Pleasant service and a classy keep: The Dupont Circle Resort in Washington, DC

Dupont Circle has a particular place in my coronary heart. I lived and labored within the restaurant- and shop-filled neighborhood after I was a resident of Washington, D.C., again in my post-collegiate days. I do not normally land there, although, after I go to town since I am both sightseeing with household nearer to the Capitol and the Mall or visiting mates within the surrounding Beltway of the DMV (District, Maryland, Virginia).

Nonetheless, on a sunny (and tearful) weekend after dropping my freshman son off at school, I made a decision to revisit my erstwhile D.C. stomping grounds. The vacation spot: a property that had been popping up on my radar repeatedly in the previous few months, The Dupont Circle Resort, situated proper in the course of my previous ‘hood.

The resort emerged from the pandemic with a scene-stealing bar, a hip overhaul of its eating places and lounge areas and design-savvy rooms that have been all a part of a multimillion-dollar renovation, and I needed to see what all the thrill was about.

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Fast take


There are two issues I observed as quickly as I arrived at The Dupont Circle Resort: the nice and cozy welcome and the regular stream of locals heading to the restaurant and bar.

Each level to the resort’s possession, the Eire-based Doyle Group, which has infused what looks like true Irish hospitality into the property.

There’s truly been a resort on this location for greater than 5 many years, however after I had seen it previous to this go to, it felt extra like a stalwart of the neighborhood lurking within the background, however not a spot you’d select to hang around.

That is all modified now. Within the fall of 2020, the resort emerged from a top-to-bottom $50 million renovation with spiffed-up public areas, together with a foyer that embraces the resort’s midcentury trendy historical past with polished brass lighting fixtures and shiny pops of colours contrasted with gentle and darkish wooden shelving.

There are a number of spots to sit down and loosen up in leather-based chairs close to a fire, on velvet couches behind tall crops, or by the tall home windows for prime people-watching. Redone rooms are massive, comfy and have a recent aptitude with leather-based headboards and marble bogs.

Because the pandemic has retreated, the redesigned bar and restaurant have develop into trendy neighborhood staples and are spots the place resort visitors are likely to linger fairly than venturing out.

Getting there


Because the title suggests, the resort is situated instantly on Dupont Circle, a major eating and purchasing location within the coronary heart of Washington, D.C. The resort is a few three-minute stroll from the Dupont Circle Metro line, which may deliver you to most points of interest in D.C. Union Station, the place Amtrak trains arrive within the metropolis, is roughly three miles from the resort, a 15-minute automotive journey, or a 12-minute, $2 Metro journey.

The resort is 5 miles from Ronald Reagan Washington Nationwide Airport (DCA), which may take about quarter-hour by automotive or roughly half-hour (and a $2.50 ticket) by Metro. Dulles Worldwide Airport (IAD) in Virginia is roughly 28 miles west, a few 35-minute drive or about one hour on the bus ($10), though the Metro’s silver line ought to connect with Dulles quickly.

D.C. is a superb strolling metropolis, and from right here, you can even wander to a number of points of interest. The Metro makes it straightforward to get to the Smithsonian museums and monuments on the Mall, or town’s different points of interest.

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Reserving particulars

Guests can guide the 327 rooms and suites at The Dupont Circle Resort in a number of other ways.

The resort is a part of Most popular Lodges’ I Choose loyalty program. Signing up for a free I Choose membership gives a number of cost-saving advantages. For instance, with my free membership, I may have obtained 15% off the perfect out there price and a $20 meals and beverage credit score to make use of throughout my keep. The speed with this deal in late August was $251 an evening earlier than taxes for a king room; town’s 14.95% resort tax would have added $37.50 an evening, for a complete of $288.50 an evening, or $577 for 2 nights, plus the $20 credit score.

The Dupont Circle can also be a part of The Luxurious Resort & Resort Assortment, which I’ve entry to via my Chase Sapphire Reserve , and is in the end how I booked my two-night keep.

For my late August go to, the LHRC price was $335 an evening together with taxes, so it was increased than via I Choose, however it provided a number of cardmember advantages that tilted my reserving towards this selection.

Advantages included breakfast for 2 every day in The Pembroke restaurant or by way of room service, with a $30 most per particular person (I might have most well-liked to not have a greenback cap on my meal, however this did cowl a big portion of my invoice). One other perk was a $100 meals and beverage credit score to make use of on the Pembroke, Doyle Bar or for room service throughout my keep.

In whole, this got here to $220 value of advantages on a $670 invoice, so almost a 3rd of my room whole was returned to me within the type of meals and beverage credit, which I deemed a greater worth than the I Choose direct worth.

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Different facilities provided as a part of the LHRC reserving have been early check-in and late checkout based mostly on availability, neither of which I may reap the benefits of with my schedule. Chase LHRC bookings are additionally eligible for room upgrades based mostly on availability, however after I inquired about an improve at check-in, the entrance desk attendant mentioned I had already been assigned a “superb” room and there was nothing higher to maneuver me to. Based mostly on my constructive interactions with the employees throughout my keep, and the dimensions and structure of my nook room, I imagine this was true.

One other marketed cardmember profit is a “welcome amenity.” This turned out to be a personalised observe together with a person bottle of Pellegrino and a small assortment of tasty macarons within the room; general a pleasant presentation to search out ready for me.

One extra value to notice: Valet parking is $40 an evening plus tax.

Standout options

  • The tremendous alert and useful employees. Everybody from the doorman who remembered my title to the entrance desk agent who provided to mail a letter I used to be carrying was on level.
  • Glorious breakfast and brunch at The Pembroke; if I lived nearer, the towering French toast and the cheese-crowned frittata can be my weekend go-tos.
  • Prime location close to public transportation, purchasing and eating. It is only a three-minute stroll to the Metro to get downtown, and the bookstore/cafe/bar Kramer Books is simply out the again door.


  • It is simple to overlook the driveway to this property, and in case you move it, you need to loop across the neighborhood’s one-way streets. Higher signage would assist.
  • Dinner at Doyle’s feels a bit like a room service menu and does not reside as much as the excessive requirements set by The Pembroke’s breakfast.
  • In my room, the lavatory sink space did not have a door to separate it from the sleeping space, which might have made it extra personal and supplied a darker sleeping expertise.

The vibe


Having been to many resorts over the past 12 months that appeared perpetually understaffed and overwhelmed, the quite a few and pleasant employees at The Dupont Circle stood out much more.

It was exhausting to stroll various steps into the foyer of the resort with out somebody greeting you. John, the amicable doorman/bellman/night sentry and all-around model ambassador, supplied a jovial first impression of this surprisingly luxurious (particularly for the value) property, greeting returning visitors by title, serving to to get baggage to your room nearly as quickly as you have opened the door and diving behind his desk to supply a bottle of water earlier than you head out the door.

The pleasant service could also be as a result of historic resort’s homeowners, the Doyle Group, an Irish-based hospitality firm. There’s positively a number of the Irish consideration to service right here that I take pleasure in after I go to the Emerald Isle. Of us staffing the entrance desk mentioned hey each time I walked by, asking if I wanted something and providing small providers like mailing a letter. Each day housekeeping included free bottled water and night turn-down left small sweets. Each service particular person within the hallway stopped to ask about my keep and if they might deliver something to my room.

It even rubbed off on the visitors. A person who noticed my native college-emblazoned shirt within the elevator instantly began to talk concerning the resort, remarking on how he would keep right here to any extent further when he visited his youngster on the identical faculty. “This resort is a visit!” mentioned the gentleman, who recognized himself as from Texas, “I imply, it is actually superior; what an amazing place!”

I can actually say in my a few years of resort stays I’ve by no means heard that stage of shock and enthusiasm from a stranger a few property in an elevator earlier than.


It is partly from the homey vibe the resort has created within the public areas that make this appear, properly, like house. The association of small work and contemporary crops within the frequent hallways felt like my home, however (I am going to admit) higher designed.

The foyer has been divided into smaller, cozy lounging areas because of dividers and inside partitions. Even in summer season, you could possibly see how the fireplaces within the foyer and adjoining bar would solid a good hotter glow across the areas.

Talking of the bar, the meals and beverage choices right here draw a coterie of native professionals coming for after-work drinks on the Doyle and its beautiful tree-lined and vine-draped outside terrace, and everybody from teams of mates to dress-up dates arrives for brunch at The Pembroke. It makes visitors really feel like a part of the neighborhood, and a part of D.C., too, to have folks come to the place you are staying as a substitute of getting to go looking for the scene some other place.

As a part of LHRC, the resort appeared to attract a crowd searching for the high-end extras that come from reserving a keep via the service, but additionally those that know the realm. There was a mixture of households dropping teenagers off at school, fashion-conscious {couples} and enterprise folks dressed for conferences, maybe on the Embassy Row workplaces that begin on the Circle and prolong northwest alongside Massachusetts Avenue.


My first impression of my “superb” room (once more, in accordance with the check-in agent) was that it was glossy, trendy and shiny.


My room’s nook location allowed copious quantities of daylight to stream via the slatted window shutters. A king-size mattress had a thick quilt and silky, excessive thread-count sheets that felt luxurious.


A up to date buttercream leather-based sofa was a pleasant spot to lounge and look out on the treetops of Dupont Circle. And the additional lengthy desk would have been a strong area to work with a view if I have been staying for enterprise.


The modernized room had a number of methods up its sleeve, too; the blinds had a blackout shade behind them {that a} bedside change may activate. A Nespresso machine was tucked right into a shelf.


And a heated marble flooring within the toilet managed by an easy-to-find knob saved issues comfy on chilly mornings.

The one factor I could not management was the lavatory’s brightness. Whereas attractively designed with marble and glass, there was no door to the sink space, which was situated instantly throughout from the king mattress.


A tinted glass door led to the bathroom and bathe space, which had a window with frosted glass, however no blackout shade. It was uncovered to full daylight within the morning and made the entire room glow.


Observe to resort: Add a door to the lavatory, please.


On the constructive aspect, the lavatory had a full array of small-size Malin + Goetz toiletries that felt upscale in a world of big multi-use bottles shackled to bathe partitions.


And housekeeping changed each these toiletries and objects resembling cotton swabs each time they visited.


Plus there have been a pair of thick, super-soft bathrobes within the toilet.


Though the room felt very plush, there have been some DIY facilities you’d look forward to finding at a mid-range resort right here, too, like an iron and ironing board within the closet, which I appreciated.

Foods and drinks


I began my weekend stick with cocktails on the outside terrace of the Doyle, considered one of two eating areas on the resort.


The leafy patio is the place to be when the climate cooperates. As a result of DC can get muggy, that may additionally translate to buggy, and the host provided us bug spray once we sat down. My visitors and I slathered it on and felt fantastic. Different folks close by did not partake and shortly left, however I wasn’t giving up our seats that simply. That is prime actual property, with lush swatches of crops and ivy surrounding velvet couches and bistro tables and chairs.


Cocktail hour was prime time right here, with canoodling {couples} and business-suited teams. My desk of 4 ordered a French rosé from Aix ($13 by the glass), a Stella Artois ($9) and an expertly blended martini ($16) and loved the area and site.

Inside, a darkish, wood-paneled bar with plenty of chrome accents and fluted wooden detailing, together with a number of the unique mid-century Fifties architectural components, hosted a smattering of patrons. The mahogany leather-based chairs and low tables have been crammed with happy-looking happy-hour drinkers as properly.

Patrons began to filter out round 8 p.m., more than likely off to eat at one of many many eating places within the neighborhood. However we determined to maintain our desk and ordered dinner.


There is a concise menu of tasty-sounding bar meals that didn’t fairly match the elevated setting. I had an unmemorable “prime-aged” burger ($22) that I solely ate half of as a result of it was overwhelmed by a dense layer of sautéed onions and cheese.


Somebody on the desk ordered an avocado BLT ($18), after which my husband pushed his luck with steak frites ($32). The meat was robust and flavorless. The fries, alternatively, have been crispy and copious, so we made do with these.


One shock delight, although: a particular of watermelon gazpacho ($16) poured tableside was tangy and refreshing.


The subsequent morning, nevertheless, the Doyle was redeemed by its sister restaurant, The Pembroke.

The welcoming area has glistening brass lighting fixtures, apricot-hued leather-based banquettes, big ficus crops, a wall of home windows letting within the morning gentle and a marble bar the place early risers have been sipping espresso and mimosas.


This can be a dress-up brunch scene on the weekends; on weekdays, it is a fashionable assembly spot for espresso, too. The meals and the employees have been distinctive. My breakfast spotlight was an egg-white frittata with spinach and tomatoes topped with mozzarella and introduced in a person forged iron skillet ($18). I additionally loved an expertly made cappuccino ($6).

A number of tables close by had Stonehenge-like slabs of French toast, described on the menu as Grand Marnier-soaked brioche ($18) that I am going to need to attempt subsequent time I go to.


For fast grab-and-go pastries and low, there’s Doyle & Co. within the marble vestibule subsequent to the doorway to the Pembroke.

Facilities and repair


The service at The Dupont Circle actually units the bar excessive for different space properties. I anticipate an attentive doorman and a entrance desk that remembers my title at $800-a-night properties, however my keep right here value a lot much less, and the service was simply as glorious as you’d discover at a top-tier luxurious resort.

There was nightly turn-down service with chilled bottles of water and chocolate. Each day housekeeping, which is one thing I have not had in a lot of the resorts I’ve visited up to now two years in my U.S. travels, additionally left a number of bottles of water, saved the lavatory self-importance stocked with toiletries and supplied loads of Nespresso pods.

A small health middle is open 24 hours and is situated within the basement stage. Full disclosure: I did not even consider visiting the fitness center after strolling almost 5 miles every day of my Washington keep. Nonetheless, it is well-outfitted with a number of stationary bikes and treadmills plus a stair climber, common weight machines and free weights.

There’s valet automotive service ($40), however no self-parking amenities.

Out and about

One of many highlights of staying at The Dupont Circle is being within the coronary heart of what I believe is among the most attention-grabbing neighborhoods within the nation’s capital.

Near the big visitors circle that lends the neighborhood its title, you will discover outlets, bars, eating places and bookstores, or perhaps a mixture of the final three at Kramer Books, a bookstore with a restaurant and a strong cocktail listing. Kramer’s has an out of doors eating setup throughout from the Doyle and The Pembroke, so you may actually step exterior the resort and be there inside seconds.


Head a number of blocks from the resort in both path and you will find tree-lined streets bordered by brownstones. Observe twenty first Road to R Road for considered one of my favourite off-the-beaten-path museums within the metropolis, The Phillips Assortment. The oldest trendy artwork museum within the nation occupies a historic house and an adjoining constructing that completely matches into the neighborhood.


Two highlights from the everlasting assortment are Renoir’s The Boating Social gathering and Jacob Lawrence’s Migration collection. You possibly can see these masterpieces with only a few different guests, in contrast to at better-known downtown museums.


The Dupont neighborhood can also be the beginning of the lengthy stretch of overseas diplomatic residences and workplaces that comprise Massachusetts Avenue’s grand Embassy Row. Though you may’t normally enter with out an appointment or invitation there are a number of which can be straightforward to see within the speedy space, together with India’s, which has a monument to Gandhi in a pocket park simply in entrance.

If you happen to’re right here on a Sunday, Dupont Circle’s year-round farmer’s market is a superb spot to select up not solely fruits and produce, but additionally snacks starting from macarons to tacos.

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The Dupont Circle resort gives numerous ADA-compliant rooms and public areas. There are 15 rooms — two rooms on every of the seven flooring and one suite on the penthouse stage — which can be specifically designed and designated as accessible.

The resort’s entrances are at avenue stage with no steps or entry ramps required, and the foyer, bar and restaurant are all on the bottom flooring and could be entered at avenue stage with out stairs or ramps.

Trying out

I used to be impressed by the attentive service at The Dupont Circle Resort which made the property really feel like a luxurious property for the price of a reasonable resort. My room was comfy (if slightly shiny, however that is simply fixable) and the bar on the Doyle and breakfast at The Pembroke made it seem to be the hip D.C. had come to us, as a substitute of getting to exit in town and search for the place the scene is.

All in all, it was nicer to remain right here than in my previous condo … by a protracted shot. It is the sort of resort any customer would need to name house, and I am going to positively be returning right here once more.

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