Review: Park Hyatt Washington D.C. was profoundly disappointing

by Anshul
a sign on a brick wall

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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.

Park Hyatt Washington

Exterior – Park Hyatt Washington D.C.

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..)

Review: Acela Business Class from New York to Washington DC

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.

Park Hyatt Washington

Check-in and Lobby

The hotel lobby celebrates Washington’s famous blossoming cherry trees with impressive glass sculptures etched with images of their flowers and branches.

a glass cube with a tree design on it

a christmas tree in a hallway

Walkway from Lobby to Elevators

The area around the lobby had plenty of shared seating spaces with functional tables should someone choose to work.

a room with a table and chairs

Lobby Seating

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.

a room with a couch and a table

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.

a room with a table and chairs a bottle of wine and cookies on a table

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.

a bed with white sheets and a lamp a tv on a shelf in a room

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.

a white towel on a hook in a hallway a bathroom with a double sink

Although awkwardly placed across from the toilet, the walk-in closet in the bathroom offered plenty of functional room to unpack for a weekend.

a bathroom with a mirror a bathroom with a bathtub and shower

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.

a group of bottles with black lids

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.

a brick sign with a red ribbon on it

a room with a large stone column and a large table with chairs and a red round table

Blue Duck Tavern – Lobby Entrance


a group of people cooking in a kitchen

Blue Duck Tavern – Open Kitchen Concept

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.

a menu of a restaurant

Blue Duck Tavern – Breakfast Menu

a menu with text on it

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.

a plate of omelette with mushrooms on it

Spinach and Mushroom Omelette


a plate of food on a table

Avocado (spread) on Toast

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.

a bowl of food and a bowl of bread on a plate

Smoked Salmon and Scrambled Egg White with a side of Berry Bowl

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.

a room with a counter and glass display case

Tea Cellar, featuring single estate teas from China, Japan, Sri Lanka, and the Himalayas


a room with a marble counter and chairs

Lobby Lounge – Cocktail lounge at night

a room with tables and chairs

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;

Review: Park Hyatt Toronto 

Review: Park Hyatt Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi 


khatl July 30, 2023 - 10:12 pm

Had similar issues the past couple of times staying there after it being fantastic before. The breakfast has been consistently terrible, both food and service for at least a year. When I did provide feedback on email the last time I visited, the recipient erroneously copied me when forwarding it, and stated that my feedback showed they still hasn’t addressed the issues and had a way to go. Sounds like they still haven’t progressed.

Anshul August 3, 2023 - 4:05 pm

Atleast they acknowlege it, albeit internally 🙂

AS July 30, 2023 - 9:37 pm

My friend and his wife just stayed their 10th wedding anniversary. He said the stay was terrible.

Anthony July 30, 2023 - 3:09 pm

The review seems a bit harsh. You got a room upgrade, the food looked ok (and it is breakfast), you didn’t sample the areas of the property that people like the most (cocktails and dinner at Blue Duck), the pool, etc. Who cares about the impersonal service, this hotel is well located, has a good physical plant, nice dinner, and is often available for a good price

Anshul July 30, 2023 - 9:00 pm

I would not be critical had it been a Hyatt Place. But as a Globalist member, i look to PH’s for niche and personalized service which was severely lacking. I went in with expectations but no pre conceived notions. And do give credit where its due (rooms, upgrade, etc.)

Frank July 30, 2023 - 2:53 pm

I just stayed there and had a horrible experience. No one helping with luggage, no info about the breakfast times or pool? Room service has heated up prepackaged sandwiches, smelly rooms, the bed sheets? They are from walmart? Horrible experience for a $600 a night room

Anshul July 30, 2023 - 8:56 pm

Does seem consistent with a few others that have stayed there recently. I do hear that the Blue Duck dinner is a lot better than breakfast.

C.J. July 30, 2023 - 12:35 pm

Had you paid for your stay and breakfast, I wonder if that would have impacted your review?

Anshul July 30, 2023 - 8:55 pm

It was a paid stay (~$300/nt) and definitely impacted my review, in that I expected a lot better 🙂

BKAloha July 30, 2023 - 10:46 am

Oooff, that is the saddest plated omelette ever!!!

Anshul July 30, 2023 - 10:52 am

Right?! I was amazed that they saw it fit to be presented like that. Saddest omelette ever.


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