Kimpton George Hotel
What We Love
- Spacious, recently renovated rooms
- Nightly lobby wine hour
- French fare at Capitol Hill hot spot Bistro Bis
What To Know
- The hotel was renovated in February 2014
- Two blocks from Union Station and three blocks from the U.S. Capitol
- Fitness center with men’s and women’s steam rooms
- A $15 (plus tax) facilities fee per night will be collected at the hotel
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
This 139-room Capitol Hill hotel named for our nation’s Founding Father was the District’s first boutique hotel when it opened in 2002. Fresh off a redesign, the George sets the standard for form, function and highly personalized service. The street-level lobby is efficient and comfortable, with Cassina USA chrome tables, black leather chairs by architect Gerrit Rietveld, and Louis Poulsen lamps set against white limestone. Original portraits of George Washington by Andy Warhol protégé Steve Kaufman hang in the lobby and in the halls and set the moody color palette of navy and yellow.
Bed & Bath
Washington’s ragtag Continental Army wore whatever blue coats they could scavenge to contrast with the red coats of the British regulars, and that navy hue dominates the spacious guestrooms, with throw pillows playfully mimicking the brass-buttoned jacket style Washington insisted upon in his own attire. Pop Art portraits of the general and a blown-up facsimile of the Constitution are plastered over the bed, which is topped by a white leather headboard. The bathrooms are big marble affairs with double vanities; most have separate glass-encased showers and soaking tubs. Mod cons include flat-screen TVs, Keurig coffee machines, zippy WiFi (free if you’re a Kimpton Karma member) and work desks with plenty of plugs.
The street-level Bistro Bis is one of Capitol Hill’s hot spots, a favorite for power lunches and a hip happy hour. The restaurant’s cherrywood interior winks at the oft-told tale about George Washington chopping down a cherry tree, while the zinc bar and light fixtures add a modern edge. Chef Jeffrey Buben’s French Bistro honors America’s first ally with such classics as onion soup les halles topped with gooey gruyere, and beef bourguignon with trumpet mushrooms, lardons and pearl onions.
In the Area
Of course you’re going to stroll to the Capitol to stand on its steps and gaze west over the National Mall. But don’t miss the United States Botanical Gardens, at the Capitol’s southwestern edge. Its National Garden is a tribute to the flora of the Midatlantic, including a delightful butterfly garden. Also within walking distance are the Smithsonian, the world’s largest museum complex, with 19 museums and a zoo, all free of charge. History freaks can’t miss seeing the original Declaration of Independence at the National Archives, where you can also research your family’s immigration records. If your hotel inspires you, check out George Washington’s home, Mount Vernon. The 18th-century mansion is packed full of the president’s paintings and furnishings, and the formal gardens remain uniformly spectacular. For a dose of culture in DC, the Kennedy Center has great rotating music, dance and theater shows, with free performances most evenings.
How to Get There
The hotel is about a 3-minute walk from Union Station, and the staff is friendly. The facilities, however, are a bit dated. The AC in the room was very loud, and the garbage can in the bathroom was ready to be garbage itself. If the location works for you, it'd be fine for a 1-2 night stay.
Great location. Near the Capitol. Was able to Uber to Georgetown, Capitol Hill and nearby areas. Clean and comfy room. The thing that I really, really did not like was that it was my girlfriend's birthday (We went to Le Diplomate and loved it!). When she booked the room she did it in a large part because the hotel advertised Public bikes. They even displayed a Public bike on their website. But when we got there they did NOT have Public bikes. They actually did NOT even have bikes for women. They had a Public bike but it was on the wall and only for display. Other than that they had a nice bar and grill that we ate at. Service and staff was really good. We would go back
First, I'll start by saying the place is a bit worn. Needs some sprucing up. BUT. The real problem is that each morning when you wake up, you will be greeted with a statement showing that they charged you a $26 "amenities fee." That's right, you didn't use any of the mini-bar stuff. You didn't rent any movies. But you will be charged. They tried to say it was for wi-fi, but upon checking it, it was explained to me that wi-fi was free.
This place is hosing people. You can do better!!!
I have previously stayed in two other Kimpton properties in DC, and the Hotel George fell behind those hotels. The experience felt a bit shabby all around.
Service: We saw a door attendant/bell hop at the hotel, but he never once greeted us or offered to help with our bags or call a taxi, even when it was raining, and even when we were dressed in formal wear heading out to a wedding. Check-in was slow because only one person was staffing the front desk - he was friendly, but clearly overwhelmed dealing with the guests checking in while fielding phone calls at the same time. He did not explain what the $23 daily (mandatory) amenity fee covered.
Room: The room was well-designed but showing some age - the toilet was scuffed, and the frame around the bathroom door was peeling off. The shampoo and toiletries were of nice quality, but you don't get your own mini containers - there are large containers attached to the shower wall. Oddly enough, no clock of any kind in the room, so every time we wanted to check the time, we had to check our cell phones. Bed was very soft, if firmness matters to you.
Amenities: Unlike some other Kimpton hotels, there is no hosted morning coffee/tea, only K-Cup machines in the rooms (which is a shame because the hosted coffee/tea is always a much nicer quality than K-cups, and you miss out on socializing with other guests). There is an evening wine hour, which we were not able to attend. The attached restaurant is good for grabbing a drink at the bar. The wifi never worked from our room (7th floor, end of the hall), so we used my mobile hotspot.
Location: Convenient to Union Station and the Capitol, and Georgetown Law. The immediate neighborhood is all office buildings, so it's deserted on weekends. There aren't many great restaurants around, but that's the nature of this neighborhood. Very convenient to get on the highway to National Airport.
The staff at the from desk, the free wine bar and location, if you desired to be near Union Station, were a plus.
We booked this hotel with hopes of doing some bike riding during a international family reunion. Although the hotel advertised free bikes available, there were none. We did receive reimbursement but still had to take time and figure out our own arrangements, etc. We had booked that particular hotel at that particular price, with that activity in mind.
Some other amenities that are usually found at much less expensive hotels were not available; simple stuff like decaf for the Keurig machines. Also, we were only given a couple Keurig K-cups each day. Not even 4 K-cups. Why so limited? The creamer had been opened inadvertently and was sour. Don't they check that? Sure, we could have asked and waited for those items, paid the tip, but decided to go to a nearby Starbucks instead. The parking for two days was over $100. Yikes!
To reaffirm, the staff at the front desk were wonderful. Not sure we would return here, though. Maybe it was just a bad moment for the hotel....or maybe they cater to a different sort of clientele than families on reunions.