Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Charming neighborhood with great perks like free bike rentals and Wi-Fihotel in a quiet
Charming and quiet, with a warm, friendly staff, the River Inn manages to pack a ton of value into its clean, well-equipped rooms with full kitchens. Small details add up: the whole Starbucks coffee beans and grinder in the kitchens, free bike rentals, the fireplace in the lobby, and nightly turndown service (which is usually one of the first niceties to go in a tight economy).
The hotel has two types of rooms, 450-square-foot suites and 700-square-foot one-bedroom suites. All have full kitchens, spacious bathrooms, pullout sofas, iHome iPod docks, flat-screen TVs with about 50 channels, and plenty of light. The comfortable beds are topped with Simmons pillow-top mattresses and soft linens and duvets. The well-lit bathrooms have 100 percent Pima cotton towels and Neutrogena toiletries. The hotel was just about to begin renovating the bathrooms during my November 2009 stay, so expect new marble countertops and showers, and new counters in the kitchens very soon.
The River Inn offers free Internet and a small business center with two PCs, also free. The hotel's downstairs gym is small as well, but has new cardio equipment, including a Life Fitness treadmill and elliptical machine, both with personal monitors. And if that's not adequate, guests are also entitled to free passes to a nearby Bally Total Fitness gym -- and, believe it or not, a free private trainer.
If there's a negative, it's the location. Foggy Bottom is distinctly sleepy, and doesn't have much in the way of restaurants or nightlife. (For that you'll need to head to Dupont Circle or Georgetown.) Nor is it particularly convenient to D.C.'s most popular tourist attractions. That said, it's arguably the best value in the neighborhood, and has more charm and style than the comparably priced Washington Suites.
Located in sleepy Foggy Bottom but within walking distance of Georgetown
The hotel is tucked among rowhouses on a quaint and quiet residential street in Foggy Bottom, just on the edge of the George Washington University campus and a couple minutes' walk to the Foggy Bottom-GWU Metro stop. A number of significant government, IGO, and NGO headquarters call Foggy Bottom home, including the State Department, American Red Cross, and World Bank. While it's decidedly sleepier than its wealthier, more historic neighbor, Georgetown, a 15- to 20-minute walk away, Foggy Bottom is closer to the White House and the main sites on the National Mall. The downside to Foggy Bottom is that there aren't a ton of restaurants, cafes, or other signs of street life; guests need to head to Dupont Circle or Georgetown for that.
The 125-room River Inn offers great value. Its 450-square-foot suites have full kitchens and pullout couches. Add in free perks like Wi-Fi, bike rentals, and Bally Total Fitness gym passes, and it's tough to beat this gem. Just note that Foggy Bottom is sleepy -- you'll need to head elsewhere for restaurants and nightlife.