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“Agree with others--budget quality hotel at high prices”

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Kimpton Donovan Hotel
Ranked #26 of 142 Hotels in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed January 1, 2013

My review is based on an apples-to-apples comparison with another hotel literally a block away that I also stayed at during my trip.

I was excited about Donovan House due to pictures and reviews. When I arrived, there was no door service to help me with my luggage. That was okay. When I came to the front desk, there were three employees there, all of whom seemed really rushed. The gentleman who helped me wasn't rude, but wasn't very warm either. I had trouble locating my Kimpton InTouch number upon check-in, and I guess there was no way for them to look it up on my behalf, so the gentleman at check-in just stood there while I (I'll admit, in my own unorganized state) I fumbled for at least two minutes locating my InTouch number.

The queen bed room I stayed in was very small. I know this is a boutique hotel, but my oh my. It was a hostel-sized room. I would have been very uncomfortable if there were another guest in there with me. The carpet bore old stains, and the gilded fixtures were peeling. The other tip I would give to this property is if you're going to have white walls, fixtures, and mirrored elevators, you are going to have to do a LOT of work to keep them looking clean. Unfortunately it seems like foot traffic outpaces maintenance on wear and tear...every little stain and scuff my room has ever endured in its lifetime seemed to be permanently etched in.

When I requested a humidifier as specifically advertised on the in-room amenities, I was told that they no longer stocked them. It would have been better to know that this item wasn't even an option before I got my parched hopes up.

Alright, so here goes the head-to-head comparison with another hotel which shall go by Hotel ABC (HABC) and Donovan House (DH).

LOCATION
HABC and DH: Located in the same convenient neighborhood.

CLIENTELE
DH: Younger clientele. A lot of loitering goes on in the lobby. HABC has older, more crotchety cliente, but it keeps the lobby feeling like less of a live music venue than DH.

ROOM NOISE
My room faced a nursing home and not the street in DH, which made it significantly quieter than my stay in HABC.

CLEANLINESS
HABC appeared much cleaner than DH. This was just how it appeared, not speaking hygienically.

CUSTOMER SERVICE
Younger staff at DH. This made a difference (for the worse) in customer service. There were no specific offenses, but the front desk employees seem more apathetic.

IN-ROOM AMENITIES
HABC had an in-room coffee machine. DH requires that you go to the lobby for complimentary tea or coffee. I didn't get to take advantage of it nor the happy hour because of my work schedule.

WI-FI
In this day and age, I find it odd that DH touts this as a perk of being part of their rewards program. HABC provided it for free, no muss, no fuss.

BATHROOM
DH: The shower stall doesn't drain all of the water, so there was always a cold puddle of stagnant water I had to step over whenever I went to shower!

Room Tip: Ask for a room facing the courtyard/nursing home.
  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled on business
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Thank Lamcc83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abe L, Manager at Kimpton Donovan Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded January 7, 2013

Hello Lamicc83,

Thank you so much for your detailed review and comparison.

Particularly in the Hotel industry, compared to others, we often times rate our services against the competition. I sincerely appreciate your detailed notes. I will use them to better our services. I am interested in learning more about your interactions with our staff. If possible, could you contact me at Abe.liao@donovanhousehotel.com? It would be most helpful to me.

Thank you again for your time and hopefully you will have a little more to share with me.

Cheers,
Abe

Abe Liao
Assistant General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,397 - 1,403 of 1,683 reviews

Reviewed December 26, 2012

The Donovan House is amazing. The staff is top notch and goes out of their way to make you feel comfortable. The hotel is cozy yet hip and the rooms are big for city hotels. I loved everything about this hotel and would stay there again in a second. I highly recommend this hotel to anyone going to DC. It's also a perfect location - close to many restaurants, shops and the museums. Overall...fabulous hotel!

Room Tip: All rooms are good! Ask for a high floor and you'll have an amazing view of DC.
  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Leslie F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abe L, Manager at Kimpton Donovan Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded January 7, 2013

Hello Leslie F,

Thank so much for your FABULOUS review.

Cozy, yet hip with a perfect location! Love your descriptions and comments about the Hotel!

Till we meet again,
Abe

Abe Liao
Assistant General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 25, 2012

I stayed just one night in this hotel and it could not have been a better experience. The staff was incredible, helpful, friendly and accommodated our every request. We felt very safe and well taken care of. The room, though not exactly my favorite decor, was comfortable and very quiet. The bed was super comfy. The location was perfect, just a short walk to the Metro. I would definitely stay here again and would recommend it to friends and family

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Senci282
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abe L, Manager at Kimpton Donovan Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded December 27, 2012

Hello Senci282,

Awesome review!

Thanks for all your kind words. I will look forward to your next stay! Let me know when you are back so I might personally take care of you.

Happy Holidays,
Abe

Abe Liao
Assistant General Manager

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Reviewed December 13, 2012

The rooms were very clean. The staff was friendly, courteous and helpful. We searched other hotels in the same area and the Donovan's prices were significantly lower. We didn't take advantage of the evening sushi bar or the morning coffee but those are also available. They do have a nice bar attached to the hotel, great way to wind down the day and not have to travel far to your room!

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Mike H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abe L, Manager at Kimpton Donovan Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded December 20, 2012

Hi Mike H,

Thank you so much for your review of Donovan House!

Looks like you experieinced tremendous value and service at our Hotel. Zentan is excellent and has a great bar scene like you mentioned. Be sure to try one of their signature cocktails next time you are here.

Many Thanks,
Abe

Abe Liao
Assistant General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 8, 2012 via mobile

The service and location are good. And the bed was adequate. But this is a lame hotel. I got the top room and was very disappointed overall.

You should expect very low ceilings and construction quality, and spartan rooms furnished with ikea and inspired by the jetsons. The "suite" did not even have bath tub or coffee maker! The stains on the nasty grey carpet did not help my impression of the hotel. I would have overlooked all of this at a budget hotel price point. But this isn't priced like a budget hotel. It's styled and priced as a design boutique.

I would not return and would not recommend this hotel. If I paid less maybe I would have felt otherwise.

I regret my choice to stay here.

  • Stayed: December 2012
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Thank MikeyNYC80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abe L, Manager at Kimpton Donovan Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded December 13, 2012

Hello MikeyNYC80,

Thank you for your review.

I certainly appreciate your feedback, but would hope for an opportunity to speak with you in regards to some of the specific challenges you experienced. Please feel free to email me at your convenience at Abe.liao@donovanhousehotel.com.

Hopefully we will be able to connect,
Abe

Abe Liao
Assistant General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 7, 2012

Hotel Staff are really well trained and helpful..nothing is a problem for them.

Japanese fusion restaurant and bar in the hotel is great - food is especially good.

Rooms are ok, they look better on the photos than in real life, they feel a bit cold and not cosy at all. Also, the showers - whilst they look cool are pretty underpowered.

Good location.

I would stay here again!

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled on business
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Thank goombie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abe L, Manager at Kimpton Donovan Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded December 13, 2012

Hello there goombie,

Thank you for your comments!

I appreciate the review and agree that Zentan, our adjacent Restaurant, is excellent! Try the Black Cod or Singapore Slaw next time.

Cheers,
Abe

Abe Liao
Assistant General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 4, 2012 via mobile

I took advantage of a gift certificate that I received. Very beautiful, luxurious hotel, and very friendly staff. Loved the room. The spiral shower was very unique; I didn't want to get out! lol The bed was very comfy, I slept like a baby! Also this hotel is only a 10-minute walk from the nearest metro, McPherson Square, which is a plus. I also was fortunate to get a room with a beautiful view of Thomas Circle. My only complaint is the parking situation. If you intend on staying here, plan ahead so that you wouldn't have to park here. There is a parking garage, but at $42 overnight, it's a bit pricey. Luckily I had an alternative, so I ended up parking somewhere else where I didn't have to pay and took the metro here. Thank goodness for the metro; it definitely helped. But other than that, I really enjoyed my stay! If I do come again here in the future, I'd like to come when it's warmer so that I can take advantage of the rooftop pool. It looks gorgeous from the pictures.

  • Stayed: December 2012
    • Value
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2  Thank KaMaria B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abe L, Manager at Kimpton Donovan Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded December 13, 2012

Hi KaMaria B,

Thank you so much for your review!

I appreciated all of your positive comments regarding the Hotel and your experience. To quickly touch on our Overnight Parking Rates, they are set based on rates of our competitors and the immediate area. Hopefully that provided some clarity.

See you soon,
Abe

Abe Liao
Assistant General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about 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: $141 - $494 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Kimpton Donovan Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 193
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Donovan Hotel a Thompson
Donovan House Washington Dc

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