St. Regis Washington, D.C. Review
Disclaimer: I stayed at the Park Hyatt Washington the previous 2 nights before my stay at the St. Regis, so I’ll be inclined to make comparisons frequently.
I had an opportunity to stay at the St. Regis Washington DC for just a night after a flight cancellation kept me in DC an extra night (“weather related” cancellation so no hotel voucher for me–thanks for nothing, Delta!) I jumped online and saw that there was last minute availability at the Fed/Gov’t rate (interestingly, it was the only Starwood property with the rate available but has the highest normal rates). I jumped back on The Metro from #DCA, got off at Farragut West and then had a short 2-block walk to the hotel.
The check-in desk seemed somewhat small for a hotel of this size — maybe the average stay here is longer than at a Westin or Sheraton, thus having to handle fewer check-ins/outs? I had the choice between “Deluxe King” and “Superior King” and, because they were the same price, I booked the Superior room, figuring that a Superior is superior to a Deluxe–I maintain that my logic is sound although it turned out to be wrong in this case. Here are the St. Regis rooms listed in order (sample pricing based on a 2-night, midweek stay July 30-Aug 1, 2013).
– $395 Superior Room **BOOKED**
– $425 Deluxe Room
– $455 Premier Deluxe Room
– $475 Grand Luxe Room
– $595 Metropolitan Suite
(All below have seperate living room)
– $695 Caroline Astor Suite **UPGRADED TO**
– $1,195 St. Regis Suite
– $3,395 Empire Suite
– $???? Presidential Suite
When I checked in, the agent thanked me for being a Platinum Starwood member and said that I would be upgraded to the “Caroline Astor Suite.”
I explained that all I had were the clothes on my back and he told me a toiletry kit would be “sent right up.” I was in room 310, a corner room in the southwest corner of the building facing 16th street & towards I street (665-700 ft sq).
Compared to the Park Hyatt Washington (PH), the property has a much smaller footprint but still allows for spacious rooms. Felt a lot more luxurious than the PH. More of a classic luxury than the PH, which seemed more modern.
Entering the room, you first saw a hallway with 2 classic paintings of old French manors and a closet. This opened up to the living room, with sofa, chairs, table and a TV. Again, everything feels rather stately and regal. A few pieces of fresh fruit (still chilled and wet from being washed) were waiting on the table–maybe the butler rushed it in while I was checking in? They saved the corner for the bedroom, which allowed tons of natural light to pour in. All of the cabinets were built-ins, the TV hidden from view. The decor was pretty stately as well, with lots of gold and blue.
First world problem gripe: My one complaint about some of these nicer, luxury hotels is the lack of an in-room coffee maker. Sometimes you just want to make a quick cup. Sure, in the case of St. Regis, if you happen to be staying in a suite, you can request coffee, tea or juices 24×7 to be delivered as part of the butler service. And the Park Hyatt Washington provides coffee to all guests in the lobby all morning–which is a hassle in practice. The best execution providing guests with the option of coffee but also keeping it “upscale” (because those single serve coffee makers get rather nasty) is the Park Hyatt Vendome that had an Nespresso Maker in every room with numerous pods to use–all complimentary.
Extremely well done bathroom, tiled walls–elegant, classic and homely. Shower had an enoroumous amount of pressure and the toilet was in a seperate room. It was just a tad on the cramped side. Coolest part? There’s a fricken TV inside the mirror. That’s right, you an stare at yourself all while staring at the TV!
The St. Regis Butler service
Only if you’re in a suite do they provide their “St. Regis Butler Service.” Because I was upgraded to a suite, this service was included:
– Offering packing/unpacking services (didn’t use although I could get used to a personal valet to handle my luggage)
– Complimentary garment pressing (2 pieces per stay–didn’t use)
– Fresh fruit in room upon arrival (delicious and ate every last bite)
– Juice/tea service in the mornings (requested coffee in morning)
So really, the only run-ins I had with my “butler” was right after arrival when I requested toiletries upon check-in and for the morning coffee service. But, when I look back on it, maybe the bellman brought me my toiletries–who knows…there’s a fine line. So I guess my one official run in with the butler was when I called to order coffee and and requested a hair comb in the morning. Within 10 minutes the butler had arrived with a French press pot of coffee on a silver tray and a newspaper. She set the coffee down, introduced herself and explained, while reaching for a business card, that she’d be my butler for the day. Listen, St. Regis, I’m far from being either in the butler business or a frequent recipient of butler-type services, but the business card was a little much. It’s almost as if they go out of their way to market this “famed” butler service, but, at the end of the day, it’s just a room service-server dressed in a suit. That being said, she was extremely polite and I found the service to pretty good–although a little…sterile.
The gym was quite small and in the basement so no exterior windows. Only a few cardio machines and no free weights — hardly enough space to accommodate guests for this size of a hotel. So, ample but nothing impressive. The hotel is one step ahead of you, though, and offers passes to a nearby gym with a better facility–check out that St. Regis service.
The lobby was quite cozy feeling: lots of sofas, chairs and chandeliers. The lobby transitioned into a large bar that is part of the restaurant–Decanter. Adour, the Alain Ducasse restaurant that used to occupy the space, closed in May and now Decanter has taken its spot. Not sure why the change because Adour was apparently a fan-favorite. Maybe St. Regis grew tired of the royalties paid to Ducasse? Either way, what little reviews there are of Decanter are all glowing and the same chef from the old restaurant is sticking around.
BOTTOM LINE: Really enjoyed my stay at the St. Regis Washington DC and look forward to returning. The room was awesome, the service great and all in a central location.