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Loews Madison Hotel 3.5

Downtown, Washington, D.C., United States

Review Summary

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Pros

  • Clean, comfortable standard rooms renovated in 2012
  • Heated towel racks
  • 10-minute walk to the White House
  • Free Wi-Fi in the lobby and guestrooms; free 30 minutes of Internet in the business center
  • Spacious, well-equipped gym
  • Popular bar, Post Script
  • All pets welcome (no restrictions); one-time fee applied
  • Free Washington Post, delivered every morning

Cons

  • Some noise between rooms
  • Less-attentive service
  • Pricey parking, by valet only

Bottom Line

The 352-room Madison has clean, comfortable rooms -- all of which were renovated in 2012 -- and a spacious gym. While it's a fine choice for travelers with business nearby, its service can be sluggish and its location -- a part of D.C. that can feel like a ghost town at night -- is less than ideal.

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Scene

Clean, pleasant, 352-room hotel that's just a 15-minute walk from the restaurants and nightlife in Dupont Circle and downtown attractions, including the White House

A Deluxe King Room

Since it first opened in 1963, the Madison Hotel has been a business-traveler mainstay during the week -- it's only a half-block from the Washington Post offices -- and a host to families and leisure travelers on the weekends. It is a clean, comfortable, and elegant place to stay with a solid gym and business center, but it falls a bit short in terms of service and suffers from an unfortunate location -- there's little to see, do, or eat within a two-block radius of the hotel, and after dark the area can feel like a bit of a no man's land.

All of the guest rooms underwent a $20 million renovation in 2012, following a 2011 purchase of the property by the real estate acquisition and asset management firm Jamestown. Public spaces were last renovated in 2008. Each room has all of the big-chain essentials, including a very comfortable bed (300-thread-count sheets; down pillows; down duvets), an electronic safe big enough to fit a laptop, and a 32-inch flat-screen TV, plus a towel warmer in the small but functional bathroom. And at 350 square feet, the standard (Deluxe) rooms are a touch larger than the average hotel room in D.C. (Grand Luxury Rooms, however, are an impressive 550 square feet).

The 2012 renovations bring an entirely new decor to guestrooms, based largely on the historic architecture of Washington, DC. Warm tones of gray, brown, and taupe give the rooms a cozy vibe, while luxe furniture and details (like the octogonal rugs and white and grey toile wall coverings) give guests a sense of traditional DC granduer. They also included the transformation of three Presidential suites, which feature custom made furnishings, kitchenettes, and about 2,000 square feet of living space for the diplomats to DC (or anyone else looking toe spend a pretty penny) to thoroghly enjoy.

In-room features vary a bit from room to room (only some rooms have massage chairs or iHome iPod-docking alarm clocks, for example), but they do have one thing in common -- poor noise insulation between the rooms. I could hear my neighbor listening to Beethoven's Fifth for three straight hours.

Despite a generally friendly and efficient staff, service, too, can be middling. There always seemed to be bellmen and doormen posted at the entrance, but no one came to help me schlep my bags out of the cab, or even upstairs once I was inside the building. In addition, when I asked the concierge to recommend a good tapas restaurant, he just handed over a Xeroxed list of restaurants in the area. And contrary to what the hotel's website says, turndown service is only upon request these days.

In addition to popular on-site bar, Postscript, the hotel also features The Federalist, a restaurant which claims to stay true to the culinary traditions of 18th century America and Europe. Ingredients originates largely from the DC area, aiding the authentic vibe The Federalist is striving to attain.

While it's a fine choice if you're traveling on business and the location is essential, you might want to first compare rates at the comparable Westin - City Center, just around the corner. Otherwise, it's worth exploring the hotels near Dupont Circle, like the Dupont Hotel, or a downtown business hotel that offers a bit more for the money, like the Four Points by Sheraton.

Location

The immediate area around the hotel is a bit quiet at night and on the weekends, but great sights and cafes are still within walking distance.

Map of Loews Madison Hotel

The Madison is located downtown, half a block from Thomas Circle and the National City Christian Church. It's a relatively central hub for sightseeing, and fine if you're in town to do business near the White House or at the Washington Convention Center (about half a mile away). But very little happens in the immediate neighborhood, and it's a quarter-mile from the nearest Metro stop at McPherson Square. However, if you walk about 10 minutes, you can find a flourishing residential section at 14th Street, near Logan Circle.

  • Lafayette Park, a quarter-mile south, could be considered the White House's backyard. It's great for tourist-watching and statue-spotting.
  • Walk northwest on Massachusetts Avenue (aka "Embassy Row") for about 15 minutes to reach Dupont Circle.
  • Some excellent bars, cafes, and restaurants on P Street, three blocks north
  • Two miles to Union Station (the Amtrak and Metro station); 10 minutes by cab, depending on traffic
  • Five miles to Reagan National Airport; 10 minutes by cab, depending on traffic
  • 25 miles to Dulles International Airport; at least 45 minutes by car

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Things You Should Know About Loews Madison Hotel

Address

1177 Fifteenth Street NW, Washington DC, District of Columbia 20005, United States

Also Known As

  • Madison Hotel Washington Dc
  • Madison Washington Dc
  • The Madison

Room Types

  • Deluxe Room
  • Grand Luxury Room
  • Madison Suite
  • Premium Room
  • Presidential Suite
  • The Royal Suite

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