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“great location with good breakfast, fine dining & friendly service”

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Sofitel Washington DC
Ranked #21 of 141 Hotels in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed April 28, 2007

Excellent hotel for our first ever trip to DC - 6 days to see the sights, visit the galleries & dine well.

Mild initial disappointments:- it did not trouble us that we were not instantly offered assistance to take our bags up to our room & took them up ourselves but we found that our room was missing bath robes (& the reception staff did not understand BritEnglish, e.g. 'dressing gown'), and that the hotel does not supply the usual in-room booklet setting out the range of services available & how to use them (e.g. telling us the breakfast times, about laundry services, & of the availability of free internet access from an alcove next to reception), and that it took three trips to reception to get both our room swipe cards to work (tip: take both cards to reception to be reset if one does not work as some quirk in the programming can disable the other card if you reset one).

But all deficencies were quickly remedied and needed information instantly supplied as and when requested, and our stay proved most enjoyable.

Staff:- throughout our stay the reception staff, the concierge service, & the staff in general, were approachable, friendly and very helpful indeed.

Room:- our room, bed & bathroom were spacious & comfortable - very good shower, bath too short to lie in but very comfortable if you like sitting in the tub.

Breakfast:- particularly excellent with excellent service, even when busy later in the morning, in the comfortable spacious stylish setting of the hotel's Cafe 15 restaurant. (It might be advisable to make a table reservation if planning to breakfast late.) We readily abandoned ideas of trying breakfasts elsewhere.

Location: absolutely perfect for sightseeing. The hotel's entrance is on 15th Street - just a short stroll, past on your left the impressive view down Pennsylvania Avenue of the Capitol in the distance, to the White House on your right and on to the green of the National Mall to the Washington Monument, etc., and in easy walking distance of anywhere downtown.

The hotel is not actually on Lafayette Square but a block away (so your room view will be of the building across the street, not the square or the White House).

Evening dining:- superlative. We spent 3 evenings out at restaurants nearby highly rated in Zagat but found the hotel's own Cafe 15 restaurant the best for quiet dining - superlative food prepared with care, well suited to a european palate, friendly attentive service, a good wine selection, all at attractive prices in stylish surroundings - a complete puzzle why it is not busy every night. (Maybe the lightness of the food & the quietness of the surroundings is not what washingtonians look for on an evening out.)

Bar:- Le Bar was not of quite the same standard but was a great place to rest your feet with a cognac in hand in a well-padded low armchair in subdued lighting after a long day seeing the sights.

All in all this was a perfect and enjoyable place for our stay. We will not be considering staying anywhere else on any future trip to DC.

  • Stayed: April 2007, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank GBennet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,716 - 2,722 of 3,276 reviews

Reviewed April 25, 2007

The hotel was very nice. We arrived very early and had no problem checking in. The bags did take a while to be brought to the room, but overall not a problem. The bed was very comfortable and the room was very quiet. The water pressure in the shower could have been better. The staff was very pleasant.

The hotel is very close to a Metro stop and the White House. The walk to the Mall was very easy.

The only issue that we had was the large number of homeless people in the surrounding areas, especially north of the hotel. We were begged for money every time we left the hotel but were not bothered much.

Also, during the evening and on weekends, many of the local restaurants are not open. We were looking for lighter and less expensive meal options than the hotel offered and there was not much choice near the hotel on Saturday and almost none on Sunday.

  • Stayed: April 2007, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank A_Michigan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 24, 2007

Simply put, a five star experience with very personal service and a great location. The property is small enough to feel very personal, yet large enough where everything you would ever need is located within the hotel.

Service was amazing, the room was picture perfect (not in a Ritz or Four Seasons way), and I had the best night sleep and shower you could ask for in a hotel. When I needed a box fan for comfort, I had it. When I needed my shoes shinned at midnight, I got it. When I desired to have some stir fry tofu for room service, I got it......Service, service, service was perfect!

Even better, the location to the White House!! Perfect location for to walk to the White House, Dept of Vet Affairs, or just to get a cup of coffee. If I could stay anywhere in D.C., other than the Lincoln bedroom, I would stay at this hotel!

  • Stayed: October 2006, traveled on business
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3  Thank Scot D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 23, 2007

Stayed three nights at Sofitel last week. We were underwhelmed with check-in. First night there was no top sheet on the bed only a thin comforter. We called and a sheet was dropped off for us to make our bed, as there was no housekeeping staff available. The third night, same deal, no top sheet on the bed. We were too tired to wait so we slept under the comforter that I'm guessing is not launderd after every guest - ick. The bed felt "broken down" and not anywhere near as comfortable as a Westin or Hilton bed. The lighting in the bathroom was horrible, it made airplane lightening look good. There were hand rails everywhere and two showers so we figured we were in a handicap room. The windows did not open and the room was stuffy and hot. We had to keep the air on high at the lowest temperature to make it comfortable. The room was equiped with ONE small bottle of water and ONE robe and this continued each day. We thought that was a little odd for a king room. The view was pathetic, it was like a prison view, three concrete walls and the dirty roof top. I guess I had expected more since we had booked this reservation months in advance. The clock radio was not a CD player and it didn't pick up one station. The location is miserable if you are looking for any food or toiletries. We were forced to pay $10 for a bottle of Evian in the bar one night because there is just nothing near by on foot. The location is a little more than a block to the MacPherson subway station. Be advised the subway station does not open before 7:15 a.m. on Saturday. The White House is about two blocks from the hotel and you certainly can't see it from the hotel. With the subway system you are not far from anything in this town regardless where you stay. We asked the concierge if she had a map of Reagan Airports layout and she replied "no". That was pretty much the only contact we had with her. There is one restaurant across the street, a steakhouse, and three tourists on the street advised us not to eat there. There are three computers near check-in desk that are available to guests 24/7, that was very much appreciated. However, how this hotel is ranked as high as it is, is a mystery.

  • Stayed: April 2007, traveled with family
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4  Thank polenta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 20, 2007

I stayed at this hotel for three nights while attending a conference. Although my employer was paying for the hotel, I just want to remark that, in my view, the rate ($400 per night for the standard room) was too high in my opinion. I would not have paid that amount if I were paying for the room.
The location is great, right next to the Lafayette park behind the White House. The hotel lobby is very small, but pleasant. I used the internet a couple of times and did not have to wait.
The check-in was fast (no line at 7pm on Tuesday). I asked for a room with a view, if possible. I was given one on the 4th floor (no view), right next to the elevators and opposite the ice machine. I did not hear much noise throughout my stay, but I spent a rather small amount of time in the room.
The gym is in the basement and is adequate. There are towels, fruit, and water there. The machines have TVs.
The room did not have a bath robe and the phone was broken, but both problems were quickly fixed. Other than that, the room was fine. The bed was very comfortable, the comforter and the pillows --heavenly. The bathroom was not large, but had a glass shower and a separate shallowish tub, a nice marble vanity area and a mirror with a handy light around it.
The room did not have a coffee/tea maker (which I typically like to have), but had a mini bar, a safe, and an ironing board.
I did not dine at the hotel, but ordered room service several times. As everywhere, it was fairly expensive, with all sort of charges added on. Breakfast typically ran me over $30 for an egg-white frittata ($18), served with tea/coffee and juice, and fruit ($6). Two of the three days, it was served on time (important, because I had to run to my meetings). On the third day, it was served late and was not what I ordered at all. By the time they fixed it (took a couple of tries), I barely had time to eat it. Do not order crepes here. I thought they would be good, because this is a French hotel, but I was wrong. They were very small and not at all what I expected.
I ordered dinner once ($53 for a plate of risotto, priced at $18, shrimp cocktail $15 and tea), and late night snacks (tea, water, and fruit, $30 or so).
I would probably stay here again if my firm is paying, but would look elsewhere for my own money.

  • Stayed: April 2007, traveled on business
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1  Thank giulietta429
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 20, 2007

As mentioned before, this hotel is excellent for tourists as it is well located in the middle of DC.....However, our experience is a little different as we live in DC and decided to have our wedding reception at the Sofitel. Our wedding was relatively small with 60 people and we knew about 80% of our guest would be coming from out of town so we wanted a good location and excellent service - we were not disappointed.

We did stay two nights in the Bridal Suite so our room was absolutely amazing, a den, a huge bedroom, giant bathroom, a hallway, etc.

More importantly, our guests reported that their rooms and experiences were also excellent. From the friendly bellman, helpful concierge and service oriented front desk reception, all of our guests reported that the hotel staff could not have been friendlier or more service oriented.

With a combined 40 nights booked at the hotel, and numerous meals at Le Bar, meals at Cafe 15 (chosen one of the best 50 restaurants in DC) we can report that 99.9% of the time the experience was wonderful for us and our guest. Like any hotel, occasionally there is a hiccup, but it was always quickly resolved and not worth detailing out.

This is a hotel that is not flashy, nor overly extravagant - it is a hotel that prides itself on incredible friendly service, well-appointed and luxurious appointments with a slight European/hip feel and food that is excellent. I highly recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed: March 2007
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3  Thank DanishZachow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 14, 2007

Location is the only nice thing about this hotel. When we checked into the room, we were impressed with the nice plasma TV and decent room size. But the TV didn't work (and had to be replaced with a normal bulky CRT which couldn't utilize the special video check-out and movies).

Later, I took a shower and discovered that we hadn't been left any shampoo (just two bottles of conditioner) and -- this is the kicker -- there was a dried red substance covering one of the bathroom towels. It looked like blood, but I couldn't be sure. We called the manager and she apologized, but the hotel didn't do anything for us. They just replaced the towels the next day.

Also, do not pay extra to have breakfast added to your room. The restaurant is good, but the $20+ fee is just used as an offset to your bill. So if you eat $15 of food, you don't get anything back... but if you spend $25 for breakfast, you have to pay another $5. That's the dumbest thing ever -- why should I bother paying for breakfast in advance if I don't get a discount? Also, it took 25 minutes for us to be seated even though the restaurant was 50% empty (they were short staffed because it was Easter weekend).

  • Stayed: April 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
2  Thank GGTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sofitel Washington DC

Address: 806 15th Street NW, Washington DC, DC 20005-1101
Phone Number:
Location: United States > District of Columbia > Washington DC
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Business Hotel in Washington DC
#8 Family Hotel in Washington DC
#8 Romantic Hotel in Washington DC
#13 Luxury Hotel in Washington DC
#15 Green Hotel in Washington DC
Price Range: $221 - $601 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Sofitel Washington DC 5*
Number of rooms: 237
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sofitel Washington DC Lafayette Square represents one of the most exclusive locations in the nation's capital. Discover this contemporary downtown Washington DC hotel, situated at the corner of Lafayette Square, bordering the White House. Our downtown DC hotel accommodations occupy an updated historic landmark, first erected in 1880. Celebrate Sofitel's "art de vivre" within this luxury hotel in downtown Washington DC - marked by distinctive style, superb cuisine, and incomparable service. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sofitel Washington Dc Hotel Washington Dc
Accor Washington Dc
Washington Dc Sofitel

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