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“Hopefully not indicative of other Kimpton Hotels...”

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Kimpton Donovan Hotel
Ranked #29 of 141 Hotels in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
New York
Level 4 Contributor
22 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Hopefully not indicative of other Kimpton Hotels...”
Reviewed May 15, 2012

Well, this was my first Kimpton experience, and I sure hope that Donovan House is not their norm. I really was not impressed, and would caution you before you stay here. Donovan House is an old hotel that has recently been taken over by Kimpton, but there are still a lot of flaws. First, the location is mediocre, it's not that close to anything exciting and not even that close to a subway stop, but it's not far either...so it's definitely doable.

Unfortunately, there was a lot of trouble with the pricing and online reservations. They charged me one thing online, then wanted to charge me more in person (the guy even said, "What website did you book this from?" Um, yours?) He told me he'd fix the problem, and upon checkout, guess what? The problem hadn't been fixed! The people checking in next to us had similar problems. Be careful!

Also, the room is just a weird design. It's supposed to be modern, but the shower is this strange conch shape. There's no curtain or shower door, so you get cold in the shower! They don't stock amenities in your bathroom except for shampoo and conditioner. I had to ask for lotion and a shower cap. Is that how all Kimpton Hotels work?! The worst part is that there's no TRASH in the bathroom. The first day, I moved the room trash can to the bathroom, but after room service, it got moved BACK OUTSIDE. Did they want us just to throw the trash on the ground? It didn't make any sense.

There's no coffee machine because they claim to have free coffee in the lobby every morning, but it always ends sooner than they say because we were never able to get any.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank ladycaterina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MMJennings, General Manager at Kimpton Donovan Hotel, responded to this review, May 16, 2012
Hi Ladycaterina,

You are absolutely right! We do have lotion and wastebaskets in the bathrooms so I will definitely follow up with the Housekeeping Staff. I would like to hear more about the change in rate from what you booked on our website as I have not seen that happen. I can be reached at mark.jennings@kimptonhotels.com. Our customer comments have been very positive since we took over the Donovan House a last month and I would love the chance to make you happy with us again.

Hope to hear from you,

Mark Jenninngs
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Austin, Texas
Level 6 Contributor
100 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
Reviewed May 15, 2012

Quintessential Kimpton.

Small, but funky, cool, and comfortable rooms.

The Donovan has remarkable service. The front desk, room service - cool, polished, friendly. But get a load of this: the night manager took a personal interest in my call for sewing material to deal with a suit coat with a sudden lining problem. She took it on and sewed it herself! All perfect in the morning.

Multiple extra stars for that.

Room Tip: Ask for a bigger room!
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled on business
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Helpful?
Thank Sandy K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MMJennings, General Manager at Kimpton Donovan Hotel, responded to this review, May 16, 2012
Hi SandyK,

Fantastic! Another great Kimpton Moment. This is a happening more and more since we took over the Donovan House! I know exactly who helped you and we will make sure to recognize her for showing such comfort and care.

Hope to have you back soon,

Mark Jennings
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Chatham, Massachusetts
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed May 14, 2012 via mobile

From the moment we arrived, our expectations were exceeded, especially by Darryl. Check-in was an efficient breeze, and arriving during the daily happy hour was a refreshing surprise. Darryl helped us sort out a room change quickly, and took care of making restaurant reservations nearby.

The rooms were clean and kitschy...sort of a retro-modern that characterizes the Kimptons here in DC. During our stay, all staff were helpful and friendly, and they made our visit effortless and enjoyable.

We will be back, hopefully soon!

Cheers!

Stayed May 2012, traveled on business
Helpful?
Thank chatham02633
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Omaha, Nebraska
Level 6 Contributor
826 reviews
112 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1,564 helpful votes
Reviewed May 11, 2012

I stayed two nights in the Donavan House in DC and thought the funky, new modern decur was pretty neat (remember the movie Clockwork Orange). It is not your typical hotel decur for sure but every once in awhile it is good to venture out. The rooms were clean, the staff friendly and the beds were comfy. The pillows are very soft so I was out of luck on finding a firm pillow. The 14th floor has an outdoor pool with a bar with a very nice view of the city. All in all a nice stay in a hotel I would not normally stay at.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank AlexanderDelarge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Farnham Common, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
171 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
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
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Helpful?
2 Thank ruthiegee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MMJennings, General Manager at Kimpton Donovan 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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providence
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
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
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank paulasw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MMJennings, General Manager at Kimpton Donovan 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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Baltimore
Level 6 Contributor
142 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Vandal72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MMJennings, General Manager at Kimpton Donovan 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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Additional Information about Kimpton Donovan Hotel

Property: Kimpton Donovan 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:
#16 Green Hotel in Washington DC
#18 Luxury Hotel in Washington DC
#24 Business Hotel in Washington DC
#41 Romantic Hotel in Washington DC
#56 Family Hotel in Washington DC
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Kimpton Donovan 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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