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“Think twice.” 2 of 5 stars
Review of The Donovan, A Kimpton Hotel

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The Donovan, A Kimpton Hotel
Ranked #30 of 141 Hotels in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Farnham Common, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
133 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
“Think twice.”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2012

We stayed here for four nights in April just when this hotel was being taken over by Kimpton Hotels. The hotel is about 15 mins walk from the White House and not far from all the sights. There is a small lobby with some interesting seating and free wifi is available there. There is happy hour with free drinks every evening.

Rooms (we had two) are spacious with plenty of hanging and drawer space in both rooms. The bathrooms had shower areas at one end. It is quite difficult to keep the water from staying inside the cubicle as there are silly, short shower curtains (in a modern 4star hotel?), our shower head kept falling off it's holder as it was broken. The beds were all as hard as boards. The curtains were just not quite wide enough to keep the light from the street lights at Thompson Circle from illuminating the rooms all night long. Serious irritation,this when all you want is a good bed, some darkness and a good shower (which, to be fair, you get from the water pressure).

This doesn't stop here. Both our rooms were not made up after our first night but as we came back quite late we told them not to bother that night. Strange, as staff had been in to change all signs, umbrellas, bathrobes to Kimpton Hotels. Second night, our children had no bath towels. As we had an early flight, my husband went down to check out and order a large taxi for four adults and a lot of luggage. There was an empty reception desk with the night receptionist wandering in after 5 mins. We were seriously let down by the car valets and were in danger of missing flights when the wrong (small) car turned up, a larger taxi arrived by was turned away by the valets as it was not his 'friend'. We had to wait for this 'friend' and then renegotiate the price we had already agreed. We left on a very sour note.

As I write, we have just (hopefully) sorted out their accounts department. We had prepaid, but our card was charged again, twice for one room and once for the other. These amounts seemed to be credited and debited with astonishing regularity.



Kimpton is a great chain and could easily, and quite simply, make a few changes at Donovan House and bring it up to it's other hotels standards.

Room Tip: Don't stay on the Circle side.
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ruthiegee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MMJennings, General Manager at The Donovan, A Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, May 16, 2012
Hi Ruthiegee,

So sorry you were affected by the transition. It is a major task to takeover a busy and fully occupied hotel but things are running much more smoothly now. We would love to have you you back so that you can see how quickly we have been able to bring all of the fun Kimpton culture and amenities to the Donovan House. Please contact me at mark.jennings@kimptonhotels.com so that i may personally handle the arrangements for your next Kimpton stay.

Regards,

Mark Jennings
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (379)
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English first
providence
Level Contributor
39 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2012

Great, funky contemporary hotel with all the best amenities and staff Kimpton has to offer. Room was quiet and very comfortable. The extra lighting features (dimming nightlights, etc) were helpful. Internet was fast. The "cocoon" type shower was "different", just wish the water pressure was a bit better. Donovan staff, like other Kimpton's, are wonderfully friendly, helpful and professional. The location is perfect - close to nice restaurants, walking distance to Whole Foods and across from a CVS. I look forward to another stay and recommend the Donovan highly.

Room Tip: Would recommend a higher floor
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank paulasw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MMJennings, General Manager at The Donovan, A Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, May 7, 2012
Paula, you just made my day with your comments. This is indeed a great new addition to our Kimpton Collection in DC. I myself am surprised by how quiet it is with floor to ceiling windows but they are designed especially for this. We can't wait to have you back.

Mark Jennings
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore
Level Contributor
143 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2012

Modern in style, alive at night..... the public spaces were rockin at midnight on a Friday. Quiet in the room though. It's what you would expect to find in a kimpton..... except, there was no body wash or skin lotion in the bathroom (were supplies restocked after the last guest?). If you need to work, you'll find this room lacking....... there wasn't really any place to set up a computer at a convenient height or to spread paperwork out.
The location is good ... although not the best. A visitor can find good rooms much closer to the tourist center of town .... but likely at a much higher price. It's only a couple of blocks to a Metro stop so location is not a problem.
A nit: The sliding bathroom door is VERY solid (hence heavy) ... that's good, but it lacks a good handle to get a purchase on the door when you want to slide it open or shut. That could be a pain.
No ice machine... but the staff will promptly bring ice if you call.
Bed very comfortable, room and public spaces very clean. I have been in this building before --- 25 years ago and it was then a tired Holiday Inn. This property has been totally refurbished.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Vandal72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MMJennings, General Manager at The Donovan, A Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, April 30, 2012
Thanks for the positive comments, Vandal72. We at Kimpton Hotels are very happy to have added the Donovan House to our DC portfolio just a couple of weeks ago. This is a gorgeous hotel with a lot of potential and our loyal fans are already enjoying our Kimpton touches - wine hour, morming coffee service, warm and engaging staff. etc.. That is a good point regarding the closet doors and we will cerainly see if we can make improvements. Please stay with us again.

Mark Jennings
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Centennial, Colorado, Usa
Level Contributor
74 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 192 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2012

I have stayed several times at the Donovan while visiting DC. The hotel is at the intersection of 14th St. NW, Vermont, and I Sts. and is about a half mile walk from either the Farragut North or McPherson stations.

On my most recent trip, I was upgraded to a junior suite, which I found modern, spacious, and very comfortable. The room overlooked 14th and I Streets, and yet the soundproofing was amazing. I barely heard any traffic noise at all. The bed was large, the shower somewhat futuristic, and there was a large flat-screen TV in the room (which was furnished with modern furniture). There is an attractive display of snacks on the counter (go ahead, try to ignore it), and you are drawn to it the moment you walk in the room. About the only drawback was that there was no coffee maker in the room, which I found odd.

As this room was picked up by my company, I don't know how much the room cost was, so I can't comment on value. However, the hotel is a nice little jewel when staying in DC.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Mellon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MMJennings, General Manager at The Donovan, A Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, May 7, 2012
Hello Mellon,

I am so thrilled that we were able to make such a good impression on you. We like to think we are a little jewel as well. To answer you question about coffee makers, we choose not to have them in the rooms because we offer complimentary coffee and tea service in the lobby every morning. It is a far superior experience to any in-room coffee that I have tried. We hope to see you again soon.

Mark Jennings
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Level Contributor
20 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2012

Billed as a 4-star boutique hotel, it was really just an average 3-star. Very friendly but not overly knowledgable staff. In mid-March, 2012, the hotel was changing ownership/management from Thompson to Kimpton. Hopefully the new owners will put in the money to refurbish a tired hotel.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank SaloneeToronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MMJennings, General Manager at The Donovan, A Kimpton Hotel, responded to this review, April 30, 2012
HI Salonee,

I see that your stay was in March. Good News! As of April 11, the Donovan House did indeed become a Kimpton Hotel. We had the luxury of having a tremendous transition team sweep through the hotel and add in all of our best loved Kimpton features and amenities. The staff is indeed extremely friendly and accommodating and they have all graduated with honors from Kimpton's Care and Comfort Training Academy. We can't wait for you to return and see the difference.

Cheers!

Mark Jennings
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arlington, Tennessee
Level Contributor
113 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2012

Spacious, clean room & fantastic view rooftop pool! Within walking distance to the mall & other great sights. The restaurant is good too. My 10 year old loved the swinging chairs in the lobby. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay. The only thing I can say even potentially negative is the pool closes too early. The roof top becomes a nightclub bar of sorts & there was a line going from the elevators out the front door of the hotel each night.

Room Tip: upper floors have a fantastic view!
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Lori P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jackson, TN
Level Contributor
57 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2012

Stayed for one night and could not be happier. Location was very good and staff was excellent.

  • Stayed April 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Texstud
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Donovan, A Kimpton Hotel

Property: The Donovan, A Kimpton Hotel
Address: 1155 14th St NW, Washington DC, DC 20005-4111
Phone Number:
Location: United States > District of Columbia > Washington DC > Upper Northwest
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#13 Green Hotel in Washington DC
#15 Luxury Hotel in Washington DC
#24 Business Hotel in Washington DC
#41 Romantic Hotel in Washington DC
#57 Family Hotel in Washington DC
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Donovan, A Kimpton Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 193
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Also Known As:
Donovan Hotel a Thompson
Donovan House Washington Dc

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