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“Pure fright” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Howard Johnson Inn Washington DC

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Howard Johnson Inn Washington DC
1.5 of 5 Hotel   |   600 New York Avenue NE, Washington DC, DC 20002   |  
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Ranked #123 of 135 Hotels in Washington DC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Pure fright”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2007

My boyfriend and I needed a place to stay for one night after a late concert in DC. We wanted someplace clean and safe and were not looking for any frills. Although we knew the street was not in the best area, we figured the HoJo had a decent enough reputation to suffice for one night, and the price was great. After our experience, I can say that it is worth it to pay more to stay in a decent area.

The only reason this hotel rated a two out of five is that the room seemed clean. Everything else was a disaster. We walked downtown after checking in and passed dozens of homeless people begging for change. The walk is not something I would ever do again as it led through dangerous looking and dark parts of town. We returned to the hotel that evening, and at 5:30 a.m. were awoken by a loud banging on the door. We were terrified, and upon looking through the peephole saw a large, man standing there swaying and looking incoherent. He continued to bang on the door foor the next five minutes. We shouted at him to leave and finally he did. It occurred to us (in our half asleep state) to call the police, but we figured the man would be long gone by the time they arrived. The rest of the night we tossed and turned unable/afraid to fall asleep.

The next morning we went to put our luggage in the car and noticed glass all over the ground next to the driver's side door. I remarked that we were lucky it was not our car that was broken into. Unfortunately, I spoke too soon because when I went to open the passenger's door, the window was completely smashed out. The stereo was ripped out and several personal items were stolen (including a GPS system which we should have never left there in the first place.) This, in combination with the last night's door pounding, left me feeling terrified and angry, and I went to alert the desk clerk while my boyfriend called the cops. When I told the clerk what had happened, he didn't even bat an eye as he told me this type of thing was common, "especially at this time of year." (Apparently the thief was Christmas shopping in our car?) I told him it would have been nice to have been made aware of this little issue before we checked in.

Hopefully this review will alert anyone else looking to save a few bucks in DC and steer them away from this hotel. My new outlook is that DC is outrageously expensive, whatever way you look at it, so, eat fast food or take the Metro to save money, but don't skimp on hotel prices as they indicate safety. The DC police later told my boyfriend that car break ins are common at hotels all over the city except in paid hotel parking garages. Pay the bit extra to help guarantee your safety, especially if you have children!

  • Liked — The room appeared to be clean.
  • Disliked — It is very unsafe.
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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190 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    49
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Rating summary
  • Location
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3 of 5 stars
  • Value
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    2.5 of 5 stars
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English first
Houston
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2007

I give the hotel one start because I cannot give it any less.

My colleague and I stayed at the Howard Johnson Express Inn - Washington for slightly less than a week while attending a conference in Washington DC.

The hotel is not in a neighborhood where you would feel safe walking outside alone. Also, the cab took a very long time (around 20-45min) to arrive each time we call for one.

The hotel is old and run down. The magnetic card locks were all broken down. Every time we wanted to return to our room (be it after getting some snacks from the vending machine or after breakfast or after a day trip out), we need to get the male receptionist to open the door for us with the master key card. And, what's even more horrendous, he would just open any door for us without first verifying if we are the registered occupant of the room we wanted to open! This made us worry a lot about the security of the belongings we have in our room. (I'm not sure if this has improved since our return and I really hope it had!)

Halfway through our stay, after returning to the hotel after the day's meeting, my colleague was shocked to realized that the hotel had changed his room for him in his absence and without his consent. The hotel also acknowledged having moved my colleague's belongings from his previous room to his next one. I'm not sure if this violated the privacy of my colleague. Fortunately, he did not find anything missing. The hotel's excuse was that the daytime repair going on at the hotel had caused his room to leak. Instead of apologizing for the inconveniences caused to my colleague, the hotel receptionist challenged my colleague if he would rather stay in a wet room or a dry one.

In addition, I witness the roaming of a couple of mice running around the hotel, both inside the hotel lobby cum breakfast area as well as inside my hotel room. I had to pack all my belonging and lock my luggage each day in the hope of preventing any accidental entrance of any of these mice into my luggage. It also made me wonder just how safe and hygienic the breakfast served by the hotel was.

This had indeed been an eye-opener for both my colleague and I. For those planning a trip to the area, do think twice.

  • Liked — Low price
  • Disliked — everything else
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
delaware
1 review
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2007

we stayed for three nights at the end of sept, and from the start it was shady, they didnt have room keys, you had to go and get the guy at the desk to let you in your room. shady. its on a very busy road and i mean 24 hours a day busy. and is not near and metro stop. you cant walk to union station the neighborhood is a little rough we ended up having to take taxis to get to the national mall, after three days it gets a little expensive, but our room was rather clean and the people working there were nice. if you need a place to stop for a night then its ok, but next time i will pay a little more to stay at a hotel a little closer to the attractions. but hey at least its not as bad as the presidents inn

  • Liked — cheap
  • Disliked — no keys
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2007

This place was disgusting! I have a feeling that we weren't in a good neighborhood, and the room was awful. Water leaking from the room above ours had stained and warped the ceiling in our room. The room stank, and it wasn't a nice place to sleep at all.

  • Stayed July 2003
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Germany
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2006

What else can I write? All the statements I´ve read (too late) are the truth. It´s loud, it´s dirty, it´s in an unfriendly area without any restaurants nearby and last but not least: There were a couple of rats living in the half-open storage room (which was next to our room)!! We saw some people renting a room just for a couple of hours (young lovers), so that gives you another hint of what kind of hotel it is...
I wrote a mail to Howard Johnson´s about this house, but I don´t think they´ll answer me. Ifr they do, I´ll let you know.

Stayed February 2006
Was this review helpful? Yes 18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2005

We had reservations to stay at this hotel for three nights, but checked out after only one because it was so bad. We found hair in the bed and shower, and the wallpaper and paint were peeling. In addition, the noise from the street and from the Metro train that apparently runs under/past the building was too much. The train actually made the walls shake. We paid $70 for the one night, which is incredibly cheap for DC and should have tipped us off. If you're trying to save money on a DC vacation, stay in Arlington or Alexandria near the Metro, which is what we ended up doing.

  • Stayed May 2005
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2005

In the past, I have stayed at Howard Johnson hotels and liked them. In fact, we stayed at a Howard Johnson's in Newark NJ on this trip that was very nice. We had a reservation for 5 nights but only stayed one night. When we pulled in to the parking lot my wife and daughter wanted to leave. This hotel is old and it shows. The air-conditioning unit did not work very well and smelled like urine. The carpet did not look very clean, there were cigarette burn marks on most of the furniture and the bathtub. We did not get much sleep because someone on a motorcycle with a loud muffler kept riding past the hotel. We were very disappointed with the room.

  • Stayed June 2005
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Howard Johnson Inn Washington DC

Address: 600 New York Avenue NE, Washington DC, DC 20002
Phone Number:
Location: United States > District of Columbia > Washington DC
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #123 of 135 Hotels in Washington DC
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:1.5 star — Howard Johnson Inn Washington DC 1.5*
Number of rooms: 49
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Also Known As:
Howard Johnson Express Inn - Washington Hotel Washington Dc

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