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The Dupont Circle
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Reviewed June 15, 2009

My wife and some friends of mine stayed here this past weekend. This is the first time I've stayed here since the renovations. The place looks really nice and is very clean. The rooms are small, as everyone else has mentioned. We had a room with two double beds and it was pretty cramped to say the least.

It seems as if the owners went for style over function with the renovations. For example, the bathroom looked nice but was totally impractical. Frosted glass that does not fully reach the floor and ceiling does not make for any degree of privacy. And, as others have said, the shower absolutely soaks the toilet area. This is somewhat amusing to me because this is the exact problem we had with the hotel before it was renovated. Granted, there weren't any frosted glass panels to deal with, but the showers had only a small lip between them and the rest of the bathroom floor. The result then was the same as now: a complete soaking of most of the bathroom floor.

The staff were pleasent and the location cannot be beat. Just be aware that use of the bathroom requires a degree of intimacy that some might be uncomfortable with. I think if I were to say here again, I would only do so with my spouse or by myself.

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank efaust70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 15, 2009

I wish I had read more of the recent reviews here because they are all correct. We checked into the Dupont Hotel on a Tuesday with a stay until Sunday. The location of the hotel, and the fact that it had a fitness center were two of the main reasons we chose this property.

Check in was very quick, the lobby looked very chic and elegant. There is a bar off the lobby that was very busy. The elevators to the floors are incredibly slow and only two (there were three) take the guests to the upper floors. I should also mention that the hotel is shaped like the letter “V” with the front desk located at the upper right part of the “V” and our room at the complete other end of the “V”. There were service elevators close to our room however the guests were not allowed to use them. We did utilize the stairs right next to our room but they exited into a hallway near the hotel’s kitchen and stock room.

The hotel is considered a boutique hotel which translates into the rooms are quite small and minimal. We usually ask for a king size bed and in this instance should have requested two double beds since the king size bed occupied the whole room which left only about 1 to 2 feet around the perimeter of the bed to move around. There was one small closet which also included a shelf, however, there were no drawers to put your socks and stuff in. Since there were two of us, one of us used the lone shelf and the other had to keep our luggage out and use it as a bureau. Additionally, there really is no place to sit other than the bed. The room had a chair but it is wedged along side the desk and was not conducive to sitting.

The bathroom is extremely small, there isn’t even any place to put your toiletries, and we had to keep them on the desk outside the bathroom. The reviewers here were quite correct in their descriptions of the bathroom, one example “The bathroom was separated from the bedroom with a glass door (half opaque) and the shower was also separated from the toilet/basin by a glass screen”. The water from the shower sprayed all over the bathroom so don’t walk in there without something on your feet.

Another great comment by a reviewer was about the windows and is exactly right: “The windows have traditional wood shutters…However, they are a bit impractical.
As the room does not face a major thoroughfare, our room was dark enough at night. However, each morning at 6:20 a.m. when the sun came out, our room became very bright. There are no room darkening blinds or drapes. So, it makes it difficult to sleep in.”

They are still doing a lot of renovations on the hotel so they start banging at around 10ish and don’t stop until about 5pm. Not good if you plan on taking a nap especially at the prices they are charging for a night, a big issue with us. They did offer to move us to a lower floor (we were on the 6th floor) but it was already the end of the week and we had our clothes all over the room (because of no draw space) so we opted not to move. (we hadn’t noticed the noise because our first few days we were up and out by 8am, it wasn’t until Friday that we noticed all the banging.) The gym was pretty lame too. It was very basic with a treadmill and a universal machine. Luckily there are several Washington Sports Clubs in area that charge $15.00 a day if you stay in a nearby hotel, one even has a pool.

Finally, we tried the restaurant in the hotel, we ate there twice. This area is very nice, it overlooks the street and was quite pleasant. At our first breakfast, our waiter took our order and someone else brought us the coffee, however, that was the last time we saw our waiter until he brought the bill. We had initially asked for water which he never brought, so we had to ask another waiter. Our waiter was also tending to the table on the side of us, but every time he came over to bring something to them he dropped it off and immediately took off in the other direction (we were saying “excuse me, excuse me” but he kept on going) Our breakfast meals were dropped off by another waiter and the order was wrong so one of us waited until the other got their correct meal. Meanwhile, our waiter never came over to refill our coffee cups or water or to check on how things were going until the end to drop off the check. Luckily, the other waiters were excellent and they were the ones responsible for getting us anything. When we left we mentioned it to the manager who told us we could go back for another breakfast on him. We did go back the next day only to be told by the hostess that the gas was out in the kitchen and she couldn’t sit anyone so we ended up going to a place across the street (Kramerbooks) and had the most wonderful breakfast. The staff was attentive and the food was delicious.

We finally went back on Sunday and the manager we had spoke to on our first visit remember us and again apologized for our earlier experience. The breakfast really made up for our previous two experiences. Our server couldn’t have been better and the food was delicious.

We got room service one night. Even though we ordered a large chicken salad and a sandwich they only brought a place setting for one person. The food was so-so and the presentation non existent.

At checkout we told the front desk person about the issues we had during our stay and that we even called the front desk about them (which they said they couldn’t do anything about) but that was it.

If you are only staying a few days at this hotel and you are going to be up early and back late AND there is only one of you, you will love this hotel however, I would not recommend it for a longer period than 2 days or for more than 2 people. Ask for two double beds and a lower floor to avoid the banging. Better yet, wait a while until they finish the construction and stay on a lower floor.

Some positives of the hotel: free wifi service (but extremely slow), bed and linens were extremely comfortable, location, staff willing to help if they can (except the housekeeping staff).

Some negatives: construction and loud noise, light coming into the room very early in the morning, teeny tiny room, gym, and the housekeeping staff never replenished the shampoo, soap or conditioner for the 5 days we were there (or gave us enough towels for the two of us) and we had tipped her everyday.

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank BBuddy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 10, 2009

The DuPont Hotel, alias Jury's Washington, alias Jury's Doyle, has reopened as the still-only hotel on glorious DuPont Circle. Having been a visitor here through various iterations of the hotel over the past 25 years, I can say that the management has quite a ways to go. Not the management within the hotel, which does its best, but the management somewhere else, in some distant location.
I moved after the first night because unbearably loud hotel renovation noise at 6:30 am and thereafter not only woke me (!), but precluded me from working in my room. The new room I was moved to didn't have air conditioning that was functioning, so a fan was installed. While the renovations show promise, the management opened it prematurely, with entirely new staff (what happened to those who'd worked here for years?), possibly to make up for closing -- with incredible management stupidity -- just a few months before the inauguaration of President Obama. (The Doyle hotel chain, with pretentions of luxurious greatness, lost hundreds of thousands of dollars -- if not more -- in this unbelievable decision.)
The rooms are reasonably nice but small, with European showers (no baths) that don't close.
The beds are comfortable.
The entire design of the rooms is mod/modern with TVs off-center of the bed.
You can't directly dial anything other than an over-taxed "Service Center," which then routes you to where you want to go. Can't dial the front desk or the restaurant or,really, anything directly.
I write this in June 2009. Give the hotel six months to try to get up to speed and then test it with caution.
A few positives: The staff try hard and are very polite and nice; they're just up against a management (located outside the hotel in some distance location) that misses the basics of how to manage a hotel well early in its coming out. The restaurants both have excellent fare (try the chicken in the main restaurant, or the Caesar salads in both restaurants). The bartender (a woman) makes superb martinis and other drinks.

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank billygoat33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMDupont, Gnereal Manager at The Dupont Circle, responded to this reviewResponded June 11, 2009

Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback regarding your stay at our new property. We would like to extend our gratitude for your patience and commentary regarding your stay, so that we may improve yours and future stays.

While your commentary was optimistic, I would like to apologize for the inconveniences you experienced with your guest room that were not up to our standard. We are working on modifying our phone system to allow you to dial directly to different outlets within the hotel so that you will have one-touch convenience to all of your possible needs.

Thank you again for selecting to stay with us during our soft-opening at The Dupont Hotel, and we hope that you will afford us the opportunity to redeem ourselves during your next visit to Washington, DC. Please kindly contact me personally before your next visit to The Dupont Hotel as I would like to assure that your next visit to Washington be outstanding.

Warmest Regards,
Scott Dawson
Area General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 9, 2009

We booked the Dupont Hotel for location convenience and value for money. Through Hotels.com we got a Saturday night stay for under $150; not bad for a centrally located Washington DC hotel. The website states valet parking is recommended (sure, at $35 a night!) but on a weekend there was ample parking (for free) on the same street. It was recently renovated so it had that new carpet smell in the hallways. We arrived at noon on Saturday and the check-in staff were polite and courteous, we got a room on the second floor and since we were travelling with our 15mth old baby girl they informed us the crib would be sent right up. The room was at the very end of the hallway (room 201) which made it extremely difficult to maneuver the stroller into the room - the hallway actually got thinner by the last 2 rooms and the entrance to the room was also very restrictive! The room we got was Very small (just enough space to roll a stroller around the bed), we wondered where they would place the crib? Very nicely decorated though! flatscreen TV, all the modern ammenities but no fridge, this had to be arranged seperately. A staff member brought in the crib (pack-n-play) and set it up in the room - we had to move the desk and leather loveseat to make room for the crib but we all managed to squeeze it in! The bathroom was seperated from the bedroom with a glass door (half opaque) and the shower was also seperated from the toilet/basin by a glass screen, taking a shower would soak the rest of the bathroom entirely, we did like the Kiehls products though! The hotel location was a bonus because you could literally walk everywhere - we walked to Georgetown and around embassy row, there is a Starbucks right next to the hotel so breakfast was more affordable there. It is a great hotel for the business traveller and couples but it gets a bit tight if travelling with children...

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank hollands
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 8, 2009

My impression of the Dupont Hotel is mixed.

Upon arrival, be sure to know the address of the hotel as it is a very nondescript building. There is a small sign to the right of the front door, that is easily missed. From the outside of the building, it appears to be a 1960's-1970's era low-rise condo. It does not appear to be a hotel.

The lobby area as well as the bar and restaurant are beautifully decorated.
The staff is extremely friendly, each one would greet you every time they passed.

The elevators are small and slow.

The room has very modern furnishings, and looks great. Our room, (742) was very small, but well appointed. There is ample closet space that includes shelving for your clothes, so once you are unpacked, and things put away, the room was adequeate for two people.

The bed was one of the most comfortable ones I have found in any hotel.

The maid service was excellent.

The windows have traditional wood shutters, and surprisingly mixes very well asthetically with the modern look of the room. However, they are a bit impractical.
As the room does not face a major thoroughfare, our room was dark enough at night. However, each morning at 6:20 a.m. when the sun came out, our room became very bright. There are no room darkening blinds or drapes. So, it makes it difficult to sleep in.

The sink is separated from the rest of the "bedroom" by only a narrow glass panel. The sink is modern. As such, it does not have much of a lip, so when you shave, or wash your hands, water is splashed on the counter, floor and the front of your slacks. Likewise, if the light is shining over the sink, it illuminates the bed area as well, through the glass panel. Again, looks great, not practical.

As mentioned by others, the toilet and shower are in the same area, and separated from the sink/bed area by only a partially shaded glass panel. The shading stops at about 5', so anyone taller than that can see right into the shower/toilet area. In addition, when someone is using that area, the silhouette of their body is seen perfectly....even with the glass panel door closed. Do not open the entry room door, or the strangers in the hall will be able to see the silhouette on the toilet too! Again, the modern look is cool....but, not practical.

This room should only be shared by two people who are intimate, and who are not modest or shy. This would not be conducive to travelling with a co-worker or platonic friend.

As others have mentioned too, the shower is only separated from the toilet, by another very narrow glass panel. No matter how I adjusted the shower head, the water would make the floor in front of the toilet very, very wet, and leaves the bath mat, sopping wet. I forgot this as we were going out to dinner, and walked into the area in only sock feet. My socks became very wet, and had to be changed.

Again, the room was beautifully decorated...but, just not practical.

Also, they are still doing work on the building. Every morning by 9 a.m. the hammering started. So, between the light through the shutters, and the construction, no sleeping in.

My biggest gripe is that we were in Washington D.C. for my partner's birthday. I had called the week previous to request wine and truffles be sent to our room. The Dupont referred me to the Doyle number reservations, who e-maied me a request form. I returned the request form, and the reservations person confirmed receipt. However, the wine was not delivered as scheduled, and when I inquired about it, no one had any idea what I was referring to. It was very disappointing and a hassle, when it was to be a simple birthday surprise.

Everyone was very apologetic. I had the confirmation e-mail and showed to Natalie Buchner, the Front of House Manager, who did rectify the situation by sending wine and chocolate covered strawberries to the room at no cost to us. She also included a personal note of apology.

Breakfast at the restaurant cost about $50.00 for two of us. The food was o.k. It was convenient. The service however was excellent.

The hotel is in a great area. Walking distance to shops, restaurants, etc.... The staff is pleasant, the hotel is aethetically pleasing, the bed comfortable, so I hate to give a bad review.

Would I stay here again? Only if their rates were better than other comparable hotels.....that may not be as well decorated, but may be more comfortable.

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank jvmaddux
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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