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“Comfortable upmarket hotel” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Hay-Adams

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The Hay-Adams
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   16th & H Sts. NW, One Lafayette Square, Washington DC, DC 20006 (National Mall)   |  
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Ranked #3 of 130 Hotels in Washington DC
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Comfortable upmarket hotel”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2012

spent one night here - everything went well, staff are friendly, hotel and room was clean and nicely furnished, quiet with no view

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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631 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
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English first
Encinitas, California
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2012

I have been fortunate to stay in many nice hotels, but (by far) this was the best. Flor Blanca in Costa Rica is probably tied...but for different reasons, mainly the location and uniqueness. Which are the two qualities that set the Hay Adams apart...it's just that the Hay Adams doesn't have an empty, crescent shaped...right out of a post card...5 mile long beach in front. If you're ever in Costa Rica, Flor Blanca is a must...but I digress...

In my 3 months in DC, I stayed here for the weekend and the Willard a couple weekends after that. I like trying out hotels and considered the Ritz or Four Seasons...but I wanted the real DC experience.

I'm not your average traveler and certainly didn't dress up to DC standards. I arrived in my traditional gym shorts, t-shirt and running shoes (sorry to all you formal DC-ers!) Yet, they treated me the same way as the other guests in suits...I was 20 at the time, but I look like I'm 15. Yes, they did ask for my ID to make sure I'm old enough to stay there...which always gets to me, but they can't do anything about that. Even so, they didn't look down at me and were polite about it and I told them that I get that all the time...regardless of where I am...and we laughed. The service was the same all throughout my stay.

The lobby is something else. The Fairmont in SF? Impressive and beautiful...and a real throwback to classic San Francisco. The Willard? Similar and very impressive...but a lot of tourists. It is easy to do an impressive lobby, but it is hard to replicate the "vibe" (to borrow a California word) one gets at the Hay Adams. Intimate, quiet and discreet...yet beautiful and totally DC.

The food, from breakfast to lunch to dinner was exquisite. As is the location....across from the White House? Does it get any better in DC? Sadly, the weather was awful...so I couldn't run around outside.

I asked for an early check-in and they said they would try to make sure it could happen. What happened next was unbelievable. I arrived early and was told my room wasn't available. But they did say that that a "room" was available and took me to a stunning suite (ST. JOHN’S CHURCH VIEW HOTEL SUITE) overlooking the church with a living room, bedroom and bathroom that was truly above and beyond. The bed was out of this world in terms of comfort and the furnishings were fantastic...as one should expect from a hotel room that is $1,300+/night (yet, I was charged at a much lower rate). I have yet to witness a more beautiful bathroom in a hotel...the shower looked beautiful, but the bathtub was too inviting so I used that the entire time. The living room part was fantastic as well, spacious and lovely. Very comfortable and beautiful.

I decided to order their room service and again, it was extraordinary. They even toasted my bread in the room for breakfast...it is this level of service that sets this hotel apart. The guy that brought up my meals couldn't be nicer and we had a nice, five to ten minute chat about him...what I was doing in DC...etc. What really irks me about high-end hotels are the people, who can be snotty/rude/condescending towards the staff and I try to go out of my way to be nice and polite to them. Just because one can stay in the Hay Adams doesn't make that person any better than those that clean it.

I feel compelled to write this review as it was such a beautiful experience...and the service really sets it apart.

If you are looking for a truly world-class, extraordinary experience...go for the Hay Adams. The Willard is nice and I was impressed...but the Hay Adams is one (or four) steps above.

The things I would improve:

1) The exercise room is small...but I was the only one using it and it was well appointed and I can't fault the equipment...just if there is a lot of people wanting to use it, it would be cramped.

2) I know this is a stretch...but the TV in the living room could have been a bigger TV. But even still, this is a stretch in terms of "criticism." And maybe a TV in the bathroom.

3) No pool. I wouldn't have used it anyway, but I guess it would be nice for a family or those that like doing laps.

Other than that?

Flawless...and then some.

A must in DC!

Room Tip: Suites with a view...you might as well splurge and get the full experience!
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  • Stayed February 2011, traveled solo
    • 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.
London
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2012

A truly luxurious hotel which oozes with character and sublime staff.

Room Tip: Always book a room that over looks the whitehouse worth the extra
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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.
Florida
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2012

I stayed this past weekend (Jan 15, 2012) at this landmark hotel, and was terribly disappointed. I booked their base rate room online (superior) and upon arrival, the room was facing a building in an alley. The room was nice, so I did not think much of it, as we were only there one night. Then in the morning, the dumpster trucks were out in full force. There are numerous dumpsters in the alley, and the noise was terrible first thing in the morning. Upon checkout, I politely asked if the hotel was booked, and was told no, not at all. I suggested that they not use that side of the hotel, unless they have to when the hotel is full. The front desk clerk replied that there are different levels of rooms, and she will note in my file that next time I reserve, they will try to sell me a more expensive room. Not the type of service or reply you would expect. High end hotels like the Ritz even put you in a decent location (not asking for a larger room) when the hotel is not near full, and they have it available. Very disappointing and would not recommend based on this!!!! For $300 per night before tax, you can do better!

Room Tip: Unless you are booking a top category room, don't bother staying here. NOT worth it.....choose...
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2012

I had a quick overnight trip in DC and every detail was perfect at the Hay-Adams. The location was ideal and the service impeccable. From the moment we checked in everyone from the concierge, to the bellhop, to room service was friendly, helpful and went out of their way to be accommodating. The room had fresh fruit and Fiji water upon our arrival and the turn down service at night had Molten Brown eye cream, slippers, chocolate and quiet music playing. We ordered room service which arrived faster than the time they quoted and the food was all fresh and delicious. Breakfast the next morning was equally fantastic from quick service to a fabulous fruit parfait and egg white omelet. Overall a true gem!

Room Tip: If you choose a room with a view of St. John's church or the White House they have amazing views...
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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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Los Angeles
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
37 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
116 helpful votes 116 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2012

My mom and I stayed 2 nights here while visiting Washington DC. We had a room with double beds and a small, French balcony that looked directly over to the White House. Truly a gorgeous view!!! The room and bathroom weren't huge, but were very comfortable. The decor is clean and classic with a comfy bed, nice linens, and large closets.

The staff here are extremely professional and treat guests like they should in a 5 star hotel. Our hot water went out and the staff was quick to fix the situation. They gave us the choice of switching rooms or just letting me shower in another room to avoid missing a dinner reservation (the repair in our room was going to take at least 30 minutes).

We ate at the hotel restaurant for breakfast which was good, but not my favorite and extremely pricey ($70 for two people). We felt a bit out of place dining there in regular clothes since most of the patrons were in suits and clearly conducting business. We ate dinner and had drinks in the downstairs bar area (you can get the formal restaurant menu served down there as well). You must stop in...even if it's just for dessert or a cocktail. It is classy, RED, warm, and inviting. We just loved it there. The people watching and ease-dropping weren't too bad either!!!

The location is great....the Metro station is just up the street and there is plenty to walk to nearby (we checked out a great little tea house about 1/2 block down the street and a tasty coffee shop 2-3 blocks away). The gym area is small, but workable. I wished the hotel had a spa....it would have been a nice way to relax. It definitely caters to a bit of an older crowd (I'm 32 and felt a bit too young there) in terms of style and decor and I'm not sure it's the best place to bring kids to (though I did see a couple of families there), but it truly is a 5 star hotel with great service and lovely views.

Room Tip: Call to book a White House view. It's worth the extra $$$.
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2012

I've stayed in the Jefferson, Mandarin Oriental, the Monaco and many other DC hotels. The Hay Adams has one thing the other's don't--a view of the White House in winter that is so majestic you may wonder if it's real. You will, however, pay for the privilege of looking at it. Our suite was was a junior suite, which means one fairly large room, and it was in the $800 range. The suite has a magnificent coffered ceiling with Romanesque and Baroque carvings painted ivory. Clearly it has been there for a long time, maintained impeccably. The fireplace is not working but it's carvings too are exquisite. The bathroom is not the top of the line you'll find at the newly remodeled Jefferson, but this is a historic hotel whose management has obviously decided to err on the side of preservation. That said, the bathroom while small is meticulously appointed. Onto the bed. It's sumptuous. The linens are so radically comfortable it's hard to rise out of it in the morning.
A few thoughts on room service. The breakfast is far above the usual in quality, and the kitchen and wait staff are the most accommodating I've encountered. The dinner menu could use some sprucing up -- not as many choices as I would have liked, but what did arrive was excellent.
Yes, there's a little bit of noise from other rooms, and the various protesters in Lafayette Park, but nothing unendurable. Yes, they lack a gift shop, but who really buys anything in them anyway? The lobby is staid, never lively, but there's a stateliness to the entrance that's unforgettable.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
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Additional Information about The Hay-Adams

Address: 16th & H Sts. NW, One Lafayette Square, Washington DC, DC 20006
Phone Number:
Location: United States > District of Columbia > Washington DC > National Mall
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Romantic Hotel in Washington DC
#3 Luxury Hotel in Washington DC
#4 Family Hotel in Washington DC
#13 Business Hotel in Washington DC
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Hay-Adams 5*
Number of rooms: 145
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to Washington's landmark residence of choice for visitors to our nation's capital. The Hay-Adams, a luxury boutique hotel, is as close as you can get to staying at the White House without a personal invitation from the President. Originally designed in the 1920s as a residential hotel, The Hay-Adams carefully emulates the ambiance of a distinguished private mansion on Lafayette Square. The 145-room boutique hotel in Washington, DC features 21 luxury suites with stunning views of Lafayette Park and the White House. All of our guest rooms exhibit the perfect combination of heritage, luxury, contemporary comfort and technology. Ideally situated in Lafayette Square and steps away from many of Washington D.C.'s famous attractions, The Hay-Adams is the premier destination for leisure and business travelers alike. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Hay-Adams Hotel Washington Dc
Hay Adams Washington Dc

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