Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
A conference and wedding factory with hints of lavishness and an incredible health club
Located in staid Foggy Bottom, this formal, 415-room conference- and wedding-focused hotel opened in 2001 and renovated guestrooms and meeting spaces in 2011. The Fairmont is known for being a true luxury hotel -- a Jordanian prince was among the guests at the hotel during my visit -- with the standard rooms larger-than-average at 450 square feet and the health club, with its 50-foot lap pool, yoga room, and squash courts, among the city's best. Room renovations were completed in 2011 and, while design is still a bit bland, the spaces are clean, comfortable, and chock full of amenities.
Like many D.C. luxury properties, the Fairmont caters mainly to business travelers during the week, but almost exclusively to tourists and families on the weekends. Because room prices tend to plummet on the weekends, once the expense-account guests clear out, it can often be a terrific value, as its gym (even with the per-day access fee to use everything but the pool) gives it a significant advantage over other D.C. hotels in its price range, like the Westin Grand, the Marriott Washington, and Embassy Suites. But if a great room in Foggy Bottom is all that matters, opt for the Westin Grand or splurge on the Park Hyatt, which bests the Fairmont on every dimension.
The Fairmont has a convenient location in the West End, though it's decidedly sleepier than Georgetown, its wealthier, more historic neighbor, a 10- to 15-minute walk west. The downside to the vicinity is that there aren't many restaurants, cafes, or signs of life -- for those you'll need to head to Dupont Circle, a 15-minute walk (or quick taxi), or to nearby Georgetown.
Vast, 17,000-square-foot health club -- among D.C.'s best gyms
The Health Club at the Fairmont is a huge fitness center with top-of-the-line TechnoGym cardio and circuit-weight-training equipment. While the pool is free for guests to access, an entry fee, however, is applied to the gym.
Located in business-focused Foggy Bottom, the 415-room wedding- and convention-focused Fairmont feautres large guest rooms, as well as a superb health club which comes with a squash court, spinning studio, 50-foot pool, full-service spa, and more. On the weekends, it can be a great luxury pick for the price.