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“Good, but not flawless” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Mandarin Oriental, Washington DC

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Mandarin Oriental, Washington DC
Ranked #17 of 141 Hotels in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Kyoto, Japan
Level Contributor
140 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 130 helpful votes
“Good, but not flawless”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2013

I've stayed here over a half dozen times on various DC visits for business and pleasure, so these are general impressions gathered over time.

The building design provides for some odd room layouts. Generally price maps well to room quality (duh). For instance, lower priced junior suites are smaller and some are located over the main entry. These tend to be smaller, gloomy and within earshot of regular freight trains. More expensive ones face the Potomac and are a bit more spacious (2d bathroom, etc) and quieter.

Positives: Perhaps the best location in town for the Smithsonian mall. All major sites are within walking distance and there is a subway stop about 4 blocks away. Cityzen restaurant is excellent (pre-arrival reservations are a good idea).
Negatives: Breakfast quality has fallen and the restaurant now offers a very conventional buffet with no daily variety. This is a conference hotel and can be overrun with groups at times. The spa is small and can only accommodate a few guests per day. Pre-arrival reservations are essential. The lobby lounge often fills with conventioneers and can be quite loud and overflowing. Staff are hit-or-miss. That applies to upgrade availability if you book on a credit card program that offers when-available upgrades (it may, or may not, be offered at the time of registration, even if the hotel isn't full).

All things considered, I tend to prefer to stay here although it isn't quite as special as it was when the hotel first opened.

Room Tip: Pay the premium to avoid city "view" rooms. As others have noted, the "city view&quo...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank windance
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (329)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
West Islip, New York
Level Contributor
49 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2013

We have just passed a delightful Friday night at The Mandarin Oriental. Our request for an upper floor was immediately granted with an upgrade, and the room was perfectly appointed. The bed could not have been more comfortable, and the shower/bathroom was perfect. Our water view was to the east, away from The Jefferson Memorial, but interesting none-the-less. Tea and cocktails in the lobby bar were followed with a brief stroll along the Marina Walk, obtained through the hotel garden and across a footbridge within steps of the property. Upon our return, we dined in the Sou'wester: Susan and I both selected the She Crab Soup followed by Scallops. Our son chose the Miso Soup and Pork Bellies. Desserts were ample, and the atmosphere both casual and intimate. We found our way to The Martin Luther King Memorial after bidding our son farewell, and enjoyed a warm, Washington evening before settling in for the night. Although our complementary newspaper would not arrive before our departure, we were offered the Desk's personal New York Times, which was happily waiting for us upon our return to Long Island. I would gladly return to The Mandarin Oriental, Washington D.C., and intend on exploring some of their other properties, as well.

  • Stayed May 2013, 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
Helpful?
1 Thank SHOGara
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Biddeford, Maine
Level Contributor
107 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2013

We were recently in DC for the Nike Women's Half Marathon. We opted to stay at the Mandarin as we have stayed here in the past and have got to know the area fairly well.

I'll start with the Pro's since those far exceed the Con's.

First is the service at this hotel is like nothing I have ever received elsewhere. We have stayed at a fair share of high end properties over the years and not one compares. The staff are attentive, inviting and truly make you feel at home. They have a certain way of carrying themselves and in my opinion, are highly trained at how to deal with their guests. On several occasions we were in the process of having some form of service whether it be in the Empress Lounge, front entrance with the Doormen (if that is even an appropriate term for them anymore) or at the front desk and we were rudely interrupted by fellow guests. Each time the staff person professionally dealt with the high maintenance guest and continued on with us. I thought that was very classy and one of the few times I have ever seen this type of service and how well they dealt with it. Second is the property itself is beautiful. It looks out over the tidal basin with spectacular views of the Washington Monument and the Jefferson Memorial on the back side of the property and the Capitol Building on the front side. The location is very convenient to the Smithsonian and National Mall areas as well. The pool was very nice.

The Con's are few but they are there. Location is not terribly convenient to a Metro Station or other areas around DC. We spent a decent amount of time in cab's which is okay but can get costly pretty quick. Most of the cab drivers were pretty good about getting us where we needed to go without any chaos or getting lost. Cab fares were moderately reasonable but I can say this is the first time I have seen the cab fare rise while sitting in traffic. Most cities probably charge it and I just have never noticed. The other con are the rooms. They are nice but lack certain modern amenities such as charging stations for te myriad of gadgets that many of is travel and that you find in most Hilton and Marriott's these days, so I would suggest that management consider adding in some of these conveniences. Just an opinion. We looked at the Spa and went through the spa to get to the pool. Very nice space but spa services were way over priced and the staff I did not find to be overly gracious and inviting which was in stark contrast to the rest of the staff we dealt with.

Lastly the real fun part was simply hanging in the Empress Lounge and never knowing which celebrity would hop off the the elevator. Our 8 year old found that to be wicked cool as did we.

I would definitely stay here again and would recommend it to anyone who asked.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Kgosselin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami, Florida
Level Contributor
24 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2013

I have stayed at the Mandarin Oriental DC several times. The service is always outstanding and I had always had an amazing experience. It is well located, while not being in the middle of DC's downtown, which for some might be not convenient if you just want to walk. However, an easy 3 minute ride in a cab will put you anywhere within Downtown. If you are lucky to get a room with a view to the river it is fabolous!!

Room Tip: Try to get a room away from the elevator, and if possible, with a view to the river.
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  • Stayed April 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
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank GuillermoH830
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NJ
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 6, 2013

We stayed here with the kids during Spring Break. We had an amazing experience. We were a bit worried it wouldn't be very "kid friendly" but the opposite was true. Everyone was super helpful and attentive....starting at check-in when they gave the kids stuffed pandas. The bell staff was awesome...and not easily flustered by the amount of stuff we were bringing in! They must have kids too :-) Our room allowed us access to the Tai Pen lounge which was worth every penny of an upgrade. The staff was in the lounge were attentive, all the food (esp breakfast) was great, access to computer room/printer, happy hour...and it was just a nice homebase to hang out as a family. The concierge in the lounge was very helpful in making reservations etc. Again...this will be the only place we ever stay while in DC.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank briana15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
44 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2013 via mobile

We stayed for three nights and wish it could have been longer. Rooms are large and beautiful. Call housekeeping for an in room coffee pot though. Staff is attentive and welcoming and it is an easy walk to the mall and the metro. Didn't have a chance to visit the spa.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Mary Jane R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
17 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2013

The service here was unbelievably terrible. We waited over an hour for a kettle only to not have it show up. Then we gave up and went to bed to have to wake up not long after to answer the door bell because the guy that was supposed to bring the kettle apparently had a hard time reading the persons writing that wrote the note for them downstairs. The hotel doesnt have a good view and is a good 15min away from the subway and the Smithsonian museums. There are no restaurants open close by except for the ones in the hotel and room service. The starbucks even closes early. We thought room service would be safe even though it was overpriced with the room service fee and the 19% premium fee that they charged. Apparently you cant order normal food in the hotel lounge on friday and saturday because they do a jazz night instead which is drinks and appetizers. We waited 1hr 5min for room service to be delivered to the lounge only to have to go up to our room and try and get a hold of in room dining. Finally the third time I tried to phone the front desk got the in room dining people on the phone and they claimed that they could not locate us in the lounge which is why they didnt bring anything. Clearly we were the only people waiting for dinner to be served. We had to pay $75 for stone cold second rate penne and tomato sauce. It was the WORST hotel experience I ever had. All the staff could say was "I sincerely apologize" which is what they must have been taught to say because i would ask them a question and thats how they would reply. Dont waste money as there are nicer hotels in better locations.

Room Tip: There are no good rooms.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank CokeIsBlah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mandarin Oriental, Washington DC

Property: Mandarin Oriental, Washington DC
Address: 1330 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington DC, DC 20024-2100
Phone Number:
Location: United States > District of Columbia > Washington DC
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#4 Spa Hotel in Washington DC
#11 Luxury Hotel in Washington DC
#12 Green Hotel in Washington DC
#13 Business Hotel in Washington DC
#17 Family Hotel in Washington DC
#24 Romantic Hotel in Washington DC
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Mandarin Oriental, Washington DC 5*
Number of rooms: 397
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Unique in its Southwest D.C. location on the water and in very close walking distance to the National Mall, Jefferson Memorial, Tidal Basin, the Smithsonian Castle and Museums of the Smithsonian Institution. Distinguished with modern design and amenities. Welcoming for families and travelers seeking both the famous attractions and the soul of our world capital of art, power and culture. Mandarin Oriental, Washington DC presents elevated, personal service and attention in harmony with our Asian heritage. Hotel, Spa and dining: Are you a fan? ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mandarin Oriental, Washington d.c. Hotel Washington Dc
Mandarin Oriental Hotel Washington Dc
Mandarin Oriental Washington Dc
Mandarin Washington Dc
Washington Dc Mandarin Oriental

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