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“Trying too hard to be hip rather than focusing on the fundamentals” 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 #56 of 130 Hotels in Washington DC
GreenLeadersSilver level
1 review
“Trying too hard to be hip rather than focusing on the fundamentals”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2013

Lobby is small, busy, and cramped. Parking is expensive. Doorman nowhere to be found most of the time. Although we were on the 11th floor, there was a lot of street noise. The curtains even when fully closed, let in a lot of light. Was able to hear the couple in the room next to us getting romantic, walls are thin. Carpets in room and hallway were dirty.

This hotel is past it's prime and needs an overhaul

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 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 29, 2013
Hi Pmlagz,

Thanks for your review.

Sorry to hear of so many issues with your stay. Good news! We are actually undergoing a full rooms renovation that should address many of the issues you experienced. It is true that our "Living Room" is very popular, especially during our busy season. As for parking, it's pricey but on par with our neighboring Hotels.

Hope you will give us another try in the future,
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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636 reviews from our community

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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 (192)
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San Francisco, California
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2013

We enjoyed a three-night stay at the Donovan House. On balance, we liked the hotel and would stay there again.

We had a King Premier room with a nice treetop level view of Thomas Circle. The room was large with great light (floor to ceiling windows looking out onto two vistas). We experienced no street noise at all. The room's modern decor had a Jetsons feel, which was fun. The low platform bed was superbly comfortable and the desk was large (although its chair curiously lacked casters). The animal print robes in the closet (zebra and leopard) were also fun. The bathroom had a deep soaking tub, a huge farmhouse sink and an unusual plastic shower that you walk into as though you are walking into a seashell (it's footprint is that of a comma). The round part extends into the room itself, and from there looks like a chamber where you'd go to have your molecules rearranged before being beamed up to the mother ship. The shower-tron.

We did have some frustrations. The pocket bathroom door didn't close all the way, and the giant sink didn't allow vanity space for toiletries. There was a list in the bathroom of items available on request, some of which I expect not to have to ask for. The good news is that they will get you anything; the bad news is that you have to ask for everything. It is not relaxing, particularly when settling in after traveling, to have to do an inventory, call housekeeping, and wait for basic items that one expects to be in a hotel room, such as a shower cap and coffee maker. And apparently because the coffee maker is a request item, it's not serviced. It was neither cleaned nor the coffee pods and creamers restocked. I learned I separately had to request those every day.

There were other service issues as well, and although resolved each time, they were a daily frustration. It's not that the employees didn't try--they were invariably nice, professional and eager to please. But things just weren't smooth.

Other nice features of the hotel were its location, restaurant (Zentan), and the daily morning coffee and afternoon wine service in the lobby.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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, April 13, 2013
Hi AnjVW,

Thanks for your review.

Seems like you had a positive stay, but we missed the mark on a few things. You're right, guests shouldn't have to constantly report problems to have them fixed. I am going to make sure our department managers are aware of your comments and look to address each of your concerns.

Hopefully you will give us another shot in the future.

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.
Burlington, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2013

The staff there were very kind & helpful, and the smiles all felt very genuine ! I was there for business for 3 nights, and the location (5 minute walk maybe) from the convention center was convenient to say the least. I was on the 6th floor, and found the hallways rather dark, but who cares. Room was not huge but a decent size with King bed (comfy bed), and a weird sort of snails shell shaped shower with a rainfall showerhead that was uinque, but there could have been a tad more water pressure. Room was quiet and no complaints. Would likely stay there again. Got a killer deal on my room at $250/night... yes, that is a killer deal in DC. The room rate posted on the door was $900. Didn't participate in any meals or breakfasts or such there but I heard from another guest it was all good, and they liked the Lobby Wine thing at 5:00pm every day.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 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
    • 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 13, 2013
Hi 1970muggzi,

Thanks for your review.

You hit the nail on the head, our location is pretty awesome. Literally in the middle of it all.

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.
London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

We love Kimpton properties. The hotel had great service, awesome decor and the location was good. But the window treatments need work - there was light shining in our room all night. It came in over the top of the curtains of a window that was the entire length of the wall. It was like day light all night.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service

Review collected in partnership with Easytobook.com

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 13, 2013
Hi RJES,

Thanks for your review.

I appreciate your comments about your stay. We're actually in the process of planing for a full scale rooms renovation and one of the issues that we are looking to address are the curtains. Sorry that your stay was interrupted by the light.

Come back 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.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

Donovan House is a lovely place to stay. I stayed there with a friend (in separate rooms) and both had joined the Kimpton In-Touch loyalty programme in order to take advantage of the free in-room wi-fi and the "Raid the Min-bar" feature before we travelled. After an email exchange that included Kimpton stating they could not link my membership with my booking as I'd booked with an airline, they relented and allowed my In-Touch number to be added to reservation. We duly arrived and the hotel handed my friend a personalised (to Agent X - in keeping with the hotel's espionage theme) invitation to "raid" the mini-bar. I received no such invitation. After a delay in checking me in (no delay for my friend) I was given my room. When I queried the lack of my mini-bar invitation I was eventually given a piece of paper detailing the terms of the deal ($10 worth of food and drink is free per stay) but no key to open the mini-bar (my friend was).

After we left and returned to the UK my friend received an email thanking them for staying with the hotel and a note from the manager to ask for them personally should they return to the hotel in the future. Needless to say I received no such thanks or personalised offer. This all made me feel rather an inferior guest in the eyes of the hotel.

However, that aside, there are many positives to compliment this hotel. It is very clean, very modern and the staff are extremely polite and helpful.

The hotel also does wine and nibble tastings at 5pm where they serve complimentary red or white. A nice touch.

It is also located a 10 minute walk away from the White House and can access further afield points of interest in Washington with the nearby McPherson Square metro station.

Thoroughly recommended although I wish they treated all their guests to the same high level. If they did, it would be a five star hotel easily.

Room Tip: All rooms seem lovely and quiet.
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
    • 3 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, April 13, 2013
Hi RJES,

Thanks for your detailed review.

I always appreciate the lengthy reviews that provide lots of detail. Really helps me address any issues and acknowledge our superstars. I apologize you did not receive the same departure email about your stay. We typically respond to any guest that completed a Guest Satisfaction Survey, so I am not sure if you had the oppurtunity to do so.

Thanks again,
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.
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2013 via mobile

This was the 2nd time my boyfriend and I stayed at a kimpton hotel and we loved the services that we get when we stay there as well as the modern feel of the hotel. This particular hotel was good ! The service of the workers was excellent everyone was nice and friendly ! The rooms were very unique ! The only thing I didn't like was the lack of parking and price of the valet! But it is dc so this is typical! Other than that the stay and the hotel was average ! I didn't love it as I did my first kimpton hotel but it wasn't bad! My boyfriend really liked it !!! I would stay at other kimpton a again! Love the happy hour

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 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 8, 2013
Hi Awilliams10,

Thanks for your review!

Overall, pretty good stay. I know sometimes our locations can be a matter of personal preference. As for the parking, it can be pricey in Downtown DC. So you know, we do set our prices based on our competitive group of Hotel that are in our surrounding area and service class. I know, not much to hang our hat on, but it's what the market produces for rates. At least we're not talking NYC or Chicago prices!

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.
Bedford, Texas, United States
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2013

I have stayed at a Kimpton Hotel in the past and had been overwhelmed by the level of service I received. So when I booked a room at the Donovan House my expectations were high. Unfortunately the Donovan House was not what I have come to expect from Kimpton.

The attention to detail was lacking and the level of service was far below what I have received in the past. One example of this happened after the first night I stayed there. I had checked in late and went straight to bed. The next day when I was turning back the sheets, the duvet had two very large stains on the top side. I called the front desk and explained the problem and they sent housekeeping up to change the duvet. When they got there, they said they did not have any duvets available at that time and only had a thin blanket. When they came in they only had the blanket and I had to ask for them to change the sheets as well. After that, I never heard from the front desk or anyone in management if the issue had been resolved. In addition, they never replaced the blanket with the a new duvet.

At the previous Kimpton we stayed in, the duvet with a stain never would have been place on the bed. Also, if something like this had occurred, management would have talked to me personally to apologize for the oversite. You may think that my expectations are a little to much for a hotel but this is the level of service I received that sets Kimpton above the others. Unfortunately, the Donovan House is not a great example of what you can expect when you stay at a Kimpton hotel.

I also agree with a previous reviewer that the rooms looked dated and worn. Very disappointing experience.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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, April 8, 2013
Hi Jeffery C,

Thank you for your review.

I am so sorry we dropped the ball on the duvet. You're right, this should have never been placed on the bed and I can only hope that the Housekeeper missed it. Having been affiliated with several Kimpton Hotels, I agree with you that we provide a very high level of service and our process is to have every guest issued followed up with. We are also in the planning stages for a rooms renovation starting in the latter part of this year.

I do hope you will return to us in the near future,
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:
#14 Green Hotel in Washington DC
#24 Luxury Hotel in Washington DC
#40 Business Hotel in Washington DC
#45 Romantic Hotel in Washington DC
#74 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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