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“Grand Hotel spoiled by awful room” 3 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 #12 of 130 Hotels in Washington DC
Red Bank, New Jersey
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Grand Hotel spoiled by awful room”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2013

Grand hotel with great location.
Bellman ignored me coming in and front desk clerk was very disinterested
I was on a business trip only staying one night but was given room 206. I overlooked the bottom of the portico and the pigeon netting when i looked out the window.
was not up to a move but realized my mistake when the bellman carts started rolling people to cars at 4:30 in morning. really hard to believe a great old hotel like this would rent a room like this and I am an Intercontinental member. Very disappointing.
Will have to try again and demand a real room.
Stay off the second floor

Room Tip: Room 206 and 208 are right over front door and adjacent to spa and meeting rooms avoid the second...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
IHGCare, Guest Relations Manager at Willard InterContinental Washington, responded to this review, March 5, 2013
Dear bigjac15,

Thank you for taking the time to express your thoughts and concerns. I am so glad you liked the fine location of our hotel. I would like to apologize you were not satisfied with the room accommodations you received and the service you encountered did not live up to your expectations. We are hospitality professionals who pride ourselves on delivering world class service. For that reason, the comments are troubling and will certainly be looked into.

Sincerely,

Anthony M
Case Manager
IHGCare
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,306 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
    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 (237)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
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English first
Houston, Texas
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2013

Why are you traveling to D.C.? If you just want to get in and get out, and you like taking taxis everywhere, and you're passionate about mid-80's beige-box architecture, then by all means- find a chain hotel at the airport. But if you are going to D.C. to walk where our nation's founders walked, to really see and experience this place where so much history has happened and to make a lot of memories, you owe it to yourself to stay at The Willard.

The Willard is old. How old? Every president since Pierce has stayed there (see Wikipedia). There are lithographs of Teddy Roosevelt drinking cocktails in the lobby and bragging about hunting. A main hallway in the hotel is called "Peacock Alley", after the ladies who would sashay through the building in the 19th century in their fancy gowns. To stay here is to stay in your very own museum of DC history (and the building itself actually does have its own museum- stop by, there are lots of interesting things to see!). Since falling on hard times and closing in the late 60's it has been lovingly and accurately restored to its original Lincoln-era glory. Breathtaking!

As for the crisis referred to in the headline: I was traveling with two friends of mine, a couple who happens to be expecting. Upon returning to our room one night (a very well-appointed Executive Suite with a view of the Washington Monument and the Treasury) we discovered that the master bedroom smelled strongly of cigar smoke. This is not good for pregnant people. One phone call and about 10 minutes later, we had been upgraded to the Calvin Coolidge suite- there was no hesitation there! They immediately sent up a bellhop and we swiftly relocated to our "new digs". We really appreciated the quick and conscientious response to our issue.

And, although it's not likely that you'll be staying in the Coolidge Suite (Coolidge, by the way, took his oath of office at The Willard), you should be advised that it comes with its own oval office. Seriously, just a large oval sitting room which made us all feel quite presidential. It also has a separate room for the coffee maker.

Despite all these positive words, I find myself wishing I could rate this at 4 1/2 stars, rather than the full five. The reasons are minor: though it was big and very luxurious, our upgrade suite didn't seem to be as updated as the previous one. There was only one shower, for instance (I know, "only" one shower is pushing it as far as complaints go, but it's a huge suite with multiple parties involved. A second one would be nice). We also lost our pull-out bed- because of the oval-shaped room, the couch had to be curved which ruled out using it as a bed! And I've been blown away by hotel staff before, and while there are no specific complaints about the very professional folks at The Willard, I was not blown away. I told you they were minor reasons.

But I'm going with 5 stars anyways. The history, the location, the lobby, even the hotel bar- it's all just too special and too unique to downgrade. So, 5 it is.

Cheers and Safe Travels,
Patty

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 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
    • 4 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.
Atlanta, Georgia
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2013 via mobile

From the moment we walked in until the moment we left, the charming, international staff made us feel special! Our room was lovely, the harpist in the lobby was delightful, and the barista at Cafe du Parc was adorable -- he just needs a helper! We will be back!

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2013

I booked a junior suite to celebrate my wife's birthday. I was more than caught off guard when the front desk manager upgraded us to the Oval suite. It was nothing short of breathtaking with views of the Washington Monument, Capitol and Pennsylvania Ave. As others have mentioned, the hotel is steeped in history and it is a joy to walk its hallways and corridors. The location along with the customer service is unparalleled. Beautiful hotel, top-notch service, adjacent to the White House. What more could one ask for?

  • Stayed June 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Top Contributor
98 reviews 98 reviews
36 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2013

This is a beautiful hotel with a lot of charm. Hotel location is great right in front of Pennsylvania Avenue. The lobby is magnificent. Our room had a great view of some of the features of the mall, including the top of the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial. The room was clean and comfortable. Staff was very attentive and friendly, as we were celebrating my birthday, they even left us a little gift in the room. We ordered room service for breakfast and the service was very good. Prices are steep and as such you would demand close to perfection. The room looked a bit dated, and the light fixtures were really old. You can tell the light switches are from the reopening back in 198-something! and as I said, when you pay top dollars you expect nothing but the best.

Room Tip: Any room with view to Pennsylvania Av. We were on the 9th floor.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta
Top Contributor
125 reviews 125 reviews
49 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
66 helpful votes 66 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2013

This hotel has been on my hotel bucket list, and I was supposed to stay here two years ago but ended up having chemotherapy instead. When a meeting came up at a nearby hotel, I jumped at the chance to stay here. I got a nice deal on a deluxe king room. It was in a corner and had two sets of windows a decent view. The room was quite spacious and completely quiet. I slept like a baby, as the bed was extremely comfortable. The desk clerk was very informative, and check-in was efficient. I didn't get my promised newspaper each morning, but that was no big deal. I also didn't get turndown service. maybe you have to call? The coffee maker could be replaced. It looked very old, but it made great coffee. All in all, I lover the hotel and hope to come back.

Room Tip: I think the rooms ending in 01 are corners.
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  • Stayed February 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Bethesda, Maryland
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2013 via mobile

I had the opportunity to stay at this beautiful hotel for a few nights and I had a great time. The place is just magnificent, both full of American history yet modern and contemporary. A great place, no doubt I'll come again.

Stayed February 2013, traveled on business
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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
#14 Business Hotel in Washington DC
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Willard InterContinental Washington 4.5*
Number of rooms: 335
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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