The Hotel George Rating: 3.5 Pearls
Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C., United States

Oyster Review Summary

Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators

Pros

  • Large marble bathrooms
  • Well-equipped fitness center
  • Bistro Bis on-site, one of D.C.'s best restaurants
  • In-room extras, from free yoga kits to DVDs
  • Two-minute walk to Union Station (Amtrak and Metro)
  • Free wine reception Mondays through Fridays

Cons

  • Fee for Wi-Fi (free Wi-Fi for members of Kimpton InTouch, a free rewards program)
  • Somewhat desolate neighborhood at night; limited nearby dining and nightlife
  • No pool
  • No spa facilities

Bottom Line

A decade ago, this stunning, 139-room Kimpton-managed hotel was Capitol Hill's first hip boutique. Today, it sees big competition from The Liaison -- a new hotel, just around the corner. But the George's airy, urbane lobby, swank guest rooms, well-equipped fitness center, and top-notch French restaurant make it a solid choice.

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Oyster Hotel Review

 Scene

This decade-old pioneer of boutique chic offers plenty of playful design and luxurious amenities, but the surrounding area isn't nearly as interesting.

The lobby
The lobby

In 2000, the Hotel George made hospitality news in D.C. as the first hip boutique in the city. No one had thought to put a luxury hotel on Capitol Hill, two blocks from Union Station, no less a memorably stylish one. The eight-story refurbished building, circa 1928, features an airy lobby that feels like a lounge space at a modern art museum, with floor-to-ceiling glass, touches of stainless steel, fossilized coral stone, ceramic and black granite floors, and original works by Andy Warhol protégé, Steve Kaufman. Even the furniture is cool: a Cassina USA chrome-detailed table, vintage sofas, chairs by architect Gerrit Rietveld, and Louis Poulsen lamps.

The same understated and luxurious feel is evident in the 139 guest rooms and suites, which feature clever, space-saving entertainment and closet wall units, 300-thread-count Egyptian cotton linens, flat-screen TVs, DVD players, granite desktops, marble bathrooms, and in-room spa treatments. And it extends to the service that includes optional turndowns, overnight shoeshines, and a friendly, can-do demeanor.

As with most Kimpton hotels, there's the popular wine reception (weekdays from 5 to 6 p.m.) and a nice on-site eatery -- in this case Bistro Bis, a bustling French restaurant that's a frequent lunch stop for congressmen and local celebs, and consistently rates as one of D.C.'s best. A well-equipped fitness center with separate lockers and steam rooms for men and women, plus an all-Mac business center, are also available.

Though plenty of boutique properties have arrived in D.C. since the George, none seems to equal this hotel's unique charm. It's true that the Liaison Capitol Hill -- which opened last year with a sexy moonlit roof-deck pool and six-foot-tall, original lobby murals -- is a worthy opponent just around the corner. And the Hotel Palomar in Dupont Circle (another Kimpton) has a more happening neighborhood (Dupont Circle). But even given the lack of restaurants and nightlife near the Hotel George, its brand of understated luxury amid high-design is still the gold standard for D.C. boutiques.

 Service

Solid service includes optional turndowns and in-room spa treatments

The wine reception
The wine reception

This tiny boutique is big on personalized care with everything from optional turndown service to in-room spa treatments to providing guests with forgotten toiletry items. The weekday wine receptions, a signature Kimpton hotel feature, are well attended and almost festive in the airy, elegant lobby.

  • Turndown service upon request
  • Same day laundry and dry-cleaning service available; free overnight shoeshine
  • Special amenities for female travelers, including slippers, heating pads, spray wrinkle remover, and nail polish
  • Concierge provides sightseeing and dining suggestions, makes dinner and tour reservations.
  • New York Times delivered to guest rooms, Monday to Friday
  • Room service from Bistro Bis is available for breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Evening wine reception Mondays through Fridays from 5 to 6 p.m.; monthly wine selected by Kimpton sommelier
  • Extensive in-room spa menu includes aromatherapy and hot stone massages; body scrubs; facials; mani/pedi.
  • Valet parking is pricey (includes drive in-and-out privileges)

 Location

In the Capitol Hill area, a good springboard for sightseeing but a quiet area in the evening and on the weekends

The Hotel George is in Capitol Hill, an area filled mostly with drab 1970s-style office buildings. It's on the low-lying Judiciary Square section, which means it's surrounded by federal and county courthouses, law offices and the campus of the Georgetown Law School. Though this older part of the city has fallen on some hard times in the past, it is now reviving -- best evidenced by the Hotel George's own hip restaurant and bar scene and that at the new Liaison Hotel. Yet, traces of its dicey past linger and there's scarce nightlife and entertainment in the neighborhood immediately surrounding the Hotel George. But its location does have its advantages -- namely, it's a quick walk to the National Mall, the Supreme Court, the Library of Congress, the White House, and other Capitol Hill sites.

  • Neighborhood is quiet at night; no nighttime entertainment nearby and just a handful of restaurants.
  • Two blocks, or a five-minute walk, from Union Station, D.C.'s main train station (serviced by Amtrak and the Washington Metro, D.C.'s subway)
  • Five-minute walk to the U.S. Capitol, the Supreme Court, the Library of Congress, and the National Postal Museum
  • 15-minute walk to the White House
  • Hotels staffers can call or hail a cab anytime, day or night
  • 15 to 20 minute taxi from Reagan National Airport
  • 45 to 60 minute taxi from Dulles International Airport

 Rooms

Well appointed, with luxury bedding and bathrooms, and enough HBO channels to make you question a night on the town

Standard guest room
Standard guest room

Hotel George's guest rooms offer welcome mix of luxury details with modern touches, from the oversize all-marble bathrooms to the stocked minibar with plenty of gourmet treats. In general, the Hotel George's basic rooms feel a little cozier and less self-consciously cool than the rooms at the Liaison Capitol Hill, around the corner.

  • Standard guest rooms measure a comfortable 300 square feet, about average for D.C.
  • Compact and clever entertainment closet unit: 32-inch flat-screen TV with four HBO channels, on-demand movies and Nintendo video games; DVD player (DVDs to borrow for free)
  • Stocked minibar
  • Electronic safe, large enough for a laptop
  • Animal-print bathrobes and PJs
  • Great beds: 300-thread-count Egyptian cotton linens; duvet cover; cashmere throw
  • Granite-topped work desk; There is a fee for Wi-Fi throughout the building. However, Wi-Fi is free for members of Kimpton InTouch, a free rewards program.
  • iHome alarm clock with iPod hookup
  • Spacious bathrooms with marble floors; separate bathtub and shower, and audio speakers so that you can listen to the TV
  • Aveda toiletries
  • Coffeemaker, fax machine, or video game player available upon request
  • Other room types: Cardio Room (260 square feet) features a stationary bike; three suites, including the 535-square-foot, one-bedroom George Suite

 Features

Worthwhile features, but it is a small boutique -- no pool, no spa

The fitness center
The fitness center
  • Well-equipped fitness center: two elliptical machines, two treadmills, one stationary bike (all with individual flat-screen TVs and headphones), as well as weight machines and free weights
  • Small men's and women's locker rooms with separate steam rooms
  • Business center features two Mac desktop computers and one printer; front desk can handle any faxing and copying needs.
  • There is a fee for Wi-Fi throughout the building. However, Wi-Fi is free for members of Kimpton InTouch, a free rewards program.
  • Evening wine reception Mondays through Fridays; monthly wine selected by Kimpton sommelier
  • Yoga basket with free tote and exercise gear available upon request
  • 1,200 square feet of elegant meeting and conference space; great for smaller, low-key functions.

 Pets

Man's best friend, and cats too, are welcome here for free.

The pet goldfish
The pet goldfish

The Hotel George welcomes both dogs and cats, and keeps a pet goldfish on hand at the front desk for guests to visit if they've left their own animal companion at home. Excessive pet-friendliness is integral to the Kimpton brand; staffers here provide welcome treats and turndown service with a biscuit and a bowl of mineral water.

  • All pets allowed under 200 pounds (no lions) with no deposit required
  • No limit on number of pets
  • All pets receive a special turndown service with a biscuit and bowl of Ethos water.
  • Doggie day care and dog walking available upon request (for a charge)
  • Greens around Union Station perfect for walks and runs

 Family

Fine for families -- great location, large rooms, and perks for kids, welcome treats and kid-size animal-print bathrobes

  • Free cribs; rollaways are charged per night
  • Guest rooms can be child-proofed prior to checking in (including outlet covers, toilet latches, and nightlights).
  • Welcome kids' gift upon check-in, such as a coloring book with milk and cookies; kid-size animal print bathrobes available
  • Bistro Bis has a kids' menu, as well as high chairs and booster seats (guests can request them brought to the room as well).
  • Strollers available for rental (for an additional charge)
  • Concierge can provide a list of kid-friendly spots and activities; can arrange babysitting with 24-hours' notice.
  • Two blocks from Union Station makes both Metro (subway) and Amtrak (train) travel convenient
  • Easy walking or quick taxi access to tours of the U.S. Capitol, White House, and related sites; one block from the National Postal Museum

 Cleanliness

Sparkling, despite being a decade old

This hotel maintains a high level of cleanliness both inside and out.

 Food

On-site French restaurant is one of D.C.'s best; minimal food options in the immediate area.

Bistro Bis
Bistro Bis

Popular among congressmen, powerbrokers, and local celebrities, Bistro Bis is consistently voted as the "Power Spot" by the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington. But it's not stuffy -- overhead, you'll hear French pop music -- and the space feels more like the Tuileries Garden in Paris than somewhere on The Hill. Chef Jeffrey Buben prepares classic French dishes like beef Bourguignon ($28) and duck confit Toulousaine ($25). About the only thing not so French about the food is the portions -- the popular Steak Frites is the perfect size for two to share for lunch.

  • Bistro Bis open for breakfast (weekend brunch), lunch, and dinner
  • Room service from Bistro Bis throughout the day
  • For a quick lunch, walk to the Union Station food court (three blocks away).
  • Other nearby restaurants include: Johnny's Half Shell (seafood favorite); The Dubliner (Irish pub); Capitol City Brewing Company (attached to the National Postal Museum); Art & Soul by celebrity-chef Art Smith (connected to the Liaison Capitol Hill, just around the corner).

 Bottom Line

A decade ago, this stunning, 139-room Kimpton-managed hotel was Capitol Hill's first hip boutique. Today, it sees big competition from The Liaison -- a new hotel, just around the corner. But the George's airy, urbane lobby, swank guest rooms, well-equipped fitness center, and top-notch French restaurant make it a solid choice.

Things You Should Know About The Hotel George

Address

  • 15 East Street Nw, Washington, DC 20001

Hotel Is Also Known As...

  • Hotel George - a Kimpton Hotel
  • Hotel George Kimpton
  • Kimpton Washington Dc

Room Types

  • Cardio Room
  • Deluxe Room
  • George Suite
  • Parlor Suite

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Nearby Hotels to Consider

The Liaison Capitol Hill, an Affinia Hotel
Hyatt Regency Washington On Capitol Hill
Washington Court Hotel
Hampton Inn Washington, DC

Hotel Features

Number of Rooms: 139
Fitness Center: Yes
Internet Access: Yes
Pets Allowed: Yes
Cribs: Yes
Jacuzzi (in room): Some
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Hotel Information

Location: Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.
Address: 15 East Street Nw, Washington, DC 20001
(See Map)
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