I was in DC for the annual meeting of the American Academy of Otolaryngology this past weekend, and just left the Donovan House yesterday. Due to the conference, I didn’t spend too much time at the hotel, but did get to use all of their facilities and wanted to share my feedback. As other reviewers have mentioned, their restaurant, Zentan was great; arguably the best sushi I’ve ever had! The rooftop pool and bar are also nice, giving you a nice little oasis overlooking the chaos down on the city streets. My colleagues and I were pretty unanimous, however, that it looks much bigger on the hotel website than in person. And it was empty every time we were there (every night) despite the beautiful weather outdoors…kind of strange. But they do have an amazing wine hour reception in the lobby which was a nice way to unwind and mingle with other guests you otherwise probably wouldn’t talk to.
The rooms are about the size of your average hotel room, although some of my colleagues that frequently stay at Kimpton’s say the rooms are smaller than at the other properties they’ve stayed at. The room was cleaned well enough, but housekeeping forgot to replenish towels and basic toiletries almost daily (seems to be a recurring problem based off what I heard from others at the hotel). Besides that, the only negative thing I can say is that external light creeps in over the top of the shades in the room, so the room is never 100% dark, no matter what time it is (heard the rooms facing the interior don't have this problem, however.) And the Internet is SLOW!
As for the staff, the only person I ever really saw and had contact with was Darryl at the Front Desk. He was clearly sick and congested with a cold, but carried through and assisted me and my colleagues with our millions of questions (and gave genuine answers) which we appreciated. There were several times that there was a line and he was the only person both checking people in and answering the phone, even though you could see several people sitting and joking around in the little office behind the desk. The Concierge Desk is hidden next to the Front Desk, but you can probably save yourself the trouble looking for it as he was never there (Darryl assured me that there actually is a concierge, he was just off. It’s kind of strange that they don’t have a concierge on duty 7 days a week for a hotel located in the heart of the American capital!) Another strange thing I saw was one of the other guys working at the Front Desk actually talking on his cell phone at the desk, and when he saw me, he walked away and carried on his personal conservation over at the Concierge Desk! And from what I heard, it was definitely not work related; very unprofessional!
However, overall, I would give the Donovan House another try and recommend it to others. It was a nice hotel, has nice rooms, and a great restaurant. If the management could just improve those areas that I pointed out (practical shades, proper housekeeping, full staff, etc.) I think this would really be close to a five-star boutique establishment.
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- Also Known As:
- Donovan Hotel a Thompson
- Donovan House Washington Dc