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“Good hotel, great location - many improvements under Kimpton”

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Kimpton Donovan Hotel
Ranked #26 of 142 Hotels in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed April 10, 2014

I have stayed at this property many times in the past, both when it was previously part of Thompson Hotels and now as part of Kimpton Hotels. The Hotel recently refurbished every room, so things like carpets in the rooms and upholstered chairs and beds looked fresh, as did the girrafe and zebra printed terri bathrobes hanging in the closet - very cool. Check in was great - they greeted me as a Kimpton InTouch member and gave me a "Raid the MiniBar" card for members (it gives you a $10 credit when presented back to the front desk at check out for anything you ate/drank from the mini bar). I arrived early and my room was ready so they checked me in - again, a nice touch. Hotel common areas and lobby looked great. Hallways looked better than i remembered them. Room itself was noticeably fresher after the remodel. I liked the stronger lighting this time (the rooms always felt a bit dark in the past). The carpet was new and nice (dark and light grey pattern). Bed was comfortable, low to the group. Air conditioning worked great, especially as warm weather was starting up again. Free Wifi worked great - seemed more reliable than before as well. My room was a corner King and has their famous Nautilus shaped shower - hopefully you can try one of those. Toiletries were ok - except they really should consider having a few additions, including a shower gel. Only complaint about the bathroom is the towels - they were a bit dingy, not so soft and actually a bit scratchy. Perhaps they could invest in nicer, fluffier and whiter towels. Plenty of towels were provided however. Good hair dryer included in the room. Some small drawers for clothes included inside the closet, as was a safe for valuable, an iron/ironing board and what looked like a yoga mat! Mini bar had a decent selection. Prices are a bit on high side for DC, but the credit members receive helps. Room was quiet - only ever heard neighboring doors shutting but no sounds from neighboring rooms. It looks like the menu in the lobby restaurant was expanded for room service offerings as well. The hotel is very well located for being near the metro, other shops and restaurants are not far away. The only other complaint i have is with the lack of a very attentive door/bell staff. This was very inconsistent - except when i was checking out, they really were of no help t me getting cabs or helping with the door. I hailed my own cabs every time and dealt with my luggage and the doors. FYI, you also need your room key to open the front door of the hotel after 1am it seems. Elevators also require you to use your key to get to a room floor.

Room Tip: Get a room with one of the Nautilus showers
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  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled on business
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Thank NYCworldtraveler2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Elif H, Assistant General Manager at Kimpton Donovan Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded June 17, 2014

ccgworldtraveler,

Thank you for a wonderful review!!!

While reading all the great comments, I was dissapointed to see that we failed your expectations with bathroom amenities and departure experience.

Please e-mail me at elif.hendrickson@donovanhousehotel.com with any future reservations you might have. I will make sure that you are having a flawless stay.

Cheers,

Elif

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,102 - 1,108 of 1,700 reviews

Reviewed April 8, 2014

I recently stayed at this hotel for 2 weeks on business and would stay again, for business or pleasure. The hotel is in a great location and the staff is very friendly and helpful, from the doormen to the reception staff to the bar and restaurant staff. I was in a recently refurbished room which was very comfortable with great linens and firm bed. Although there are no tea/coffee making facilities in the room if you ask they will bring up a coffee machine for you and they serve morning tea and coffee in reception from 8.00 am and there is a wine ‘happy hour’ every evening in reception. Loads of towels are provided and there is also an iron, ironing board and dry cleaning service, a large desk, good wifi, a good sized safe and a large TV with multiple channels.

There is an on-site bar and restaurant downstairs. The food is Asian-fusion of sorts and not really my first choice but what I did sample was delicious. All I would say from a negative point of view is that they stop serving food at 10.00 pm which is tricky if you arrived back at the hotel late - there is also no late room service. However there is a 24-hour CVS pharmacy opposite where you can buy emergency supplies.

The lift works using your room key but don’t keep it near your cell phone or it will deprogram!

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled on business
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Thank OriginalEnglishRose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Elif H, Assistant General Manager at Kimpton Donovan Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded June 17, 2014

OriginalEnglishRose,

Greetings from Washington D.C. and thank you for a great review!!!

I truly appreciate your comment on hours of room service operation. We will certainly take your comment to consideration and look for ways to improve our service.

Please come back and visit us in the future!!!

Elif

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Reviewed April 8, 2014

I stayed at the Donovan House Hotel this past weekend in DC. What a great property! Very nicely decorated, great staff, perfect location, and great Kimpton amenities. The hotel is in walking distance to both the Red line (takes you to the shopping district in DC) and the blue line with access to most other lines as well. Close proximity to U street with great restaurants and bars and 15 minute walking distance to the National mall.

Wine hour was great, sushi was great, and complimentary bikes were great

Room Tip: Superior King room. Very large, overlooking the circle plenty of light
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  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank 123abc456
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Elif H, Assistant General Manager at Kimpton Donovan Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded June 17, 2014

123abc456,

Thank you & Thank you & Thank you!!!

What a great review!!! I am very pleased to read that you enjoyed your stay with us.

Please visit us again in the future!!!!

Cheers,

Elif

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Reviewed April 1, 2014

Based on the pictures from the website, I was very much looking forward to staying at Donovan House. Check-in was efficient and extremely friendly. My room was spotless, smelled fresh and had all of the essentials required by a business traveler. The bed and bedding were extremely comfortable, and the drapery allowed for the room to be completely dark at night - a must for me.

I enjoyed drinks at the rooftop bar and found the lobby to be quite lively with the complimentary evening wine hour. There were several good restaurants within walking distance or a short taxi ride away.

The only disappointing experience was the service at breakfast. The buffet breakfast was quite limited, and was completely devoid of the scrambled eggs the entire 30 minutes we were there. The bartender/server was running around and unavailable to place an order from the menu. The coffee ran out, the skim milk was out... I could go on. This is not the way a business traveler heading to an all-day conference wants to begin their day.

The only other issue I experienced was the mysterious long-distance phone charge on my bill at check-out. I never used the phone. I also incurred a $1 charge for the honor bar because I took advantage of my $10 credit for being a member of the InTouch loyalty program. I'm sure that was in the fine print on the card I was given at check-in, but still...

Overall, I would definitely stay here again if my travels take me back to DC.

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled on business
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1  Thank downtown_chicago_gal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Elif H, Assistant General Manager at Kimpton Donovan Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded June 17, 2014

downtown_chicago,

Thank you for review!

Great to read that you had a pleasent stay with us. Please accept my apologies for the unpleasent breakfast experience and inaccurate phone charge on your bill.

Glad to read that you will return to visit us in the future.

Cheers,

Elif

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Reviewed March 28, 2014 via mobile

This hotel is perfect. Great service, beautiful classy rooms, wine hour, swinging bubble chairs. :) extremely central location. Stay here. Request a room with a view of Thomas circle. Is that 200 words yet?

Stayed: March 2014, traveled on business
Thank nancy t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LorienHotelManager, General Manager at Kimpton Donovan Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded April 1, 2014

So glad you enjoyed the Hotel and the location! Come back soon. . .

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Reviewed March 26, 2014

II stayed in this hotel for a weekend. I got a suite and it was very big. The bed is very comfortable. The bathroom was a little weird there is only one plastic wall that separate it from the bedroom so whenever someone put the light on you get awake. The tub was great I took many baths. The bad? On Saturday there was a party in a room and through the vent I could smell weeds. We could not sleep that night with such a bad odor. I want to recommend a restaurant that it is just a few steps from this hotel. Go to the Lincoln Restaurant. 1110 Vermont Ave NW, Washington, DC. the food it is fantastic. You are going to love it. The other good thing is that it is so close to the all the smithsonian musuems and the white house. There is also many restaurants and a good night life just near by.

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with friends
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1  Thank LilianaCastillo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LorienHotelManager, General Manager at Kimpton Donovan Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded April 1, 2014

Thank you for staying with us and glad you enjoyed the location. I am sorry about the party in the other room and the odor. Please let us know when you vist DC again!

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Reviewed March 25, 2014

In DC for a conference at the Convention Center but conference hotel was booked. After exhausting research on where to stay in DC, this hotel kept coming up. I signed up for Kimpton Rewards and received a ridiculously low rate - cheaper than other hotels in the area of much lower quality. I can honestly say that my stay was worth twice what I paid.

Donovan House was a pleasant five minute walk to the Convention Center. The area is great - several restaurants, cafés, etc nearby and a 24hr CVS across the street. Although if you forgot anything, the staff will get it for you!

As a solo female traveler, I was a bit nervous in DC since I am not very familiar with it and wasn't at the official hotel. I could not have felt safer! In order to use the elevator you have to use your key. There were always 2-3 staff members at the door. Area is quiet but not in a bad way, door men are so nice and helpful.

I wish I had caught more of the employees names because they were fantastic. On Sunday, I asked for a late checkout at the last minute due to my plans changing thanks to an impending winter storm. They were quick to accommodate, extending my checkout to 3 (checkin is 4, so this was as late as they could go) and storing my bags for me after that. After my stay, I received an email asking me to take a survey. I did, and the next day received a personal email from the manager thanking me for my input and quoting some of my comments. Jonathan also asked that I let him know before my next visit so he could make a point to greet me. I am by no means a VIP guest, but this made me feel like one!

I know a lot of this is just good service, but it is honestly the way the staff treated me and their overall attitude. Like I said in the title, I really felt like their guest and not a customer. I will not hesitate to stay at Donovan House or other Kimpton hotels in the future!

Positives:
- area is quiet and safe, but not desolate
- metro is quick two blocks away (I live in the south and we don't walk anywhere, so you know it's short!)
- White House, the Mall, etc are a 10-15 walk away. I loved getting to see the city!
- staff is incredibly professional and helpful
- rooms are comfortable, clean, and quite nice
- TV gets a ton of channels
- minibar is pretty reasonably priced for a minibar
- CVS across the street is open 24 hours
- wine happy hour! I only took advantage once, but it was a nice treat
- very modern, hip decor with plenty of lighting and space.
- comfortable bed - loved the pillows!
- if it had been warmer, I would have loved to take advantage of the free bikes!
- also wish I had taken advantage of the pet goldfish.... Just for fun!


Cons
- too cold for rooftop pool. :( but not the hotel's fault!
- water pressure isn't great, but I've stayed in places with worse. Also, I truly think this is a personal preference. It's more of the rainfall shower experience.
- parking is expensive. But I had friends drive in from Delaware for a few hours on Sunday, and the doorman was quick to direct them to cheaper parking (meters don't count on Sunday). And honestly, all parking in the city is expensive.

Tips:
Sign up for Kimpton InTouch to receive great rates, free Wifi, and $10 in the minibar.
The hotel was recently renovated, so I did not see any of the negatives mentioned in other reviews. Pretty sure that has all been take care of

Room Tip: I upgraded to a King executive, and although it was nice I am not sure that the difference between i...
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  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank mlibed
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LorienHotelManager, General Manager at Kimpton Donovan Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded April 1, 2014

Thank you for the great review as we are so glad you enjoyed your visit! The next time you are in DC, you know where to find us!

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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: $133 - $455 (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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