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Review: The Westin Washington, DC Downtown

Updated: Jan 24

We only had a couple of nights in the city so we wanted to try and stay as close to the action as possible. After arriving in Washington on our United flight from Austin, we headed to the hotel to get checked-in and drop our bags. The Westin Washington, DC Downtown just completed an $80 million renovation as part of a conversion from Renaissance to The Westin brand.


Booking

This trip was initially planned as a quick, same day mileage run but once Mrs. ATX decided to tag along, we made a weekend out of it. We wanted to stay close to the center of town and, since we would be out and about for most of the trip, didn't want to spend an insane amount of money on a room. This hotel worked well for our needs and I was secretly hoping I'd get upgraded to one of the 10 rooms that have private Peloton bikes.


I booked our two night stay directly through Marriott.com for $172 per night. However, the hotel charges a $30 per night resort fee which made the total per night jump to over $205 a night as tax was also added to the resort fee. While I hate resort fees, at least this one included a $30 F&B credit each day so we could recoup the fee.


Location

The Westin Washington, DC Downtown is located at 999 9th Street NW and takes up roughly half of the block between I and K Streets. The hotel itself is one of the largest in Washington, DC, featuring over 800 rooms. The hotel did still have some old Renaissance branding on the parking sign and luggage carts which could be confusing the first time you arrive.

Renaissance Washington DC Downtown Valet Sign
Though the sign says otherwise, this is in fact the Westin

It is also a 15 minute walk from The White House and the National Mall and only 5 minutes from the CapitalOne Arena. The Metro Center Washington Metro station is also less than a 10 minute walk and has 4 lines that can take you all over the city.


Check-In

We arrived at the hotel just after 2:00p local time. While our room wasn't guaranteed to be ready, I figured there was a good chance they'd be slow on a Friday afternoon and we could at least drop our bags. We entered from the driveway outside and passed through a set of doors which led to a waiting area . After heading through another set of doors we were in the lobby.

The Westin Washington, DC Downtown Entryway
The Westin Washington, DC Downtown Entry

The reception desk is located on the left upon entering the lobby. It didn't have any signage but the computers behind the desks gave it away.

The Westin Washington, DC Downtown Reception Desk
The Westin Washington, DC Downtown Reception Desk

There was no one at the desk when we arrived but a staff member came out to welcome us within a couple of minutes. During check in I asked if there were any upgrades available as I had applied Suite Night Awards to the reservation and never got a confirmation one way or another. She had to call someone else and check and while I have no clue how the conversation went, I was handed keys to an upgraded suite, though I can't tell which kind since the hotel website has Deluxe, Premier, City View, and Park View listed as the available room types.


The hotel also provided a welcome sheet that explained some of the property amenities. Surprisingly, it did not explain what was covered as part of the $30 resort fee.

The Westin Washington, DC Downtown Welcome Letter and Information Sheet
The Westin Washington, DC Downtown Welcome Letter

Room

Our assigned room was up on the 10th floor at the very end of the hallway. The floorplan on this floor was shaped somewhat like a C with the elevators near the bottom, this made for a very long walk to/from the room but it did make things very quiet.

The Westin Washington, DC Downtown Hallway
At the end of the hallway, make a right. Then go to the end of that hallway.

Upon entering the room, the first thing I noticed was how much wasted space there was. Everything felt extremely open and not in a good way.

The Westin Washington, DC Downtown Junior Suite Living Room
Who designed this thing?

To the right, immediately upon entering, there is a loveseat/chaise lounge with a lamp. While a comfortable spot to read, there was no coffee table or side table present which limited the useability of the seating. Our suitcases essentially lived here during the stay.

The Westin Washington, DC Downtown Junior Suite Living Room Seating
The Westin Washington, DC Downtown Living Room Seating

In the middle of the living area, there is a small desk and a chair. It was plenty comfortable to sit at, but the position left you feeling like an elementary school student in time out.

The Westin Washington, DC Downtown Junior Suite Living Room Desk
The Westin Washington, DC Downtown Living Room Desk

On the far side of the Living Room is a marble console table with a large TV mounted above it. Some storage is available in the cabinets underneath and the ice bucket, wine glasses, and reusable water bottles (part of the $30 resort fee) are on a tray on the side. It's a good thing the TV is big with how far away the couch is.

The Westin Washington, DC Downtown Living Room TV
The Westin Washington, DC Downtown Media Center

To the left of the TV is a small closet which had a few hangars and a bathrobe. We called down to the front desk for a second one which was quickly delivered.

The Westin Washington, DC Downtown Junior Suite Living Room Closet
The Westin Washington, DC Downtown Living Room Closet

The living room and the bedroom aren't actually separate, though there was enough separation it felt like two distinct spaces. The bedroom was fairly tight and featured a king size bed flanked by two small night stands. A phone was on one side and power strips are built into the wall on both.

The Westin Washington, DC Downtown Junior Suite Bedroom
The Westin Washington, DC Downtown Bedroom

Across from the bed, another TV was mounted to the wall next to the door leading into the bathroom.

The Westin Washington, DC Downtown Junior Suite Bedroom TV
The Westin Washington, DC Downtown Bedroom TV

The windows in the bedroom let a good amount of natural light in even though the view in this room was partially obstructed by another building.

The Westin Washington, DC Downtown Junior Suite View
The Westin Washington, DC Downtown View

The bathroom was located off of the bedroom and felt bright and modern. The vanity was large and had plenty of space for toiletries and makeup. Mrs. ATX quickly took over this space after we arrived. Towels were located on a rack underneath and a hairdryer was available in the vanity drawer.

The shower had a floor to ceiling sliding glass door and featured Westin branded toiletries that came in reusable bottles. The toilet was also located next to the shower.

The room was spacious, almost overly so, and the furniture layout was extremely odd. Though the bed was comfortable and the room felt fresh and new, the hotel was only a few weeks old after all.


Lobby

The Westin Washington, DC Downtown has a large lobby atrium on the first floor. In addition to the reception area, there is a variety of seating available throughout the lobby.

The center of the lobby held a large bar area. It wasn't very busy when we arrived but it would get packed each night during our stay.


The Westin Washington, DC Downtown Lobby Bar
The Westin Washington, DC Downtown Lobby Bar

The hotel restaurant, Root and Vine, occupied the far side of the lobby. When the restaurant wasn't open, this provided some additional seating.

Root and Vine Restaurant Lobby Seating in The Westin Washington, DC Downtown
Root and Vine Restaurant inside The Westin Washington, DC Downtown

Finally, there is a full service Starbucks located at the rear of the lobby. Unfortunately, you can't use your food and beverage credit here but we utilized this option a few times during our stay.


Food and Beverage

The Westin Washington, DC Downtown has a variety of options when it comes to food and drinks, all of which are located in the lobby. In addition to the Starbucks and Root and Vine, a grab and go shop called Liberty Market that features a good selection of snacks. We utilized our food and beverage credit each night at the lobby bar, finishing our day with something sweet for Mrs. ATX and something a little bit stronger for me. The bar is open between 3:00p and Midnight daily.

The Westin Washington, DC Downtown Flourless Chocolate Cake from Root and Vine
The Westin Washington, DC Downtown Flourless Chocolate Cake

Root and Vine has a breakfast buffet which is offered between 6:30a-10:00a on weekdays and 7:00a-11:00a on weekends. As a Marriott Titanium member breakfast was offered for free but, otherwise the pricing for the buffet is as follows.

Root and Vine Breakfast Buffet Menu and Pricing at The Westin Washington, DC Downtown
Root and Vine Breakfast Buffet Menu

Mrs. ATX and I had no plans to eat breakfast at the hotel during our stay, preferring instead to go out and eat somewhere in the city, but I did pass by the buffet one morning just as they were closing up. The staff were extremely friendly and even offered to serve me right as they were preparing to close. With that being said, my buffet photos were taken right before they removed the trays and meant to show the options on offer, not necessarily the quality.


Fitness Center

One of the pillars of The Westin brand in recent years has been the focus on health and wellness. This hotel was no exception as The Westin Washington, DC Downtown has a 10,000 square foot Westin Workout Fitness Studio located on the third floor. The fitness studio is open to guests 24 hours a day. When you first enter the workout studio there is a large bench with cubbies underneath along with fresh towels rolled and placed on shelves along the wall.

The Westin Washington, DC Downtown Westin Workout Fitness Studio
Westin Workout Fitness Studio

To the right was a small room that featured a selection of free weights, squat rack, and bench press. The door was propped open during my visit but I got the feeling that this could be rented or reserved for a private coaching session.

Past this, the workout studio space really opened up and featured the best selection of equipment I've ever seen in a hotel.

The Westin Washington, DC Downtown Westin Workout Fitness Studio
Westin Workout Fitness Studio

In the center of the studio was a group of Peloton bikes set up for an instructor led class.

The Westin Washington, DC Downtown Westin Workout Fitness Studio Peloton BIkes
Westin Workout Fitness Studio Peloton Bikes

Along the back wall were over a dozen cardio machines including treadmills, stair climbers, and ellipticals.

On the right side were tons of free weights and a variety of weightlifting machines.

Clearly I don't spend enough time in the gym as I have no idea what was on the left side of the workout studio. It looked like a modern set of monkey bars from the elementary school playground (though it is likely for some sort of resistance band workout) and I didn't see anyone using it during my visit.

The Westin Washington, DC Downtown Westin Workout Fitness Studio
Never seen one of these before, especially in a hotel gym.

It's safe to say that, if you're looking to stay in shape while traveling, the gym here has something for you.


Summary

Aside from the quirky layout of our room and the confusion regarding the status of my Suite Night Awards at check in we had a very nice stay at this hotel. The staff was genuinely friendly and willing to help, all of the rooms and common areas felt crisp and clean, and the workout studio was one of the most impressive I've seen. The location is also good for anyone looking to be within walking distance of many of the famous monuments and buildings in Washington, DC. I'd happily stay here again on my next trip.


In This Trip Report


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