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Kimpton Rouge Hotel
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All reviewsdupont circlered carred themewhite housefunky hotelbunk bedswhole foodswine hourraid the mini baranimal print robescomplimentary winefront desk staffcontinental breakfastroom was spacioussmall bathroomfew blocksfree internet
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A TripAdvisor Member
16
Reviewed February 25, 2006

Washington without chintz and faux Federalist antiques! I visit Washington once a year, on average, and have stayed in plenty of "name" hotels that have offered surprisingly tired rooms and lackluster service. No names, please, but I've been kept up all night by wedding parties, cursed broken hairdryers and forded through a sea of streetwalkers to find a cab at much more expensive addresses. So I thought I'd try the Rouge for a complete change of pace. I'll definitely be returning! I was amused the minute I saw the ironic, iconic white statues in front. The staffer at the front desk was friendly and efficient, giving lie to JFK's statement that Washington is a city of Northern charm and Southern efficiency. After reading some reviews on this site, I was worried about finding a cab to take me to a rubber chicken dinner (actually, it was glazed tilapia, but that's another story...) so I inquired. No problem, I was told, someone will run out and hail you a cab when you come down. So I took the elevator to my 10th floor room and walked down a hall decorated in burnt-orange, with Annie Liebovitz pictures in whimsical silver frames on the walls. The nonsmoking room was huge, and clean, with a kingsize bed, a reading area with a round ottoman, a compact but complete bathroom and a sizeable desk and media center. There was also a floor-to-ceiling mirror, tilted in a suitably ironic postmodern manner against one wall. The desk had an unexpected but useful power strip, so I could recharge my travelling companions (cell phone, iPod, Blackberry. They later rested comfortably in the room safe, while I was away.) Yes, there is red everywhere, but some thoughtful designer outfitted the standing lamp in the reading area with a traditional white shade and white bulb, suitable for skimming the free city guides and magazines strewn about, or catching up with the new Lincoln biography. I popped the free world music CD into the stereo, put CNN on mute and ran a bath -- and enjoyed the Aveda products and generous turkish bath towels thoroughly. The hairdryer, in a cotton drawstring bag, worked. A card in the bathroom notes a list of available supplies in case you've forgotten something -- and adds that the staff will try to accommodate any request. (I didn't have a chance to test this out, although I contemplated asking whether they had a dictionary so I could find out how to spell tilapia.) There was an orange enamel cabinet outside the bathroom that stocked toys, mints, booze, and other sundries -- available for typical minibar prices. Looked useful but I didn't indulge, since I anticipated a full 4 hours of work-related schmoozing ahead.

The Rouge was a short cab ride to the much stuffier, non-ironic Embassy Row hotel that was hosting the dinner, and, yes, to my delight, someone from the front desk at the Rouge ran out and flagged the cab for me, since I was attempting to navigate in spike heels. (Cabs in Washington work on a zone system and are as necessary and as reasonable as breathing, for a much tinier fare than a comparable ride would cost in Boston or New York.) After the dinner, I returned to decompress in the hip but strangely soothing Rouge Bar. I chased the tilapia with a ruby red cosmopolitan, caught the last of the women's Olympic skating on the flat-screen television over the bar, then tottered upstairs and slept soundly on the pillow-top king bed. And, yes, I wore the zebra robe! Checkout was a whiz, even at 6 a.m., and there were stacks of morning newspapers available and a taxi line outside for the shortish trip to Reagan Airport. What more could you want?

  • Stayed: February 2006, traveled on business
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6  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
new york, ny
35
Reviewed February 6, 2006

luckily red doesn't bother me. you can tell it was once a cheap hotel from the 70s Brutalist outside but the inside is up to Kimpton standard. the room is large and comfy, the bed fine, though the decor isn't as outré as the Hotel Helix, another Kimpton property in DC, and I liked that room better. still, once inside you can't tell it used to be a Days Inn or whatever.

the bar hours are weird and I was booted out at 10:30 on a Monday night after a much-delayed flight, which was sort of annoying, but at least I had a nice snack and some wine. the bar and lobby spaces are a bit outlandish, as if Bobby Trendy and Anna Nicole had a go at it, but overall it's kinda fun.

room service the next night was prompt and I have no idea where a reviewer came up with the $34 grilled cheese sandwich because it's only $7 on the menu. the comp wine/beer in the lobby is a nice treat after a stressful workday, though it's only from 5-6pm I think.

the location isn't great for tourists but it worked for me as it's not far from my client. the staff as at the Helix are attentive and helpful yet relaxed and friendly, without being obsequious as I've experienced at some W properties: yes, yes, I'm fine, leave me alone, thanks.

I'd probably stay at the Helix again or another of the many Kimpton properties in DC the next time. The Rouge is nice but not extraordinary, except when compared to the usual chain polyester palace which is why I stay at Kimpton hotels when my travels take me someplace that has one.

  • Stayed: February 2006, traveled on business
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1  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
New York, NY
14
Reviewed January 16, 2006

I have stayed in many large hotels, boutique hotels and luxury inns and this hotel strikes a very nice balance between comfort, trendiness and service.

While it might be a converted comfort inn or something of that ilk, they have nicely redone it so that it is trendy but not designed to death like many Kimpton hotels. The rooms are large, the beds and sheets very comfortable and the bathrooms small but servicable.

The service was very friendly and helpful. My requests were cheerfully accomodated and they were efficient and friendly without being frighteningly chipper or achingly self-important like many hotels trying for a young and hip attitude.

It was a great value for the money and I would recommend staying there for anyone looking for a nice hotel in the Dupont Circle area.

Stayed: January 2006
4  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 6, 2006

I spent 11 nights at the Hotel Rouge and it was one of the best experiences that I have had. Being a botique hotel I expected a very small room, and was quite surprised at the size of the room. At first I thought that because I was staying there for almost 2 weeks that had upgraded my room - but I peaked in a few other rooms (while the were being cleaned) and most of them were as large or larger.

The room was well appointed with King Size Bed, dressing area, modern ammenities and Aveda products. And the hotel staff keeps the rooms very impecably cleaned. The hotel offers free high-speed internet access. This was very helpful in checking e-mails and purchasing tickets for sporting events, attractions or theater.

The only disadvantage, was the view - I was on the back side of the hotel - so while this is the more quite area - it did overlook the employee parking area.

Every afternoon they do offer a happy hour serving various Red Wines, RedStar Beer and other "Red" themed drinks. Most of the time I was out touring the city and therefore did not have the opportunity to endulge in this ammenity

The staff was very helpfull and were able to recommend several excellent restuarants within a 7-8 block walking area. In addition, they work with a spa and can arrange in room massages or other treatments.

The hotel is located off of Scott Circle. And unfortunately, you will need to walk a good 10-15 minutes to reach a Metro station.

  • Stayed: May 2004, traveled on business
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6  Thank MarciaD720
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 5, 2006

If you travel a lot - usually on expenses - and are jaded with the typical 'corporate' hotel, then you'll enjoy Hotel Rouge for a couple of nights. If you're paying with your own money, think that you'll subsume some glamour by staying in a funky hotel but secretly like the soft underpinnings of a safe choice... then you'll be disappointed. The truth is that Hotel Rouge tries hard, fails in the details, but is still to commended for making the attempt in the first place. I could moan about the fact that one of my TVs didn't work, that a lot of the paintwork is badly scuffed or that the bathroom was way too small... But I wouldn't dream of it because the congierge remembered my name and my room had a huge mirror propped against the wall. What more could an international jetsetter require ?h

  • Stayed: January 2006, traveled on business
    • Value
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5  Thank traffert
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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