Last week I wrote about why the Willard Hotel in Washington, DC is my favorite hotel in the District. This review focuses on an incredible suite upgrade I received during my last visit.
Please read my reflections on this hotel prior to reading this review below, for it puts everything into context. Second, please read this review to pictures of the suite and further appreciate why I love this hotel, not as a recent review. This upgrade occurred a few years ago (just before my switch to Boarding Area) and I never wrote about it because I was in a period of blog transition at the time. Thus, this is a better-late-than-never review. But I see it as a necessary addendum to my recent post on the same property.
Furniture has been updated in standard guest rooms so it probably a safe assumption it has in this suite as well. I’m not going to review the hotel amenities beyond Cafe Du Parc and the Round Robin Bar. Instead, I will offer a more comprehensive review when I return to the hotel.
So, let’s get to the upgrade. I arrived at the hotel about 10:00 AM from Philadelphia and figured the room would not even be ready yet. I was hoping for an upgrade but at the same time tried hard not to get my hopes up. Upon arriving in the ornate lobby, the check-in agent thanked me for my IHG Royal Ambassador status and told me that I had been upgraded to a “very nice” room. I grinned and my heart began to pound.
I took the elevator up to 10th floor and found my room, 1010. On the door was a gold placard stating Henry Augustus Willard Suite. Henry was the youngest Willard brother and ran the hotel during its early years. You know you have a nice suite when it has a name on it…
I opened the door and smiled. It was old-school DC. There was nothing modern about it, just tastefully timeless furniture and marble in an ornate and spacious suite. I know this style is not for everyone, but I loved it so much. What a perfect upgrade.
You walked into an entry hall. To the right was an oval-shaped sitting room with views of the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, and Arlington National Cemetery.
To the left of the entrance was a kitchen and guest restroom.
Down the hall was the bedroom, which included two queen beds.
The large bathroom included a separate shower and tub.
From the bedroom, you could see the old Postal Building (what is now the Trump hotel) on Pennsylvania Avenue. The U.S. Capitol was blocked by the brown-brick JW Marriott hotel. The views are even more grand from a higher floor.
I had never experienced a suite upgrade like this one and was simply beside myself. Here I was in one of the best suites at one of the best hotels in Washington…as a twenty-something.
Breakfast at Cafe du Parc
Breakfast was a highlight each day in Cafe du Parc, the hotel’s French bistro. Both a buffet and a la carte menu are available. I particularly enjoyed the French Toast.
Round Robin Bar
Even if you are not a drinker, step into the Round Robin Bar for a taste of history. Presidents and world leaders have sat here and the Round Robin was used as a Union watering hole during the Civil War. The bartenders are great and the house special is Mint Julep. During this visit, I had Irish Coffee.
Gym? Spa? Other amenities? This isn’t that kind of report. As I said above, next time I stay here I will write the usual comprehensive hotel reviews you are used to. But today I just wanted to continue my reminisce about the hotels by remembering what remains one of my best upgrades of all time.