Overall, we really liked Akwaaba DC. Our room, the Langston Hughes, which seemed larger than our own apartment, was decorated with charm and whimsy to evoke the spirit of the poet. (Hughes was an African-American writer/poet about whom I know nothing about, except now I know he was a dapper man who liked hats. And I don’t mean to imply that Hughes was charming and whimsical, I’m just commenting on the feel of the room.)
The furniture served as the base of the room’s decorating theme -- dark woods, slightly upholstered with what looked like leather. Because the lounge chair and settee were more wood than upholstery/cushioning, they were supportive and comfortable, unlike many seats we’ve sat upon in other B&B guest rooms. (Cushions on wicker seem to be a common, uncomfortable guest-chair choice.) Even the king bed was borderline comfortable -- again, a rarity in our travels. The dresser, armoire, and desk were old and creaky and sometimes annoying -- the armoire door creaked open every time we shut it, the dresser drawers were not on tracks, and the pullout desktop of the desk was rickety -- you couldn’t lean on it without worrying you would break it. Drawer liners inside the dresser drawers would have been welcome.
The flat-screen TV worked well and offered plenty of the popular channels; there was also a DVD player but we didn’t use it. The TV also has HDMI and VGA inputs, so it’s possible to hook up laptops or games if you’re interested. On our last day there, we noticed the room had no phone -- we never needed the in-room phone, but found it odd that we couldn’t find one.
We loved the private balcony overlooking 16th street. We only wish it had a screen door so we could get fresh air in while keeping the mosquitoes out. There was one window, in which sat a relatively quiet air conditioner. It would have also been nice to have a light out on the balcony.
The bathroom was perfectly sized, housed a two-person jacuzzi, and offered decent water pressure and temperature control.
I grew tired of the Akwaaba breakfast experience after a few days (we stayed a week), but that’s more a matter of preference than of the quality of the food or the service -- I missed the muffins and sweet breads that most other B&Bs offer daily, and longed to have some choice in hot entree, even if it’s just a choice of a sweet or a savory. My husband was happy the with fare, and the staff were accommodating of people who were put off by the food (the French guests didn’t seem to know what to make of the breakfast burritos offered one morning, so they asked for pancakes). The coffee was unbearable, but that’s another B&B norm. Also, though the Web site states that “Breakfast is served ‘family style’, either at the large dining table or more intimately at either of the tables for 2,” those tables for 2 were not always set up for breakfast.
The happy-hour fare was generally good and plentiful and could include anything from olives to mixed nuts to turkey meatballs to chocolate-chip cookies. The cookies definitely tasted like the supermarket dairy-case slice-and-bake variety, and some of the dips tasted like they came from a mix. I’m not faulting the inn for this, however, as they never claimed to be a gourmet outlet. (Nor to I have anything against slice-and-bake cookies).
The innkeeper and the staff were friendly; the atmosphere welcoming overall. I wouldn’t mind staying there again, but I would certainly also look into other area B&Bs that offered more seating choices in the dining area, and that served morning muffins or other breakfast sweets.
Akwaaba’s location is great. it is just a few blocks to restaurants for all tastes and budgets, bars, a Safeway and a Whole Foods, and a CVS. The neighborhood is appealing, with well-kept buildings ripe with architectural details. Walking to the Dupont Circle metro station takes five to eight minutes, but a bus route passes by the building, with a bus stop located just a block away. Walk or ride straight down 16th street and you’ll bump into the White House.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Akwaaba DC is located in Dupont Circle at the heart of the Nation's Capitol. This 1890's historic townhouse is within walking distance of the White House, and the many fine restaurants, and shops of Dupont Circle. Access to the Smithsonian and National Monuments is a short ride on the Metro just 4 blocks (less than a 10 minute walk). Choose from 7 guest rooms, each with private bath or an apartment with accommodations for 6. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Akwaaba Dc Hotel Washington Dc