Conrad Washington DC {US-DC}

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Old Apr 16, 19, 8:54 pm
  #106  
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Originally Posted by jefftiger View Post
I checked in earlier this evening for my first visit here. I'm underwhelmed, but I appreciate that I'll probably come off as an over-entitled tosser.

I booked a deluxe room and got just that. I wasn't offered an upgrade and I don't like to ask. This is almost the first Conrad property where I didn't get some form of upgrade (the Conrad NY also doesn't seem to do upgrades typically). And, there's definitely many rooms available this week, judging from a check on the website. That said, the deluxe room is attractive, substantial, and comfortable. It has a vaguely Asian Conrad feel. The lighting controls are very non-intuitive. After a few hours here, I still don't fully understand them and I consider myself pretty tech-literate. I had to call the services line to figure out how to turn off the lamp over the desk (there's a small button that perhaps I should have felt around for!).

I'm disappointed with the Diamond breakfast benefit. I was told that I'll get $25 per day to use at any of the food establishments. But, I gather that that amount won't actually cover breakfast.

Maybe the hotel will grow on me over the next few days, but I feel like I get more benefits and enjoyment from other Hiltons in the DC area. Given that I cannot find any government rate availability at the Conrad through at least September (except on weekends - not exactly when government employees are working), I don't expect to stay here again. I appreciate that the hotel is going for a very different demographic than government office workers. I feel lucky that I found the government rate when I booked many months back, likely before they worked out their rate structure in much detail.
I had a similar, underwhelmed impression on a recent, admittedly brief (one-night) stay recently. I actually did ask about a Diamond upgrade from the most basic room; was told none were available. I did a quick check when I got to my room and found that the hotel had lots of better rooms of various categories available for that night.

The $25 Diamond meal credit probably covers a basic breakfast like a bowl of granola and fruit. But my eggs came to over $40 after the service and other charges (which weren't mentioned in the menu) figured in.

I'd much rather that, with so many staff in and around the property, a couple more were placed at the front desk, to avoid waits when more than two guests need it.

Beyond that, the place has a cold kind of feel to it in terms of the design.

"Business center" desks' printer was improperly adjusted so that getting a document printed off of it was a hassle.

The very nice lounge area some have mentioned is indeed a substantial upcharge, if it even is available at all if you're in a basic room. (The guest services person I asked about it said there was no lounge, that it was part of a separate "hotel within a hotel" service.) So no lounge access unless you want to pay for it.

Now, the room is certainly nice and roomy, and that counts for a lot, and I didn't have quite the same problems as jefftiger figuring out the lighting. But I don't think I'll be going out of my way to go back there.
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Old Apr 17, 19, 5:54 am
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As discussed here across the entire thread, the Sakura Lounge is NOT available as a Diamond benefit. It is not an Executive Lounge that is always available to Diamonds.
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Old Apr 17, 19, 11:58 am
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For the folks who have stayed there already did you park there? Looks like they share a garage with City Center. Is the $60 valet charge billed to your room (ie is it considered a Hilton Charge) Looks like you could possibly book City Center using SpotHero and one of the discounts they occasionally have and self park cheaper.
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Old Apr 17, 19, 1:34 pm
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Originally Posted by howie411 View Post
For the folks who have stayed there already did you park there? Looks like they share a garage with City Center. Is the $60 valet charge billed to your room (ie is it considered a Hilton Charge) Looks like you could possibly book City Center using SpotHero and one of the discounts they occasionally have and self park cheaper.
I didn't park because I'm local, but I'd certainly check SpotHero or ParkingPanda for the exact times you'll be arriving and departing, and my experience is you could save some money by walking a few blocks, unless having the car right there is an absolute necessity.
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Old Apr 18, 19, 6:12 pm
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Thumbs down pretentious in house restaurant at a business hotel to registered guests!

Originally Posted by Oregonflyer View Post
Just stayed there. I asked and was offered an upgrade to Sakura club for $150, with no discount (as a Diamond). There was no reason for me to take it for a short stay. I was told they would take $15 off bill as the diamond benefit, but I did not see that taken off the bill. I love Conrads and my room was nice, but it was not upgraded at all and there were a few other things I found disappointing.
  • We went to the restaurant shortly before 5:00 PM. It was completely empty. However, we were told we could not have a table without a reservation. By the time we left it was still largely empty. I can understand they had many reservations but that seemed very odd.
  • We tried the lounge where we were told they had a full menu. Most of the tables there had reserved signs. We did eventually find an open table in the bar area that was not the greatest location and the menu was not actually the same as the restaurant. That .
Tripadvisor poster had similar experience at the restaurant.



Now the ranking is #123 of 147 hotels in Washington DC-- And this is Traveler ranked , not the best value advertising commission hungry push by Trip Advisor

Trip Adviser poster ( multiple posts-- not a one hit wonder)
( bold emphasis mine)

Check in went well, reception and room impressed me.
However- dinner ug. Before going to eat, I checked Open Table at 8:45pm. Showed several available times- within 10 mi utes of our going downstairs. Going to request seating, the hostess asked,” do you have a reservation?” Which I said,”no, I saw numerous slots so just came down.”
She replies,” well no, we dont have anything until 9:45. But, you can sit at bar area and order dinner.”
We went to bar but cannot order food there, only bar food.

So.. I don’t take snobbery very well, even attempted snobbery.
I went to Open Table, still showing several slots,& promptly chose the 9:15.
Walked back over (a few feet from my seat, and checked in.) Hostess says,” yes, I saw your reservation & we can now seat you.”
Really?? Trying to create a false sense of capacity is rude and ridiculous. While being seated, there were SEVERAL empty tables. This is not what I expect from a Luxury hotel.

End Trip Advisor review

So an expensive business oriented hotel, not located in a in a hip or happening neighborhood, turns away, or at least is hostile, to their own paying registered hotel guests.
Hey why accommodate your guests and gain revenue at the same time, when you can have a perishable commodity go to waste.
Does management think that a empty restaurant where you can shoot a canyon and not hit anyone, is the way to create buzz and hype for what t hey think is the "It" restaurant in DC?
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Old Apr 18, 19, 6:32 pm
  #111  
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Originally Posted by BlueZebra View Post
As discussed here across the entire thread, the Sakura Lounge is NOT available as a Diamond benefit. It is not an Executive Lounge that is always available to Diamonds.
And why not? Just because they named it? The link on Conrad's website indicates it's an executive lounge right in the URL.

https://conradhotels3.hilton.com/en/...ve-lounge.html
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Old Apr 19, 19, 8:20 am
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Originally Posted by writetorich View Post
Tripadvisor poster had similar experience at the restaurant.
...
However- dinner ug. Before going to eat, I checked Open Table at 8:45pm. Showed several available times- within 10 mi utes of our going downstairs. Going to request seating, the hostess asked,” do you have a reservation?” Which I said,”no, I saw numerous slots so just came down.”
She replies,” well no, we dont have anything until 9:45. But, you can sit at bar area and order dinner.”
We went to bar but cannot order food there, only bar food.

So.. I don’t take snobbery very well, even attempted snobbery.
I went to Open Table, still showing several slots,& promptly chose the 9:15.
Walked back over (a few feet from my seat, and checked in.) Hostess says,” yes, I saw your reservation & we can now seat you.”
Really?? Trying to create a false sense of capacity is rude and ridiculous. While being seated, there were SEVERAL empty tables. This is not what I expect from a Luxury hotel.

End Trip Advisor review
This game is practiced by lots of restaurants. I've had this line given to me several times. Once I even stood there by the desk, signed on to Open Table, made a reservation in front of a very POed hostess, who then welcomed us and gave us a table. Management makes the rules, staff get the grief. Artificial scarcity will in the long run harm the restaurant. Many premier hotels have failed restaurants, for example the NYC Park Hyatt.
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Old Apr 19, 19, 10:26 am
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Originally Posted by GrandOldTurkey View Post
This game is practiced by lots of restaurants. I've had this line given to me several times. Once I even stood there by the desk, signed on to Open Table, made a reservation in front of a very POed hostess, who then welcomed us and gave us a table. Management makes the rules, staff get the grief. Artificial scarcity will in the long run harm the restaurant. Many premier hotels have failed restaurants, for example the NYC Park Hyatt.
Yes. Definitely. But by non-hotel restaurant. I'd venture to guess that the Park Hyatt restaurant is a concession.
I'd be curious to find out if the restaurant in the Conrad is a concession/tenant

The Willard hotel has two restaurants. Both Tenants.
The Hudson hotel on West 58 th street in Manhattan had a trendy club years ago. It was hard to get in , but exceptiond were made if you showed a hotel key. Then automatic admission with no waiting.
The same with Brava club at the El San Juan.
Do you think this B.S policies tarnish the guest experience at the hotel?
Play the game with non registered guests , but if there is an actual table available, immediately seat guests.
The hotel should insist and police this.
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Old Apr 19, 19, 10:50 am
  #114  
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A couple thoughts...

1) Interesting that the mystery TripAdvisor poster has the same writing style, grammatical errors, and unique line break structure as the completely-unrelated FT poster here. Also interesting that said FT poster was so moved by reading this one, unrelated TA review that it inspired them to take up this stranger's noble cause and champion it here. Hmm...

2) Yes, restaurants play this game, yes it's annoying. Sometimes it is legitimate - there can be no one in the place at 630 but they have a bunch of reservations at 730, etc. Hosts can always do a better job of communicating. OpenTable adds complexity because it's a third party - my understanding (anecdotally, not having worked in a restaurant) is that there is not always complete transparency between OT and the restaurant front of house in real time.

3) Not really sure who would have more power in the relationship here, the hotel or the restaurateur. This place is a Voltaggio establishment, so honestly they have quite a bit of clout. Also don't know the relationship as to who owns the building versus runs the hotel and restaurants; there could be some complexities to the legal structure. They may just all be co-tenants; the restaurant might not be structurally subordinate to the hotel.

4) Either way, if I was staying at a hotel and wanted a seat in the restaurant, my first instinct would be to call the concierge, not initiate a strange cloak-and-dagger game using OpenTable.
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Old Apr 19, 19, 9:34 pm
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Originally Posted by iluvdoco View Post
Only Flyertalkers K.L. and arlfyer have reported using the Sakura Club. Arlfyer stated that he did not stay for lunch. It's unclear if K.L. did. So the TA review is the first one to report on the afternoon tea service (or lack thereof).
Well, I can assure you that there is at least one TA review in there that mentions having afternoon tea, at least briefly ;-) Afternoon tea was available from 2-4 on at least on the first Saturday they were open. We checked in and did that first thing after checking out the room.


We only stayed one night, so couldn't try lunch.

Originally Posted by howie411 View Post
For the folks who have stayed there already did you park there? Looks like they share a garage with City Center. Is the $60 valet charge billed to your room (ie is it considered a Hilton Charge) Looks like you could possibly book City Center using SpotHero and one of the discounts they occasionally have and self park cheaper.
The $60 was charged to the room for us.
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Old Apr 20, 19, 6:56 am
  #116  
 
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The Sakura Club thing is confusing. It seems like a rather expensive up-charge. I see they have food service three times a day and whiskey in the evening. Is this all included in the charge? I might be able to make back the fee in free whiskey

Is there any relation to the JAL Sakura Lounge?
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Old Apr 20, 19, 8:52 am
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Originally Posted by RoxyMountain View Post
The Sakura Club thing is confusing. It seems like a rather expensive up-charge.
Only to us simple Hilton folk. This is how Ritz Carlton clubs have always worked.

Originally Posted by RoxyMountain View Post
I see they have food service three times a day and whiskey in the evening. Is this all included in the charge? I might be able to make back the fee in free whiskey
Yes, all included. And that was my logic as well, a few cocktails makes it worth the price.

No relation to JAL.
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Old Apr 20, 19, 9:09 am
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Originally Posted by arlflyer View Post
Yes, all included. And that was my logic as well, a few cocktails makes it worth the price.
A few? I think I would have to test the limits of their free drinks policy. Purely research of course.
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Old Apr 20, 19, 9:27 am
  #119  
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Originally Posted by RoxyMountain View Post
A few? I think I would have to test the limits of their free drinks policy. Purely research of course.
When cocktails run about $15 in DC, it adds up quickly.

Wait staff in in the lounge were very eager to serve!
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Old Apr 21, 19, 5:14 pm
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Originally Posted by amazingjames View Post
Well, I can assure you that there is at least one TA review in there that mentions having afternoon tea, at least briefly ;-) Afternoon tea was available from 2-4 on at least on the first Saturday they were open. We checked in and did that first thing after checking out the room.

Thank you for this photo! Do you have photos of breakfast, evening presentations in the Sakura Club?
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