Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Melrose Georgetown Hotel Review

I fell in heavy like with The Melrose Georgetown last year, during a breakfast review at the hotel's stately Jardenea Restaurant. Part of me knew then... I simply had to spend a night at the hotel. I finally had a chance to do so, this past Sunday (not as easy as it sounds - I live less than five miles away) and verified the obvious... The Melrose is one of the best places to hang your hat in the nation's capital.

This review won't be as comprehensive as I'd like: I didn't have time to enjoy dinner or breakfast (next time, I hope) but it doesn't take long to understand why this Pennsylvania Avenue oasis is so highly regarded. For starters, you can't beat the location... A short two-block stroll from the Foggy Bottom-GWU Metro, smack-dab between Washington Circle and Georgetown. That means tons of shopping (and dining) options, assuming you're willing to leave the comforts of a glorious 600 square foot Executive King Suite (available for under $200 per night!)

While you wrap your head around the sub-$200 cost, allow me to recap my visit. It began with an effortless check-in, where I was offered a list of local attractions, etc. Lucky for me, I'm already familiar with the area; so up I went, to the seventh (eight total) floor, to my corner suite. Suite... It just sounds fancy, doesn't it? It looks it too. Starting with a clever desk/office nook towards the front, adorned with a U.S. Constitution backdrop (this is the nation's capital after all.) Given the amount of distractions available, it's nice to have an out-of-sight sanctuary to get your work done: Remember, laptops look (and feel) a lot better on a desk than your lap.

However, work was the last thing on my mind on a Sunday spent outdoors at the Safeway National Capital Barbecue Battle and Smithsonian Folklike Festival. I wanted to lay back and relax; and what better way to do so, than an L-shaped sofa, facing a 42" flat-screen TV. My only quibble? I'd love a printed channel lineup; and some of the channels (Dish Network) were "blocked out," making channel surfing a little difficult. Not so in the bedroom however, where the slightly smaller 37" Philips set had all its active channels in a collective (uninterrupted) row.

Separate Office Nook

All that was missing was something to eat; and almost instinctively, a bellman knocked on my door with a complimentary plate of cheese, crackers and fruit. Sometimes, such amenities are waiting in the room; but I especially liked the personal touch of a timely delivery. Well done (and thanks!) Just in case you're even hungrier, the Melrose provides 24-hour room service, via the hotel's one-touch button system (no need to dial 9, etc.)

Super-handy Charging Kit

The living area includes comfortable carpeting, rich grey wallpaper and a sweeping view of Pennsylvania Avenue, NW from the room's outstretched window. There's also generous storage, as well as snacks and an ingenious, super-handy charging kit (with lightning cable and travel adapter.) This alone bears mentioning, as many hotels have been slow to adopt such a practical necessity. As in most other top hotels, expect an abundance of packaged snacks (and drinks in the fridge.) No alcohol however... just juice, soda, water and a couple cans of Red Bull.


The separate bedroom lends an "apartment" feel to the suite; although few apartments sport Serta Pillow Top Mattresses and top-quality bedspreads/linens. There's a second closet as well, where you'll find a plush bathrobe and stick umbrella (DC. Summer. Rain. Lots of.) The former's big enough to fit a guy like me (again, not easy) and comfortable "as all get out." The king-size bed was divine... Nice and high, with a firm mattress you could bounce an Eisenhower dollar off of, and big, soft pillows. End result? A great night's sleep, even with a 6 AM start on Monday. There's a cute little clock radio too (made by Insignia) but does anyone not use their phone to wake up nowadays? Truth be told, I'd prefer to see a mini-stereo in the living area instead (or both.)

Cozy Bedroom

Complimentary Robe & Umbrella

Bathrooms are a big deal to yours truly (even though I don't take baths) and this one is more luxurious than most. It's nice & big for starters, with terrific water pressure in both the toilet and shower head. You get plenty of towels (Castello) and the vanity/shower is stocked with Molton Brown bath accessories, not to mention the requisite hair dryer and assorted knick knacks (cotton swabs, etc.) Great lighting too, and the shower rod is especially sturdy... something only I probably notice, but still worth mentioning. P.S. Love the contrasting tiles inside the shower. My lone request? A toilet brush might be nice to have available.

Bathroom vanity

Strong water pressure

Molton Brown bath accessories

Next to a good night's sleep, nothing's as important as good air conditioning. The thermostat is set at 65° by default (Auto Fan) but it can get down to a crisp & cozy 60° with a slight adjustment (make sure to change it to High Fan.) Given the comfort/warmth of the aforementioned bedspread, this could ensure a perfect night's sleep. It also doesn't hurt if you're part penguin, like me. Getting in and out of the room is extra easy too... just make contact with the key card (no slipping it in at the right wrong angle/direction.)

Cheese, crackers and fruit... Gratis!

Good air conditioning (a must!)

Service across the board was attentive and super polite. There's a FREE Coffee & Tea Station in the lobby, each morning from 6:30 - 9 AM, as well as complimentary copies of USA Today (Monday - Friday.) The lobby also sports two PCs with extra large monitors... just in case you left your iPad/laptop at home. By the way, there's FREE Wi-Fi throughout the entire hotel (including your room.) It's plenty fast (up to 512k) but if you need faster, you can pay $5.95 a day to double that, with Upgraded Basic Internet.

Coffee & Tea Station (lobby level)

Checking out was just as easy as checking in, only with a bit more remorse. Mondays are bad enough as is; but leaving the Melrose makes that pain go a little deeper. The lounge is hip and inviting (with limited outdoor seating too) and the entire hotel is void of pretension, so you feel instantly at home. All that remains is another visit... this time with Executive Chef Nate Lindsay's delicious farm-to-fork edibles to keep me company.

Until then (and after) I encourage you to visit, and see if you agree with me. Click here to explore rates and/or make a reservation. Prepare to be dazzled.