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“Room With A View?” 3 of 5 stars
Review of L'Enfant Plaza Hotel

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L'Enfant Plaza Hotel
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   480 L'Enfant Plaza, Washington DC, DC 20024   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #109 of 133 Hotels in Washington DC
Butler, PA
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Room With A View?”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2007

I had read previous reviews of this hotel before I checked in August 24th, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I hoped for the best, but the problems began right away.

We were happy when we were told we would be given a room with a view of the river; however, upon entering our room, we noticed a large sign posted on the sliding glass door leading out to the balcony which read "DO NOT USE".

Our balcony overlooking the river was filled with about 3 inches of rubble and construction debris. I was rather shocked about this and considered going straight back to the lobby to ask for another room, but we were all tired from our flight and wanted to take a nap. It was approximately 3 in the afternoon. About an hour later, my husband got up from the bed, looked out the window, and there was a construction worker looking back at him from our balcony! About five minutes after that, the jackhammer started overtop of our ceiling..........

My husband went to see the hotel manager. He did apologize and gave us a coupon to have dinner in the hotel restaurant. We were moved to a very nice room with a view of the Washington Monument. The room rate we were paying included the hotel's breakfast buffet for each guest. There were four of us in the room, but they handed me only two coupons. I explained that I should have gotten eight coupons for the two nights I was staying. They promised to get more coupons and bring them up our room but that never happend. We had to speak to three different people at the front desk before we finally got the correct number of coupons the next morning.

Once we got the problems resolved, it was a pleasant stay. The best thing about this hotel is the location if you are planning to travel on the Metro. The hotel is located right over top of the Metro station. You need only walk down a flight of stairs inside the lobby to get to the station. I found that to be very convenient.

Another thing I enjoyed about this hotel was the restaurant staff. The service I received at both breakfast and dinner was excellent. They were very attentive and were quick to provide whatever was needed.

I would stay at this hotel again, but I just felt that the front desk staff should have been aware of which rooms had construction issues and not have placed customers in them.

  • Liked — Restaurant Staff
  • Disliked — Being assigned to a room that was under construction
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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1,248 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
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New York
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2007

My wife and I spent July 13-16 at the L'Enfant Plaza. Our main reason for chosing the hotel was for the convience. You can walk out of the Hotel & you are a few blocks from the Mall & The Smithsonians. The Metro stopped right under the hotel. The hotel itself was nice & clean, however it caters more to the business people than tourists.
The building's first few floors are ofices & the top few floors, I think from 12 up, are the hotel.
When we first arrived, our room wasn't ready &they stored our bags for us. we found the people at the front desk to be pleasent. The bed was very comfortable & we had a beautiful view of the water ront from our room.
On the negitive side, when we first arrived, neither of our two phones were working, & the toilet didn't flush right. We went downstairs & reported this, and asked for extra towels, tissues & the bathroom had just a little bit of toilet paper left, so we asked for an extra roll. This was abut 3pm, when we arrived back at the hotel, about 6pm, nothing had been done.
We asked again before we we went out for dinner. When we arrived back at about 10 PM, still nothing had been done,
The following morning we complained again. We went out & came back about 1pm, & still nothing had been done. I saw a maid in the hallway & asked her for towels, toilet paper & tissues & I told her that we requested it 3 times. She looked at a list she had & said no one had notified her.
That evening they finally sent someone up to fix the phones & toilet. He said that the phones had to be reprogrammed, which he did, & then said that he couldn't fix the toilet because there were was no water preassure because we were on the 14th floor, which I found to be a lame excuse. They did offer to change our room, which we declined, & the manager gave us a free breakfast buffet at the restaurant for our troubles. The point is, I would have rather had the problems taken care of right away. We were also not told that there was a shopping arcade right under the hotel with restaurants, a CVS etc. It would have been nice to give the guests this info.
We asked about going to Georgetown in the evening & they said all the stores are open to 10 or 11pm, even on Sunday. Of course, everything closed at 6pm.
All in all, the hotel is very nice, location is great, but they need to get their act together on guest services.

  • Liked — Location of our room to the pool, beach, rest., Good price
  • Disliked — Guest Service
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Flower Mound, Texas
16 reviews 16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2007

Great view of fireworks from the hotel balcony were about all that the hotel has to offer. The previous Trip Advisor reviews that rate this 3 or lower are right on; its overpriced; the staff under performs; it is clean but old and in need of repair; but on the other hand the location is great. The Smithsonian Castle and the National Mall are a short 3 minute walk from the hotel, and a bridge goes over the river to provide access to the Jefferson Memorial which is about a 20 minute walk. Quick access to the Metro and about 7 restaurants / cafes beneath the hotel are the only other good things about staying at the L'Enfant.

My family of four took a last minute chance on this hotel due to the proximity to the National Mall for the fireworks for July 2 - 7. The hotel definitely isn't geared for kids, and might make a good room for an older couple but not a romantic getaway. The view of the fireworks was very good, not spectacular as building across the street was only slightly in the way.

The staff seemed either rude or indifferent. When my 4 year old son asked if he could go behind the checkin desk to see what was going on the clerk responded "nothing you want to see unless you'd like to be underpaid". No offer to help with all of our bags during checkin; nothing about "elevators are around to the left", just here are your keys and see ya. And they weren't busy when we arrived mid-morning so maybe - just maybe - I could chalk it up to being under staffed. Valet staff was not any better. We did experience a difference in the level of service / treatment based on race which was very surprising. The one positive service experience was that an erroneous dining charge was quickly and painlessly removed from our bill.

Only one elevator per side was working so the long lines took time to get to your room - people would ride up floors just to get a way to go down. When one side of the building shut down both elevators they didn't put up a sign in the lobby - so you had to walk from one side of the building to the other when you discovered the outage. Not easy if you are carrying sleeping children.

If you want to take kids to the Smithsonian or have business near the hotel AND they are having a deal then it would be okay to stay at this hotel.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Apathetc staff
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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South Jersey
17 reviews 17 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2007

We only stayed one night on a Saturday. We must have got a great deal as I am
reading the reviews or maybe it was the time of year. We paid $133 for the night
and that included 24 hours of valet parking.
Very impressed with the friendly, helpful staff. They are very knowledgeable
about the city and were very helpful in getting around.
Our room was not ready when we arrived and it was very easy to check and stow
our bags. When we got back check-in was very easy and quick.
We had drinks and snacks at the sports bar. Food was good and service was
This is where the problem came in. We wanted to lie down and rest before we went
out to dinner. Well, no such luck. Our room faced the pool and they had set up for a
private reception for a group that was staying there.
I was jolted at 6pm by very, very loud music. I could feel the bass thumping. I
called the desk to see if they could turn down the music. Umm no, I was told I
would have to put up with it until 8pm. And no they couldn't move me because any
other room also faced the pool. Now I don't expect total peace and quiet in a
hotel but I also don't expect the music to sound like I am standing in a night
club bathroom. And I don't expect to feel the music thumping for 2 hours.
Everything else about the stay was fine. The bed was very comfortable and the
room very clean. Nice fluffy towels. And it must be fairly well insulated as we
really did not hear much of anything after the loud music stopped.
Tip: If you leave the hotel and walk out to the road make a left. A 10 min walk
and you will be ta marina and outdoor seafood market. There is a Phillips
Seafood Restaurant and a couple other restaurants. We had a very pleasant meal overlooking the marina.
I would stay here again but I would check to see if they had any conventions in
town before I booked. Our stay was very enjoyable with the exception of the 2
hours of loud, music when we wanted nothing more than a short nap after 3+ hours
driving and 5 hours walking. Very annoying.

  • Liked — Close to attraction, comfy bed, clean
  • Disliked — Catering to a group and ignoring other paying guests
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2007

I stayed for 3 days July 2007 on business. I'd echo many of the other comments...the 'ever-malfunctioning' elevator disease had struck again and with only one operational, the queues sometimes achieved epic lengths.

The room was dated, yes, but.....everything worked, including the important climate control, and cleaning standard was good. It also seemed to be quieter (thicker walls?) than some hotels I've stayed in. Or perhaps the 34C heat had sapped everyone's energy and they all went to bed early!

What makes this hotel - in my experience - more than acceptable was the unfailing charm and helpfulness of every staff member I encountered. Being jet-lagged I was always in breakfast prompt at 6:30 (!) and everything was ready (some hotels are still bringing the food out 30 minutes after they've 'opened') and the quality and choice was fine. I can't comment on lunch or dinner.

For my (business) purposes the location was ideal and I would expect that being very central to The Mall and thus the attractions would count for a lot for tourist stays. If you don't wish to walk, then of course the Metro station is directly underneath the hotel (but not obviously signed from the lobby area). I'd agree though that the shopping 'mall' (bit of an exaggeration) consists of a McDonald's, an Au Bon Pain and a few very tired, early-closing other shops which generally wouldn't excite most tourists. If you really need 'real' shops or alternative eating places, there are plenty of other destinations easily reachable via the Metro.

So, as the review title says, good outweighs the bad. If I have to visit the same work location again in DC, I wouldn't hesitate the choose this hotel.

  • Liked — Location and charming staff
  • Disliked — Non-working elevators
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Danbury, CT
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2007

The hotel's in a great location for taking in the scenes and sights of DC. I stayed for one nite on business and experienced NO noise or other related problems. The staff were FANTASTIC, from the doormen to the front desk to the restaurants...all very professional and courteous. The food at the restaurants was pretty good(had breakfast as well as a snack at the Foggy Bottom). The lobby area is well kept and I felt completely safe and comfortable. Unfortunately, the guest rooms are in sore need of updating. The shower had mold and needed caulking. The ceiling looked 'cruddy' with mildew and stains. The shower head was straight out of 1960's. While I love antiques, those fixtures were just plain OLD. The TV stand/bureau was excessively scratched up and I placed towels in the drawers because they weren't properly cleaned. The hotel needs to be updated, incluing adding mp3 players like most other so-called upscale hotels. It's definitely fine for a few nites.

  • Liked — Staff
  • Disliked — Rooms
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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11 reviews 11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2007

I'd agree with much of what has been written. Excellent location with easy access to the mall / monuments. I'd recommend using the Metro (stop in building) with kids which will get you to the site without expending too much energy. We had 3 kids ages 8, 5, and 2 and they all had a great time. There are no good restaurants close to the hotel so you should plan on eating in other neighborhoods but again Metro use makes this very easy. Cabs become expensive quickly.
One problem was that they were doing noisey construction right outside our windows during the entire stay. The hotel never mentioned this to us a the time of booking and said they had no control over it (woke up kids during naps, etc..). The hotel breakfast is a nice buffet ($13 for adults, half for kids). There is also a coffee cart with donuts in the lobby.
Overall, we used it for our first family trip to DC with young kids. It allowed easy access to the sites. Pool was great for hot afternoons. I would recommend it for similar situations and goals.

  • Liked — Location and Pool
  • Disliked — Not close to restaurants ... construction.
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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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Additional Information about L'Enfant Plaza Hotel

Address: 480 L'Enfant Plaza, Washington DC, DC 20024
Location: United States > District of Columbia > Washington DC
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #109 of 133 Hotels in Washington DC
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — L'Enfant Plaza Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 370
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A homey and comfortable hotel within walking distance of major attractions. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel l Enfant Plaza
Lenfant Plaza Hotel
l Enfant Plaza Hotel

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