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“Pretty - but look beneath” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Donovan House - A Kimpton Hotel

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Donovan House - A Kimpton Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   1155 14th Street, N.W., Washington DC, DC 20005 (Downtown / Chinatown)   |  
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Ranked #48 of 130 hotels in Washington DC
GreenLeadersSilver level
Herndon, Virginia
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
“Pretty - but look beneath”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2012

This was a quick overnight stay in DC for a late working night. We stay at other Kimpton Hotels and felt it would be worthwhile to check this one out.

Positives:
The rooftop bar and pool setting is amazing. beautiful views, playing a movie on a wall under the stars - just a great setting.
Restaurant (attached) is very good, excellent service.
Checkin was smooth.
Lobby is a bit crowded and eclectic, but is nice.
Hallways have mirrors running on them - seem bright enough.
Room was big (stayed in a suite) - was on a lower level so no view, but nicely sized and carries the them from the hallways.
Massive soaking tub (biggest I've ever seen) in the bathroom.
Room was silent. For a city hotel - this is huge. I mean no noise at all in the room.

Negatives:
Room was not Kimpton clean. Stains on carpet and walls.
Carpet was not smooth - had several "ripples" where it had been pulled around.
Walls were very bare - just mirrors/painting - seemed very "empty".
The cocoon shower is a marketing deal - nothing special about it. Very very low water pressure. Also had a lot of trouble keeping the temperature even.
Bathroom amenities were very sparse. Granted they said to call for anything that was not there, but no shower cap? Just seemed odd.
Leather wrapped platform bed was not the most comfortable. And I did not like the design, but I guess it is ok for some.
No coffee maker in room. Sure they have it in the lobby, but if you want a cup at 3am when getting up you'd have to get dressed, go to the elevator and head down there and hope they have some made. Just not logical when even Motel 6 puts a basic maker in the room.
Desk chair was very hard to move - no casters - on the shag carpeting. had to pick it up as it did not slide - and this is not a lightweight chair. Chair itself was ok for comfort.

Overall we might come back and try a different type of room. But the cleanliness and the lack of little things bothers me - especially at 250 + a night. I'd rather pay 50 bucks more and go to the Monaco, or save a hundred and cross the street to the Residence Inn. Shower was the biggest issue - they advertise the heck out of it, and the water was pathetic.

Anyway - you may not love it - but you should not hate it.

Room Tip: Get a high floor - nothing worthwhile on a low floor.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abe L, Manager at Donovan House - A Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, October 9, 2012
Hello Rob_Gillis,

Thanks so much for your detailed review.

Like I've always mentioned, I appreciate these types of reviews the most. It captures all that is positive in a stay, as well as any opportunities. You captured so much in your review, but I would be interested in hearing more. If you have a moment, please contact me at Abe.liao@donovanhousehotel.com to discuss further. I also wanted to personally apologize for the issues and will be sure to pass them along to my team.

Many Thanks Again,
Abe

Abe Liao
Assistant General Manager
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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 (176)
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English first
Alexandria, VA
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2012

I don't know how Kimpton is able to be "chic" yet warm, but they really pull it off in all of their DC properties. The interior design is just...so...cool. Lobby and rooms are squeaky clean, everything is contemporary with a twinge of retro, and it has a cool spy theme. I recommend signing up for the loyalty program - lots of perks. The staff is just amazing. They're sincere and friendly and really seem to be happy at work, as well as make you feel appreciated. I feel like I'm just shuffled through many chain hotels, but the staff is attentive and seems to care that you have an experience, not just a stay. SICK roof-top poo/bar.

Room Tip: Get a room with a view of Thomas Circle!
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  • Stayed September 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abe L, Manager at Donovan House - A Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, October 9, 2012
Hello Sara981,

I appreciate your review!

Bond...James Bond. Thanks for noticing our Story of Espionage! We are trying to bring it out and it seems like you noticed. You said so many nice things, but my favorite was our teams being sincerely friendly and genuinely caring. Not surprising however, we're Kimpton, it's what we do!

Shaken not Stirred,
Abe

Abe Liao
Assistant General Manager
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Merrick, New York
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 2, 2012

I just got back from a great stay at the Donovan House. First of all, what a fun hotel in a great location. Everyone was very attentive and check in was smooth and easy. Our car was always waiting when we came downstairs and everyone was very pleasant.

I wanted to especially mention Sam in the front office. He was extremely attentive and always made sure our every need was taken care of, as well as, providing dinner suggestions and directions. He was a pleasure to talk to.

Zentan was delicious. We ate there FRiday night and all of Sam's suggestions were right on the money! Food was incredible and they comped one of our entrees as an Inner Circle treat. That was a nice surprise! We also thoroughly enjoyed snacks from the restaurant during Happy Hour. Not every hotel does this and it was very nice to have something to eat while you are enjoying wine hour.

The hotel in all was fabulous and I look forward to returning in the future.

Just wanted to give a big shout out that they are doing it right!!!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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.
Abe L, Manager at Donovan House - A Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, November 13, 2012
Hi edandmer,

Thank you for your review.

What an awesome stay! Thank you for acknowledging Sam! He is one of our very best and truly cares about guest satisfaction, you obviously experienced this.

Cheers to Sam,
Abe

Abe Liao
Assistant General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2012

This was my first time in a Kimpton Hotel. I signed up for both loyalty programs prior to my arrival which provided free internet. I really only stayed in my room for the night since I had class the next morning so I can't speak for the amenities or the food. I came here to study, sleep and leave early on the weekend. The lobby was loud, though, with blaring upbeat trance.

Upon arrival Erica took great care of me. She put me in a junior suite facing Logan Circle on the 8th floor. It was quiet despite viewing the circle and since I was in the corner, I had two sets of windows both viewing out to the circle. The heavy blinds dimmed the lights at night.

The shower and bath were really cool, but I didn't get to use them. I had showered earlier that night. I did use the bath briefly in the morning and it was pretty cool. If you're on the heavier side those, the shower/tub may be hard for you to use as they are narrow. The toiletries smelled nice.

The bed and room layout was chique. I loved it. The bed and pillows were comfortable but the sheets were a little starchy. I slept fine and the wake up call was an actual person to my surprise. The room was in a great location as I didn't get bothered by any noise from other guests or from outside.

My only room complaint was that the rugs were stained in multiple spots, but I didn't care too much. Also, there was a spider in the bathroom but I got rid of it. Still gross.

Checkout was quick and the front desk girl was super nice, but I didn't catch her name. I used my mini bar credit and no charges were added. I got my rate from JetSetter for about half off. I'd definitely return. I'm not one to give the highest rating very often.

Room Tip: Face Logan circle and look for rooms on discount sites.
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  • Stayed September 2012, 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abe L, Manager at Donovan House - A Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, October 3, 2012
Hi jenssey,

Thank you so much for your review!

I am so glad you encountered Erica at Check-In who took great care of you. Awesome that you had such a good time

Hope you return soon,
Abe

Abe Liao
Assistant General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alexandria VA
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2012

What an incredible hotel! The outgoing and friendly staff were great, the rooftop bar and outdoor pool impeccable, the in-house sushi restaurant "Zentan" was amazing and our staycation was fantastic!!

On a Saturday afternoon, after the rain and once the skies started to clear, the rooftop pool started to get busy. I asked one of the staff if he could find additional chaise lounges, and while all the chairs were taken and nothing additional available, he offered to find additional cushions to sit on. The rooftop pool also offers a niche with colorful pillows and benches for those who prefer the shade.

Our first time trying a Kimpton Hotel, but I guarantee we will stay with the brand again. They are pet-friendly, our dog was with us the entire weekend! The food and sushi at Zentan was great, the interior design very modern. The rooms at Donovan House are ultra-modern and we loved the approach with high design and modern furniture!

Room Tip: Google the showers at the Donovan House. Ultra-modern and #7 on the list of most interesting shower...
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  • Stayed September 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abe L, Manager at Donovan House - A Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, October 3, 2012
Hi JudyTravels_12,

Thanks so much for your review!

Glad you really enjoyed the pool scene, many people do! I did take note of the comment about limited seating. We are planning to address this in the coming months in preparation for the next pool season. Hope you come back next year to check it out!

Cheers,
Abe

Abe Liao
Assistant General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Akron, Ohio, United States
Top Contributor
74 reviews 74 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2012

I love Kimptons but the Donovon House needs just a little fine tuning to give it that 4 or 5 star it definitely can be.

PROS:

- $100 hotwire rate was scored and they offered us to add on another night for only $4 more. This was a GREAT deal especially considering we got upgraded 3 room categories and ended up with a King Premiere.

- Kimpton intouch member so we scored free wifi (and it works!) and $10 on the mini bar.

- On Sunday this locations surroundings are very quiet but Monday it's a completely different world. All the cafes and shops open and it's such a different vibe. While it's not that close to stuff you can walk. We walked back from Georgetown once and Dupont Circle is a easy walk.

- Bed was comfortable as was the room overall.

- When issues arrived they were easy to solve.

- Front desk got us checked in about 3 hours early which was a major plus since we arrived around 8AM and only had to wait until 12.

CONS:

-Air conditioner did not work in our room and we had to call to have it fixed around 11PM at night. Our room felt like a sauna. Around 12AM we got moved to the next category up. While this was solved quick I would have rather been sleeping.

- Wear and tear. Carpet is coming up in spots.

- Very bad water pressure in shower

- The hotel restaurant is really expensive and while I love sushi it would seem to make more sense to have something more desirable. I don't really crave sushi at 1AM.

- Room service never came and on the day we weren't checking out they decided to talk into our room despite a do not disturb. She thought we were checking out even though we weren't.

- Asked for a late check out and they approved but front desk called to remind us of 12pm checkout and room service knocked twice asking. Communicating goes a long way.

SO, would I stay again? Yes. The hotel is very nice and if they get some of the small things fixed I think it'll be a great place to stay esp. if scoring it for $100 a night.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Abe L, Manager at Donovan House - A Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, October 3, 2012
Hello Leah N,

Thanks for your review.

I always appreciate honest feedback which includes pros and cons. Many of the physical issues you mentioned in your review are being addressed in the coming months. I personally apologize for the service lapses and will look to correct them with our department managers. Also very pleased to see that you would return for a future stay. Please let me know when so I may personally assist with planning it.

Many Thanks,
Abe

Abe Liao
Assistant General Manager
Abe.liao@donovanhousehotel.com
Report response as inappropriate
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London, UK
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
42 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2012

A gift bottle of saki in the ultra-modern and stylish room - although expensive, a great way to relax after full day of business meetings. Daily welcome drinks downstairs a very nice personal touch. Adjoining Japanese restaurant fantastic quality, highly entertaining and great atmosphere. Top floor pool would have been perfect in warmer months - was shut up for winter when I was there at end of Marh.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
Abe L, Manager at Donovan House - A Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, October 3, 2012
Hi LuckyLooch,

Thanks for your review on TripAdvisor!

Sorry you missed the Rooftop Pool. You should definitely come back and check us out next season. We are planing on upgrading a few elements of the Rooftop that should add some more to the fun!

Cheers,
Abe

Abe Liao
Assistant 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 Donovan House - A Kimpton Hotel

Address: 1155 14th Street, N.W., Washington DC, DC 20005
Phone Number:
Location: United States > District of Columbia > Washington DC > Downtown / Chinatown , Penn Quarter
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#13 Green Hotel in Washington DC
#23 Luxury Hotel in Washington DC
#40 Romantic Hotel in Washington DC
#42 Business Hotel in Washington DC
#67 Family Hotel in Washington DC
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Donovan House - A Kimpton Hotel 4*
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Also Known As:
Donovan Hotel a Thompson
Donovan House Washington Dc

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