My husband and I spent 3 nights in DC to celebrate my 40th birthday, and we chose The Donovan based on reviews here on TA and a great "Beat The Heat" rate that we found on their website. We booked the hotel less than a week before travelling to DC and still managed to reserve an upgraded room (King Premier Room) at the special rate.
The evening before we were due to check-in, we received an email from Daysi Cruz at The Donovan asking if we had any last-minute requests or details they could arrange for us. I was working late tying up some loose ends before our vacation, and didn't read the email until 1 am...at the same time that I realized I only had 2 more hours before we had to leave for the airport to catch our flight. Since I knew I wouldn't be getting any sleep, and we would be arriving at the Donovan around 9:30 am, I replied to her email asking if there was any way for us to get an early check-in as I knew I'd be exhausted by the time we arrived. I figured it would be impossible - I know it's difficult for hotels to arrange check-ins that early when they are at or near capacity, but I figured it was worth a try.
To my surprise, I received an email back within a few minutes telling me that she would call the hotel on our behalf and let them know of my request and they would make every attempt to accomodate our request - may I remind you, this is 1:30 in the morning!! When we arrived at the Donovan at 10ish the next morning (after an awful flight and zero sleep over the past 24 hours) we were greeted by a friendly face (Kevin), who was later assisted by another smiling, bubbly representative (I think her name was Cheri - my apologies - I was half-asleep!!) who told us that our room was ready to check-in and they thanked us for sending the email and letting them know we'd be in early.
I. Was. Amazed. I was truly expecting the "We're sorry, but a room simply isn't available yet" and a long wait - but instead we were given a quick rundown, handed our keys and we were in our room within minutes.
Our room was on the 7th floor and fabulous. Immaculate, spacious and a minimalist purple, white & tan decor. Big closet with plenty of hangers (my hotel pet peeve - never enough hangers!) Giant bathroom with the spiral shower and huge tub. Flat screen tv, futuristic reading chair, full-length mirror and mood lighting on a dimmer. Great panoramic view of Thomas Circle and a well-stocked minibar.
No coffeemaker, so we called down to the front desk and they promptly sent up a Keurig - finally, a hotel that invested in Keurigs - this seems like such a no-brainer to me when it comes to in-room coffee service.
We stopped up at the rooftop pool to see it one afternoon - and it seemed like a pleasant way to relax on a hot afternoon. We were there to sight-see, so no pool time for us - but I wish we could have taken advantage of it.
We ate at Zentan one evening - great ambiance, pleasant hostess, attentive waiter and a big menu of everything from stir-fry to sushi. We ordered some edamame, a few (maybe 8) pieces of sushi, two maki rolls, two glasses of wine, a cookies & cream dessert and a dessert wine and ginger tea...the tab came to about $100 - which we thought was reasonable, all things considered. The food was good (the fish was fresh, tasty combinations but a little bland for me - but good) and the ambiance and service made it an enjoyable night.
At 7 pm, the rooftop pool area opens as a trendy night-spot bar open to the public. We never got up there (too tired from all the walking every day!), but based on the lines at the elevators after 7pm, I can tell you that it's a pretty popular spot for twenty-somethings looking for a fun night out!
The Donovan is about 3 blocks from the nearest Metro station, which will take you anywhere in the DC area that you might want to go to. There is a 24-hour CVS across the street, which is handy for everything from snacks to forgotten toiletries. A few little restaurants and a liquor store are within 2 blocks.
Overall, we enjoyed our stay at The Donovan and wouldn't hesistate to stay again, especially with a rate like the promo "Beat the Heat" that saved us quite a bit on our upgraded room. The prompt email response in the middle of the night coupled with our room being ready upon arrival made this hotel stand-out for us as an A+ in Customer Service....every single person who worked at this place was friendly and greeted you with a smile - including the maintenance/cleaning staff who we shared elevators with from time to time.
Bathroom sink was all "bowl" and a 1" ledge around it - no counter to put your toiletries - my contact case just fit on the ledge when I would remove/insert my lenses. Hotel bathrooms need counters!!
Our bed seemed small to be a King size - not sure but seemed smaller than the King I have at home.
No price list for the MIni-bar/snacks (although I'm sure they would have sent one up if we requested one - I'm guessing the previous guest may have removed it)
Overall - The Donovan was a great stay. It's young and trendy, but as a couple in our 40's, we didn't feel too out of place! I'd definitely stay again and will seek out Kimpton properties in the future. Big Kudos to the amazing employees at this hotel - your attention to great service doesn't go unnoticed and is appreciated!