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“Underwhelmed...” 2 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
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Underwhelmed...”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2013

I checked in to the Donovan House on Friday March 29th booking a King Executive and from the very first impression the Hotel and service was highly disappointing.

I pulled up to the front of the hotel where one can usually expect valet to be found...However this wasn't exactly the case. There was an attendant whom worked for the hotel who was busy staring off into the street where my passenger had to get out of the car and ask the man if he was able to assist us. He was not responsive or pleasant in his interaction. After a few minutes of sitting in the car, a valet attendant finally showed up. The door was also not being attended to... Check in was quick and simple and I was acknowledged for being a Kimtpon In Touch member, and the desk was very pleasant. Onto the the room where the disappointment continued. I would describe it as modern yet tired and worn. The carpets were frayed, misaligned to the outerparts of the shower, tables / doors nicked and chipped, as well as the paint peeling. All of this was very visible and not hard to notice... Looking beyond that, later in the evening room service came to our door, insisting that we had ordered for it, yet we did not... Now don't get me wrong, this isn't a big deal, but just another moment that left us less than impressed. The following morning we checked out, where again the front desk was very pleasant. I had called down ahead of time for valet where they were prompt to have the car ready. However after checking out, I saw my car, but saw no valet in sight. I had to go back in where I asked the front desk if there was any valet around where after a few minutes he showed up with my keys. I have to admit this was the earliest we have ever checked out of a Kimpton property and I cannot say that I will be staying here in the future. I've stayed at multiple other Kimpton properties always feeling impressed and wanting to return. This was a major disappointment.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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 Donovan House - A Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, April 2, 2013
Hi Mbl5687,

Thank you for your review.

All I can say, WOW. I'm so sorry we dropped the ball on your arrival experience. I don't think most people would have had a positive impression after that curbside experience. I promise to address that with the team. As for the room condition, after we transitioned the Hotel from another management company, we quickly realized that the rooms needed a refresh. We are in the final planning stages of a full Rooms Renovation, scheduled for the end of this year. I am looking forward to updating the product, which will speak directly to your concerns. Hopefully we can welcome you back after this is completed. If you are interested in speaking further, please contact me at Abe.liao@donovanhousehotel.com.

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.
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586 people have reviewed this hotel

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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)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Princeton, New Jersey, United States
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2013

This was my first trip to Washington DC so I did not know what to look for when booking a hotel as far as location. I ended up booking the Donovan after reading a few reviews on Trip Advisor. I'd like to start out by saying that my overall experience at the Donovan was favorable. I was travelling solo with my birds for a fun weekend getaway. The room fit the bill for me perfectly. I really didn't use the room much except for sleeping and to take rest breaks throughout the day. My main purpose was to be out and about. So that being said, if you are looking for a hotel and have similar needs/situations then this hotel is a good choice. The location is pretty good (I thought) for getting around to different landmarks. It's at L Street and 14th. Also, I like to walk. I walked all over...up to U Street (Ben's Chili Bowl!) and down to E. I also walked to Georgetown from the hotel which was quite a trek but not an unsafe walk...at least during the day.

The room itself was a little on the smallish size, but again, I was travelling solo so it did not bother me. One item of note is there was no desk in the room so if you are travelling for business, this could be problematic. Some of their other rooms may have desks, I didn't ask about that. The floors also don't have ice machines. You have to call Guest Services and they will bring it to you. The first time I called (Saturday morning at 7:13) they never brought it and as I was getting ready to leave for the day I didn't bother calling them about it.

Also, they failed to pick up the breakfast room service tag from my door one morning. However, when I called they were very apolgetic and got my room service to me right away.

The hotel offers a wine happy hour from 5 to 6 PM which is kind of cool. But note it does get pretty busy so you may or may not find a place to sit. :)

The rooms have a cool circular shower in them and animal print robes in the closet.

The fitness center was kind of small but if that is an issue for you, they do offer some running suggestions and also, there is a private fitness center almost right next door to the hotel that may offer day rates.

If you want to do the Spy Museum,ask at the front desk as I do believe they have discounted tickets. i really enjoyed the Spy Museum. :)

Room Tip: I think the corner rooms may offer more privacy and may be a bit bigger
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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 Donovan House - A Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, April 2, 2013
Hi Heather S,

Wow, what awesome detail in your review!

I really appreciate all the comments. It helps me to know what needs to be addressed. While you mentioned an overall favorable experience, I did want to speak to a few things. Funny you mentioned ice machines, we are actually in the process of looking at installing machines on a few of the floors. As far as location, we are in between L and M Streets, right on Thomas Circle. Sorry for the a couple of your requests not being honored, I'll be sure to follow up on these too.

Cheers,
Abe

Abe Liao
Assistant General Manager
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London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2013

I stayed at Donovan House for two nights while on holiday in DC. I was made to feel very welcome by the staff from check-in to check out. The hotel has a secret agent theme and I thought the personalised 'raid the minibar' instructions addressing me as as Agent X was a nice touch. I also enjoyed the wine hour in the lobby from 5 pm each evening.

The room I had (14th floor) was large and well appointed with plenty of electrical outlets for my gadgets. The in-room Wi-Fi (free for Kimpton loyalty programme members) connection was very quick.

The Zentan restaurant attached to the hotel served some of the freshest and tastiest sushi I have ever eaten and it is reasonably priced. I would thoroughly recommend having lunch there.

The hotel is only a short walk from the White House and the orange and blue metro lines can be accessed from nearby McPherson Square station making it ideally placed for seeing the many sights that Washington has to offer. I would not hesitate to recommend this hotel to anyone visiting Washington and I look forward to staying there again on my next visit.

  • Stayed March 2013, 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
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, April 2, 2013
Hi JBSTITCH,

Thanks for your review!

Really appreciate all your positive comments about your stay. I really enjoyed how you pointed out our location. We are totally in the center of it all.

Cheers and see you 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.
wilmington,nc
Top Contributor
87 reviews 87 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2013

First time at this hotel stayed because its a Kimpton chain. The decor is unique with brown leather and purple accents The leopard robes are complimentary during stay. The staff is friendly and they offer a 1 hour wine sampling each evening and the Asian fusion restaurant adjacent provides some samples. Room was and Executive queen but alraedy showing some age with damaged surfaces and leather. Room has great view of the city block circle with statues churches and like. Location is easy walking distance to restaurants and Metro is 2 blocks. DuPont circle is about 15 minutewalk. Want to return when rooftop pool and bar are open. No hot water the first morning but was repaired by the time I got bac from meetings

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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 Donovan House - A Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, April 2, 2013
Hi kenasa,

Thanks for your review!

What a great stay, but I'm very sorry about the Hot Water. Unfortunately, the situation was a bit out of our control, regardless I feel terrible. Like you said, it was rectified and I hope (fingers crossed!) you don't hold it against us.

See you next time?
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.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2013 via mobile

Lovely hotel situated in Washington DC only a few mins walk away from White House and a good number of restaurants / cafes to go to, plus a breakfast diner- which was convieneate! The location of the hotel makes it an excellent location to access all the main sites around Washington without stress. All we did was walk everywhere.

As for the hotel itself, it's friendly welcoming by the reception and as for the rooms neat and tidy! ( apart from the little build up of dust and dirt behind the bed ). The room was comfy and the bed was huge had such a lovely sleep! As I travelled with family the hotel provided us interconnecting rooms which was brill! I would recommend this hotel-yes!

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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, April 2, 2013
Hi ChryssoG,

Thanks for your review!

Seems like you had an awesome time and really took advantage of our location. Sorry about the dust behind the bed, I'll be sure to pass this along to my Housekeeping Team.

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.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2013

The service at Kimpton Hotels are enough to make you keep coming back but this hotel was beautiful with modern design and a great location for an interview downtown. I would recommend this hotel to anyone visiting the area and looking for a great location and great service.

  • Stayed March 2013, 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
    • 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, March 29, 2013
Hi TravelGirl3434,

Thanks for your review.

Wow, awesome stay! Hope all went well with the interview. Then again, if it didn't, you wouldn't have to move to DC and can stay in our Hotel more often! Just saying...

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.
Phoenix
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
40 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2013

We recently stayed 4 nights at Donovan House and we loved it. We are huge Kimpton fans and have stayed at 20+ of their properties from coast to coast over the past 10 years. We have NEVER been disappointed and Donovan House was no exception. We secured a King Premier because I wanted a separate bathtub and the majority of their rooms have a shower only. Upon check-in we were upgraded to a King Suite. Our two- room suite on the 9th floor was spotless and spacious. There were floor to ceiling windows over looking Thomas Circle. The décor is very modern and minimalist. Our bathroom was huge with a giant shower, a lovely freestanding bathtub and dual sinks on the vanity. The bed was dreamy and there was plenty of seating options in both rooms for leisure or if needed for working.

Location is good as it’s 3 to 4 blocks (10 min walk) to the McPherson Square Metro stop. You can take the blue line directly from Washington National (Regan) Airport. It’s a little far to pull luggage but it’s doable. We took a cab when we departed… There are quite a few nice dinning options within walking distance and there is a 24 hour CVS directly across the street, which is super convenient for snacks and drugstore needs. There is a liquor store near by as well. Everything about our stay from check-in to departure was stellar; great staff and the wine hour from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. is always a nice “Kimpton” touch.

Tip: If you are traveling to DC for work or play you don’t need a car. It’s a difficult city to navigate and parking is sparse and very expensive ($40+ per day). Use the Metro. It’s a wonderful and reasonable transit system and will get you pretty much everywhere you need to be in the city. Additionally, the Cream of Crab soup and the Crab Cakes at Legal Seafood (7th and F) are to die for… ☺

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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, March 26, 2013
Hi TraceyPhoenix,

Thanks for your review.

What awesome tips and advice you provided for the TripAdvisor community! Awesome stay, highlighted by great interactions with our team. I couldn't have asked for anything more.

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
#22 Luxury Hotel in Washington DC
#40 Business Hotel in Washington DC
#41 Romantic Hotel in Washington DC
#69 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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