20001 Travel Guide
As hyped as we are for new Trump International Old Post Office Hotel, we have more imminent DC hotel news to get excited about.
The downtown Shaw neighborhood of DC is getting a major new hotel next spring. The Marriott Marquis Washington will be the largest hotel in DC, connected to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. The hotel will have a massive 1,175 rooms, including 49 suites, 105,000 square feet of indoor/outdoor meetings space, five dining outlets, a high-tech concierge lounge, and a bi-level health club. The hotel is also designed to be LEED Silver accredited, and will incorporate the site’s original historic Samuel Gompers AFL-CIO headquarters, known as the "Plumbers Building,” and a 56-foot sculpture by Rodney Carroll, which will be the centerpiece of the grand glass atrium lobby. All interiors are by BBG-BBGM.
Hotel Renovations / Renaissance Hotels / Marriott Hotels / Washington D.C. Hotels / Hotel Design / → All Tags
The Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel just announced they’ve completed a redesign of all 807(!) guest rooms and suites to the tune of $30M. Wow -- talk about investing in the economy. Good on ‘em.
The hotel is located across from Mt. Vernon Square and the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, close to DC’s Chinatown and Penn Quarter districts.
The rooms, designed by Dash Design in New York, are meant to complement the hotel’s recent lobby redo and are done in khakis and cocoa-browns with splashes of reinterpreted denim blues and reds. Each room is accented with clean and modern furniture. The leather lounge and desk chairs are inspired by twentieth-century modernism. LED reading pin lights are mounted on headboards with easy to reach plugs for guests to plug in their own mobile devices.
We've recently spent some time in Hong Kong and Tokyo but now we've got our eyes on the hotel scene in Shanghai.. But where should we stay? Katherine Spiers comes to our rescue with her Shanghai hotel suggestions all this week.
These days, images of Shanghai focus on its absurdly fast growth, with all those skyscrapers that break height records for a few seconds before a new, even taller neighbor pops up.
The hotels are as gigantic as you'd expect in such a more-is-more town. Some of them occupy tops floors in multi-use buildings, giving them pretty fantastic views, too. But even taking into account the joy of literally looking down on a city of 20 million, the tiny Langham Yangtze Shanghai is my favorite hotel there.
Hotel Desserts / Hotel Cocktails / Summer Cocktails / Affinia Hotels / Washington D.C. Hotels / Hotel Restaurants / → All Tags
Sure, summer is almost over, but we can still pretend that it's not going anywhere. One way to do that is by indulging in alcohol-infused Sno-Cone cocktails at the Liaison Capitol Hill's Art and Soul restaurant, which has a whole menu dedicated to the delicious icy treats.
But you won't just get boring old cherry here. Instead, these more adult versions of crushed ice are drenched in alcohol like St.-Germain and cachaça and are served in a cone-shaped martini glass.
Hotel Renovations / Hotel Lobbies / Hotel Bars / Renaissance Hotels / Marriott Hotels / DC Hotels / → All Tags
The Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel just turned 21, and to celebrate becoming legal, the hotel lobby got a facelift to make it ready to Mixx and Mingle.
Mixx and Mingle, along with Explore, are actually cute names of the newly created intimate spaces in the sleek, modern lobby. It's all part of an effort to rid the hotel of its "convention hotel" label from Dallas-based designers Looney & Associates.
While Washington D.C. hotels prep for the 100% occupancy which will come with Obama's January inauguration, deals on rooms are selling out and fast. Wait too long and you'll be stuck blowing what's left of your 401K on one of the last remaining rooms in town, most likely an overpriced suite. Take for instance the Hyatt Regency Capital Hill, who is featuring two blow-out packages for any procrastinating rich people suffering from Obamania.
Finally, the Hyatt Regency Washington DC has completed the renovations on their lobby, transforming the public spaces from staid Hyatt lobby into a $7 million, tech-savvy, social scene. Here's the press release description:
An awe-inspiring grand staircase awaits guests as they enter the lobby, paralleled with new glass paneled escalators connecting them to the registration level. Modern staffed registration pods and separate self check-in kiosks ensure an easy and efficient welcome. A sparkling custom chandelier draws attention to the lobby and lounge, where luxurious couches sprinkled with fluffy pillows await, inviting guests to unwind.
Here's what that description would look like if HotelChatter was doing PR: This place looks a heck of a lot better than it used to. Yeah, we got escalators too! Got a problem with that? And in keeping the place high-tech, we added some check-in kiosks. Don't know if you'll use 'em but we got 'em. And the couches in our lobby and lounge are so comfortable you can totally pass out here after drinking one too many after Election Night.
Room rates at the Hyatt start at around $219 a night.
[Photo: Hyatt Regency DC]
The gimmick behind the name of the soon-to-open restaurant and lounge at Washington, D.C.'s Hyatt Regency is a bit cheesy, yes, but we're suckers for a good pun and think it's cute in a groan-inducing way.
"Article One expands dining rights on Capitol Hill," the press release announces. Har har, we get it.
Just in case you aren't up to par on Constitutional fundamentals, Article One is the one that outlines the powers of Congress. So it's only fitting that a new restaurant near the Capitol would play to its potential customer base's egos.
This image here is larger than it actually appears on the Hyatt website.
Word has it the Hyatt Regency Washington DC is offering prices more in line with Super 8 than with super luxe this month. A recent email offer read:
"Plan a getaway to our nation's capital and enjoy end of summer savings. With Hyatt Regency Washington's Summer Getaway offer you'll receive luxurious accommodations on Capitol Hill at rates starting at $89 per night.
You'll also be within walking distance of the Smithsonian Museums, Union Station shopping and a number of historic DC monuments.
The offer has blackout dates from now through August 22nd but after that the $89 rate is totally bookable until September 1. But here's the fine print. Literally.
Every so often we feature a hotel review from one of our readers that we feel should be shared with the rest of you dear hotel guests. These reviews are highlighted because they are timely, about cool hotels in cool places and are relatively level-headed. Think you can submit one just like this? Send it in. This review actually comes from our mother who has finally started to understand what our day job is. Enjoy.
The hotel experience was about average. It was the Liaison in D. C.
The room was small with too much furniture. The desk was opposite the bed and had a desk chair in between the two. So I stubbed my bunion on the chair while walking through to the other side of the room. The rest of the hotel is cramped with low-ceilings and it looks kinda dingy.
Brandy's little brother, Kim Kardashian's infamous sex-tape partner and one-time Whitney Houson tadpole Ray J was allegedly kicked out of the Hyatt Regency in Washington, DC because hotel staffers found drugs in his room, specifically weed and a club drug called "Boat".
Always the first to smell celebrity drug use, TMZ reports:
We're told Ray J went to his room after partying it up, when hotel management got a complaint. It appears security went up to the room where they allegedly found all the drug stuff.
Our sources say the singer tried to bribe hotel security so he could stay but they didn't bite. We're told Ray J went crazy, arguing like a mutha. Eventually, Mr. J's own security came to the hotel and carted him away.
Ray-J has his own security detail? Does that mean we can have our own team too? We always thought you had to be somebody to have security. Anyways, we're sure Amy Winehouse and Pete Doherty would be much obliged to offer Ray J tips on avoiding drug charges.
[Ed. Note: Hotel Maven Ne0shell recently stayed at the Embassy Suites near the Convention Center in DC and was apparently booted out of his room with a sick wife in tow for a friend of the owner. We thought this only happened at luxury resorts and cooler-than-thou boutique hotels. As always, this is one person's side of the story.]
I'm very easy going, doing 100% travel can either make you a raving perfectionist or willing to overlook just about anything short of rape. I like to think I fall into the latter category.
In DC for 6 months for a long term project, I chose the newly built Embassy Suites to serve as my DC digs. In my years of travel I've learned that the most important thing is a consistent experience. Give me great service or mediocre but God please don't screw around and tease my expectations.
Unfortunately this hotel is all over the map. Valet parking often means waiting 30 minutes or more, the room service food is never the same twice and the staff range from top notch to homicidal. I brought my wife and children in for the 4th of July holiday and was distressed when they came down sick. (I blame the non-functional thermostats in the rooms; the AC will just keep running until it freezes regardless of set temperature).
More Hotel Hell after the jump.