Hotel Review: The Melrose Georgetown Hotel in Washington, DC
Years ago, when I visited Washington DC I always stayed at my aunt and uncle’s house in Arlington, VA. They had a big family and a house big enough to hold all the kids. As they grew up, there was always an extra room available with all the comforts of home-cooked meals and attentive relatives. For sightseeing, my uncle would drop me off in the city on his commute to a Pentagon job. It was a wonderful introduction to a beautiful city.
After he retired and the kids were settled into their own lives elsewhere, my aunt and uncle moved to Tucson. My home-away-from-home in Washington DC was no more, and, for better or worse, my family visits ended. Well, change can be good. On a recent visit to DC I found a new home-away-from-home, this time in Georgetown, and it is within walking distance of everything!
I’m talking about the Melrose Georgetown Hotel.
The Melrose Georgetown Hotel (check rates and availability) looks like an upscale sidewalk café from the street, with plantings and tables for alfresco dining at their award-winning restaurant, Jardenea. Only the canvas canopy with the hotel’s name on it hints at all that is inside.
The double doors open to a spacious lobby with comfortable seating on either side. Beyond the seating on the left is the hotel bar where house-infused libations are created; to the right are more tables for indoor dining in front of the restaurant, which was voted DC’s “Best Farm-to-Table Restaurant” by LUX Life Magazine.
Further in are separate lounging areas across from the front desk; one for the well-stocked library, and another with two large-screen TVs flanking a fireplace, its flickering gas flames reflected on a table of complimentary computers.
It was all so comfortable and inviting that I could have been in my aunt’s front rooms. The only thing missing was the cooking aromas from her kitchen. That is, until a waiter passed with a fragrant coriander dusted soft shell crap – and the vision was complete.
Checking in was easy. Then it was only a short time before everyone knew my name and seemed genuinely pleased to see me. They patiently answered my questions as if hearing them for the first time, questions they probably answer many times a day, and they always inquired of my comfort and well-being while anticipating my every need. For example, during check in I mentioned that after a long hot day of travel I’d probably drop my luggage off in my room and come down for a chilled vodka.
When I came back the bartender, unprompted, suggested I might like his Stoli Doli creation, made with his own pineapple infused vodka, mint syrup and lemon juice. Over the delicious and refreshing drink I told him my plans to walk to the Lincoln Monument and then explore some museums in the Mall the next day. Later, the folks at the front desk handed me a map with a route outlined to all the places I’d mentioned. Such thoughtfulness is really appreciated when you’re far away from home.
My room was like an apartment, (I had an Executive Suite) with a dressing area, a large alcove with a desk to suit it, and a much larger, sunny living room with a couch that looked as if it might fold out. A standard room is as spacious, but a real bed replaces the couch. Instead, my suite had a separate hallway that led to a big bedroom and a bath. The bed was huge and comfortable, and the bathroom appointed with only the finest of Molton Brown bath essentials. My only surprise was a genuine bathtub instead of the glass-walled modern shower so common today. It was that retro touch that made me feel so at home.
There was also an iron and ironing board in a closet with real hangers, a fully appointed single-cup coffee bar that conveniently slid out of the cabinet under one of two wall-mounted flat-screen TVs, a complimentary umbrella, and even a robe and slippers! All this in an atmosphere of understated elegance; the perfect place to work and relax and call home between sightseeing walks in the city.
Elsewhere in the hotel, the floor below the lobby had public bathrooms, an exercise gym, a buffet area with seating and meeting rooms in use by one of the two groups sharing my stay.
There was a self-serve coffee bar in front of the elevators, cold drinking water in a large spigoted container – almost like a repurposed glass samovar – in the lobby, and a handicap lift for the five steps from the lobby up to the elevators.
The hotel offers free wifi internet access but charges for valet on-site parking. There is a bus stop on the corner for both the Metro ($2) and the Circulator ($1) to take you anywhere in the city, but the Georgetown Hospital and the Georgetown University are just a few steps away.
There you have it. The Melrose Georgetown Hotel (Book Online) is a conveniently located home-away-from-home you won’t want to leave. Just wait until you eat there!
Melrose Georgetown Hotel
2430 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037