Let’s cut straight to the chase and start this off with my review of The Embassy Row Hotel.
When it was time to book the hotel, it was a little annoying because the folks at the hotel didn’t know about the Gilt.com deal. I was not surprised because that happened to me before when I got tickets from Gilt to see the Nutcracker ballet in DC. There is often a lack of communication between who handles promotions and other staff members but I digress. We pulled up to the hotel’s small driveway and I immediately spot the angel’s wings that I’ve saw on the hotel’s IG post. It reminded me of the wings I saw in another part of DC near Busboys and Poets back in September. Looks like it might be done by the same artist.
The outside of the hotel is average but it’s what’s on the inside that counts right? We pulled up to valet and went inside and up some steps to the lobby and front desk area. The hotel touts itself as a hip fun hotel with lots of activities for not only their guests, but for the public as well.
I can tell you that I really liked the lobby area, it was full of artsy decor with lots of fun colors such as blues, yellows, and golds.
I was a little hungry so I went to the cafe and stopped in my tracks once I saw how expensive everything was.
One thing that I later realized is that they don’t have ice machines. I did see a nook for a freezer (although I neglected to look for an outlet), but hotel guests have to go to the first floor cafe to fill their buckets with ice. They need to stop serving that expensive food and invest in ice machines. Moving on, I love the room, especially since the headboard and wall is done in my fav color.
Our view wasn’t bad and we were across the street from several embassies. One of the flags hanging proudly outside was the gay pride flag. If you’re very conservative, then this may not be the place for you. The hotel’s website even features a section on it’s commitment to the LGBT community so we weren’t surprised about this.
My bff and I decided to head upstairs to the rooftop pool and bar. We put on the wristbands that we got at checkin for entry. When we got upstairs we were taken aback…. it was SMALL!!!!!!! The pool was TINY!!! I then realized that all of the pictures of the pool on IG were really tight shots and were taken at angles that made it seem bigger than it was. In my mind, I increased the width and length of the pool by at another 10′ ft+.
Orders are taken at the bar and we decided to pay in cash and use our $50 dining credit at dinner. The guy at the grill was really nice and my bff chatted it up with him while I waited in line to order drinks. I’ll say that the line moved really slow with only one person mixing drinks and he tastes a bit of each drink he mixed using a straw like a dropper. When I finally made it to the front of the line I asked him to hook my bff’s drink up because it was her birthday. He seemed a little tipsy and worked in slow motion but I will say that he made a really good STRONG but tasty drink.
The rooftop was so crowded, there wasn’t anywhere to sit. Also we thought that it was odd that everyone just sat around the pool. We only saw 1-2 people actually go in it while we were up there. We decided to wait a bit before coming back up to use it because I didn’t want everyone around me like I was some freak show.
We went upstairs ate our food, and relaxed a bit. My gf had the crab cakes and I had the burger. No complaints there although I felt like mine could have been $2 cheaper.
Then it was time to change into our swimsuits, I got mine from Asos in a size 18 last year for $28.58 on sale and this was my first time wearing it. I was a little worried because my bust size went up since then and I wasn’t about any wardrobe malfunctions. I wore it with a pretty coverup that I picked up from Pennies on sale for $10, denim shorts, same sandals and belt from earlier, gold jewelry, and I finished the look off with my grandmother’s necklace which seems to go with so much in my closet!!! I picked out my hair for some sass and I was ready to go!
Let me just say that we didn’t stay long upstairs. It was still crowded and the temperature had dropped a lot since. It was too cold to swim and I was disappointed. We sat down for a few min on the lower level. I realized this must’ve been the same place where they featured their rooftop yoga.
At that point we went downstairs and decided to order dinner. We decided to play Connect Four while we waited for our food. A brotha of the Asian persuasion came by and complimented us on our outfits. He kept telling us how much he liked our looks over and over. The guests downstairs were more chill and friendly than the ones upstairs.
He asked us about our plans for the evening but we told him that we were turning down….. as in going to bed. We can’t hang like we used to and although I had party clothes ready- I was glad my bff was on the same page. It was time to investigate how ‘cuddly’ the beds were.
We had a good night’s sleep although it was a bit noisy like some of the reviews I read online stated. I was tired so it didn’t take me long to go off to la la land. They messed up my bill in the morning so I took it downstairs to fix it and got my complimentary coffee while I was downstairs.
My overall review is that it’s a nice hotel but they fall short in two areas:
1) They sell tickets to the public for rooftop access but it isn’t even big enough to accommodate most of the guests let alone the public. This needs to be reevaluated. At least have certain hrs that are blocked off for hotel guests only. I think they are trying to do too much.
2) The food in the cafe is TOO EXPENSIVE!!! It’s all health food and that doesn’t fit everyone’s taste buds or wallet. Had I known, I would have brought some snacks etc with me.
To be fair, they made up for it in these two areas:
2) Staff Customer Service
Most of the staff members were so nice that I quickly let the minor annoyances I encountered go. I might not have felt the same way though had I paid full price. My suggestion is- if you want to party, be seen then this may be the spot for you. Also if you’re really big into photography- I would def suggest that you check this place out.
Bottom line check out the hotel’s IG and also search the hashtag #embassyrowlove. If their philosophy and vibe mesh with yours then you’ll have a good time.
Stay tuned for Part III for my brunch and adventure review.