The Normandy Hotel
What We Love
- Hidden gem on a residential street in one of DC’s prettiest neighborhoods just blocks from Dupont Circle
- Free wine, cheese and fruit served nightly in the library-style lobby
- Efficient, knowledgeable and very polite staff
What To Know
- A 14.5 percent room tax per night will be collected at the Jetsetter checkout
- No restaurant and no room service
- Parking is $34 per day, and the closest metro station is a 10-minute walk
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
For a taste of Old World Europe and the 21st-century sensibilities required by a diplomat, check out this jewel on a residential street in the embassy district. Renovated in 2009, The Normandy is basic but elegant as embodied in the tasteful chocolate brown-accented library lounge. All the better for enjoying free end-of-day drinks, cheese and sweets by the fireplace with an international crowd.
Bed and Bath
Views of tree-lined Wyoming Avenue make up for slightly diminutive digs; their petiteness is accentuated by the relatively enormous bathrooms, kitted out with marble tiling and such ultra-21st-century perks as undersink lights and showers with spa heads and seats. Rooms mix old and new with a masculine palette of chocolate, beige and baby blue. First edition replicas of Charles Dickens and decades of Life magazine grace nightstands, country print wall paper complements decor that includes antique strawberry velvet slipper chairs and boxy silver lamps.
An exceptional free wine and cheese hour for guests is served nightly. The atmosphere is cozy and usually international — the proximity to the world’s embassies means a lot of diplomatic guests and languages at the nightly spirits, sweets, crackers and fromage spread by the fireplace in the cozy library common area. In the morning, continental breakfast is served for a fee in the same environs.
How to Get There
If you are looking for a quiet, stylish, older boutique hotel, look no further! I booked 14 rooms here for two nights and they absolutely took care of us. Met our every request, bent over backwards, greeted us with friendly "hellos" each and every time we came and went. The neighborhood is AMAZING for walks...the historic district street of Kalorama is house after house of embassies and consulates, mixed right in with beautiful residential homes. Looks like a magazine shoot! Lots of great restaurants within walking distance. Nigel, the manager was so easy to work with! Would book again tomorrow.
This hotel reminded me so much of a budget European hotel. Beautiful, historic building, friendly and helpful staff, but the amenities were lacking by American standards. It could be because my room had recently been remodeled, but, when I got in, it was lacking an espresso maker and a hair dryer and the main phone did not work. At first, I only noticed the missing coffee maker and broken phone and called down. A maintenance person promptly brought both. Later, when I asked for a hair dryer, it took forever to come so I ended up rushing off to my meeting with wet hair. The next day, I tried it, and it only worked for about 20 seconds, then seemed to burn out. Also, the first day, my room was cold and the heater seemed to blow cold air, so I asked about this and was told the heat wasn't on yet (late October). Turning it off altogether was okay though, and the staff person offered extra blankets. Also, I had trouble working the Roman shade--it went down fine but never would stay up afterwards. So all in all my stay was a very mixed bag. However, the bed was comfortable and the location--near Dupont Circle--was great, so I may well stay there again.
Let's start with the positives: nice part of the city (but the tradeoff is a slightly longer walk to get where you're going), great staff, pretty nice room and bathroom (not large however). The negatives have been covered by other reviewers: weird reception desk area (if no one is staffing it at the moment you arrive, you have no idea how to check in), mattress way too firm, no electrical outlet by the bed, shower that can't hold a steady water temperature, bad wifi. But sometimes it's the smallest of things that make you say you're never coming back: being charged $4 to store a bag for the day upon checkout. Why have that be the final impression you give to guests?