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“Wonderful hotel, if you skip the awful afternoon tea” 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
Reno, NV
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Wonderful hotel, if you skip the awful afternoon tea”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2013

Excellent experience was marred by bummer afternoon tea. Like everything at this hotel, the tea is pricey - $94 for two of us. The tea comes in a small (two cup size) pot. I finished my pot when only halfway through the food. My last cup was very bitter, and I asked for another pot of tea. I was told I could have more hot water, but would be charged extra for another pot since there were still tea leaves left. I received about one more cup of water, and 15 minutes later it was still weak and flavorless. I talked to the hostess and received a fresh pot, but with a little lecture about "usual procedures". I can see charging for more of the skimpy sandwiches or stale desserts left over from Christmas, but it's TEA...how cheap to skimp on the tea. The atmosphere was lovely, as with every part of the hotel, but save your money for something better than the Afternoon (rationed) Tea. By the way, when we mentioned this disappointment at checkout, an adjustment was made on our bill by the uniformly outstanding front desk staff. We chose this hotel for several reasons: First, because our last two Christmases were very sad and we wanted the "Christmasiest" place possible. The Willard certainly met the bill there... Lovely and lavish decorations, Santa in the lobby on Christmas Day, a completely over-the-top Christmas brunch, a stocking on the room door (with cookies, nutcracker ornament, Christmas cracker, etc. Very cute...) 6 stars for holiday cheer! Second, because of location. Couldn't ask for better - read some reviews saying this is an office area that shuts down at night, but found plenty of restaurants and bars roaring with business, walking distance to almost all the main attractions. Third, for our first visit to DC, we wanted to stay somewhere distinctive, not the same chain decor we can find everywhere else. Saw loads of folks bringing out of towners into the hotel, just for the history. We reserved a Willard Room based on tips that they are all excellent corner rooms with great views. Not so....I had envisioned a postcard view, not a courtyard view, so we were offered an Executive suite for a very reasonable additional charge per night. Wow! Corner room with views of the Washington Monument, Ellipse and Nat'l Christmas tree, Lincoln Memorial, WW II memorial, all the way to Arlington. Two rooms, two baths, lovely period reproduction furniture, classic wallpaper and classy framed local scenes on wall...absolutely the way to go if you can. (Didn't see the oval suites, but imagine they would be faint-worthy) Service by bellmen, doormen, front desk, concierge, Cafe du Parc staff, was perfect - again 6 stars. They actually seemed to want to make the guests happy. Housekeeping, not so much - very spotty and inconsistent. Some days decorative bed pillows were left on the floor where we put them, some days back on the bed. Some days toiletries were replaced, some days not. Had to beg for more coffee and tea (controlled by the Afternoon tea people perhaps???) The phones have an "Anything" button - and were always greeted by name when the phone was answered. Package including breakfast was an outstanding value - enjoyed Cafe du Parc food and service very much. Despite the minor "cons" we would definitely stay here again and recommend it to others.

Room Tip: Room 900, Executive suite, was outstanding. Quiet, roomy, comfortable and fabulous views.
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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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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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 (224)
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
  • Any
English first
Yorktown, VA
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2013 via mobile

We chose the Willard for a special occasion. Everything in the hotel is first class. The staff is attentive and prompt. The building is beautiful and in top condition. We could not ask for more and while the is not inexpensive, it's worth the price

Stayed December 2012
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Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2013 via mobile

The staff were very friendly & nothing was too much trouble. The room was large & nice but the view was of the opposite building. This hotel is very formal & the bar very expensive. So if your looking for a relaxed atmosphere this might not be the place for you. The hotel oozes with history & the Peacock Alley was very pretty, especially with the Christmas decorations. Also, Wifi is $11.00 a day. This was irritating given the price of the room. Even Motel 6 offers free wifi!! Overall it was a glamourous hotel, fab location but too formal for us. Mind you, Washington itself is a very serious city. Sounds obvious given America is run from here but having arrived after visiting southern cities like Nashville, Memphis & New Orleans the contrast was stark.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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.
Ocean View
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2013

This year our children came to our house after Christmas so we made a series of short trips to interesting places before the Holiday. Our final trip was to DC, starting the 23rd through the 25th. The nations capital is a great place during the holiday season with beautiful decorations and special events everywhere. One of our activities was the National Symphony playing the Messiah at the Kennedy Center. We found a great package at the Willard which included early check-in, late check-out, room upgrade, breakfast, and a $100 food credit. In addition, I ask for and received free WiFi. All these goodies made the Willard a big value from a cost standpoint and the hotel more than lived up to its formidable reputation. Only two blocks from the White House the location can't be beat. We received a double upgrade to a beautifully decorated Willard Room which was huge with a king bed encased in high quality bedding, flat screen TV, sitting area with couch and relaxing chair, separate office area, and bath with separate shower and tub. If the small office was converted into a kitchen I could easily live there. As expected the drinks/snack bar was overpriced; bring your own booze and snacks if you want to save big. Service was exceptional, especially the front desk and bell staff, they were knowledgeable and always pleasant. The breakfast buffet was a little smaller than some others but the quality was excellent. They would fix eggs any way you wanted but an omelet was five bucks additional. We used our food credit for dinner at the Cafe du Parc restaurant which was very good; high quality, local ingredients with attentive but not overbearing service. I had a filet which was perfectly cooked. The ambiance was not much but the food made up for it. The entrance and lobby was beautifully decorated for the holidays with a huge tree and numerous poinsettias. On Christmas morning Santa was on hand accompanied by a strings group playing Christmas carols, a very nice touch. All in all a perfect place to spend a few days during the holiday season.

Room Tip: Our room was on the 6th floor, a higher room might cut down on street noise.
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  • Stayed December 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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Virginia Beach, Virginia
Top Contributor
136 reviews 136 reviews
64 hotel reviews
Reviews in 65 cities Reviews in 65 cities
126 helpful votes 126 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2012

It is difficult overstate the quality of InterContinental hotels. In London and Washington they are fantastic. However, the history and location of the Willard makes it especially nice. We did a "Christmas walk-through" a couple of years ago and promised ourselves a special treat in the future. Our stay was just that, special. The room, 739, was spacious and comfortable. There was no view to speak of, but we did not stay for the view. The valet service is professional and supportive, entering the hotel over the Christmas holidays you are greeted by a magnificently decorated tree surrounded by gift boxes, and the desk service is quick and efficient.

On the side of slight disappointments, the Round Robin bar is too small and crowded and while we did not mind the cost for an additional persons staying with us, my step-son, the hotel should have included additional bath supplies and an extra cup in addition to the very nice roll-in bed. Considering our delight with the hotel experience that is a tiny bump in the visit.

The room, hotel, decorations, location and staff support made it a delightful and memorable stay.

  • Stayed December 2012, 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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Bridgeport, Connecticut, United States
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2012

Beautiful hotel located in a perfect area for walking downtown DC. Steps from the Smithsonian. The staff is some of the friendliest I have experienced. Rooms were big and beautiful. We stayed during the holiday season and the decorations were spectacular. Staff was professional and helpful. Rooms were very clean and concierge was great. Very historic hotel was classic DC and would highly recommend staying here.

Room Tip: The adjoining restaurant is quite good with amazing mussels.
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  • Stayed December 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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The Villages, Florida
Top Contributor
89 reviews 89 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2012 via mobile

We picked this hotel after much review on trip advisor and other sites. Our White House Tour was the first one of the day and we wanted to be close by so we had no worries about making our designated timeframe. You cannot go wrong by choosing this hotel. It is close to everything you need and is right next door to the White House. If you are looking for a very clean, comfortable and centrally located place to stay this is an excellent choice. This was our first site seeing trip to D.C. So it was important to us to do it right the first time. Yes, it is a little pricy but the true measure for us was would we return and did we feel that this was a good value overall. Yes to both. The room was nice and clean and everyone was very accommodating. A safe bet for those first time visitors.

Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
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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 Business Hotel in Washington DC
#11 Romantic 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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