I ended up staying in DC another night and thought I'd stay at the Lombardy. They had some great rates and a nice upgrade. I stayed in 403, a nice suite in the front of the building. I won't say what the rate was as it was a steal!
Most of the staff was very fussy; perfectly polite and professional, but lacking that personal feel. The only staff member that I liked was David at the Front Desk. He worked a double the day I checked in, and was as polite and gentle as anyone could wish. Plus, without making a big deal about it, he recognized me when I returned. He was quietly on top of things. THIS was how a weary traveler wants to be welcomed. The other lady at the front desk was intimidating and cold, AND loud. She had that stiff-four-star attitude that is more old world and less enjoyable to people that do not expect the staff to be treated as surfs. Unless you bark out orders, I don't think she would have heard you.
Loved the building. I like old. I like character. There is always a sacrifice when one would prefer history over flash, but it felt pretty good. Great colors and very easy feel. My favorite is the slatted doors to the guest rooms. No doubt this was dated back to old days when air needed to circulate in the summer. Of course the location is great - just up Penn from the White House, and the IMF building (great architecture) is almost across the street. Georgetown is also easy walking distance, and the Kennedy Center. The metro is just down the street.
Wonderful bed; nice, rich carpet, night lighting. LOTS of windows. You didn’t really have any great views, but it is nice to have some sunlight in the room when you wake in the morning.
Had room service; the crab cakes. LOTS of crab, perfectly seasoned, great dish. I had a salad too, but it wasn’t very crisp. Reasonable price and it was so nice to eat in. I had breakfast in the morning in the dining room. I had their famous French Toast and it was tasty ($14). Loved the little restaurant. Very small room, seats 36. It would be a bit tight if it was full, but pleasant I think. I would go back. I didn’t like the fact that they include the 18% gratuity on the bill in the restaurant (expected with Room Service). One likes to tip… and it is more fun to tip big when it is a gift. If they just include it, one feels a little sour. Perhaps they have a clientele that tips poorly? Not a good message really.
Negatives? Well, as I said, the staff needs to lighten up. While typical, I find $4 M&Ms to be a burden. It is sad that they try to make money on a candy bar (one feels nickeled and dimed). I don't drink, but it could be a $12 drink if you add the soft drink. Newspaper at the door was nice, but it was a waste for someone that does this online.
Also, Penn avenue is loud. Sirens a good part of the night. This is to be expected in the city, and one gets used to it. Overall, I really did like it. I would certainly return.