I recently completed a one-night stay at the fabulous new W Washington Hotel.  This stay coincided with the anniversary of MrsMJonTravel and myself, and included a visit to Bliss Spa for her and Bobby Van’s Steakhouse for both of us.  If you haven’t visited this hotel since the days of the Hotel Washington, get ready for a wow experience, especially if you are fond of W’s style.  One note:  the hotel address is 515 15th St NW, but the main entrance appears to be on the F Street side of the hotel.  If you need porter service, have your driver drop you on the F Street side, or walk around.

Check in

We arrived at the hotel at approximately 12:30pm, which is a bit early.  We were prepared to wait for the room, but needed to get to the hotel for her 1:30pm spa appointment.  We were warmly greeted and checked into our room.  The front desk attendant was very outgoing, recognized my Starwood Preferred Guest Gold status, and stepped us up to a “Spectacular Room” from the “Wonderful Room” I’d reserved.  She noted that we were DC locals and asked if we were just staying for a nice evening out.  I told her that we were celebrating our anniversary with a spa visit and dinner, and she cheerfully exclaimed that she was surprised we didn’t tell her.  After exchanging pleasantries, we were off to our 8th floor room.

Later in the day we were pleasantly surprised with a split of champagne and some chocolates along with a note from the Whatever/Whenever desk thanking us for celebrating our anniversary with them.  (Thank you note enroute to the GM with praise for the front desk whom I’m sure was behind our surprise.)

The Room

Our spectacular room was standard W “chic” with modern accessories.  The desk was polished white along with the closet.  There was big focus on brighter colors in the room where most W’s I’ve visited seemed to have a darker decor in the room.  W did a good job of making the typically small rooms of an older hotel very functional.  The electrical panel for the work desk was underneath the desk which made for a clean space.  Wired or wireless internet is available in the room for a pricey $14.95.  (2 hours of free wi-fi is available in the lobby.)  There was a large LCD television and DVD player as well.  I’d describe the bath as “Euro-modern,” pretty large, and equipped with a very nice walk in shower.  They typical Bliss products were provided.

Around the Hotel

While MrsMJonTravel enjoyed the Bliss Spa, I enjoyed a glass of wine in the lobby, referred to as “The Living Room” by W.  The wine was nice, but not worth $16.50 per glass.  At least the internet was free.  If you haven’t been since the old Hotel Washington days, you’re in for a surprise.  W did a nice job with the lobby, and I thought it was beautiful.  My visit offered the opportunity for some people watching and it was evident that the hotel was quite busy.

Washingtonian’s will remember the rooftop of the Hotel Washington as offering some of the best views in the city.  This hasn’t changed, but W has stepped things up a notch with its remake of the old rooftop bar now called P.O.V. (Point of View).  After enjoying our fabulous dinner at Bobby Van’s we returned to the hotel and decided to enjoy a nightcap at P.O.V.  The lobby of the hotel was packed with a party crowd, and there was a line for the dedicated elevator to the roof.  However, a flash of our hotel keycard indicating that we were guests got us a spot on the next elevator ride to the top.  The views are still unbeatable and the crowd was trendy.  It was a nice way to end the evening, but this particular Saturday night was very busy at P.O.V.  Based on my conversation with the bartender in the lobby, weekends can be quite crazy at the W Washington.

The hotel’s restaurant, J&G Steakhouse, has had some good reviews, but we did not partake.  You can read descriptions of J&G and the other hotel lounge and dining options here.

Nearby Dining

You read my mention of Bobby Van’s.  Our steaks were wonderful.  I made our reservations via Opentable.com, and noted in the comments that we were celebrating our anniversary.  We hadn’t been seated for more than a minute before our waiter appeared with champagne glasses in hand wishing us a happy anniversary.  A great start to a simply fabulous meal.

Washington favorite, Old Ebbitt Grill is just steps from the W as well.  Old Ebbitt is part of the Clyde’s group of restaurants and has a similar menu.  It can be relied upon for good food, and the half-price raw bar happy hour is not to be missed.  It is a very popular spot, so I highly recommend reservations if you would like to dine there.

There are other restaurants within walking distance, but these are the 2 that I’m most familiar with.  I highly recommend either of them.  Just be aware that if price is a concern, Old Ebbitt will be your most economical option.  But you won’t get a bone-in ribeye like I had last night at Bobby Van’s!

The Bottom Line

The W Washington is a great hotel in the center of everything that Washington has to offer.  If you like the W brand, you’ll love the W Washington.  Give it a try the next time you’re in town.