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Park Hyatt Washington DC – Introduction and Booking
Situated between the White House and Georgetown in a chic neighbourhood, Park Hyatt Washington DC is supposed to be a luxury retreat in the capital city. However, the hotel’s exterior gives off a very dated condo vibe, and the service standards inside are average at best. Situated just a short walk from M Street’s bustling shops, restaurants, and entertainment options, the hotel is convenient for visiting many of DC’s top tourist attractions, including the National Mall, the White House, and the Smithsonian museums.
The hotel has 134 residential-style suites (of 220 guest rooms) and is home to the once Michelin-starred Blue Duck Tavern, a Spa, pool and conference facilities. The property’s highlight is undoubtedly every room’s lavish spa-inspired basalt and limestone bathrooms.
A Cat-5 Hyatt property, the hotel’s standard redemption rate is 20,000 (17,000 off-peak and 23000 peak) per night, and I redeemed two nights for 34,000 Hyatt points during our stay. This review is part of my New York City and Washington DC trip over New Year’s week;
Review: The Beekman, a Thompson Hotel (coming soon..)
Park Hyatt Washington DC – Arrival and Check-in
On the day of check-in, I was happy to note on the app that we had been upgraded from the standard King Room (336 sqft) to a Junior Suite (544 sqft). It’s always nice when I don’t have to exercise my Globalist perk to get a standard suite upgrade. My check-in experience, however, felt very transactional as the desk agent checked my ID and handed me the keys to the suite. While I often prefer the no-frills approach, I did have many questions as a first-time visitor to the hotel – breakfast timings, location of gym/pool, etc.
The hotel lobby celebrates Washington’s famous blossoming cherry trees with impressive glass sculptures etched with images of their flowers and branches.
The area around the lobby had plenty of shared seating spaces with functional tables should someone choose to work.
Park Hyatt Washington DC – Suite
The elegantly designed Junior Suites feature a separate living room with a daybed and full working desk, a king-size bedroom, and a generous spa-inspired bathroom with dark gray limestone rain showers and deep soaking tubs.
Just past the foyer, the suite opened into a well-appointed living room, with a jar of cookies and Saratoga Sparkling water placed on the center table as a welcome amenity.
The plaid wool rug and rich walnut wood platform beds with leather headboards and reading lights made the bedroom a cozy retreat for when I was not working.
As mentioned, the highlight of the suite and my stay was the basalt-tiled bathroom with limestone-tiled rain showers and deep soaking tubs. It truly felt like a spa in there.
Although awkwardly placed across from the toilet, the walk-in closet in the bathroom offered plenty of functional room to unpack for a weekend.
The bathroom included full-size amenities by Bergamote 22, one of Le Labo’s hand-crafted fragrances that are now quintessential for all Park Hyatt properties.
Park Hyatt Washington DC – Blue Duck Tavern Breakfast
The Blue Duck Tavern is the hotel’s primary restaurant, an open kitchen concept with a central focus on its wood-burning oven. Unfortunately, the breakfast experience and the restaurant’s service leave much to be desired. Perhaps this explains why the establishment infamously lost its Michelin-Star rating after holding it for three years.
Yet again, my experience with the restaurant staff felt very cold and transactional. I was greeted at the entrance simply with ‘table for 2?’, and after waiting for a few minutes, shown to a corner table where we stayed another ~5 minutes before I decided to flag a server for some water at the table.
The breakfast menu was comprehensive without being exceptional. When we inquired about Vegan options, we only got suggestions for Avocado toast without egg and a bowl of fruits. It was disappointing to see the lack of initiative or interest in checking with the kitchen if they could ‘whip something up.’ We decided to go with avocado toast and an omelette for our breakfast options.
The plating matched the impersonal service on display as we got a single piece of sourdough Toast with Avocado spread on a greens bed. And the sad-looking spinach-mushroom Omellette sat in the centre of the plate without any accompanying items – they didn’t ask, I didn’t request. But wow, that was the most underwhelming breakfast at a Park Hyatt I have ever had. Both service and presentation.
I learned from my mistake and, the next day, specifically asked for a side of Toast and a bowl of berries to accompany my Smoked Salmon and Scrambled Egg Whites. The presentation was markedly better than the day before.
The Blue Duck Tavern was a glaring disappointment. The food was substandard, far from what one would expect from a reputed culinary destination. It was perplexing how this once-claimed restaurant had fallen to such a mediocre level.
Park Hyatt Washington DC – Other Hotel Amenities
Park Hyatt Washington also features a Tea Cellar and a Lounge on the lobby floor, an indoor salt-water swimming pool, a gym, and full conference facilities on site.
Park Hyatt Washington DC – Lackluster service
My experience at the Park Hyatt Washington DC was profoundly disappointing, as the property failed to meet its renowned reputation and provided an overwhelmingly impersonal service. Throughout my stay, the staff demonstrated a lack of interest in truly getting to know the guests, resulting in an unsatisfying and transactional encounter. Their disengagement and failure to take pride in personalized service left me feeling like another faceless patron. From check-in to my departure, the staff’s lacklustre approach was evident.
Unfortunately, I will not return to Park Hyatt for future visits to the capital. The city offers plenty of luxury hotel options, and I look forward to better experiences at other renowned brands.
Related reading and recent experiences at other Park Hyatt hotels;