In what seems to be a new tradition, I retuned to the Park Hyatt Washington, DC for the presidential inauguration in January, exactly four years after my last visit. This review covers my stay and reveals that not much has changed at Hyatt’s premier property in the District of Columbia.
Park Hyatt Washington DC Review
I needed a hotel for the night before the Biden inauguration and figured Hyatt, which has a number of hotels in DC, would offer the best chance of using my points.
As usual for presidential inaugurations, paid rates were sky-high:
But points space was available. 20,000 points versus $879? That’s not a hard choice!
I flew into National Airport and took the Metro to Foggy Bottom. From there, it was a seven block walk to the hotel. Why not an Uber? Surge pricing meant $58 for what turned out to be a very pleasant Metro ride and afternoon walk.
Upon entering, I was greeted at the door and promptly checked in. The associate informed me I had been upgraded to a Junior Suite, the same room-type I have been upgraded to on my previous two visits. I have never experienced a real suite here (or a standard room).
Masks were required in all public areas of the hotel. Hand sanitizer stations were strategically positioned in common areas and placards in the elevator encouraged riders to spread out.
The pool and spa were closed, Blue Duck Tavern was closed, and hotel dining was limited to breakfast only delivered via room service.
It appeared the restaurant closures were more to deter visitors to the District during the inaugural festivities, because Blue Duck Tavern was open the week before and after my visit.
My junior suite was a spacious living room and bedroom divided by a wall without a door.
Sitting on my desk was a charticure plate including regional meats and cheeses. I quite enjoyed this an appetizer prior to dinner.
The mini-bar was cleaned out the china coffee cups had been replaced with paper ones.
The bathroom is spacious and includes a cavernous walk-in shower and adjacent bathtub.
Amenities like toothpaste and mouthwash were available in a basket next to the sink.
A walk-in closet is inside the bathroom.
Lighting and temperature were controlled by wall units.
In honor of the inauguration, a pair of special masks and hand sanitizer were included in the room as an amenity. How apropos.
This room hasn’t changed much in over a decade, but I like it…there’s no need to mess with it.
Blue Duck Tavern
A highlight of this hotel is the Michelin-starred Blue Duck Tavern, a restaurant with a beautiful menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
As I mentioned above, it was closed due to COVID-19 for indoor dining and for lunch and dinner. However, breakfast was available via room service.
After an early morning walk, I returned to the hotel and ordered room service. I had noticed a Bluestone Lane (exceptional Australian coffee) just around the corner, but opted to hold off and see try the cappuccino with breakfast.
I was not disappointed.
For breakfast, I ordered fresh-squeezed orange juice, cappuccino, jumbo lump crab with scrambled egg whites, and pancakes with berries.
Everything was delicious…this breakfast alone validated my choice to stay at this hotel. As a Globalist, I receive complimentary breakfast, though not a run of the menu. I was not expecting the full amount to be deducted from my bill, but it was.
No room service was available outside the breakfast hours so I had dinner from a nearby Middle Eastern restaurant called Moby Dick in Georgetown.
Fitness Center + Pool
While waiting for breakfast, I headed over to the hotel’s gym. It is located in an annex adjacent to the hotel and was locked. A hotel associate opened it for me and I had it all to myself for almost an hour.
The pool and hot tub were closed.
Despite the pandemic, the hotel did not discontinue its shoe-shine service. I had my trusty travel shoes cleaned up.
Two Service Lapses
As I mentioned in another post, the Park Hyatt hosted many National Guard troops during my stay. These were young men…and young men tend to be loud. Although the noise died down, I heard a lot of hooting and hollering far too late at night.
Another issue: this trash bag was sitting in the hallway outside my room when I arrived.
….And it was still sitting there when I left. Not sure why the trash bag was not removed, but
Minor issues overall.
This remains a great hotel and I do recommend it. Hopefully it will not take four more years for me to stay again, but not much has changed and that is a good thing.