Last time I reviewed the Park Hyatt in Washington, DC was in 2010 and that was a very short visit. Last weekend, thanks to a last-minute points opening, I spent inauguration night at the hotel. Unfortunately, my stay was disappointing. Read why below.
The stay started off on a high note. John and I arrived from New York on Uber and although our room was not ready yet, a front desk associate graciously took our bags and offered us ponchos for the looming storm. The ponchos came in quite handy during the swearing-in ceremony.
After the inauguration and lunch we returned to the hotel, now about 2:30p, and our room was ready. As a Hyatt Diamond, I was offered the choice of a food and beverage amenity or 1,000 points. Although the amenity choices looked nice, I opted for the points. The lobby appeared under construction.
I liked the modern feel and bright colors of this room. Standard rooms are large at this hotel and the chairs quite comfortable in the sitting area. Beds were also extremely comfortable. Because the hotel was full, our request for two beds was not accommodated.
Wi-Fi is fast and complimentary for all guests.
During our seven-hour nap I thought I heard the door open at one point, but assumed I was dreaming. Apparently not, for I found an amenity on the lamp stand in the living room when I woke up — locally produced coffee and whiskey. I had chosen 1,000 points as a bonus amenity at check-in so this was a nice surprise.
Two big lapses that really knocked this stay down from satisfactory to unsatisfactory. First, the water was only lukewarm in the shower. After working into the middle of the night, I went into the bathroom to take a shower before bed. The water was only lukewarm. That was disappointing, but I figured it was late and would try again in the morning.
Second, the water did not drain. Not sure if the drain was clogged or if both problems were interrelated, but even after just two minutes in the shower I found myself standing in a puddle of (cold) water.
The following afternoon John took a shower after his workout and came out fuming about the cold water that did not drain. I did not bother to call downstairs because we would be checking out moments later.
At checkout, an agent asked how our stay was and I mentioned the water issue. She responded that, “We’ve had other complaints about the water on the third floor. I’m sorry about that.” But that was it. No offer of compensation.
Fitness Center and Spa
Another annoyance. While the fitness center was the same as last time — very nice — I asked about using a steam room or sauna since the door marked “spa” was locked. One associate downstairs told me that the sauna was in use by a guest but I could use it after. “Just keep trying with your room key,” he said, “And when the room is free, it will work.” An hour later the key still did not work and another associate said to come back later.
After dinner I did check again at the front desk and this time was told, “We have no sauna or steam room in this hotel.” Sure enough, the next afternoon when I was working out I peered into the room marked “spa” and noted it was just a massage table.
The problem was not the lack of a spa, though one would be appreciated in a hotel of that caliber, but the disinformation. That two staff members gave me wholly incorrect info was surprising.
Our shoes got a bit muddy in the rain during the day so we took advantage of the hotel’s complimentary overnight shoe shine service. But when the shoes were delivered back to our room the next morning, it looked like that had not been shined at all. In fact, there was still traces of mud on the side of my shoes and not even a dull shine.
John called guest services and an apologetic man said he would be right up and personally clean our shoes. They came back an hour later beautifully shined.
Blue Duck Tavern
We almost had dinner in the Blue Duck Tavern, but John wanted filet mignon, which is not on the dinner menu, so we headed to Old Ebbit Grill instead. The next morning, however, we did enjoy a nice breakfast in the Michelin-starred restaurant.
Although we had the option of a room service breakfast with my Diamond status, I enjoyed eating in the restaurant and the food proved to be very good.
I ordered bircher muesli to start then short rib hash — very filling — for the main course. Both were beautifully prepared and brimming with flavor.
John had oatmeal to start followed by an omelet.
When ordering beverages I requested a glass of orange juice with my coffee, but it never arrived. About a half hour later, a lady sitting at the table next to us ordered orange juice and was informed by her waiter that the juicer was broken so no fresh squeezed juices were available.
Our waitress never mentioned that, though I ordered a smoothie that turned out to so tasty I ordered a second.
Breakfast is a highlight at this hotel. Next time, I will try room service.
Unfortunately, this stay was a disappointment, primarily due to the shower issue. I trust that this hotel will get its hot water problems sorted out. I will still return to this hotel because of the overall comfort and size of the rooms plus great location, but not without some weariness.