Marriott Rewards (including Ritz-Carlton) - Wardman Park Marriott -- Good Sign?
Apr 5, 07, 7:02 pm
So I'm taking my family to the District this weekend to see the cherry blossoms (we've lived here five years now, I guess it's about time we do it) and the zoo. We've never stayed at this property, but they had the best rates this weekend so we're giving them a try. Their "panda package" offers some nice amenties and I'm using an EEO to cut the pain in half.
I got the virtual concierge e-mail and didn't order anything but did ask for their help in securing a suite upgrade. Within a day my room type had been changed to "Suite--Executive", which looks to be a darn nice, big room. I didn't get an e-mail reply from them or anything, just the silent room upgrade.
Is this a sign of good customer service to come? Will I be tickled with this property, or do they have so many suites that plats get them all the time anyway?
They have a lot of suites, but it is still a good sign they updated your room status after your request.
Apr 5, 07, 9:45 pm
I have always heard good things about Wardman Park. Have a good time but don't break any cherry tree branches - there have been stories about visitors loving the cherry blossoms to death...literally.
Apr 6, 07, 9:33 am
I did the zoo thing on Mar 24th. I was somewhat dissapointed. A lot of the animals were still being kept inside for the winter, most of the refreshment areas were closed, and several of the larger animal pavilions seemed to be closed or devoid of animals. Hopefully they have opened things up a bit more.
As of last Monday the cherry blossoms were in full force. Tidal basin was PACKED!
It's a great hotel in a great location. You will not be disappointed.
We stayed there for 5 nights two years ago and had a wonderful time. It's right across the street from the zoo. (Entrance to the zoo is 1-2 blocks north) It is also close to the metro.
The hotel itself is an older hotel converted into a Marriott. It is certainly not what I would think of when I envision a typical Marriott. The concierge lounge was closed the week we were there, which was unfortunate. I believe they were remodeling. Anyway, enjoy your stay. Once again, it is a great hotel and the service was excellent.
Apr 7, 07, 6:21 pm
(Entrance to the zoo is 1-2 blocks north) It is also close to the metro.
Steep, uphill blocks, IIRC.
And I agree with the previous posters, good location, although I haven't had a chance to stay there.
Apr 7, 07, 8:15 pm
I've stayed there 3-4 times. Each time, I was given a room in the "old" tower. (I forget exactly what it's called - I recall it was the northeastern end of the property.) Never a true full suite, but always a huge room.
The only potential downside to WP is that is it can support very large conventions. For one of my stays, we were actually there to attend one - there were about 3,000 total of us and I'm pretty sure WP was one of only two or three hotels in the District that could support that many. (Westfields Marriott near Dulles also can support huge conventions, but the organizers of this one wanted to keep it in DC proper.) Anyway, it was a blast being there as part of the party...but on a different stay, I was there on a weekend when some other huge convention was going on, and I got a little tired of the drunks everywhere. Anyway, it's a risk you always run in a big convention property - conventiongoers tend to be loud and well-lubricated.
In any case, being in the older end of the hotel keeps things a bit quieter as you're in a separate tower from the action. I've also done a stay or two at this place when it seemed like very few people were there, which was wonderful.
The Woodley Park neighborhood is great - lots of good eats walking distance from the property, plus you can walk (or take a short cab/metro ride) to either Adams Morgan or DuPont Circle. Also a good neighborhood if you're a runner: lots of good neighborhood streets plus easy access to the Rock Creek trails. The zoo is hit-or-miss, but it's free entry, so you can swing through there for a few minutes one day, see what you like, and leave.
Apr 8, 07, 6:08 am
The "old" tower is called the Wardman Tower - that was the original building on that site. I believe it was originally a luxury apartment building. It is, indeed, a quiet corner of what can be a busy hotel. It is connected to the main buildings with a lovely, climate-controlled, window-lined, corridor. And, if you are walking back to the hotel from Connecticut Avenue, you can enter via that buildings entrance just a few feet off the corner of Connecticut Avenue - you don't have to walk all the way up the driveway to the main entrance.
The very large grassy area in front of the hotel was all dug up a few weeks ago for construction of additional underground parking. This shouldn't interfere with your enjoyment at all.
The concierge lounge is lovely. It is also open all day (key-operated access) with coffee/tea/cookies/fruit available during the day. The evening food selections have been way above average.
It is more like 4-5 blocks (uphill) to the zoo. But still a comfortable walk. Be sure to check out the new Asia Trail - a logical extention to the original Panda House area.
Apr 8, 07, 1:17 pm
Well, we completed what I would call an "acceptable" stay. No egregious problems, but I don't think we'll be back.
The location is indeed wonderful. Easy Metro access, a few block walk to the zoo, and lots of great restaurants in the vicinity. We enjoyed Pesto Ristorante and really like Petit Plats, FWIW.
The room was quite large, on the 9th floor of the center tower. I have to wonder how different my experience would have been in the Wardman Tower. As with so many hotels, the soundproofing was non-existent. We were literally next to the elevator and had to put up with boistorous groups of people going to and from their rooms at all hours, not to mention the blaring TV from next door and what sounded like a party in the room above us.
The worst part of our stay was actually our experience with the hotel restaurants. We had a lunch in Perle's Cafe, a dinner at Harry's Pub, and two breakfasts at Perle's. Perle's is supposed to convert to a steakhouse at night but was closed, so the undersized pub was the only choice for in-hotel dinner. At every dining experience the food was good but the service staff was completely overwhelmed. Just getting seated took a long time, and the meals themselves were almost ludicrously slow. The servers were friendly but frazzled--it's clear they needed about twice as many to handle the crowds.
And, in typical Marriott fashion, they charged us for things like valet parking (which was supposed to be included in the package) and our second night (which was supposed to be covered with the EEO). The front desk straightened it all out at check-out, so the good part is that we got the package benefits even for the free night, but it's just a pain to have to go through that every single time I use an EEO.
My favorite properties in town are still the 9th St Renaissance and the Metro Center Marriott.