Kimpton’s Newest DC Hotel, Well Located for K Street, Dupont Circle and Most Major Attractions

#DC Hotels #DCLuxuryHotels

Kimpton’s newest DC property, Donovan House, has spoiled me forever. It is doubtful that any similarly – or many higher priced hotels – will ever compare. A completely ridiculous fantasy yes, but I really wish I could magically shrink the room down to be carried around the world with me to be instantly installed in almost every other hotel I visit. Especially in London and Paris. Although if I had 1 magical travel wish, it would be the ability to blink myself back from Asia, a la Bewitched.

Since my August stay, I’ve been coming up with any number of excuses for a return trip, the hotel is that great. Maybe I will finally make Cherry Blossom season?

The building itself is not remarkable. Inside, however, it is all Kimpton – with dark wood, swinging lucite chairs, and seating alcoves in the lobby. Everyone is friendly and helpful from the time I arrive at the hotel. Since I’m a Kimpton InTouch member – or maybe it’s just coincidence – my room is ready and I can check in immediately, although I arrive hours before check-in.

The room is gorgeous. Simple, elegant, dark and light. Excellent Sferra sheets and a choice of pillows. Almost silent air conditioning, which is my top priority. Very cool bathroom with a round shower pod featuring Kohler fixtures. Although I wonder how noisy the water hitting the plastic walls would be if one was trying to sleep, since this pod extends into the bedroom.

In typical Kimpton style, the rooms are well equipped with flat screened TVs, iPod docks and a minibar with more variety than I’ve ever seen at other hotel brands. The picture window gave me a great view onto Thomas Circle – and I will note the curtain was wide enough to cover the entire window – no little crack of bright light to wake me up early.

Every evening from 5-6pm every Kimpton has a wine hour that serves as a social gathering for guests. Donovan House has the addition of a little sushi snack from Zentan, the restaurant located inside the hotel. At the Saturday wine hour, I discovered how entrenched the hotel is in the community. A lot of the guests I met were DC locals who were staycationing in the hotel.

The rooftop pool is the culmination of a pretty perfect little hotel. Small but well arranged, with tempting lounge chairs covered with soft padding and plush white terry cloth covers. Full bar service, but also lemon flavored water is offered to guests. Most people are out sightseeing and I never had a problem getting a chair in the late afternoon. One afternoon it rained on and off – and the wonderful man who sets up the lounge chairs and towels spent the entire afternoon removing and replacing the covers. Always with a smile.


The hotel is well located for business and leisure travelers. There is a metro stop, and a DC Circulator stop a couple of blocks from the hotel. I booked this trip after I got accepted for a tour of the White House, which was about a 10 minute walk. Dupont Circle, Georgetown, the Mall, and the Spy Museum were all walking distance, or the front desk can assist you with the closest mass transit options.

Learn from My Mistakes

Even when you’re pretty sure you did, never delete the pictures from your memory card until you check. Since I typically upload every night, idiot me assumed I did – and deleted all the pictures from this trip before uploading them.

Luckily, you are only allowed to bring your phone to the White House (no bags or cameras), so those pictures were secure.

Suggested Reading:

Fodor’s Guide to Washington DC 2014

Zagat Guide to Washington DC and Baltimore

Not for Tourists DC 2014

Streetwise Washington DC Map

What I was reading:

Yes, Chef: A Memoir by Marcus Samuelsson  – which was an appropriate book to read in the city known for Ethiopian restaurants.


Article originally posted on January 15, 2013.

Donovan House, DC – If Only I Could Live There