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Travel Blogs from Washington DC
My whirlwind tour of Washington this morning was fantastic. We started off by heading to the White House. Yes, the white house. It's actually not as big as it looks on TV. You can’t really get anywhere near it because the security is so tight, but it was great to see. It feels strange looking at things that you’re so used to seeing …
Our first trip of the day was to the Amish House and Farm. This was not, however, run by Amish people. It was a kind of living history museum, and the guide was very informative. It was great to be able to get some pictures of Amish style clothes and living conditions. The small, one-room schoolhouse was also fascinating. The desks and chairs …
We had pretty much planned our trip up until New York after that we were heading onto Canada and our good friends Abo (Bau, Brown Bear, Catkins, Chris) and Mel's place in Toronto until we flew out later in the month. Given we had some time up our sleeves we decided to pull a shifty detour south west 4 hours to Washington DC….home to America …
One of the greatest attributes a thing or person can convey is inspiration. Whether by a muse or setting, the power of this quality is limited only by imagination. A place of inspiration is a place to behold. Washington DC is one such place - overflowing with symbols in both physical and ideological means. Some would say these are symbols …
Instead of a big trip this year, we decided to take it easy, so to speak, and build our summer vacation around a conference Bernie and Cara wanted to attend in Washington, DC. Washington is one of our favorite cities in the whole world, and a city that we've wanted to return to, so we took this opportunity to do so.
We flew from Orlando …
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Historical Traveler Reviews Washington Hilton Washington DC
Not what I hoped for..
I was searching all over the websites to look for a nice, decent hotel in DC for a one night stay. Since I understand that I am only staying one night that it wouldn't be so bad to stay at a decent place like the Hilton Washington and Towers. As I arrived there, there were no parking left as I was told during the time I made my reservations that there should be ample parking. The cost was $20 dollars for a full lot. So fine.. I let it go, lucky I wasn't going to be at the hotel all night, so since I really was happy to look for this hotel because almost all the hotels in DC had only Valet parking. And I really don't want anyone to be driving my car. So the as I got my room that I reserved for, I found out it was a Handicapped room. I wasn't too happy for that, but fine.. I dealt with it. Then it gets worst.. the water pressure was soo poor I felt like I was having water poor down my back. The toilet didn't flush well either and kept making a bubbling noise. The room was like any ordinary room, however I dont' know if I was staying next to the maintainance room or the house cleaning closet, because early morning all I could hear constantly is banging and people running up and down, more banging and stuff falling over. I COULD NOT SLEEP. So after I checked out. I dont' think I ever want to check in again. Meaning.. I only paid a special hotel rate of 100 dollars. But to some people it's not alot for a room, but still. there are so many hotels in DC, I rather have used it on another hotel.
OMG this hotel was horrible! We booked the "towers executive" room and discovered nothing prestigious about the executive rooms at all. We stayed 5 nights and they served the same breakfast and hordeourves every night! We got a nonsmoking room but it still reeked of smoke! AND SOMEONE DOWNSTAIRS WAS SMOKING WEED AND IT WAS FILTERING INTO OUR ROOMS AND OTHER ROOMS SURROUNDING US! Security had to do a search on all floors. Towers conceirge staff sucks! They consistently gave me wrong information! Watch out for Yasmin and this one tall white baldish guy with glasses. They do not know what the hell they are talking about! I found myself going downstairs to "regular" conceirge.. They seem to be much better!Rooms are tiny and there are no ventilation systems in the restrooms and there's a warning that says "showering with your door open may cause the fire alarm to go off". Ridiculous!Service at the restaurants in the hotel are horrible! At the Capital Cafe, we sat there for 25 minutes for a waitress to give us water! So we walked out! At 1919, it took the stupid waiter 20 minutes to give us our check, after WE REMINDED HIM 3 TIMES!!! The only reason why I gave this hotel 2 stars is because of the doormen. They are exceptionally friendly and always seem glad to help. I especially like Edmund.
Fine hotel, great location
we stayed on saturday night for the cherry blossom festival. early check in (10:00) was no problem. 9th floor room was clean and adequate and had a nice view. yes, the elevators are awkward, but it is a large hotel. great neighborhood. dupont circle, embassies, and adams morgan all within easy walking distance.
Hilton Washington: A Huge Convention Hotel; No More, No Less
In March 2004, my wife and I went to Washington to attend a leadership conference. After spending a few days on our own sightseeing (and staying at One Washington Circle, see separate review) we moved to the Washington Hilton & Towers for three days of fascinating speakers, institutional food, and an early morning visit to Capitol Hill.
Rate: The "conference" rate for the Hilton was $209/night. Steep, but we were getting reimbursed by the organization that sent us, so we didn't really care.
Checking In / The Room: After a short cab ride from One Washington Circle, we dragged our luggage inside. The lobby was sterile and standard convention hotel -- overstuffed easy chairs, lots of wood and tile, musak piped in overhead.
The very friendly desk clerk looked up our information, and said they still had some non-smoking rooms available. I asked about a king n/s room, and he said the only one available was on the second floor.
We agreed to this, and this was very fortunate for us. With 1800 people attending this conference, most staying at the Hilton, the six elevators were always overloaded and long waits were common. With a room only on the second floor, we quickly found the most convenient staircase and bypassed the elevators on most trips. (On the morning we were checking out, we actually used the service elevators to get our luggage downstairs!)
And, our hotel was only 10-12 rooms down the long, curving hall from the elevators. A much shorter walk than some people had.
Anyway, the room itself was functional and uninspiring, like the rest of the hotel. If you've read my review of One Washington Circle, you know how fabulous the room there was. Especially in contrast, the room at the Hilton was just -- eh.
King size bed, two nightstands, a writing desk, and an easy chair tucked underneath the window. The window looked out over the rear of the hotel property and the pool area (which was of course closed).
The room also had a decent-sized closet with plenty of hangers an iron, and ironing board; a 21" TV; clock radio; and a small but usable bathroom. The shelves built in to the left of the vanity in the bathroom were a nice touch.
Certainly, everything in the room was clean and well-maintained.
We had the opportunity to attend a couple of parties on Sunday night in some other delegations' rooms, and the suites at the Hilton were expansively large, some featuring full-size bars and gorgeous views of the city.
Convention Facilities: Nearly all of our meetings and meals for the convention were on the concourse level of the hotel, two floors below the lobby. Meeting rooms were clean, bright, and decorated with the name of the room in mind. So, for example, the "Georgetown" room had murals of 18th and 19th century Georgetown buildings on the walls.
The rooms on the Terrace level, one floor up, were smaller and cramped.
My wife attended a session on that level and reported that the room was really no larger than our hotel room, with the furniture replaced by folding chairs.
Some of our meals were held in the cavernous Exhibition Hall, which had more of a warehouse than ballroom feel to it. Feeding 1800 people takes a lot of space, I suppose.
Our other meals, and all plenary sessions, were held in the International Ballroom on the opposite side of the Concourse level.
This room was larger and more attractive, with a giant stage flanked by two large projection screens at the front of the room.
Food / Beverage Service: There was a small deli on the Concourse level, convenient to our sessions. It served Starbucks coffee, muffins, etc.
in the mornings, and had a salad bar and premade sandwiches at lunch.
Food was OK but overpriced, as you might expect.
There are two main bars on the lobby level. The Capitol Court bar is really just an extension of the lobby itself. Black marble bar and a scattering of low tables and chairs, this bar quickly got overwhelmed.
On the opposite side of the elevator bank is McClellan's, a sports bar.
Since we were there in the early days of the NCAA Tournament, this bar was often crowded and loud. Again, prices were higher than they would be outside of a hotel bar -- i.e., $5.50 for a draft beer.
On our last day at the Hilton, we ate lunch at the Capital Cafe, in the lobby. Service was slow and unfriendly. I had their lunch buffet, OK but not spectacular, and again overpriced. My wife had soup and a baked potato, which she enjoyed.
Checking Out / Miscellany: The final day of our convention involved an early morning speech by Senator Hillary Clinton, and then a trip to Capitol Hill to meet with our state's legislators. Because we wouldn't be back before check-out time (noon) the hotel arranged to store our luggage for us, in one of the large ballrooms on the Terrace level.
My wife and I weren't flying out of BWI until 7 PM that evening, so we tried to arrange for a later check-out. The hotel was unable to accommodate us, saying that they had another large convention group arriving that day and needed the rooms. (Another party with our group was traveling with their infant son and one of their mothers. The fact of having a small infant got them a slightly later check-out time, 1:00.)
Anyway, the procedure for checking our luggage in and out was organized and easy to do. We returned from Capitol Hill and spent a couple hours in the hotel restaurant, bar, and lobby, before claiming our luggage around 3:30 PM.
The hotel seemed to have run out of hot water that morning, and I had to take a cold shower. Probably not their fault, as there were nearly 1800 people showering at the same time that morning. Still, being a convention hotel, shouldn't that be a regular occurrence?
Same thing with the elevators. I know there were a lot of people staying there, and most using the elevators at similar times. But this is a convention hotel -- doesn't that happen all the time??
The hotel has high-speed Internet service available for $9.95/day, which we used one of the three days.
Billing discrepancy on our invoice was resolved on the second phone call. (Basically, someone else charged a bar bill to our room.)
I'd stay at the Washington Hilton again if I had another meeting here (very convenient to stay at your convention's hotel) and/or if someone else were paying. Otherwise, I'd find somewhere cheaper with a lot more atmosphere.
The location of the hotel is great. It is near the metro and many restaurants and shops. The rooms were very small though and with the cost I was expecting more. The hotel is convenient if you are just visiting DC for a few days.
This hotel is a horrible hotel because the rooms are literally like closets. I had a room with a king size bed and barely had any room to walk in front of the bed between the tv and bed because the room is so small. The bathroom is also quite small. In addition, the walls are not soundproof so you can hear everything from the room next door to you as well as outside of the hotel.
Do not recommend Hilton Washington
I stayed at the Hilton Washington Tower in January 2004 on business. It was my second stay there. The lobby is fancy but the rooms are shabby.
The bathroom had some human hairs in the tub and on the floor - just like the first time I stayed there. Although I was on a non-smoking floor, cigarette smoke wafted into my room through the bathroom vent. I complained the next morning to the front desk. They kindly moved me but to a room that hadn't been cleaned yet! Also, when I made my reservation nobody told me that the hotel's fitness center was closed for renovation. For $10, I could go down the street to a gym that didn't have a hot tub - very basic. For $200+ a night, this isn't the kind of experience I expected.
As an alternative I recommend the Marriott Wardman further up on Connecticut. It within a 3 minute walk of the Woodley Park Metro, across the street from fabulous restaurants, and has a fitness center in good working order!
The Hilton Towers were not what they call themselves to be. The rooms were quiet and the staff was courteous. The bathroom towels had lipstick on them and when replaced, the replacements looked stained and dirty. The tub had mildew because of the humidity in the room. I asked for a non-smoking room and the room still smelled like smoke. The elevators are all the way around (one per floor!)
Not a Great Value
Staff was courteous, rooms were clean but very small for a large price. Also, the price of rooms went up for the convention over their website rates. Very Disappointing.
Only for business, not for leisure
The Hilton Washington and Towers has potential to be much more than it is. I stayed for several nights expecting calm, pleasant, and relaxing nights since I was in D.C. for business purposes. Instead, there were noisy unsupervised children running around in the halls screaming and chasing each other....every night. I didn't complain because I felt these were kids on vacation who were having fun and I should just relax within my own room. The toilet ends up with water on the seat should you leave the lid down. The bathroom door had to be pushed hard in order to shut it and pulled hard to open it since it got stuck. The air-conditioning unit worked well however the control knob didn't turn easily. The remote control didn't work well either. The good thing was that the windows opened up, however the view was of another hotel or building right next to the hilton building. Hilton just has to clean up the place and fix some rooms and this place could be nice, but in the meantime, I would only stay there for business. For leisure, choose a more luxurious hotel.