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“My new favorite in DC” 5 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 #10 of 133 Hotels in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Top Contributor
77 reviews 77 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
“My new favorite in DC”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2013

I stayed at the Willard for 5 nights while attending a meeting in the JW Marriott across the street. Compared to the rather characterless Marriott, the Willard boasted great charm and a sense of history. The public areas are meticulously maintained. My room was generously sized with a nice work area (Deluxe King). Bedding was some of the best I have encountered in any hotel. Room service was prompt (they arrived before their own estimate) and well prepared. The only small minor issue is traffic noise (my room faced 14th Street and the Marriott), which starts early in the morning. Although I was not inconvenienced, late sleepers may want a room facing inward rather than the street.

  • Stayed August 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,534 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 (288)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Czech first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
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English first
Lynchburg, Virginia
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2013

In spite of some problems--we asked to be placed away from the elevators and were in a nest of them!--the advantages of this hotel are so wonderful that it has to be rated excellent. The location is within an easy walk of the Mall and restaurants, not to mention the White House. The service is super: fast and friendly.

We were upgraded to a large suite on the 11th floor, offering views of the Capitol, the Washington Monument, the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials.

But it is also smaller things that cause me to think so highly of the Willard: The bathroom, while not completely updated, was perfect. The shower was easy to control and not slippery; the hot water was plentiful whenever we needed it. And the room-service breakfasts were on time and delicious. The scrambled eggs, so easy to get wrong, were hot and moist. The fruit--melons and berries--tasted market fresh.

And about those elevators: After around 10 pm, until 8 or 8:30 am, we never heard anything. And when we happened to be in the suite during the day, we heard very little.

The history of the hotel is impressive. Stroll around and visit the history gallery. But Dickens was there in 1842, not 1824! This hotel isn't perfect, but it is terrific.

Room Tip: Ask to see your room or suite first; ask about possible noise problems--like elevators.
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  • Stayed August 2013, 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
    • 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.
1401HotelManager, General Manager at Willard InterContinental Washington, responded to this review, August 16, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to write such a positive review. We are very fortunate to be placed in such a prime location. I trust that the views of the Capitol, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial and Jefferson Memorial made up for any elevator noise that you may have encountered. I am happy that we were able to start your day off just right with a hearty breakfast. Our fruit is market fresh as we take advantage of local sourcing. Thank you for pointing out the typo in the History Gallery. We are in the process of updating the gallery and will be sure to have that changed. Thank you once again and we look forward to welcoming you back to the Willard on your next visit to Washington, D.C.

Sincerely,

Patrick Birchall
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leonardtown, Maryland
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2013

A special thanks to Michael at the front desk when we checked in on Friday evening, August 9. My husband took me to DC for my birthday and in honor of the special occasion, we were upgraded to a suite. The room was so magnificent that it made it hard to leave for the concert at The Hamilton next door. The bathroom had a soaking tub with a circular window that looked directly out on the Washington Monument, as if the building was built around that view. The special touch amenities were noticed too -- slippers tucked inside the guest robe, loofah sponges, Scope mouth wash. The service was impeccable, from the front desk, bell hop and concierge. The location for this hotel is also just a short walk to the Smithsonian museums and the south lawn of the White House is literally next door. We even got to Marine One come in for a landing! Thanks for a top notch experience Willard!

  • Stayed August 2013, 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
    • 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.
1401HotelManager, General Manager at Willard InterContinental Washington, responded to this review, August 16, 2013
Thank you for choosing to stay with us on this special occasion! It sounds like you were upgraded to the Jenny Lind (named after the popular Swedish opera star) which is our most intimate and private suite; I would've had a hard time leaving as well! On behalf of the entire staff of the Willard InterContinental, we are delighted that your expectations were fulfilled by so many areas of the hotel and that we were able to contribute to you creating memories. I doubt the concierge team organized the landing yet they have been known to create magical moments. We hope to have you back in the near future. Most sincerely and on my behalf I wish you a belated happy birthday.

Patrick Birchall
General Manager
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San Felipe, Mexico
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2013

I found a wonderful rate for the Willard and was able to spend two days there with my grandchildren and daughters. It is such a beautiful property, rich in history and located in the heart of DC within walking distance to the White House, Smithsonian, and National Mall. Each staff member we met was welcoming and informative. We will be back!

Room Tip: We were on the 9th floor so the street noise did not affect us.
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  • Stayed August 2013, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1401HotelManager, General Manager at Willard InterContinental Washington, responded to this review, August 16, 2013
Thank you for your fantastic review and for recommending the Willard as your choice of hotel while visiting the Washington, D.C. area. Sounds like quite the family get together. I hope you felt spoiled like I imagine you spoiled your grandchildren :-) We are very fortunate to work in such a beautiful hotel. The staff is our main asset here at the Willard and we are thankful that you enjoyed their service.

Sincerely,

Patrick Birchall
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Top Contributor
151 reviews 151 reviews
136 hotel reviews
Reviews in 82 cities Reviews in 82 cities
119 helpful votes 119 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2013

Needed to attend a meeting at the Mandarin-Oriental, but the hotel was booked so I chose to stay here instead. It really is in a great location but I was disappointed with the hotel itself. The room smelled terribly of mold and I asked to be moved, which I was. My other room was much nicer but was just lacking. There were gouges in the wall and bathroom door...stains and scratches. The light bulb in one of my bedside lamps was out and when I mentioned it to them, they thanked me but it was never replaced! Housekeeping also did not replenish my empty toiletries (shampoo, body wash, etc.) which is something that I can at least expect from the Best Western.

Additionally, their restaurant was closed and when I asked at the bar, they said that there were no other food options in the hotel except for room service. Just a strange thing not to mention at check-in. I walked around for 20 minutes trying to find their restaurant and lounge, which were both closed! I called down and asked that a car be arranged for me at a certain time, but when I got down to the lobby no car was ready and no one had any idea what I was talking about. Disappointing.

Overall, I checked out wondering why I had spent such a great deal of money at a property that does not deliver much value. I feel that I could have stayed directly next door at the JW Marriott, used my points for a stay, and been perfectly happy. I have stayed at the Hilton nearby and been very happy there also. I would not return to The Willard.

Stayed August 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.
1401HotelManager, General Manager at Willard InterContinental Washington, responded to this review, August 15, 2013
We are obviously disappointed at the impression you have left with from the hotel. You did not receive the levels of service you deserve. I am not sure at what time of the evening you asked to have a meal as the main restaurant is open from 6:30 AM and the last seating is at 10 PM. One way or another we should have been able to accommodate your needs. I would love to discuss with you in person your experience in hopes of gaining your trust in the property. Please email me your details at patrick.birchall@ihg.com and I would be delighted to have the chance to speak with you.

Sincerely,

Patrick Birchall
General Manager
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Leesville, Louisiana
Top Contributor
82 reviews 82 reviews
39 hotel reviews
Reviews in 50 cities Reviews in 50 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2013

Before I went to Iraq in 2007, I brought my parents and sisters and nephews to this hotel for a long weekend. It was the best family vacation we have had due to the wonderful staff at the Willard, the amazing beds and Cafe du parc....last week, we gathered at the Willard for my parents 61st wedding anniversary...and it was amazing! Once again, the staff is extremely helpful and kind. Ali at the front desk out did himself with me and other guests. A gem! So was his partner at the desk, but I did not get his name. The room attendant was excellent and she tidied the room, changed towels twice a day, and generally made the room cozy. Cafe du Parc...what a lovely place to have sunday buffet breakfast, and reasonable at $25 per person. The beds are comfortable and my father wanted to stay in bed! Try the Red Door Spa...Elizabeth Arden...a fabulous staff, lovely facilities....the location cannot be beat! Try Hamilitons across the street for american food with a flair!

Room Tip: I have stayed in this hotel 4 times and all the rooms were excellent.
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  • Stayed August 2013, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1401HotelManager, General Manager at Willard InterContinental Washington, responded to this review, August 14, 2013
Thank you for your fantastic review and for recommending the Willard as your choice of hotel while visiting the Washington, D.C. area. We are very fortunate to work in such a beautiful hotel. The staff is our main asset here at the Willard and we are thankful that you enjoyed their service. I will take the liberty to share your comments with all the areas and staff that you highlight on your posting. Your comments are truly music to our ears as we strive to create memories. We are so glad you chose to stay with us again with your family. Treating your parents to their 61st wedding anniversary with us is a treat for us. We do look forward to hosting you and your beloved ones with us in the near future.

Sincerely,

Patrick Birchall
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2013

The Willard is a great historic hotel smack in the middle of D.C. You're no more than a 10 minute walk to the National Mall, Memorials, or the Smithsonian. The amenities for a 5-star hotel were a little lacking, the tv in the room was small, and breakfast wasn't the best. My are Platinum members of the Hotel Brand and were given a free upgrade and early check-in; however, although we had arrived at 10:30am we still were not in our room until 4pm. Also, were told we would be put in quiet room on the 4th floor overlooking the courtyard; but instead we were on the 2nd floor overlooking Pennsylvania Ave. However, since we only used our room for sleeping it wasn't terrible. We would stay again at this hotel the next time we are in DC.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 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.
1401HotelManager, General Manager at Willard InterContinental Washington, responded to this review, August 14, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your recent stay. We are very fortunate to be placed in such a prime location. It truly is easy to navigate around this beautiful city from the hotel, whether for the attractions or the numerous culinary offerings. I apologize that you were not impressed with the in room amenities. We feel that feedback and constructive criticism are gifts and enable us to improve. We are happy to inform you that we are upgrading our entire TV system to the best in class. We will have 47" LED's with close to 100 TV channels to choose from, as of this Fall. We will continue to work to exceed our customer’s expectations. On behalf of the entire staff thank you for having been our guest and we look forward to your return.

Sincerely,

Patrick Birchall
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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:
#2 Spa Hotel in Washington DC
#7 Family Hotel in Washington DC
#8 Luxury Hotel in Washington DC
#9 Romantic Hotel in Washington DC
#10 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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