Executive travel: Mixed bag at Washington DC Hyatt Place hotel

The West End area of Washington DC could easily be renamed Hotel City, but new contender Hyatt Place holds its own among the old stalwarts.

A 20-minute meander down M Street North West will take you from this hotel, past several others and a host of embassies, across Rock Creek and into the heart of pretty, historic Georgetown. Dulles International is a 30-minute drive away; Ronald Reagan National Airport 15 minutes.

The fresh, clean and funky Hyatt Place, which opened in April, has 168 guest rooms and is clearly aimed at the business traveller, with free Wi-Fi and remote printing (with a code to pick it up from the gallery printers), express checkout, free public computers and 24-hour meals and gym.

Rooms are well-appointed, with not only a comfy king-size bed and desk but also an L-shaped sofa, footstool and laptop table. The 42-inch TV is on an adjustable bracket so you can watch it from bed or the sofa.

There’s a kettle, iron and ironing board and a hairdryer in the well-lit bathroom, which has a large walk-in shower. The roller blinds are blackout and it’s quiet for an inner-city hotel – but that’s partly because you face into a small courtyard and pay more for a view.

Where the hotel lets itself down is food.

While the room service menu was reasonably priced – a quesadilla cost $12.75, a burger $13.75 and a soup and half-salad $13.00 – the two late-night dinners ordered each took way longer than the suggested 15 minutes (and you have to head downstairs to pick your order up yourself). The first came with a free, generously-sized beverage by way of apology and the second was delivered, due to its lateness, but without a spoon for the soup. It’s unclear whether the food was cold before or after heading back down to pick up the utensil.

Breakfast is a self-serve bun fight, with too many guests, shared tables and plastic crockery where the coffee, bread, hot food, fruits and cutlery regularly run out. But a good night’s sleep and incredibly friendly staff go a long way to making up for it.

A king-size room costs an average $135 a night ($20 more for a “view” room).

q&a usefully central location

Suzanne Locke expands on what Washington DC’s modern Hyatt Place has to offer:

What’s nearby?

Georgetown is in one direction, DuPont Circle the other, and the hotel is just 1.6km from Lincoln Memorial and 3.2km from the White House.

How about the metro?

The hotel is just a few blocks away from two Metro lines (DuPont Circle for the Red Line and Foggy Bottom for Blue, Orange, Silver Lines).

I forgot my phone charger …

Borrow one from the gallery host – there is also toothpaste, razors and even nail polish.

Any other facilities on offer?

You can borrow the hotel’s bikes (and helmets and locks) for free – a great way to see a sprawling, road-based city. On a steaming hot day, dispensers of icy cucumber water are well received, as are the ice machines on most floors, and the free ear buds in the gym are a nice touch. There is an indoor heated pool, a rooftop terrace and a self-service laundry.

What about meeting rooms?

There are two boardrooms and three meeting rooms – 2,200 square feet in total.

Is there parking, if I’m driving from another city?

Yes but it’s a hefty $49 a night. Public parking is next door.

I like the idea of a Hyatt Place – is it a US-only chain?

There are four in DC alone and while most of the 197 are in the States, there are 20 around the world (mostly South America) – and one in Dubai.

business@thenational.ae

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Published: September 4, 2016 04:00 AM

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