Not quite a year ago, we stayed at the Madison Hotel just before it was acquired by the Loews chain. We had loved our stay and reviewed it here. Two weeks ago, we returned for a long (four-night) weekend. Once again, this hotel merits our rave review.
I’ll boil down our reasons to four things: Service, ambiance, value and location.
Every member of the staff that we encountered was friendly and helpful. They looked you in the eye and spoke in a cheerful voice. They asked if there was anything else they could do for you. From the doormen to the front desk to the service staff on the floor (which coffee did we like and did we want additional packets?) The concierge was especially solicitous with good restaurant recommendations and she was able to make reservations that we would not have gotten. When we checked in (after midnight) just after unpacking, I sat on my side of the bed and it sank so far it almost folded!! The other side of the bed was solid but my side was obviously broken. We called downstairs and the bellman was right back up with another room key. Unfortunately, the alternate room was opposite the elevator which I never take. The bellman expressed no impatience. He just called down to get us yet another room and, when it turned out there were no other rooms of the same kind available, we were given a corner room, much larger and higher priced but they charged the lower room rate we had booked. We were not made to feel we had imposed. Indeed, the opposite. The next morning we related our story to the concierge not by way of complaint but to relate how well the issue had been handled. When we returned to our room that afternoon, we found a bottled of chilled champagne and chocolate strawberries with a lovely apologetic note from the concierge. In my memory, no other hotel ever has made us feel actually welcomed and treated as individuals.
This hotel is not one of the larger hotels. The lobby is not an expansive, glitzy, soaring atrium. It is refreshingly warm and somewhat European in feeling with softer lighting that suggests a living room rather than a train station. There is a piano bar at one end and tables for a meal. The rooms are decorated in federal style wallpaper and the furnishings are solid. The bathrooms, however, were fully modern.
There is no point to quote my exact room rate because, as we know, room rates vary for the same room based on the particular date and how far in advance one books the room. When we decided to spend a long weekend in Washington, I went to online sites that compare hotels and promise low rates. But my experience again and again is that one does better by calling the hotel directly and asking if there are promotions. Sure enough, the Madison reservations office gave the same low rate offered online but for a better room. I would have been pleased with the rate that we paid if we had been booking a hotel on the outskirts of the city through one of the larger national chains so I was delighted to get that kind of rate for a better room in a prime downtown hotel. It may be a small point but, basic WiFi was free (adequate for email and web surfing but there is a charge for a higher level of WiFi that allows for streaming movies). On the other hand, valet parking was $50 per day but unlimited in and out access to your car.
Although not close to a Metro station, the Madison is in the center of downtown (a few blocks north of the White House) and walking distance to the Penn Quarter neighborhood where many finer restaurants are located. There is a 24 hour CVS a block from the hotel. The National Geographic Museum is also just a block away.
Often, the hotel is the place to leave your bags and return to at the end of the day. Staying at the Madison was PART OF the Washington DC experience. It is an elegant yet comfortable home for the duration of the trip.
Did I mention that I enthusiastically recommend this well-run property?
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Become a part of history when you stay at Loews Madison Hotel. Located in the heart of downtown Washington D.C., Our hotel has been honored to host distinguished guests including Elizabeth Taylor and John F. Kennedy. Our unmatched dedication to service has made us the first choice for political and social leaders, global travelers and families seeking the cultural legacy of our nation's capital. Only a short stroll from the White House, Embassy Row, and National Mall Monuments, Loews Madison Hotel is a refreshing destination for corporate stays, relaxing getaways and unforgettable gatherings. Appointed with sophisticated furnishings, our Washington, D.C. Luxury hotel features a collection of rooms and suites with amenities fit for a president. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Madison Hotel Washington Dc
- Madison Washington Dc
- Madison Hotel Washington Dc