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“Not the best Kimpton” 3 of 5 stars
Review of The Donovan - A Kimpton Hotel

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The Donovan - A Kimpton Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   1155 14th Street, N.W., Washington DC, DC 20005 (Upper Northwest)   |  
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Hotel amenities
Special Offer
3rd Suite Night Free!
Ranked #38 of 133 Hotels in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence 2014
GreenLeadersSilver level
San Francisco, CA
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Not the best Kimpton”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2012

I am generally a big fan of Kimpton hotels. This hotel was okay - not great, but not terrible either. Plus, there were a few glitches. Upon check-in, the front desk staff told me that my reservation had been for the day before, and I had been charged a no show fee. I had my confirmation, which proved otherwise, and fortunately there were still rooms available. But I had to check back a couple times (which took a while) to get refunded. The room was pretty small and looked slightly worn. Kimpton In Touch members get $10 free for the mini bar, but there was slim pickins there, and what was there was old. I was told they were phasing out the mini-bar and replacing it all - so I got the bottom of the barrel (so to speak). The hotel was very crowded, and the 2 elevators were very slow. The hotel has a rooftop/poolside bar, so there were lots of people waiting for elevators to get there, making it harder for guests to get to their room. Obviously this would be less of an issue in colder weather; I was there in July. When the bar opens, everyone must get out of the pool - even guests. It was a hot summer day, and I had to get out of the pool so to accommodate people paying for overpriced drinks. From the roof, I could see the large pools at other hotels, and wished I had been staying there instead of the Donovan House. The last evening, I returned to the hotel and there was an ambulance and police outside the hotel doors, and a pile of blood. A hotel staffer was wiping up the blood with a hotel towel...yikes! I hope he threw it away and didn't toss in the hotel luandry. I would not stay at this hotel again.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abe L, Manager at The Donovan - A Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, October 19, 2012
Hello SF_Sandy,

Thanks for your review.

Seems like it was a rough go at our Hotel. I wanted to apologize that the experience did not live up to your past expectations and visits to other Kimpton Hotels. Please feel free to contact me personally if you would like to discuss it further. I can be reached at Abe.liao@donovanhousehotel.com.

Hope to speak soon,
Abe

Abe Liao
Assistant General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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834 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 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 (265)
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English first
Boston, Massachusetts
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2012

Arrived early, around 10 am, and they were able to accommodate me with an early check in. Sweet! Not only that, but at the time they only had one room available. He told me I was going to love it and oh did I...They ended up upgrading me from a king to a suite on the 10th floor. The view was incredible and the room exceeded my expectations. The living area was perfect, large leather couch with the cutest Mongolian fur pillows. The decor is modern - just my taste. The bathroom off the bedroom has a huge shower area enclosed in glass and a separate tub which I indulged in. the second bathroom (totally indulgent) was off of the work space area. The internet connection was not the best but I've had worse at other hotels. Staff was friendly and very helpful. My only criticism is that the hotel and the room looks like it has a bit of minor wear, nothing too too bad, but I noticed. The trim on the floor was nicked, rug was frayed a bit on one side, the stark white furniture showed a few bumps and bruises. But this hotel overall surpassed my expectations and i would for sure stay here again when visiting DC. Also, the Puerto Rican restaurant a block away, Mio, has outstanding food and ambiance. Enjoyed my stay in DC!

Room Tip: Suite 1010 has THE best view in the hotel.
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  • Stayed October 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 The Donovan - A Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, October 19, 2012
Hi Lauren A,

Thanks so much for your review!

I'm so happy you enjoyed your stay. I also appreciate your comments about the Room Condition. It's something we are fully aware of and looking to address in the coming months.

Take Care,
Abe

Abe Liao
Assistant General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2012

Stayed here 10/5/12 for a one night stay-cation. This is Kimpton's newest or nearly newest D.C. addition to their number of hotels, and I think I like it best. I've stayed at the Topaz, Palomar, Monaco, Helix, and Rouge over the past couple of years and this one has a nice (small) welcoming lobby with plenty of seating for the wine hour or just relaxing. The rooftop (with bar) is super nice too. I got a large corner king room on floor 8 overlooking Thomas Circle. Very nice view of D.C. The room was very clean and well maintained. The shower is definitely the show stopper at this hotel, with the soaking tubs coming in second. (I don't take baths... so I'm biased.) I have no complaints with my large corner king room. The style is very cool and relaxing as well.

There are tons of restaurants you can walk to in the area. Just walk north up 14th Street for great Thai, wine bar/restaurant, or a number of other styles. (Gay area is very nearby for my fellow "family".) As most other reviews say, the monuments and museums are not far of a walk or short cab away either. The blue/orange line Metro from DCA is a few blocks south of the hotel too at McPherson Square Station.

I would definitely recommend this hotel for a visit to D.C. Kimpton makes you feel welcome and keeps their properties in very good shape in general. And they have such style over those superchain hotel brands.

Room Tip: Ask for a room facing Thomas Circle.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abe L, Manager at The Donovan - A Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, October 19, 2012
Hi ScottinDC1975,

Thanks so much for your review!

Best in DC!?! I can say that we are in good company with our sister properties you listed. Hope you will be back soon.

Cheers,
Abe

Abe Liao
Assistant General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Buffalo, New York
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2012

We stayed at the Donovan House for three nights on a long weekend in DC. Our room was very modern, clean, and spacious (try for 812 if you can). The shower and bathtub were very cool looking and awesome to use. I took three baths! The hotel lobby is small but well decorated and has plenty of seating areas. The rooftop bar and pool are gorgeous, and I highly recommend taking in a sunset up there.

A couple of cons: the bed had only a very nice duvet, no sheets. I found it hard to find the right temp and was either cold or too warm. Only one side of the bed had a bedside table so it was a little awkward to be the person without one. I used the floor :)

Kimpton staff are wonderful and the hotel was very accommodating about holding our luggage when we arrived early and left late. If you go, you should absolutely join Kimpton InTouch ahead of time as they give you nice perks ($10 in Raid the Mini Bar, for example). Through InTouch, I was able to sign up for a $10/night room upgrade upon availability. We got a bigger room as a result.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Abe L, Manager at The Donovan - A Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, October 19, 2012
Hello whitflip,

Thanks so much for your review!

Overall, it appears as if you had a great time. Thanks for the note on the duvets. We are actually moving to replace all of them and go with a true triple sheeting method which is used at most of our Hotels.

Take Care,
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.
New York City, New York
Top Contributor
91 reviews 91 reviews
84 hotel reviews
Reviews in 77 cities Reviews in 77 cities
103 helpful votes 103 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 7, 2012

I've stayed at the Donovan House three times now. Each time, I've been impressed with the "cool factor" of the hotel. The lobby is unlike any I've seen before, the roof deck bar is very hip, and the rooms have unique architectural features. The beds are very comfortable. The staff members are attentive and accommodating. The rooms are surprisingly quiet, given that the restaurant and roof bar attract a lot of non hotel guests. The only reason I don't give the hotel a five is that each time I've stayed there I have had Internet issues (lack of connectivity; crazy slow connectivity) and I've spent way more time waiting for elevators than I should have to in a hotel of this size. In the grand scheme of things, these are small issues, but large enough that I can't give them five stars. It is likely that I will stay there again when next in Washington, despite the couple of issues, because I really like the vibe and the location.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
Abe L, Manager at The Donovan - A Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, October 9, 2012
Hi drmgeorge,

Thanks for writing your review!

The "cool" factor is on high at the Donovan House! Happy you enjoyed it! As for the issues with Internet and Elevators, both are in the midst of being addressed. Obviously, we are still working on it but I am looking forward to them being non-issues in the near future.

Appreciate it,
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.
Richmond, Virginia
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 7, 2012

I love the Kimpton chain and have enjoyed staying at their newest DC hotel several times this year. The location is great, the rooms are modern and well appointed. Our most recent stay was for a conference and weekend get-a-way in DC. The room faced Thomas Circle and was huge. The service was top notch as always and the bar tender makes a mean Old Fashion. The roof-top pool is great as well.

Room Tip: Ask for a room facing the Circle.
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  • Stayed August 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.
Abe L, Manager at The Donovan - A Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, October 9, 2012
Hello Marc P,

Thanks so much for your review.

We have plenty of our rooms on the Thomas Circle side of the building which provides great views. Glad you enjoyed and had a real Manhattan. It's hard to find a good one these days.

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.
San Francisco, California
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 7, 2012

My awful experience at the Westin City Center made my stay at Donovan House like a heavenly one!

I stayed at room 609, which is a king premier room if I remember correctly, because I wanted a bath tub. I'm glad that I did. Not all the rooms have a bath tub.

The room has a modern and elegant decor, Kohler fixture in the bathroom. Animal pattern bath robes are fun and unconventional. I looooove the oval shaped bath tub, deep and modern. Clean and bright. Very good insulation - my room is right on the Thomas Circle with busy traffic. I didn't hear a thing during my entire stay except for the occasional siren of an ambulance. Great water pressure - took me less than 5 minutes to fill the deep bath tub.

Loved the floor to ceiling glass windows on both sides, which allowed lots of natural sunlight to the room. The dark purple curtains are effective in blocking the lights from outside. The work desk is long enough.

Had delicious dinners twice at ZenTan, the restaurant down by the lobby. The Hong Kong style steamed fish reminded of home. The sashimi and other dishes were just tasty! They also have happy hour with complimentary wine and beer tastying from 5 to 6pm every day, with complimentary sushis as well.

Didn't use the pool 'cause it's closed after the Memorial Day. Overall had a very pleasant stay and felt really chic and romantic in the room.

A few things for improvement though:
- On my last night, the water was not hot enough. Seemed like the hot water had run out.
- My room door seemded broken, and it took me at least several tries each time to get the door open.
The breakfast could have more varieties.
- The business center requires a room card to get in. I tried to print out my boarding pass but had checked out earlier, and nobody told me that I'd need a key to get in there. I was running out of time and got quite frustrated, and had to wait for someone to bring a key.
- Because I ran out of cash, the Concierge booked a Yellow Cab online that would accept credit cards to take me to the airport. Not only the cab was dirty and smelled like cigarette, the driver was rude and tried to drop me at the wrong terminal and make me walk to the correct one. When I was ready to pay, the driver was angry to find out that I didn't have cash. I could've just get a cab who would accept a credit card on the street in the first place. Never ever would want to get in a Yellow Cab again.

Room Tip: Get a king premier or a suite if you want a bath tub. Rooms facing Thomas Circle have great views.
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
    • 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
    • 4 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 The Donovan - A Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, October 19, 2012
Hi JQW_SF,

Thanks for your review!

I love the detailed comments you put in. Really helps me narrow down on the issues to review and positives to celebrate! Sorry about the Cab issue you experienced, unfortunately they all can be a little hit or miss. Really makes a bad name for good drivers that are out there.

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 The Donovan - A Kimpton Hotel

Address: 1155 14th Street, N.W., Washington DC, DC 20005
Phone Number:
Location: United States > District of Columbia > Washington DC > Upper Northwest
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:
#14 Green Hotel in Washington DC
#24 Luxury Hotel in Washington DC
#28 Business Hotel in Washington DC
#36 Romantic Hotel in Washington DC
#50 Family Hotel in Washington DC
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Donovan - A Kimpton Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 193
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Also Known As:
Donovan Hotel a Thompson
Donovan House Washington Dc

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