The Fairfax at Embassy Row, Washington, D.C.
What We Love
- Location: Steps from Dupont Circle’s bar-lined streets
- The hotel’s annual Capital Wine Festival, an event in January showcasing international vintages and food pairings
- You can order from a 24-hour room service menu should you have a craving for lamb at 3 am
What To Know
- WiFi can be accessed in the rooms for $12.95 per day
- Most of the city’s museums are off the Smithsonian stop, a 20-minute metro ride away
- Limited valet parking is offered on a first-come, first-served basis for $40 per day
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
Classic Georgian architecture meets dignified interiors and sophisticated service in this historic hotel on D.C.’s Embassy Row. Built in 1927 as a stopping point for world leaders, the Fairfax features 259 rooms with iPod docks, 42-inch flat-screens, 300-thread-count Fili D’oro sheets and gilded-frame artwork. Join diplomats, politicians and lobbyists for classic American fare in red velvet button-back banquets at 2100 Prime, a former social club for well-heeled regulars like Frank Sinatra, John and Jackie Kennedy and Joe DiMaggio. Most dishes like the Roasted Lancaster Chicken Breast with whipped potatoes and rosemary jus are sourced from local purveyors and farms. Need a nightcap? Head to the nautical-themed Fairfax Lounge, the hotel’s original wood-lined bar with two gas fireplaces, old-school cocktails and a real sense of history (Hillary Clinton announced her 2008 presidential run in the hotel bar).
In the Area
A stay at the centrally located Fairfax will put you steps from the city’s chief landmarks, new and old. Flex your plastic along the boutique-lined Embassy Row for vintage designer goods at Secondi and leather-bound titles at late-night bookstore/cafe Kramerbooks & Afterwords. Got a taste for local? Stroll through Dupont Circle’s FreshFarm Market on Sundays for charcuterie, fresh-baked croissants and seasonal produce. While the Library of Congress, The National Mall and the world’s-largest museum complex at the Smithsonian Institution are among the city’s must-see spots, the Phillips Collection has an impressive American and European impressionist collection and is walking distance from the hotel. Join the afterwork crowd unwinding over briny Virginia oysters and house-made punches at Hank’s Oyster Bar, or party hop in the U-Street Corridor with the hip-hop hangout Marvin and live bands at legendary music venue Black Cat.
How to Get There
The hotel met our needs, we wanted for nothing. But our stay was also not over-the-top impeccable. This was a fine stay for a general hotel visit.
No pool. No hot tub.
Food from the “grill” was truly not good. Sure, we ate in the hotel one evening when we were very tired and didn’t want to walk anymore, so the convenience won out. But it really wasn’t worth it.
Breakfast was mini pastries and odd fruit, yogurt, and rubbery hard-boiled eggs. No cooked food at all. Not worth the $11.
The location is convenient and easy for navigation via the metro.
We came here as part of our anniversary and thought it would be a nice hotel in a nice location. The location was nice and outside of hotel looks good too, but for a 3/4 star hotel it fell short. There's currently renovation works going on (we were not advised of this by either the hotel or our travel agent) . If your unlucky enough to get a room between 810-840 (even numbers,) and I'd say the rooms below on lower floors don't bother hanging that do not disturb sign up. The workmen will have woken you up at 08:00 by drilling, hammering and using a disk cutter, admittedly only for an hour or so and then they went quiet, never the less your up and awake whether you want to be or not. (why they can't do this cutting work last thing of the day before ready for install in the morning rather than all the noise first thing in the morning then quiet for the rest of the day doing the install don't know). These rooms also look out into the internal quad area where all the industrial aircon fans and located, if your windows are open you will have the constant hum of these fans.
This is also the first hotel of this type that I've found paper only cups for tea and coffee in the room (even in much cheaper hotels I've had China cups / mugs) , housekeeping promptly removed these paper cups the next morning after use but didn't replace them (reception were able to provide us some more when asked) . There's also only enough tea / coffee to have 2 cups per day (that's 1 each if your a couple), there's no milk for tea only powdered creamer, again these were not replaced either on the 2nd or 3rd morning and we needed to ask for some more from house keeping. (I also found myself hiding the plastic straw stirrers so I could stiff my drinks as these too were removed and not replaced if left out)
I will say that the beds and pillows are comfy, Internet access throughout the hotel is good, there no minibar in the room but a decent sized fridge for storing your own drinks to keep chilled and reception were kind enough to lend us a plug adapter after I realised I'd packed the European ones rather than the us ones.
The hotel lobby is being renovated, so we have to take that into the experience. The rooms are just ok. The bed is the best part, few channels on the TV, empty mini bar, very thin walls so you can hear the neighbor. Regarding the bathroom, small sink, small shower and very poor water preassure. The door lets light pass from the outside of the room... the breakfast is VERY basic and sort of improvised. The people working in the hotel don't exceed at what they do... location, fair.
Had a good stay, the room was very nice, the staff friendly and helpful. Nothing bad to say. Was exceptionally hot in DC so the air con was welcome - yes it's a noisy system but no more so than in the hotel we had in NYC. Breakfast is extra at 11 dollars per room, but value for money.
Asked for a quiet room, they gave me one across from the elevator, not a good start. Large room but tiny bathroom, counter just barely big enough to hold toothbrush, razor and hairbrush.
No room service! So ate in cavernous, undecorated dining room. No table cloth, not even a mat. Received one knife and one fork. When I finished my salad, they took my dirty knife and fork out of the bowl and put it on the bare table for the main course.
Breakfast is on paper plates and plastic cutlery. Fruit is not cut up so you take an orange and an apple and ask for a proper knife to open and slice them, waiter says they don't have one, use the bread knife. So I used it and while I am about half finished the waiter comes over and says he needs it back to slice some bread. A motel or coffee shop could do better.