Concierge services include valet dry cleaning and laundry
Free Wi-Fi in public spaces
In-room Wi-Fi and breakfast cost an additional fee
Standard rooms are small
Old-fashioned decor could read as dated to some
No room service
Internet access on business center computers is not free
The upper-middle-range Fairfax at Embassy Row is a good choice for travelers seeking a historic hotel in a convenient location. Opened in 1927 on what is now Embassy Row near lively Dupont Circle, the quiet property has two restaurants, including the Capitol Room that was once the legendary Jockey Club, a favorite hangout for Washington’s elite. There's also a 24/7 fitness center on-site, as well as a business center and meeting space. Guest rooms are small but clean and equipped with mini-fridges, coffeemakers, and marble bathrooms. In-room Wi-Fi is not free, however, and room service is not available. Rates are attractive for its location, but for an alternative, travelers may want to consider the nearby Madera, a Kimpton Hotel, which offers comparable rates and spacious, stylish rooms with room service -- but lacks fitness facilities.
Historic hotel with a prestigious Embassy Row location
This stately brick hotel that opened in 1927 has been a Ritz Carlton and Westin Hotel in its long history, which includes hosting U.S. presidents and other dignitaries. Former first lady Nancy Reagan was a regular patron of the Jockey Club, which is now the Capitol Room, still a popular place for Washington power breakfasts. Its Embassy Row location near Dupont Circle means you can expect to see people from all over the world staying here. It has a quiet and fairly small lobby that’s classy and cozy, with dark wood paneling, white marble tile floors, and a modest registration desk -- but it’s not a space that entices visitors to linger. Framed prints of nearby embassies adorn the hallway walls and are a nice touch that pays homage to the prestigious location. On the whole, the property is elegant, but not especially fashionable.
The Fairfax enjoys a convenient location on an attractive, relatively quiet block of Massachusetts Avenue that’s known as Embassy Row due to its concentration of foreign embassies. The Indonesian and Portuguese embassies are next door, and the many restaurants, shops, and nightlife of Dupont Circle are nearby, but most of the city's top attractions like the White House require a drive or metro ride.
Three-minute walk to the Dupont Circle metro station (Red Line)
12-minute metro ride to Georgetown (22-minute walk)
16-minute metro ride to Union Station (Amtrak)
17-minute metro ride to the National Mall
19-minute metro ride to the White House (26-minute walk)
20-minute drive to Reagan National Airport (33-minute metro ride)
23-minute metro ride to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
30-minute metro ride to the United States Capitol
30- to 35-minute drive to Dulles International Airport (one hour by public transit)
Small, traditionally decorated rooms with Keurig coffeemakers and mini-fridges
The decidedly traditional decor in guest rooms features gold wallpaper, light brown carpeting, and sage accents as the primary colors. Dark-stained headboards with gold accents give a dramatic focal point, while white drapes in pink and green floral prints add feminine frill. It’s a pleasant motif that feels appropriate for the historic hotel, though it could feel a step behind the times to some. High ceilings and multiple windows keep the clean rooms from feeling stuffy, despite the small size of the Superior and Grand Deluxe Rooms -- 250 square feet (23 square meters) and 328 square feet (30 square meters), respectively. Grande Deluxe Rooms have sitting areas with sofas and additional TVs. Suites are substantially larger and have separate living rooms, ranging between 491 square feet (45 square meters) in the Deluxe Suites to 665 square feet (62 square meters) in the Superior Suites, while the roomiest offering is the 1,327-square-foot (123 square meters) Fairfax Suite.
Bathrooms are generously sized, with beige marble floors and walls framing the shower/tub combos or walk-in showers with clear glass doors. Roomy, dark wood vanities with reddish brown granite tops provide plenty of space for toiletries. Standard amenities in all rooms include flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, laptop safes, Keurig coffeemakers, mini-fridges, and free bottled water. In-room Wi-Fi access requires a daily fee. Some rooms have views of the surrounding embassies and other Washington landmarks that are quite nice.
Two restaurants, event space, fitness center, valet parking, and free Wi-Fi in public spaces
The Fairfax has a solid lineup of features, and crowning the list are its two restaurants. These dining options are D.C. classics that exude sophistication and a long, stately history. The Capitol Room -- formerly the legendary Jockey Club that hosted everyone from Nancy Reagan to Frank Sinatra to Jacqueline Kennedy -- is open daily for breakfast. It still sports an intimate, horseback riding theme with dozens of thoroughbred paintings adorning the walls. The Fairfax Grille and Lounge has a clubby, nautical theme and two cozy fireplaces. It’s open daily for dinner and serves classic American cuisine.
Apart from dining, the hotel offers a decent fitness center with a selection of Life Fitness cardio machines; it's open 24/7. The business center is also available 24 hours and offers printers and three computers, but accessing the internet here incurs a fee. Wi-Fi is free in the hotel’s public spaces, but not in guest rooms. The hotel’s inventory of event space includes the opulent Salon Room that can accommodate up to 300 people. The concierge desk can help arrange tickets, tours, and services like valet dry cleaning and laundry. Parking is valet only and expensive, which is typical of many hotels in the heart of Washington.
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