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“A nice stay at the Willard” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Willard InterContinental Washington

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Willard InterContinental Washington
4.5 of 5 Hotel   |   1401 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington DC, DC 20004 (Downtown / Chinatown)   |  
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Ranked #11 of 130 hotels in Washington DC
Cambridge, MA
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
37 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
“A nice stay at the Willard”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2012

I came to DC for business and decided to stay at the Willard for one night on my own dime before moving on to the ‘work hotel’ that was booked for me.

The first thing you notice, and continue to notice at this landmark hotel, is how well trained the staff are. Everyone, from the women behind the reception to the bartenders at Round Robin to the fantastic concierge and the housekeeping staff, were unfailingly pleasant and helpful. The accumulation of these kindnesses certainly do add up, and they make a difference in the quality of a guest’s stay.

The location is great for touring around, and the lobby itself is pretty impressive in an old-school kind of way. Not really my own taste, but it was fun to see the sort of old-fashioned sumptuousness of the place.

Booked my room directly on the Intercontinental website and chose a king room at $329. The woman at the reception granted my request for a quiet room (thank you very much, it was) but, alas, that meant I was looking directly across the street at a wall of windows of the JW Marriott hotel. Eh. Sort of a let-down on entering the room for the first time, as there was very little light coming in the windows. But the morning sunshine the next day was nice.

In the end, the room was just so-so for that price. Nothing special, really. The super comfortable bed and the white, marbelled bathroom were the highlights. I also appreciated the little coffee maker and Washington Post delivery in the morning. The sort of faded green-yellow-burgundy color scheme of the furnishings were kind of dull for my liking, and while the overall feel of the room was in keeping with a hotel of this period/style, the room still felt kind of old-fashioned and out of date. Everything in perfect repair, mind you, but still a bit on the dull side. Not a lot of outlets for electronics and had I had to charge my phone in the bathroom. Not a huge deal, but still, I was looking around under desks and night tables in a bit of disbelief.

My goal was just to see what the Willard was all about. I left the hotel glad to have had the experience of staying there and felt lifted by the kindness of the entire staff. My experience at check-out was the best, actually... The entire process took about 1.5 minutes, and the lovely woman behind the reception came around from the desk, asked if she could carry my bags, opened open the front doors, hailed a cab, held the car door, and greeted me goodbye by name. Remarkable, really.

Would I stay there again at that rate? Probably not, only because I'd stay in Dupont and because my curiosity has been satisfied. But I imagine there are much nicer rooms than the one I stayed in and that you could have a really lovely experience in a room at a higher price point.

Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
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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
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (218)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Vero Beach, Florida
Top Contributor
114 reviews 114 reviews
53 hotel reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
122 helpful votes 122 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2012

One of the great historic hotels in the USA and one not to be missed.
The lobby amd neeting rooms were absolutely beautiful. My room was large and very nicely done. Very comfortable, too.
The entire staff was excellent and right on the money with recommendations and help.
Any trip to Washington should include at least one night at this historic and charming hotel. Right across the street from the treasury building and around the corner from the Whitehouse.
A real gem!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Woodbridge, VA
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2012

I decided to treat myself to an election night stay at the historic Willard Intercontinental Hotel in Washington, DC for election night after years of wandering the lobby and Peacock Alley (named that by Mark Twain due to the ladies of that era walking up and down the beautiful hallway showing off their new jewels and dresses) and some time in the Round Robin Bar (yes it is actually round - where the Mint Julep was first served). My Brother had spent election night there four years ago on a business trip from California and said that it was an amazing night to be there - groups of democrats and republicans everywhere. I arrived and the valet was very nice in greeting and welcoming me - the wonderful luggage valet assured me that he would take care of getting my luggage (one suitcase and extra bag) up to my room as soon as possible. Walking through the doors for the first time as an actual staying guest was a feeling I will never forget! The lobby of the Willard is something to see - high ceilings covered in gold and the seals of all the states - I keep losing track of the location of the California seal. And in keeping with the tradition the center table floral display was once again breath taking - all in red white and blue of course in honor of the day! I stepped up to the front desk and a wonderful gentleman named Ali welcomed and checked me in for the night. I requested a change in rooms from one overlooking the inner courtyard to one with a street view. I was given a room on the 11th floor and it was wonderful! The whole time I kept mentally pinching myself that I was actually staying at the hotel I had dreamed of staying at for years! I wandered down to the Round Robin Bar - and not amazingly found it stuffed with people - the election day decor was fun yet not overly done. Signs for both candidates were here and there - on the entryway nook table there were larger than usual drink coasters with each candidates name done in blue or red... I took a seat in the entry way and later was able to move into the actual bar - great corner table with a view of the tv screen and the rest of the room. The place was such a feast of people watching! I broke out my Obama playing cards and started my traditional election night games of solitaire chatting with the folks at the table next to me. Dining on the yummy spinach and artichoke dip was the first food I had had all day!! When the final results came through the couple I had been talking with and I decided to join the crowds headed for the White House! Horns blowing people cheering - just as my Brother had heard from his room high above on election night four years ago! Upon returning to the hotel I returned to my room and raided the honor bar to celebrate the victory. And yes I could hear the horns and cheering from my room on the 11th floor. Checking out was a breeze and I do hope that someday I can once again call The Willard a temporary home away from home. Thank you to everyone I encountered there - you are all wonderful and welcoming and you made this very important evening for me even more so!

Room Tip: if you are planning an election night visit to The Willard - get there early for a good seat in The...
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  • Stayed November 2012, 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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ST louis
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

The staff was outstanding and helpful. The room was large, bed comfortable and pillows to our likeing. I would have given it 5 stars but had to pay for Wifi. The hotel has High Tea on the weekends and it's absolutley delifghtful. Food was good for breakfast that;s the only other meal had there.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gold Coast
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

The Willard is a dream hotel in a perfect position! It is literally across the street from the White House. It is an historic Beaux-Arts building with a magnificent interior. Its location on Pensilvania Avenue makes it ideal for organising your sightseeing in every direction.
It is expensive but by booking on line at certain times of the year you can achieve much better rates.
However, a stay there is extremely convenient and the luxury and service are memorable!
Would not stay anywhere else!

Room Tip: Higher rooms are quieter
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2012 via mobile

I spent four nights in a junior suite at The Willard and almost everything about the stay was perfect. Spacious bedroom and nice separate living area with sofa, chairs, desk and its own TV. The housekeeping was first class - I could not find fault with any aspect of the morning or evening service. Breakfast - we had the buffet each morning - was great and fantastic value. Only minor downsides were a slow check in (despite arriving at 5pm) but we were given a complimentary drink whilst waiting, and the fact the wifi is not free. These are minor niggles in the context of an excellent stay.

Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2012

Only negative was paying for Wifi , other than that perfect. Lovely big room, very clean, very efficient and friendly staff, brilliant location. I would recommend to anyone. Will miss staying at The Willard but hopefully go back again one day.

Room Tip: Can't imagine there being a bad room at this hotel
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
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Additional Information about Willard InterContinental Washington

Address: 1401 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington DC, DC 20004
Phone Number:
Location: United States > District of Columbia > Washington DC > Downtown / Chinatown , Penn Quarter
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 Family Hotel in Washington DC
#9 Luxury Hotel in Washington DC
#11 Romantic Hotel in Washington DC
#11 Business Hotel in Washington DC
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Willard InterContinental Washington 4.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Since 1850, the name Willard has epitomised the grand hotel concept in the nation s capital. Today, Willard InterContinental Washington continues the tradition in landmark style. Located just two blocks from the White House and the National Mall, the hotel is convenient to government and business offices, shopping and many must-see sights. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Willard Intercontinental Washington Hotel Washington Dc
Intercontinental Washington Dc
Intercontinental Hotel Washington Dc

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