I had one of the odder sensations that I’ve had the other day when I checked in to the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel. For a hotel that is known for being able to simultaneously and successful host a dozen or so medium sized groups or perhaps two or three large groups, the lobby was empty when I arrived. Had they cleared the room for me? Echo, echo, echo? I had never seen the hotel without its very natural hustle and bustle. Of course, I was staying at the hotel during one of the least busy weeks of the year, the first full week of January. And I would learn later that on this night, the hotel was only 8% occupied. At a hotel like this however, that could still be 80 or more rooms!I was afforded a wonderful upgrade to one of their Executive Suites. The room had a very sizeable living and dining room complete with a full wet bar. On the bar, was left for me a seriously generous helping of snacks, beer, wine, sodas, and a courteous note from my sales contact. I was thrilled at the size of the suite because it also meant I could work out in the comfort of my own room and not venture down to the gym on the lobby level.
The bedroom gave me even more space to spread out and move around. The Marriott is traditionally styled and comfortable. Even though it has well over 1,000 guest rooms, there is a central elevator corridor that takes guests to a decision point on each floor and then a shorter walk than would ordinarily be expected from a hotel this large.
Where the Marriott owns a real competitive advantage in the city is in its ability to host large meetings. It has almost 200,000sf of meeting space and because it’s located on two sides of the building, or on either side of the lobby, groups can still meet simultaneously and feel a sense of privacy about their own areas.
The location is also quite special as it sits in the highly desirable and residential Woodley Park section of Washington, just over a short bridge from lively Dupont Circle. It’s easily accessed by metro and in the evening, guests can enjoy local restaurants which line Connecticut Avenue. It’s a bit of an oasis away from the main hustle and bustle of the city, but if you hit the hotel at the right time, it can be plenty of hustle bustle itself.
Although I watched the BCS National Title game by my lonesome in their lobby bar, on any other evening, this bar or its two sit down restaurants would otherwise be close to packed. Will just have to book myself another stay soon!