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“Stay elsewhere” 2 of 5 stars
Review of The Allen Lee

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The Allen Lee
2224 F St. NW, Washington DC, DC 20037 (Foggy Bottom - GWU - West End)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #123 of 130 hotels in Washington DC
Guernsey, United Kingdom
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Stay elsewhere”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2013

We were seriously tempted when the taxi pulled up to ask the driver to go somewhere else- the hotel looked so run down and in need of a serious lick of paint. Against our better judgment we checked in and our room was so small and poky I think a cupboard would have been a more accurate description. The staff weren't particularly helpful or friendly and we didn't feel particularly safe in the hotel. In the hotel's favour it was in a good location in Washington but I would recommend paying an extra $10 a night somewhere else for peace of mind and a better night's sleep.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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123 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
    5
    17
    17
    27
    57
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    2 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    2 of 5 stars
  • Service
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    2.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (12)
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English first
Portland
2 reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2012

The old rule of thumb is, "if it's too good to be true, then it probably is", as is the case with this establishment. But speaking of rules....this place is full of em. It's not that I'm against following rules in any situation, but one would expect when they are a guest at an establishment, you might be treated with some amount of respect as a customer. Not at the ol' Allen Lee. This was the first thing I noticed when I checked in, and it continued to permeate my stay over what was a week that more or less put a huge rain cloud over my time in DC.

First off, don't even think about questioning the staff, or asking for them to address any problems you might have found with your room. They have lots of posted rules, but the one overriding policy can be summed up like this "we have your credit card number, don't rock the boat and don't argue with us or we will screw with you". I've never been treated so rudely in my life, and any push back is met with rather angry tones and a very dismissive attitude. I got to witness this on several occasions as there was usually a rather loud disagreement between one guest or another and whichever slow minded, socially devoid numskull they had behind the counter for the day; and god forbid you have to deal with "the rat"...or something like that. I heard him say to one patron, "don't ever turn your back on the rat" as the patron walked away post altercation. This was the same guy that kicked me out of the lobby at 12:00 a.m. (the only place you can get a wifi signal), even though there was no rule posted to that end; all I got was "we can't post all the rules". And make sure you use the tongs for the "continental breakfast", which consists of two loaves of bread, some jam and butter. They make it very clear that tong usage is mandatory. I'm so glad they care about cleanliness when it comes to the bread line, but the rooms crawl with cockroaches and have a sense of filth about them.

One other major item of note is that this place IS NOT A HOTEL!!!!! I don't care what the website says; it's false advertisement. It seems to be a flop house, or a boarding house for refugees or something. I found on the web that they have some contract with DC services for people in between stable living situations. Lot's of random and weird characters abound in this fire trap of a building that feels as if it's about to collapse. I am not knocking anyone for being down on their luck or those facing hard times in life, but if I am staying in a hotel I don't want to have to take any belongings of worth me everywhere I go for fear of theft; which was ever present.

At the end of the day, this place seemed like the type of place you would go to score a bag of something and/or maybe get a quickie for the exchange of a few dollars. If you don't have much of value with you, don't mind being treated like a piece of crap, and all you plan to do is sleep there (covered in plastic for your own protection and good luck sleeping as there is yelling going on every night between the fine cadre of guests and constant sirens outside given the proximity to a hospital), then this is the place for you. My suggestion, stay a ways out at a cheap Days in and buy a week long metro pass. The extra time on the train would be well worth avoiding this nightmare. The Allen Lee.....or as I will forever refer to it, The Scampering Flee. NEVER AGAIN!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami Beach, Florida
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 7, 2012

When I booked the room, I did not expect much from it, as the price was kind of cheap compared with other hotels in Washington DC. But, when we arrived there and slept for the first day, it was much worse than I thought. The floor was a little smelly. TV had only one channel. Almost no service... In all, I will never book this hotel.

Room Tip: I do not recommend it.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2012

stayed here for 2 nights while in Washington. When we checked in the reception wasn't very helpful. We had a private room with bathroom and were located in the basement. Room was small but served its purpose, we were only there to sleep. Bed was good, clean bathroom and tv. Because we were located under the lobby the floor boards above were a bit squeaky however, we were lucky enough to have WiFi in the room. Breakfast was basic - bread that can be toasted with jams and spread.

The location for this place is amazing. 10 - 15min walk and you're at the Lincoln memorial.

Don't let the shabby outside of the building put you off. Get a private room and you should have a nice stay.

  • Stayed October 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2012 via mobile

When we booked this, we knew it was cheap, but this shouldn't be allowed operate as a hotel( haha yea right, more like a dirty bed in a dirty room) ....we arrived to a sticky door handle, and I knew it was going to go downhill. The receptionist literally could not give a toss about us or anything practically threw a key at us.
We went down an elevator that looked 80 years old. Opened the door of our 'room' . We ordered a triple. There were three beds squeezed into it. No space for suitcases, could barely open the bathroom door, which, well let's just say, if you can wash your hair before you arrive to do your trip, it's probably a good idea. Sat on my bed enough time to read one email and already spotted a huge cockroach, an earwig and a few more creepy crawlers. I understand this is cheap, but there is cheap and then there is VILE! NEVER EVER STAY HERE!!!! EVER!!!!!! You have been warned!

  • Stayed August 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 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.
New York City, New York
2 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2012

Some of the other reviews here say they paid $20. Well, for that price, I'd stay almost anywhere. And, if you're down with staying at a hostel, at least they give you a private room, which is a definite step up from most hostels.

But, as a hotel, this place fails, hard. It's pretty clean, I guess, but I fell hard for the deceptions presented in the website. I guess when people say that "historic building" is code for "falling apart old structure," I should listen. My naive reading of the website gave me the impression it was going to be some kind of quaint red-brick B&B sort of place, but miraculously at a much more affordable price. Instead, I get a full-on, no doubt about it, youth hostel. The website says they've repainted the walls and recarpeted the floors - whoop-de-doo. The place still looks, and feels, in sore need of being torn down altogether and replaced with a newer, shinier, sleeker, nicer building.

They fail to mention that the wi-fi is only available in the lobby, that the rooms don't have private bath/shower or toilet, that no shampoo or soap or amenities of that sort are provided at all... I know $65 is pretty cheap as hotels go, but I paid that last week for a stupid corporate-chain airport hotel, and got a proper hotel experience - wifi in the room, private bath/shower with all the tiny bottles and other basic hotel amenities, a spotlessly clean room, a huge, super comfy hotel bed... I am checking out of the Allen Lee as soon as I can, and going somewhere else.

Room Tip: Don't book here. Avoid the Allen Lee at all costs.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Caracas, Venezuela
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2012

When I arrived they made me to pay more money that the amount that Hostel-world said in my booking. The service at the desk was not friendly at all. The WIFI signal was no strong enough to reach my room, so I had to go to the reception area to get into Internet. I can live with that but turns out that at midnight they made me leave the reception area due to some simple excuse! There were small cockroaches in my room as well as hairs in the towels. The bed´s sheets had a awful old yellow color. The only good thing? Location was wonderful. I´m afraid even that don´t save this place.

Room Tip: Get a room in the lowers floors so you can have WIFI signal
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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 The Allen Lee

Address: 2224 F St. NW, Washington DC, DC 20037
Location: United States > District of Columbia > Washington DC > Foggy Bottom - GWU - West End , Upper Northwest
Hotel Style:
Ranked #123 of 130 hotels in Washington DC
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
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Also Known As:
The Allen Lee Hotel Washington Dc
Allen Lee Washington Dc

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