Five-minute walk from Foggy Bottom/GWU Metro station
Spacious rooms with coffeemakers, minibars, and large HDTVs
Solid American restaurant with courtyard seating and seasonal menus
Top-notch fitness center with free group classes and personal trainers
Indoor saltwater pool complete with a separate whirlpool
Extensive meeting and event space, and staffed business center
Free Cadillac rides to locations within a one-mile radius
Pet-friendly: no cleaning fees, and free treats and accessories
Concierge services, and 24-hour room service
Far from restaurants and most major attractions
Poor noise insulation between rooms
Fee for Wi-Fi (except for Fairmont Gold members, which is free to join)
No full spa on-site
Located in the small West End area adjacent to Georgetown, the 415-room Fairmont is an upscale hotel known for being home to one of D.C.’s best fitness centers, complete with top-of-the-line equipment, an indoor saltwater lap pool, free group classes, and personal trainers. Although its location and services cater mostly to business travelers, the comfortable, large rooms with 49-inch HDTVs, fully stocked minibars, and coffeemakers, and its solid American restaurant with outdoor seating and seasonal menus make it an enjoyable pick for tourists as well. There are a sauna, steam bath, and whirlpool, but the hotel lacks a full spa. Those looking to get pampered may want to compare rates at the Mandarin Oriental Washington DC.
A business-oriented hotel with elegant interiors and outstanding health club
First opened in 1986 and rebranded in 2002, the Fairmont is a solid upscale hotel in staid West End, bordering Foggy Bottom and Georgetown. It draws a mix of business travelers, families, couples, and celebrities (a Jordanian prince was among the guests during one of our visits) with stylish, larger-than-average rooms, a top-notch fitness center, and 30,000 square feet of meeting and event space. The hotel has undergone renovations in 2000, 2011, and 2016, and although it still can’t compete in style and elegance with more iconic hotels such as the Rosewood Washington, D.C. or the Ritz-Carlton Washington, it is a solid sophisticated pick in its price range.
Because room prices tend to drop significantly on the weekends, once the expense-account guests clear out, it can often be a great value. But if location closer to the main attractions is all that matters, the JW Marriott Hotel Washington, DC is a good alternative. Those looking to splurge a little may prefer the Mandarin Oriental Washington DC, which features an excellent spa, gorgeous interior design, and beautiful rooms. The W Washington DC is a great alternative for those wanting something more hip.
Located in the West End, within walking distance of Georgetown and Dupont Circle
The Fairmont is located in the West End, a somewhat sleepy neighborhood popular with business travelers. There are a Trader Joe’s, a CVS, and a Starbucks nearby, but little else of general interest can be found in the immediate vicinity. Georgetown, the wealthier, more historic neighborhood that's home to some of the city’s best shops and restaurants, is an easy 10- to 15-minute walk west. Even more dining and shopping options can be found in Dupont Circle, located a 15-minute walk (or quick taxi ride) away. Although this location may not be ideal for those wanting to explore the downtown area on foot, the Foggy Bottom/GWU Metro stop is a five-minute walk away, which makes getting around easy and cheap. The hotel is also an easy 10- to 15-minute walk from the Potomac River waterfront. The White House and the Lincoln Memorial can be reached in about 10 minutes by car. The hotel is a 15-minute drive from Ronal Reagan National Airport, and 40 minutes from Dulles International Airport. The hotel offers free Cadillac rides to locations within a one-mile radius.
Large, comfortable rooms with upscale amenities and excellent beds
Starting at 400 square feet, rooms at the Fairmont are slightly larger than the average standard room in D.C., and the neutral palette and big windows make them feel even more spacious. Decor is stylish, if a little staid (think gray carpets and bed skirts combined with generic dark-wood furniture), but caramel-colored textured walls hung with contemporary art, and metallic finishes add a touch of elegance. Standard amenities are great for the price, and include coffeemakers with free coffee pods, electric kettles, fully stocked minibars with snacks, 49-inch HDTVs with cable channels, and quality beds. Robes, slippers, and safes are also provided in all rooms. Bathrooms are appealing and clean, with high-end Le Labo toiletries, big mirrors, antique-style taps, and either big shower/tub combos or glass showers with rainfall showerheads.
Most Deluxe Rooms have small, unfurnished balconies, but no other room category has outdoor space. Unfortunately, many guests have complained of poor noise insulation between rooms. The quietest rooms are the Fairmont Signature, which are located at the end of the hallways, and have views of either the city or the hotel’s courtyard. Fairmont Gold Rooms are standard units with a number of great extra privileges, such as private check-in in a separate lounge, free continental breakfast, and free evening cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.
Extensive business-oriented amenities, top-notch gym, indoor pool, and solid restaurant
The hotel’s 17,000-square-foot on-site fitness center is hands down the best hotel gym in all of D.C. -- and it’s free for all guests. It features a big room with top-of-the-line cardio and strength-training equipment, personal trainers, and dozens of group classes, including several types of yoga, Pilates, bootcamp, barre, and boxing. There are also a sauna, steam room, and whirlpool, but the hotel lacks a full spa. The adjacent indoor saltwater pool is big enough for laps and has three lanes and a separate whirlpool.
Juniper is the hotel’s main restaurant. It serves tasty American cuisine made with seasonal and locally sourced ingredients (some of which are grown on the hotel’s rooftop area) in a big, elegant dining room with direct access to the hotel’s cute courtyard. A brunch menu is available on weekends, and express lunch options are provided during the week. The lobby lounge also has a short menu with small bites, and room service is available 24/7.
With 30,000 square feet of meeting and event space, the Fairmont Washington, D.C. Georgetown is a popular conference and wedding venue. Each boardroom and ballroom features audiovisual equipment, and the hotel offers event planning services. There are 18 rooms of different shapes and sizes, with a maximum capacity of 700 guests in a single space. There is also a staffed business center, complete with several computers, a photocopier, a fax machine, scanners, and shipping services. Wi-Fi is only free for members of the Fairmont loyalty program, though it's free to join the program.
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