June 22-25, 2017
Room Rate: $150 USD/night
DC is a quick one hour plane ride from New York City, so when Brian had to head over for work, I decided to tag along for a weekend. After scouring through my SPG options in the DC area (there is certainly no shortage), but the location and the reasonable price despite my last minute booking made it a good choice.
The Westin Washington DC, City Center
Neighborhood: City Center/Logan Circle
Make a Green Choice: Yes
Bar and Restaurant On-Property: Yes
Room Rate Range: $150-$350 USD
We arrived late on Thursday night at around 9 PM and pulled up to the hotel. The first thing I noticed? It’s very 80’s-esque appearance. Interior bay windows that overlook the lobby? Check.
The lobby was bright and looked updated, with high ceilings and a glass exterior, which was great during the day since the hotel was flooded with natural light.
The associate at the check in counter tried to get us checked in quickly but was interrupted a number of times by another guest. We were assigned room 1128, a room on the SPG floor.
While the lobby was well lit, the elevator bank, sitting area, and hallway on our floor was dim.
We were assigned a Premium Room, which is basically the same as the Traditional or Deluxe Rooms, with the exception of the fact that they sit on the top floors of the hotel.
The room was average size, with a king sized bed, a dresser, a desk, two overstuffed chairs, and a comfortable amount of room to walk around.
The bed was comfortable, but the pillows were too flat for my liking. The nightstands were pretty bare, with the exception of a lamp, a clock, and a USB port dock (which I of course appreciated).
The room, much like the rest of the property, looked dated, but had plenty of updates to keep the room modern – like the huge flat screen TV. The dresser on which the TV sat held the “mini bar” – err empty fridge. The room also had a large, spacious desk, and overstuffed chairs perched right by the window which overlooked the lobby.
The entryway to the room had the closet and a small nook with the coffee maker.
The closet was average size, and held the luggage rack and the safe. The coffeemaker nook offered Starbucks coffee, a bottle of Fiji water (for a fee, of course), and a complimentary bottled water, as is offered in all rooms for SPG guests.
The bathroom was your standard Westin bathroom – bright lights, clean lines, and a good amount of counter space. The room felt notably small in comparison to the size of the bedroom, but not uncomfortably so.
As expected, the room came stocked with extra towels, extra toilet paper, a hair dryer, and Westin’s signature white tea toiletry products.
As I mentioned, the room was on the smaller side, so the toilet was RIGHT next to the tub. The tub had the typical Westin rainforest showerhead plus handheld showerhead combo, though the water pressure at this property was painfully weak. Bonus points for the bowed shower curtain rod, which made the tub area feel larger when standing inside it
As I mentioned, this property just screamed 1980s in architecture. Indoor balconies and bay windows that look over the lobby? Check. I will admit, the glass windows that decked the front of the building meant the lobby (and rooms) were flooded with daylight, which was nice.
The property had lots of updates – new, modern furniture, and sleek light fixtures, but still felt old.
During our stay, the fire alarm went off. I thought it was a drill, and didn’t see people evacuating quickly through my window that overlooked the lobby. We made our way down the stairs and found a small group of guests who was following a hotel employee. We wandered around the basement, and the employee seemed unaware of where the fire exit was. The employee and group turned to go one way, but we decided to go another way and found our way out of the hotel. A few minutes later, the other group found their way out, but I was a little concerned about how the employee was unable to locate the fire exit.
Turns out the fire was at the hotel next door, and we were evacuated as a safety precaution. An hour and a half later we were allowed back inside, but the staff didn’t seem to know how to manage the huge crowd trying to make their way back to the rooms. Yikes.
For those looking to see the sights on the National Mall, the property is located a quick 15 minute walk from the White House (and 40 minutes to the Lincoln Memorial). The hotel is centrally located, so getting to cute as a button Georgetown or the up and coming Navy Yards area is easy by Uber.
The only downside, of course, is – well – you’re smack in the heart of the tourist zone. While more appealing neighborhoods for dining, nightlife, and shopping are a 20 minute cab ride away, the pickings unique restaurants are slim right by the hotel. There are some wins and loses to the location, so it depends what you’d like to do on your trip.
I wasn’t particularly impressed by this property, and would probably avoid it again in the future. The fire fiasco left me feeling unimpressed by the staff – I didn’t feel particularly safe. Even so, I’m sure the hotel’s price point and location will continue to be appealing to others.
Hotel Appearance: 7/10 – Dated, but furnishings were modernized.
Room: 7/10 – Average sized, flat pillows, just below expectations for a Westin.
Staff: 6/10 – Staff was nice, but nothing spectacular. Seemed uninformed in terms of training for fire drills (or well, real-life fires)
Location: 8/10 – Great location for sightseeing, but tourist traps everywhere in terms of dining and shopping.
On-Site Amenities & Hospitality Services: 7/10 – A small gym is available, but no extras like a pool or a lounge.
Overall Rating: 35/50 (70%) ★★★★★