I stayed here on a one-night layover after a trans-Atlantic flight in a four-bed women's dorm. As the other reviewers said, the staff here are wonderful, the value is great and the location is second to none. I slept well in my bunk bed; my roommates were quiet and courteous. I even got up early enough to attend their 7:30 am Quaker worship service, at which you simply sit in silence and meditate - a tradition I appreciated. The breakfast was simple: bread (with a toaster), jams and peanut butter, a few cereals, a mixed fruit bowl, packets of Quaker (appropriately enough) instant oatmeal, coffee and tea. It was plenty for me. Clean linens and a towel and washcloth are provided, and the rooms are air-conditioned. The house is beautiful, too, and even has a library.
My main problem was that my four-bed dorm shared just one tiny bathroom (toilet and shower) with a neighboring eight-bed dorm. Fortunately, I was extremely jet-lagged and was able to take my shower at an odd hour in the early morning; I don't see how this system normally works, especially when the rooms are full. Of greater concern to me was the fact that the bathroom was, unlike the rest of the house, not at all clean, which is inevitable when so many people are using it.
The limited check-in time (9pm, though they do offer to keep the office open later for a fee) and the limited breakfast time (8-9 am only) may make this place inconvenient for some travelers, and the lack of lockers may make some uncomfortable, though it felt perfectly safe to me. If you're looking for inexpensive hostel-style accommodations in DC and need a later check-in/earlier breakfast/lockers/etc., I would suggest checking out the Hostelling International hostel, where I have also stayed and which I also highly recommend for travelers of all ages.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The William Penn House is a hospitality center on Capitol Hill grounded in the Quaker faith. We provide overnight accommodations for travelers from around the world in an affordable community-based setting. Rooms are shared with 4-10 beds per room, and cost $45-$50 per person. Included are linens, towels, hot showers, and access to internet and computer. Our public dining room facilities include, tea, coffee, microwave, toasters, and fridge. Books, games, meeting and living rooms available. We also serve a simple breakfast every morning. In addition, we work to engage people from all walks of life with issues of peace, social justice, and environmental awareness, through inward reflection, service, education, and community building. ... more less