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“Completely misleading. Inn with an attached hotel!”

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Morrison-Clark Historic Inn & Restaurant
Ranked #53 of 141 Hotels in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 15, 2012

First of all ... to call this place an Inn is a total misnomer. I booked a room here after walking past the Morrison Clark on several trips to the convention center in the past. Normally I stay at the Willard or the Crown Plaza Hamilton when in DC. But this inn looked so charming the last time I walked past it ... I decided to stay there this time and save some money from the normal hotels I was at. It seemed so vintage and cozy from the outside each time I passed it, I couldn't wait to actually stay here.

They should call this the 'Morrison-Clark Inn with a large attached hotel behind it' because MOST of the rooms that are sold at this 'Inn' are actually in the connecting hotel behind it. I felt very misled by the room situation ... I thought all the rooms were actually in the main Inn ... the red brick building you see from the street. In fact this is not the case.

I was given my key and instructed to go to the elevator next to the check in desk. Elevator? Why would I need that? When I looked at my folder, it said I was on a higher floor. Higher floor? The inn only had two stories from the outside. wtf? Surely enough, I stepped into the elevator and went up and it was like I was transported from a charming inn from the late 1800s to a shabby hotel from the 1930s when the doors opened.

My HOTEL room was probably the smallest hotel room I have ever stayed in. It was smaller than some of the budget hotel rooms I stayed in earlier on in my business career while on a travel budget in NYC. It was smaller than a lot of the older hotel rooms even in Europe I stayed in, which is really saying something. The furnishings were nice enough ... but there seemed to be way too many things in the small space making it hard to walk around the cruise ship sized room.

I opened the windows and the view was terrible. There was a neon lit outside coridor thing next to my room where people could easily see into my room if I didn't close the drapes. My view from a high floor included several other buildings with a very industrial feel. I didn't feel like I was in DC, I felt more like I was in downtown Newark.

The room was dark and the lighting was sparse. There were some small recessed type lights in the molding over the bed, kind of like you'd expect to find on a cruise ship. There was a desk lamp and a table lamp next to the bed. The paint in the room was a darker brown, so it really made the room dark and gloomy. I had NOT expected to be staying in an old tower-type hotel ... so I decided I would go downstairs to the Inn section and have a few drinks to take the sting away from my tiny hotel room.

9:30 p.m. ... bar was closed on a Friday. They suggested I walk a few blocks down the street and go to their 'sister hotel' where they had a bar. You've got to be kidding me.

The Morrison-Clark HOTEL (I will not call this an Inn) is located in a somewhat uncomfortable part of town. It certainly is not a far walk to 14th street and the hussle and bussle of the tourist part of the city during the day. At night ... you might not exactly feel comfortable walking back to the hotel through empty streets with the occasional homeless person. It is in the city across from the Convention Center ... but most everything is closed after dark around it. I certainly wouldn't want to walk through the streets in this area maybe 4-5 blocks from 'civilization' with a family after dark. There is a small (smallest I've ever seen) CVS across the street that stays open later.

To get to the White House/Smithsonian museums is about a 20 minute walk. If you are not familiar with the city, it will take you a couple times to get used to the walk but it is relatively easy to find your way around if you are comfortable reading maps or navigating a grid type of city. Certainly walkable and maybe worth the $50 or so bucks you will save by staying a few blocks outside the action if you are a budget traveler who doesn't want to stay outside the city and take the subway every day.

Perhaps the biggest dissapointment is the fact that I specifically booked this stay vs. my normal places so I could stay at a 'Historic Inn' in DC and I believe this was misrepresented as being a historic inn because most of the rooms are in the connected hotel. For this reason I would never stay here again and tell everyone else the same thing. You will pay $35 for parking and it is valet only, which is ridiculous considering the garage is actually in the basement of the hotel and the valet attendend pretty much drives the car 15 feet to the side of the building and down into the garage.

If you want a cheap place to stay in DC which is a bit out of the way but walkable to the main sites ... this isn't a bad deal. I paid $120 for a Friday in the summer, which in DC was about $80 less than the Crown Plaza Hamilton a few blocks over. But ... be warned ... don't expect to stay in a little inn. It is more like a hotel, unless you are given one of the fewer rooms in the main inn. The standard room is small ... two people would be bumping into each other nevermind a family.

Also, $20 for a small (half the size of a normal one) bottle of wine in the honor bar is crazy, especially when you can't get a glass of wine and sit on the front porch area after 9 p.m. on a Friday.

Again, this hotel should be ashamed for the the way they describe the rooms on the website, making it seem like a quaint inn vs. a semi-run down hotel. Or at least give people the option to choose if they want to stay in the Inn vs. the Hotel section. Also, the check in staff is small (and international) and its not always the service you'd expect from a hotel because they are overextended.

Room Tip: Make sure you wont be given a room in the hotel part
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  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled on business
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2  Thank LovinHotelLife
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
maggieedwards, General Manager at Morrison-Clark Historic Inn & Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded August 17, 2012

I am so sorry to hear that you were disappointed with your stay at the Morrison Clark Inn. The Inn was built to incorporate the original two townhomes circa 1864 as well as the Sailors, Soldiers and Airmen Club into which they were converted in 1922. I think that one of the charming attributes of the Morrison Clark Inn is that our rooms come in a number of different sizes, styles and room types. They are all described on our website and here at Trip Advisor, as well as the fact that we have 54 rooms at the Morrison Clark. If stated, we are always happy to pair you with a room that best suits your individual tastes. Our Victorian Rooms are located in the Morrison Mansion and it appears that the room you were assigned was locared in the Sailors Club section.
The neighborhood is very safe and has a vibrant Club and Restaurant scene. Restaurants such as Brasserie Beck, Gastro Pub Aggain and Chinatown are all 2-5 blocks away. There is also a 24 hour large CVS on Thomas Circle at Massachussetts and 14th St three blocks away, as well as the one you mentioned on 10th St.
We pride ourselves on the cleanliness of the hotel and our customer service. So I am concerned that you did not experince either. It sounds by your Trip Advisor name that you have very particuler taste and if I can do anything to ensure that we meet those expectations, do please call me and I guarantee that you will have that historic Inn feel you were expecting.

Warmest regards,

Maggie Edwards

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514 - 520 of 773 reviews

Reviewed August 14, 2012

Great find! This old inn is one of the nicest places I have stayed! If you want to avoid the big chain hotel and stay in a hotel that is clean, with great rooms, comfortable beds, walking distance to the White House and with a bit of history and character, then this is the place for you!

Room Tip: We arrived on a Saturday and everything around (diner's, shops) seemed to be closed?? Surreal fo...
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  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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Thank BCJD12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
maggieedwards, General Manager at Morrison-Clark Historic Inn & Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded August 15, 2012

I am happy that you commented on how much you love the Morrison Clark Inn. There is nothing better than sitting on the Veranda and watching the hustle and bustle of Washington, D.C. pass by. Thanks for noticing that we are an comfortable oasis in downtown. I hope we can serve you again on your next visit to the area.

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Reviewed August 9, 2012

What a wonderful boutique inn! Our stay was wonderful from the moment we arrived thanks to Milan (I hope that's how you spell his name) and the other staff members. The rooms were beautiful, the dining areas were stunning and the food was just perfect! Our lunch nosh was a highlight for sure.
The location was perfect for us, as tourists we wanted a central location. Parking was abundant as were bars restaurants and entertainment. Be aware that you are, in fact, in a huge city and there will be sirens and trucks, but they are a part of the fabric of DC.
We'll be back!

Room Tip: The suites are great, but 213 and 215 are gorgeous 'Victorian Rooms' with huge verandas over...
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank UncadooPhilly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
maggieedwards, General Manager at Morrison-Clark Historic Inn & Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded August 15, 2012

Thank you for your comments and well written review. I am glad to see that you enjoyed our historic hotel. I feel that we do offer a different experience than the larger chain or big box hotels and our location is central to all the sights, as you discovered. I will happily pass along your comments to Milon since his service impressed you. The kitchen continues a long history of excellent but unpretencious food for both hotel guests and neighborhood residents. I hope to see you again soon.

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Reviewed July 20, 2012

I booked this hotel for a Business meeting nearby, and tried it out for a different stay than the typical hotel. On another trip I stayed at the Tabard inn and really liked the feel of the Inn. On both trips, I wanted to save some money. I got both at both locations. The outside look at the MC is about the same as the Tabard, as they have a treed street and the hotel looks like someone's house. However, there's more traffic as it is settled near the convention center that includes tall office buildings on a busy street. I love there is a "front Porch" that you can sit out front and people watch, if you can stand the traffic noise and the humid heat! The tabard did not have that. The people/Staff are really nice and and polite. Unlike the Tabard, there is an elevator and a bell man, but like the tabard, you had to walk up the stairs to enter the front! The room I had was spacious and, per my request when I booked, they gave me a room away from the street noise and traffic. Unlike the Tabard, they had Large screen TV's, so the kids would be okay here. There's a fridge with bar items and the bed was soft. The toiletries were different, but I would not use the shampoo again as it never lathered up my hair. One thing that was cool was their rooms are big enough that they can offer in-room spa services for massages and reflexology. If I stayed longer I might have tried that out. The room furnishings are heavy wood, like the Tabard, only not as "homey." While the Tabard acts like "an Inn" the MC acts like a hotel with historical stories. I stayed at the Wyndam Garden Barrone in New Orleans, and that is a similar feel with their building's history and making rooms out of an old Sears retail store.

The food was excellent, only they don't have a bar. So what do you do when you come in from a long day and want to chill out? Milan was our server and he was very gracious and attentive. The restaurant is not like the Tabard at all, as it has the look of an old hotel dining room with antique furniture and white table cloths. And they have a really nice courtyard inside that was probably a place for parties. The menu selection is moderately priced, standard fare, however the specials were very appealing. Food quality and preparation are excellent as well as the service.

The one thing that I found was people called this hotel "Quirky" meaning "unconventional, surprising, odd." The MC is hardly that, considering the history of the building, and the owner's attempt to update the hotel while keeping with the historical legacy. The Tabard had much more historical ambiance with the dark wood, bar and lounge area and historical paintings making it feel like a home; this felt like a modern hotel trying to look old. Most of the original wood trims were removed and the simplicity look was again more hotel than inn. I would stay here again if my meeting was nearby. I paid about $300 for my room with taxes.

I debated on giving it either a 4 or 5, and rested on a 4, because this was a hotel in feel. If I were to bring my bride, I know I would not let her down. However, by myself, there is no place to "socialize" while chilling out after a long day. As a lone traveler, not part of a group, I look for more than a bed and shower. Again, it is a nice hotel and has historical feel, but compared to the Tabard I stayed in recently, the MC is a good place but not as great.

Room Tip: Ask for a quiet room away from the street. If you want a drink, find the wait staff who will serve...
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  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled on business
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3  Thank WarmVacations
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
maggieedwards, General Manager at Morrison-Clark Historic Inn & Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded July 26, 2012

Thank you so much for your astute review of our hotel. I am pleased that our historic building and services met your needs. We bring a unique experience to your Washington, DC stay with all the comfort and amenities of a large chain hotel such as private bathrooms, TV's, Ironing boards and hair dryers in all of our rooms.
We do offer table side cocktail service in our Club Lounge, on the Veranda as well as in our Restaurant.
The grandeur of the Victorian 'Morrison Mansion', one of the two townhomes that are incorporated into the existing hotel does lend a bit of formality to the Inn but the friendliness of the Guest Service team makes you feel right at home.

Maggie Edwards,
General Manager

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Reviewed July 14, 2012

Overall our stay at the Morrison Clark Inn was very pleasant. The staff were friendly and the bed was comfy. The room itself was in keeping with the quirkiness and olde worldliness of the building, but it had all the necessary mod cons. The location is pretty good too with the Mall, White House etc all being within walking distance.

The only minor issues we had about out room was that our 'balcony' was actually an outside walk way to two other rooms, which meant that privacy wise we felt we had to keep the curtains to our doors to the 'balcony' closed most of the time. These doors were our only window into the room and what with the old fashioned dark wood furniture this did mean it was rather dark in the room. But to be honest, we don't spend much time in our room on holiday anyway, and it did somewhat add to the charm and character of the place. Also, just be warned that the entrance to the hotel is up several outside steps which can be a bind for big suitcases but I am sure if the staff noticed you were really struggling they would help you.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank JoandBarry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
maggieedwards, General Manager at Morrison-Clark Historic Inn & Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded August 15, 2012

All of our hotel rooms are unique and come in a number of different sizes and types. I think that this is one of the charming attributes of the Morrison Clark Inn. Rooms with private balconies are in our Victorian room type. The exterior balconies you mentioned are actually access corridors for our Country decor Parlor Suites. The Victorian balcony rooms are the most highly requested rooms in the hotel but If stated in advance we can always try to place you in the room that best suits your needs.Thank you for your business.

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Reviewed July 10, 2012

Overall a very pleasant stay except for the noisy street outside. We arrived on the 4th of July and our room was on the 2nd floor, so we were a bit disturbed by the noise, but whether that is always the case, we do not know. However, the noise was the only minus. Ok, the wifi was a bit slow, but it worked. The place is like a step into another era, definitely a different experience from your standard hotel chains, there was antique furniture, some of it really curiously shaped, the doors were thick wooden ones, the atmosphere lovely. The hotel is a 15-minute-walk from Washington Memorial, there's a metro station a couple of blocks away and a bus stop, too. The room was very clean, the bed comfortable, and the staff very helpful.

Room Tip: Choose a room that does not face the busy streets
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  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Hayny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
maggieedwards, General Manager at Morrison-Clark Historic Inn & Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded July 26, 2012

Thank you for taking the time to review our hotel after your recent stay. The hotel retains many of the original features of the1864 homes from which it was built. I beleive that our historic building, friendly staff and guest room amenities make your hotel experince one to remember and I am glad that you did as well.

Regards,

Maggie Edwards
General manager

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Reviewed July 8, 2012

Got a good rate for a parlor suite ($161) with great AC in room near convention center. Check out Il Riconcito Mexican restaurant at end of block. CVS also block away. If you're attending a convention, this is a great option. Room service breakfast was good for a good price. With some work, this could be a fabulous historic inn, but as is, it's quirky and needs attention. For example, stained, torn lampshade, no TV in bedroom (parlor suite has two rooms and TV is in sitting room,) silly mini tabletop ironing board, dark shower and toilet in bathroom.) No ice machine, so every time you need ice, you have to request a bucket delivered to room. Little storage and you can't hang garment bag on door because they're too thick. (again, not the end of the world, but annoying.) Staff friendly and responsive for most part. Nice restaurant on site. Nice curb appeal front porch fun for cocktails, but it was 100 degrees, so didn't use it. We'd go back and recommend to friends and family attending event at convention center. Order takeout from Il Riconcito...it's a local favorite.

Stayed: July 2012, traveled on business
1  Thank DCSteveTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded July 10, 2012

DC Steve Traveler,
Thank you for your positive review. We're happy you enjoyed your Parlor Suite and appreciate your willingness to recommend us to your friends and family. We pride ourselves on our staff and we are pleased you took notice of their friendliness. We look forward to having you as our guest again soon.

Kindest Regards,

Erin Sterling, Senior Sales Manager
The Morrison Clark Inn

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Additional Information about Morrison-Clark Historic Inn & Restaurant

Address: 1011 L St NW, Washington DC, DC 20001
Phone Number:
Location: United States > District of Columbia > Washington DC > Mount Vernon Square
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#26 Luxury Hotel in Washington DC
#54 Romantic Hotel in Washington DC
#82 Business Hotel in Washington DC
Price Range: $118 - $406 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Morrison-Clark Historic Inn & Restaurant 4*
Number of rooms: 114
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated minutes from top Washington, DC attractions, the Morrison Clark Historic Inn and Restaurant is an iconic landmark that captures the true essence of the nation's capital. This beautiful Victorian-era mansion features well-appointed accommodations, complimentary Wi-Fi and valet parking. Dine on inspired American cuisine at our luxurious hotel restaurant. From historic charm to modern comforts, this extraordinary property sets a new luxury standard for Washington, DC boutique hotels. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Morrison-Clark Historic Hotel Washington Dc
Hotel Morrison Clark Historic

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