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“Charming inn in a charming neighborhood”
Review of Akwaaba DC

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Akwaaba DC
Ranked #4 of 36 Washington DC B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 19, 2010

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.

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank TheSnarkySojourner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 11, 2010

My husband and I were delighted with all aspects of this B&B. The breakfasts were a feast and so good that lunch was only a whim if one wished, as you were so full from the morning. What we found very unique was the offer of nibbles ( just like the quality of breakfast, excellent) and juice and a glass of wine served in the dining room at 5 PM so guests could take the opportunity to talk and exchange thoughts, adventures, etc. We thoroughly enjoyed that and met Australians, a German, and a couple from Chicago and had many a funny and lively conversation. The only hint I could offer is if you are taking a car make your reservations well in advance as their are only two spots; once there use public transport which is easy to reach. The neighborhood was safe and full of interesting mansions. Our inkeeper, Joanna


A beautiful old mansion located in a safe and lovely neighborhood a few blocks away from the Metro subway which is also safe and clean. The breakfasts at Akwaaba were delicious and so plentiful that we often did not want lunch, perhaps only an afternoon nibble. And speaking of nibbles, was was so thoughtful and unlike many B&B's, interesting and bountiful nibbles, juice and wine was served at 5 PM in the dining room so that guests could socialize if they wished. We had several spirited and often funny conversations with the German, Australian, and American guests (we were down from Canada) and got to know them over several days. Many,many, thanks to our innkeepers, Joanna, Glen, Carl and the NY innkeeper who came on her birthday to see her friend and jumped in to help. The only hints are 1. have a cell phone which works in the States as they can't always hear you at the front door as the mansion is so large so you might have to call to say you arrived! Also, parking spots are at a premium, so book well in advance if you are driving down, but once in Washington use the Metro which is clean and safe, and everyone we met was friendly and helpful.

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank Roger987
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 15, 2010

Akwaaba Bed and Breakfast was a great historic stay. The house has so much character and is in a great location in DC. The hostess was always nice and helpful, she always made sure we had what we needed which included directions to various places. Breakfast every morning was plentiful and delicious, they even worked with many of the guests if they had dietary restrictions or even if they wanted something else to be added to their breakfast. My boyfriend and I stayed in the Inspiration Room which was just what we needed to relax. The room was well designed, very clean, and romantic. Thank you for making our stay so complete and amazing! I will definitely return to Akwaaba in the future!

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank Sapphire818
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 6, 2010

For the first time, I visited Washington DC to tour the White House and the Capitol. A good friend of mine encouraged me to stay at a Bed & Breakfast and suggested Akwaaba DC. After reviewing all the top hotels, I visited the site and immediately fell in love with Akwaaba and selected the Langston Hughes suite w/ whirlpool and balcony. I was so excited! My communications with Akwaaba before the trip was excellent. When I arrived, the Brownstone was lovely, well decorated, clean. My room was magnificent! That evening I met the Guest keeper who was very informative and told me what I would be having for breakfast. The next morning I was served a breakfast fit for a Queen. Unfortunately, going forward was not what I had expected. I departed for my second day in DC, returning, I walked from Georgetown, back to the B&B. Once I arrived to my room, I noticed that no one had cleaned it. My bed was unmade; the whirlpool was dirty and I had no clean towels. My body was aching and I was looking forward to sitting in the whirlpool. No one was on the grounds. I was extremely tired and disappointed because I paid $190 per night and I could not get my room cleaned, once? So I took a shower anyway and used old towels that were on the floor. My night was sleepless; my spirit was not at rest because my room had not been attended to. I turned on the television, but I could only get two channel(and note even BET). Although I enjoyed my stay in Washington DC and will return, but unless Akwaaba can get their maid service on board, I will not be staying at this B&B; therefore, I could not leave a tip for services not rendered. I support businesses that provide superior services and I expect the same from Akwaaba. Had my room been cleaned where I could have enjoyed the whirlpool that I was looking forward to and a freshly made up bed, my trip and stay in Washington DC at Akwaaba would have been a "10".

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled solo
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1  Thank TravelQueen1460
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 10, 2010

My daughter and I spent four nights at Akwaaba during a heat wave when the temperature rose to 105 outside. Our room, The Inspiration, however was cool and comfortable. The room was very large with wing chairs for reading and the Victorian soaking tub for relaxing.
The downstairs rooms made us feel like we were on the set of "Meet Me in St. Louis" even to the upright piano.
Monique, our host greeted us, helped with luggage and then said that because the other guests were out , that she would deliver snacks right to our room. We had a tray of cold lemonade, humus, pita chips, grapes amd freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.
Later in the evening we had wonderful conversation with other guests and Monique who it turns out is a well-known author and enterprenur. She has a great sense of humor and makes everyone feel at-home and included.
Each day we had another delicious breakfast enjoyed in the Victorian dining room with other guests. On the second day, Monique went to the Cape May sit eand was replaced by another innkeeper, Kristen. She also was extremely hospitable and helpful. Her skill as a conversationalist was outstanding.
Akwaaba is about five blocks from the Metro but the city buses stop a half block away going in and right across the street coming back. They were very cool in the heat and gave us a chance to see the sights.
Akwaaba means "welcome" and if you want a B&B where you will feel this way, be sure to make a reservation at Akwaaba.

  • Stayed: July 2010
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Thank cwcarey34
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 22, 2010

A friend from DC recommended Akwaaba when a group of us decided to visit and we were most pleasantly surprised. My husband and I were given the Langston Hughes Suite and it was like we had stepped back in time to a more genteel era - beautifully and comfortably furnished and well supplied with more than the basic amenities (unusual for a B&B). It was clear that the owners went through great pains to give their clients more than a bed to rest their heads. Their warm service, combined with the delicious hearty breakfast and the cocktail spread in the evenings, made us feel just like we were amongst old friends!

I would stay there again without any hesitation.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank Luxing18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 5, 2010

everyone there was super professional, really cared about our comfort, and that we be able to meet deadlines in the city. felt like home. AND the breakfasts were amazing!

the value is also amazing. go, go, go

(will come back) thanks Glen

  • Stayed: May 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank anthony1144
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Akwaaba DC

Address: 1708 16th St NW, Washington DC, DC 20009-3104
Location: United States > District of Columbia > Washington DC > Dupont Circle
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Kitchenette Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 36 B&Bs / Inns in Washington DC
Price Range: $188 - $269 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 8
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

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