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“Great place for a great stay in the capitol” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Madera, a Kimpton Hotel

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Madera, a Kimpton Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   1310 New Hampshire Ave. NW, Washington DC, DC 20036 (Dupont Circle)   |  
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Ranked #26 of 130 hotels in Washington DC
GreenLeadersSilver level
Minnesota
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Great place for a great stay in the capitol”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2013

I stayed here for two nights during a business trip. I was already impressed by the pre-arrival reminders and emails I received from the hotel. It's not easy to tell from the exterior that it is a hotel, because the restaurant takes up most of the realty out front. I was a little surprised and confused about the lobby because there was on a small podium for check-in and then a large table and a couch which was occupied by guests taking advantage of the free wine reception. I was checked in right away and offered a glass of wine to take with me. Room service was fast (20 minutes!) and the food was good. The location was very convenient to the metro and Dupont Circle area. Someone charged a restaurant meal to my room and when I complained at check out, they immediately removed it from my bill. I was impressed by this hotel and will probably stay there again! The only downsides include the lobby being incredibly small - I had to stand against the wall as people walked by through the door - for the wine reception. Also, the room had evidence of needing some upgrades with small bits of wallpaper peeling and gouges out of the wood vanity. The toilet/shower room could also use a larger space - it was difficult getting in and out and closing the door. Overall, I would recommend this hotel and will stay again.

Room Tip: Ask for a room facing the street - otherwise you hear the restaurant staff taking out the garbage at...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MaderaGM, General Manager at Madera, a Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, February 11, 2013
Hello getupandgofar, thank you so much for the recommendation. Yes, we are smaller than most Hotels. But like the old saying 'size doesnt matter." We feel as though our smaller size gives us an advantage to really create wonderful personal epxereicnes with our Guests. I hope you experienced this and do return soon. Thanks again, Modi Ahmed General Manager
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (128)
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London
Top Contributor
77 reviews 77 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2013

I find Kimpton to be an interesting group of hotels; although increasingly I find their brand values inconsistent.

I like the way they innovate; with options like the new eStandby Upgrade program providing a low cost way to access their premium inventory, if it is unsold. Equally the InTouch loyalty program provides benefits that make joining a no-brainer, free internet access and a $10 mini bar credit are both welcome and mean I will usually check if there is a Kimpton in any US city I visit.

This is fine, if you are only booking half a dozen US trips a year; but as I spend increasing amounts of time travelling in America, the absence of an intermediate loyalty level is a frustration and having gained such a status with a couple of other schemes, now challenges loyalty to Kimpton. Unfortunately the company don't yet have the coverage in terms of locations, offered by a major chain, so I am unlikely to be able to reach the 15 stays or 45 nights for Inner Circle status, based on their current footprint.

When it comes to their hotels whilst many venues are outstanding others, at least in terms of the actual accommodation, fall a long way short of their normal standards. Amongst the uber chic Ink 48 in Hell's kitchen and Epic in Miami as well as modern boutique venues like The Muse in New York and Hotel Palomar in DC, there are a number of locations that would politely be described as tired and needing work, to bring them up to the benchmark the group usually achieves. Hotel Monaco in San Francisco and this establishment the Hotel Madera are obvious examples.

On arrival the reception area gives an impression of being just too small and there is only space for a single guest to check in at one time. This immediately creates a claustrophobic impression and it sadly lacks the character and panache of many Kimpton lobbies. This is more like the entrance for a small serviced apartment complex, rather than a boutique hotel. The space needs something to deliver a certain, je ne sais quoi, to make it more engaging.

I took advantage of the standby upgrade to take a balcony room, given it was cold and windy December day, this was more for the additional space than the balcony itself. The main room was spacious with a large desk, occasional chair and a large couch.

In contrast the bathroom was a bizarre arrangement, with the hand basin being opposite a hanging space, outside the bathroom itself, which in turn is just too small for the bath and toilet together. The space would have been far more practical as a wet area with a shower behind a glass partition to separate the space from the WC. It is clear that a small amount of money has been spent in this area e.g. new taps for bath, shower and movement sensitive lights, but this renovation could have been better thought out.

Room service hours are very limited and certainly not in line with normal practice within the group. The Firefly restaurant is without doubt the jewel in the crown of the Madera, even if the rest of that crown could do with a polish. See my separate review on Firefly for more detail on this delightful place, which excels with both its cuisine and its libations.

It was suggested to me that a more compact room service menu is under consideration. Personally I'd consider this a retrograde step. Such a change would be OK perhaps for a 24 hour room service option but given the strength of the restaurant I think it would be a shame to limit what is available during restaurant hours.

Room service that finishes at 9:30 and that only Monday to Friday does not really fit with the brand proposition offered by most of the group.

Like so many Kimptons TV choice was via LodgeNet, although on this occasion HBO was included. I have found restrictions in the LodgeNet service an annoyance in other of their establishments although I gather these may be phased out in the near future. This would be good for their customers. If LodgeNet’s bankruptcy gives Kimpton the chance to exit this arrangement I for one would welcome it.

There were a few other small points which suggest this abode has yet to benefit from the full Kimpton touch, dated and more disconcertingly, loud, air based heating together with an unusual intercom wireless phone, that I just could not work out. Overall it is a strangely constructed building an Kimpton face obvious challenges in converting this to an hotel which is consistent with their particular style.

I had a very unfortunate incident with the mini-bar attendant, who despite my telling him I had not used anything, insisted on inspecting the equipment. Yes I had looked because I had a "Raid the mini bar" card provided as part of the groups loyalty plan, but just because you consider the options, is it right that a guest’s honesty is questioned? So much to it being an honour bar!

To be fair, on raising this with the management they were clearly appalled and moved swiftly to address the situation. Apparently this service is outsourced and the local team were clear they would ensure no repetition. In my experience, with occasional exceptions, Kimpton benefit from a quality management team who do listen to their customers and genuinely appreciate feedback.

Perhaps Hotel Madera has been recently acquired by Kimpton and has yet to have the full make over, whatever the reason I can't help thinking they should perhaps establish a junior brand to identify where the full Kimpton experience is not in place, that said for all its curiosities the hotel offers good value for money if you know what to expect.

Room Tip: Take advantage of the In Touch loyalty program and check out the eStandby upgrades
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
MaderaGM, General Manager at Madera, a Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, February 11, 2013
Dear ianx1london, Thanks for taking the time to give us feedback. We take honest comments from people like you very seriously. It pains us to hear the not-so good stuff, but it helps us learn and improve! I truly apologize that this visit did not meet your Kimpton expectations. I would love to speak to you further about this, please contact me at modi.ahmed@hotelmadera.com so we can discuss all of your comments in detail. Thank you for your patience and I look forward to speaking with your further. Sincerely, Modi Ahmed
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New Jersey
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2013

We love kimptons and have stayed at many of them. Our room was as cool and chic as any kimpton we've been to. In fact, our room is even more spacious than some others. Very comfortable for myself, husband and two teen daughters, with the two queen beds and a large sofa, desk, dresser, and two occasional chairs. Unfortunately the bath room is so tiny with just the tub and toilet that if you are sitting on the toilet the door would brush your knees to open and close. The sink is outside this water closet in a dressing area. Unfortunately this dressing area has no door and so is not private, making it difficult for my husband to dress - the bathroom with the shower/toilet is too small for that. This is awkward, as for obvious reasons he is not comfortable getting naked in front of teenage daughters! Go figure! Also if the water from the shower hits the rear wall of the shower it flows out onto the bathroom floor and floods the room as there is no rail or trip or guard that prevents this where the wall meets the tub and even with the curtain positioned correctly it does not prevent the water from flooding the room.
The other feature that is way small is the lobby. Literally - about 5 or 6 people can stand in the lobby at one time - it is like the foyer of a small apartment building. There is a single stand podium for check in and a large counter height table (looks like a farm table - beautiful) where newspapers and a water is available in a carafe with lemon. There is also seating for two people next to that table and that is it. The restaurant here is really nice with great drinks at the bar. Location on a side street near dupont circle is great. Might stay at a different Kimpton next visit to DC.

Room Tip: Ask for a room that does not face the street and with a large bathroom
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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MaderaGM, General Manager at Madera, a Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, February 11, 2013
Hello AbbyScoop, please accept my sincerest apologies. It sounds like we could have done a better job of making you and your family more comfortable during your visit. We could have provided you with a different room option or offer to move so you could have more space and be more comfortable. Very sorry about this. yes, our Lobby is cozy. But we feel it offers us the ability to provide a high level of personalized service that our Kimpton guests come to expect. Thank yo so mcuh for this feedback so we can rectify these issues in the future, Modi Ahmed General Manager
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Winchester, Virginia
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

A recent stay in Washington DC at Hotel Madera for a birthday celebration was very nice. The room (a King with Balcony) was very nice and roomy. The beds and furnishings are always very comfortable at Kimpton properties. The happy hour in the lobby is always a fun and nice touch. The lobby of this particular property is extremely small and opens onto the street. It is a smaller boutique style hotel, and maybe most people are coming from the metro stop a few blocks away. The service could have been a little more attentive, maybe they need to take a few tips from their sister property across town, Hotel Monaco. It is a great location, if you are visiting on a weekend make sure and take a walk to the Dupont Circle farmers market. You will be glad you did!

Room Tip: Try and get a balcony room, the views are much better.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MaderaGM, General Manager at Madera, a Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, February 11, 2013
Dear h0lly99, thanks so much for the review and feedback. I am sorry you found the service to be less than attentive. We truly do pride ourselves on our service, and many of the reviews here show the same. But I thank you for your patience and will review this feedback with our Team to ensure we provide you and all of our Guests with the level you come to expect from a Kimpton hotel. Thanks again, Modi Ahmed General Manager
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Seattle
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2013

The Madera is a slice of special. Located in the Dupont Circle area it is convenient to the Metro and in a wonderful neighborhood. The Madera is a small boutique hotel, with giraffe inspired bathrobes, and a subdued yet hip room decor. I stayed there in January, 2013 for five days. The bed is very comfortable and the rooms are larger than average. The lobby serves coffee in the morning and free wine in the afternoon. The connected Firefly restaurant has a great and cozy neighborhood bistro feeling. Its my go-to hotel when traveling to DC.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MaderaGM, General Manager at Madera, a Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, February 11, 2013
Hello Cory C, thanks for calling us a "slice of special!" We're blushing over here and truly appreciative. We are so excited we've become your go-to hotel in DC. We can't wait for your next visit. Thanks again, Modi Ahmed General Manager
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Lexington, Kentucky
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2013

The Kimpton's are always great places to stay. The staff treat you like family and you feel like your staying at home. Beds are always very comfy and the wine hour is always great. Since it was winter they had a hot cider mixed with bourbon that was out of this world. Also visited the hotel bar/restaurant and had a very tasty martini.

Room Tip: Accidentally rated the pool and i don't think they have one. Balcony rooms are great!
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MaderaGM, General Manager at Madera, a Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, February 11, 2013
Nuanarpuk, no you're fantastic!! Always a pleasure to have a frequent Kimpton guest stay at the Madera. We dont have a pool but we'll take the glowing review nonetheless. Thanks again and hope to see you soon, Modi Ahmed General Manager
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2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2013 via mobile

I enjoyed a stay at the Madera for four nights in August 2012. While I absolutely adore Washington DC, this hotel caused me to fall even more in love! The neighborhood is warm and just lively enough with shops, metro and wonderful ethic cuisine. It is a quick walk to downtown and a short cab ride to Georgetown. The rooms are huge, almost as though they once functioned as studio apartments. Very clean, comfortable and surprisingly quiet (and that says a lot since I was street side and next to the elevator). I ended up choosing Madera over their sister property Rouge based solely on the attached restaurant, Firefly and the extensive glutin free menu options and I was not disappointed! The restaurant and room serivce meals were simply delicious. My stay took place shortly before Firefly closed for an extensive remodel, but truthfully, I can't imagine it being any better than it already as.

Now, what sets this review as an excellent rating and not just very good is the staff! I had the pleasure of interacting with three men on a daily basis: the hotel manager (Matt, I think was his name), his assistant manager, and hotel maintenance and each and every one was a true gentleman. The service was prompt, engaging without being obnoxious, and courteous. So while the hotel, restaurant, and neighborhood were all lovely it is the staff that makes Madera a shining star!

Stayed August 2012, traveled on business
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MaderaGM, General Manager at Madera, a Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, February 11, 2013
Hello CBK678, thank you so much for writing a review of your visit! Sounds like you had a wonderful visit. The Dupont Circle neighborhood is a great place to shop and dine in wonderflu restaurants. Although, i'm partial to our Firelfy restaurant of course. I am thrilled to see the service you experienced is what gave us the 5 star review! Thats what is most important! Thanks again, Modi Ahmed General Manager
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Additional Information about Madera, a Kimpton Hotel

Also Known As:
Kimpton Washington Dc
Hotel Madera Kimpton
Address: 1310 New Hampshire Ave. NW, Washington DC, DC 20036
Phone Number:
Location: United States > District of Columbia > Washington DC > Dupont Circle , Upper Northwest
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#12 Green Hotel in Washington DC
#16 Luxury Hotel in Washington DC
#27 Business Hotel in Washington DC
#30 Romantic Hotel in Washington DC
#45 Family Hotel in Washington DC
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Madera, a Kimpton Hotel 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel Madera is an intimate, elegant boutique hotel nestled in Washington DC's historic and fashionable Dupont Circle neighborhood. Within moments of the White House, Georgetown and the city's monuments and museums, this Kimpton Hotel offers personalized service, luxurious amenities and an atmosphere of refined sophistication. The guestrooms are stylishly tranquil, and the gracious and knowledgeable staff genuinely pampers. Conveniently adjacent is the notable Firefly Bistro featuring contemporary American comfort food and a seasonal menu. ... more   less 
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