, with a CRT screen (and electrical tape on the frame!!). The bathroom was nice, with a fabulous walk-in shower and separate tub, but the bathroom door had a gap in it, which you faced when you were using the toilet. It made me feel a bit exposed! The bathroom had an excellent magnified mirror in it, and the toiletries were very nice.

One thing that annoyed us over the course of our stay was the way higher-end hotels charge separately for everything that is included in business hotels or lower cost hotels. For example, internet access
was $10 a day (but if you have a wireless connection, you may get lucky and find a network that is open to use from your room!). A mini-fridge cost extra as well, as did local phone calls (or access to 800 numbers). Parking is valet only (I think it was $26 / day) so you also have to keep in mind all the tips you'll be handing out, especially if you are going in and out a lot. There was a coffee machine in the lobby, and it cost $2 (I think) a cup (it said it was Starbucks coffee). When you get a good deal on the room, it can kind of be eaten up by things like the parking and internet fees, so keep that in mind (this is typical of higher-end hotels, particularly in DC, I realize). The room had a refrigerated mini-bar that was kind of old-fashioned.

The view we had was beautiful. If you don't like airplanes, though, you might not like it - we were right on the flight path for DCA. We like watching planes, so it was very good for us. It wasn't super noisy, but if you are a light sleeper, you would probably notice it (I'm not sure how late planes were landing).

The location was quite good, but we didn't try out public transportation (in our experience, the traffic wasn't quite as horrendous as the guidebooks all make out, but it could be kind of confusing to get to the hotel during rush hour, as they made a 2-way street into 1 way, and our GPS unit didn't know this).

There is a Safeway, a CVS and a liquor store right nearby - you have to go down below street level to get to them, so you might miss them.

Overall, this was a nice hotel to stay in, and I'm glad we chose it, but we will probably try somewhere else next time.

  • Liked — The room was very nice
  • Disliked — Everything cost extra, so the room rate was artificially low
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2007

I am seriously going to miss this hotel. From the lovely suite (bigger than my apartment) looking out onto the Kennedy Center, to the impeccable food and service at our business meeting to a late night at the bar - this place was fabulous.

  • Liked — great service!
  • Disliked — well, it closed!
  • Stayed March 2005, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cincinnati
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2007

I have stayed at the Watergate numerous times when I am working at the Kennedy Center. This last time I had a great room and no problems. The Watergate has not been consistent though. There have been times the staff has been rude at the front desk. The elevators don't always work properly also.
The Watergate is now closed for what they call renovations. I heard 2nd hand while I was there that it really was permanently closed as a hotel and is being redone as apartments and condos like the rest of the Watergate complex.
I will miss it.

  • Liked — Plush bathrooms
  • Disliked — Pricey restaurant
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
138 helpful votes 138 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2007

After booking the Renaissance Hotel for $325/nite, a friend recommended the Watergate. I was leery at first, given that rooms were available at almost half that rate, but couldn't pass up the chance to save some money. I was dropping off my son at GWU and didn't want to spend a fortune. What I got was a fine hotel, in a good location for access to both Foggy Bottom and Georgetown, at an insanely low price by DC standards.

The White House is maybe a mile away, but I walked it with no problem. There is a Metro station within a few short blocks to take you anywhere you need to go.

Well worth it.

  • Stayed June 2007, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
paris
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2007

I used to stay here when this was a 5 star swissotel... this is not the same anymore, but the price did not get down !

Nethertheless the rooms are still large, with marble bathrooms. It is a quiet place.

I arrived after a night flight from LA at 8 am : they allowed me to get the room at that early time in the mornong with no extra charge so that I could have a nap and shower...

Breakfast at the restaurant, with the view on the Potomac is a real pleasure.

There used to be a swimming pool here but there is no more...

The staff is not very numerous bau is quite efficient.

To summarize, this hotel gets old, and sometimes does not look as clean as it should be. It is still a good hotel but this will not last for years without refrurbishment !

  • Liked — marble floors
  • Disliked — getting old
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
83 helpful votes 83 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2007

i stayed in the Watergate for the first time in many years, on what turned out to be a very crowded graduation weekend in DC. the suite i had requested and was billed for was not available, but one of the nicest, most knowledgeable desk people i have run into in a long time offered me two other options, one of which made my stay here even more enjoyable than i anticipated. i was offered a "room" in the "17" tier (mentioned by other posters) on a smoking floor, which i took because there was no trace of smoke scent anywhere. this "room" was approximately 1400 square feet on a riverside corner of this landmark complex, and since it was on the 8th floor, had a commanding view from Arlington Cemetery to well past Key Bridge and Georgetown from its 8 enormous windows! the second morning i was there, i awoke to the subtle sound of drum cadence, opened the blinds and was treated to a morning of dragon boat racing on the beautiful Potomac River directly in from of the hotel. only in DC, and only at the Watergate! yes, as others have written, the rooms are a bit tatty (if things like wood veneer peeling up in spots and slightly stained white marble floors bother you, stay elsewhere), but the room service is perfection, the ambiance of the place is totally its own, and you feel as though you are a welcomed regular most of the time. one thing worth mentioning is that the staff is a bit odd in that the reception people range from charming and helpful (as above), to indifferent and even snotty. jaded older bellman and valet parking guys treat you like you might expect, but these are minor issues that only served to make the positives of staying here more obvious and wonderful. i look forward to having a reason to stay here again and again. (note: i had to change to a newer place that was over twice as expensive for my last night in DC due to an error I made in booking, and was really let down... try the Watergate if you get a chance!)

  • Liked — Amazing landmark complex; spacious room on the river side; a desk clerk who made my visit perfect
  • Disliked — i couldn't stay longer.
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Providence, RI
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2007

I just returned from a 3 night stay at the Watergate. I booked the hotel mostly because of its location and place in history. It is a short, nice, easy walk from the Foggy Bottom-GWU metro stop.

PROS:
1. Lobby is beautiful and well air-conditioned.
2. Showed up at 9:00 AM and was given my room even though check-in is at 3:00.
3. Great water pressure in the shower.
4. Nice toiletries.
5. Staff is helpful and polite.
6. The rooms are very spacious.

CONS:
1. My first room was over 80 degrees! The cooling system was malfunctioning, but they did change my room.
2. In the second room, the thermostat read 78 degrees, but the air conditioning cooled the room and the reading of the thermostat was incorrect.
3. The rooms are old and need to be updated. Some of the materials in the room still read "Swissotel" which was the old operator of the hotel.
4. There were stains on the carpet and bedding.
5. The exterior of the Watergate complex needs updating.

  • Stayed May 2007, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Watergate Hotel

Address: 2650 Virginia Avenue Northwest, (Closed for renovation until late 2009), Washington DC, DC 20037
Location: United States > District of Columbia > Washington DC > Foggy Bottom - GWU - West End , Upper Northwest
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #117 of 130 hotels in Washington DC
Hotel Class:5 star — The Watergate Hotel 5*
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