Updated historic property with chic and classically styled interiors
Centrally located near offices and the convention center
Within a 15-minute walk of both the White House and Dupont Circle
Sophisticated rooms with flat-screen TVs and stocked minibars
Contemporary Argentine restaurant led by celebrity chef
Two lounges and a Starbucks coffee shop
Roomy fitness center, sauna, and steam room
12,000 square feet of elegant event space
Pet-friendly features like menus, treats, and walking maps (pet fee applies)
Free Wi-Fi throughout
No coffeemakers in most rooms
Immediate surrounding area is dead at night (though Dupont Circle within walking distance)
Better for business travelers than families (pro for some)
The Loews Madison Hotel is a 356-room upscale property with a business-meets-boutique ambience and a central location in the heart of Washington D.C. While its setting near offices buildings and 12,000 square feet of event space make it popular among corporate guests, the hotel's variety of room layouts and close proximity to key sights are a draw for tourist families. Rooms are classic and sophisticated, with flat-screen TVs and fully stocked minibars -- but no coffeemakers. Features include a celebrity chef-led Argentine restaurant and bar, and a spacious fitness center with sauna and steam room. Another bonus: almost every U.S. president since JFK has visited this property. Families might prefer the comparably priced Hotel Rouge, a Kimpton Hotel, offering freebies like bikes and weekend pizza, plus select rooms with Xbox consoles and bunk beds.
Sophisticated and classic hotel suited to business guests
The hotel occupies a somewhat bland, downtown building, which opened as the Madison Hotel in 1963. Inside, the property has a stylish, classic-meets-modern look and feels pretty swanky. Soft lighting illuminates the sophisticated lobby, decorated in soft grays and creams, including marble floors, patterned rugs, and tufted-leather seating. The restaurant, Rural Society, has an upscale rustic vibe, with industrial-style lighting, gray leather banquettes, and lots of wood -- including stacked logs reserved for the Argentine-style grill. Many guests are corporate types -- along with being located central to office buildings, the hotel has 12,000 square feet of meeting space decked out with chandeliers and chic paisley wallpaper. Since opening in 1963, this property has been visited by almost every U.S. president (President Obama, however, did not stop by). The hotel is not overly child-friendly, although some tourist families do stay here and the Lowes Loves Kids programs (with menus, activity books, toys, and DVDs) are available for children under age 10.
Central to sights and offices, but perhaps too quiet at night
The Loews Madison is surrounded by shiny office buildings on the corner of a main downtown intersection. This is a central location in the heart of Washington D.C., in between the White House and hip Dupont Circle neighborhood, and within a 15-minute walk of both. In addition, just about every major sight is accessible by car in around 10 minutes, including the National Mall and Smithsonian Museums. The Walter E. Washington Convention Center is a five-minute drive away. The Farragut North Metro station (Red Line) is eight minutes' walk away. That said, there's not much to do within five minutes' walk of the property -- other than visit nearby corporate offices. This area is also pretty dead at night. Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport is a convenient 15-minute drive away.
Wingback chairs and White House-inspired wallpaper, but no coffeemakers
Rooms at the hotel have a similar decor to common spaces. The palette is mostly shades of gray, beige, and white. There are wingback leather armchairs, slick wooden cabinets to hold flat-screen TVs, and spacious wooden work desks with ergonomic chairs. The illustrated wallpaper is a nice touch -- the pattern was used on the walls of the White House during the Kennedy administration.
Standard amenities include fully stocked minibars -- a rarity for Washington D.C. Wi-Fi is free, and there are safes, robes, and ironing facilities. Bathrooms are crisp and classic, with large showers with glass doors, and an elegant mix of gray, white, and brown tile on the floors and walls. Toiletries are provided and shower/tub combos are available on request. Only Grand King rooms and suites have coffeemakers (which are Keurig).
Options include standard Deluxe rooms, Luxury rooms with street views, Premium Rooms on floors 10 to 14, and oversized Grand King Rooms on the Penthouse floors. Room sizes range from 350 to 525 square feet. Suites with terraces and city views, wet bars, and hot tubs are available.
Contemporary Argentine cuisine, Starbucks coffee, lots of meeting space
The well-reviewed contemporary Argentine restaurant, Rural Society, is led by celebrity chef Jose Garces. It serves breakfast (for a fee), weekend brunch, lunch, and dinner -- including grilled steaks and thick-crust Argentine pizza. The attached bar focuses on South American and Argentine wines, plus craft cocktails. PostScript is a lobby lounge serving snacks (Duck Fat Fries), small plates (burgers), and specialty cocktails in the afternoon and evening, including weeknight happy hour. Just off the lobby is the Barista Bar serving Starbucks coffee and pastries from early morning until midday.
The fitness center is spacious and modern, with cardio and weight-training machines. A sauna is available to women, while the men's locker room has a steam room. There's no pool. The 12,000 square feet of meeting space is on the second floor. Pet-friendly features include special menus, bedding, and walking route maps, though bringing a pet incurs a fee. Wi-Fi is free in all rooms and public spaces. Parking is valet only and pricey.
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