As part of my ten day vacation in the United States before heading to Korea for my new job – find out more here – I spent two nights in Washington D.C. Having never visited or stayed in the city, I was surprised to see just how much much the cheapest hotel options cost. Thankfully, because I’m a Genius member at Booking.com I received a whopping 28% off my stay at the River Inn in the Foggy Bottom district of the city. If you’d like to learn more about why I use Booking.com and how to use the website, you can read my guide here. For the purposes of this review I’ll be discussing pricing in terms of the numbers quoted for non-Genius members, as I’m aware not everybody is a part of the programme.
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For two nights, one of them being a Saturday, I paid $250 for a studio apartment. Like most cities across the globe, prices for Fridays and Saturdays are slightly inflated, so if you’re staying midweek I suspect you’ll pay a little less than the $125 nightly fee I was quoted.
It’s also important to note that all Washington D.C hotels have a standard 14.95% tax on top of room rates, and many have what they call Resort Fees. The River Inn does not have such a fee, however others that I looked at ranged from $20 per night to $30 per night per guest.
Nestled in a quiet residential street on 25th NW between I and J streets, the River Inn was just a 2 block walk from the Foggy Bottom metro station (blue, silver, orange lines) and 11 from the Lincoln Memorial.
The hotel itself had a highly recommended restaurant, but there were plenty nearby at all price points. There was a 7-Eleven a block over, and Union Station was a fifteen minute commute via Metro. Foggy Bottom is one of the most popular neighbourhoods in D.C and alongside neighbouring Georgetown are a hub for students and young professionals. Compared with other accommodations in a similar price range, the hotel had an outstanding location that was central and accessible without the chaos of a downtown location.
I will also add that you have to pay by card at the front desk and the cost of your stay plus a $50 security deposit will be charged as a pending fee to your card at check-in but the amount, minus the deposit if you haven’t damaged anything or charged food to your room, will be taken from the account when you check out.
The hotel was, for the most part, very modern and minimalist in ya decor. The front patio area had tables and chairs with trees covered in fairy lights, where you could go to work or use the restaurant services and eat outdoors. The small restaurant, the reception area and hallways to rooms were decorated in varying shades of browns and creams. This decor slightly juxtaposed the modernity of the actual room, but added a warmth and cosines to the building whilst leaving me with the feeling that the place I was sleeping was crisp and clean. The white walls, contrasting deep wooden floors and blue accents really reinforced a sense of modernity and freshness in the room.
Whilst typically I’m not a fan of varying interior designs and concepts within buildings, but I think this was done deliberately to evoke such a feeling in guests and was both a smart move and well executed.
There are 4 room types within the 8 floors of this hotel, from Studio Queen to a Potomac King Suite and prices ranging from £119 to £214 per night. I opted for a Queen Studio, which included a king bed and sofa as well as a small kitchenette, bathroom, large desk space and a small getting ready area outside the bathroom. The room itself was huge, with plenty of space for 2 people plus an infinite amount of luggage.
The kitchen had a full sized fridge and freezer with a gas stove top, microwave and Keurig coffee machine supplied with pods. There were two sets of dishes, cutlery, mugs and glassware. From there was a large desk, which was also the only place in the room to eat at a table aside from the small side table at the sofa. There were windows that spanned the width of the room, allowing plenty of light in despite another tall building directly facing the hotel. There was a double fitted wardrobe with safe, iron and ironing board, plenty of hangers and space to stow away suitcases and bags.
Besides the kitchen, which was a little outdated, the fittings and fixtures in the room and bathroom really impressed me. Kohler bathroom fittings with a huge ring-lit mirror, bedsides lamps equipped with two sockets in each and plenty of sockets throughout the rest of the room. It was simple in its design, but an elevated simplicity.
This is a section that sometimes I’m unable to fill out in these reviews, but thankfully the River Inn offered plenty of those, too. Like I mentioned earlier in this article, there is a restaurant attached to the hotel where room service can be ordered or you can opt to eat in the restaurant itself. On the fridge door there was also an option to order items to stock the fridge, so you can use the kitchen. In all honestly, unless you’re visiting on business and have a fully covered stay then I’d recommend shopping at the 7-Eleven instead because prices were pretty inflated. There was also a full laundry service that was collected daily, at a fee, whilst rooms were being turned over. Over the summer months the hotel also offers free bikes to explore the city, free attendance at a yoga class in Georgetown once a week and some discounts to other health and wellness activities in the surrounding area.
Thankfully I was pleased with the cleanliness of this hotel, both inside and out. Each morning the fallen leaves were swept up from the sidewalk in front of the building and then it was hosed down, the reception area, corridors and restaurant were clean and the room immaculate.
Again, I’m glad to say I was delighted with the service. Any queries we had regarding directions and restaurant recommendations we were given an abundance of recommendations and help. Around fifteen minutes after check-in we received a courtesy call from the front desk making sure we were happy with the room, which is the first time this has happened for me and really added a nice touch to the stay. When we called on our first evening to ask for our air conditioning to be lowered, a porter was with us within five minutes and fixed it right away. Lovely, lovely staff and excellent service all round.
If you aren’t able to tell by this point in the review then I’m happy to tell you I was thoroughly delighted with this stay. If ever I make it back to D.C I will for sure stay here again and will recommend it to friends and family. For more content like this directly to your inbox, subscribe to my blog at www.caitlinjeanrussell/subscribe or click here.