Historical Traveller Reviews of The River Inn Hotel
great suite, if you can get it . . .
I have stayed at The River Inn several times. While the suites (Potomac) are well appointed, the front desk staff gives little consideration to the actual reservation. For both stays I reserved a Potomac suite. Upon arrival for my first stay, I was greeted in my room with soft music, bottled water, a bag of snacks, and a stack of cookies. Very nice. Upon arrival for my second stay, I got to my room and to my surprise, it was not the suite I reserved, but a room. I called the front desk and the gal said there were no more Potomac suites available, she couldn't do anything about it and I would have to take it up with someone in the morning. No apology. I was able to move the next day, but no snacks, no nice music, no bottled water, and no cookies. Again, no apology or comp. of any kind.
Generally, the front desk is of little help or assistance and is uninformed of promotions being run by the hotel. They are also not paticularly friendly. the two visits I have made, the door man/bell man has been of little help also. I travel wit my small daughter and either he has watched me navigate the stroller down the stairs to the hotel (no ramp) and struggle to open the door myself, or he has not been anywhere around. The hotel continental breakfast was horrible - dry muffins, bagels, coffee, juice, danish, and toast for $10! Wait staff not particularly helpful either.
Having said that, the suite is comfortable, the location is great, and the Aveda bath products are a nice change from the ordinary.
Not what I expected...
from A TripAdvisor Member
I took my husband on a trip to DC for his birthday and researched for a long time to find a hotel that would be elegant, comfortable, and close to the Kennedy Center. The River Inn looked perfect from the website so I made us a reservation for a suite several weeks in advance.
Upon arrival, we were told that the rooms were overbooked and they gave us a room with a very small bedroom and adjoining conference room- not a suite. It was very bizarre and something we did not need or want. When we complained we were not given any discount, nor were there any apologies.
Besides, that, the bathroom and bedroom were small. The bed was comfortable and I enjoyed the selection of Aveda products.
Overall, we were disappointed and would not stay there again.
One of the best hotels ever I stayed in
Stylish, unpretentious, good value. Also comfortable, quiet and within an easy distance from both central areas and Georgetown. An excellent restaurant downstairs.
An ideal hotel
from A TripAdvisor Member
After struggling to find a hotel in Washington DC during Presidential Inauguration week, we decided to opt for The River Inn.
My partner and I cannot recommend this hotel enough. The staff were very friendly, the room was perfect - it even has coffee beans and a grinder for early morning coffee, and the location was ideal - five minutes walk to the Foggy Bottom metro.
I would definately recommend this hotel to anyone travelling to DC.
Thanks to the Riven Inn for helping to make our stay perfect!
Stayed at River Inn over new year and having paid considerably more to stay in appalling hotels in New York it was a pleasure to stay at the River Inn. Reception staff were not hugely helpful which is why I haven't rated as excellent. But the room was great - large, airy and tastefully decorated with a separate kitchen.
The hotel restaurant was surprisingly good and the hotel is in a very quaint street in Foggy Bottom. Subway is about a 5 minute walk and there are other shops and restaurants close by. It was our first trip to Washington so we did a great deal of walking and sight seeing and it was a real pleasure to return to such a good hotel at the end of a long day.
Great for the discounted price of $79 but...
Stayed at the River Inn & Luxury Suites 1 night December 7th. Being a native Washingtonian, the location was nice for those visiting the Foggy Bottom/Georgetown area. There's no temporary parking for unloading your luggage in front of the hotel and the concierge reminds you that you do risk ticketing for parking in front of the hotel without finding a metered spot (meters along the street but not directly in front of hotel and are used by residents). Front desk help was average, helpful but average. I was first put in a room that had a meeting space with conference table in it instead of what I reserved which was a suite. I was told that no rooms were available. After finding that the room only had one bed and no sleeper couch I asked for another room since I did reserve the room to accommadate 4 (3 kids & myself). I was then moved to the "smoking floor" and was told once again that it was the only thing available. I felt that I was being given the lowest on the totem pole because of my discounted rate and that if I cotinued to request better then I would have gotten better but with 3 kids and having to switch rooms once already, I decided to stay put. The hall smelled like smoke but the room did not. The room was nice and the furnishings were nice but the hotel does an awful job on upkeep and cleaning. If they were to put a little cleaning effort and a touch of paint inthe rooms then this place would be awesome. For $79.00, I think it was a good deal, especially having seperate living room with pull out sofa and a seperate kitchen with all appliances (old frige) but for their regular rates, you should go elsewhere.
from A TripAdvisor Member
Stayed at the River Inn for four nights. It was great and met all my expectations. Nice comfortable room; there was a small kitchen too. The staff was helpful. Free DSL internet with good bandwidth. Easy access to the Foggy Bottom Metro station. Walking distance to the interesting area of Georgetown, restaurants and shops. The view was OK. I'd stay there again if I visit Washington.
from A TripAdvisor Member
Our family recently spent a weekend at this hotel. We received excellent value for our money. The one room suite was more than sufficient for two adults and three children. The rooms were nicely decorated and extremely clean. The kitchen is small but very well equipped. The staff was friendly and helpful with directions, taxis, and restaurant recommendations. The hotel is a short two block walk to the GWU/Foggy Bottom Metro Station, which makes it very convenient for sightseeing. There is a 7-11 within a block or two and several nice restaurants, including the one in the hotel. The Kennedy Center is within walking distance, although we took a taxi since the weather was cold. I would certainly recommend this hotel for a family trip to DC.
Hit or Miss....
from A TripAdvisor Member
I travel all over the country for business and have stayed in a lot of rooms....This night my room was a large king bed/suite that overlooked the front of the building. The room was very hot and there was no climate control in the room. For security reasons the windows do not open that much thus leaving me HOT!!! I called down to the front desk and they state that all the fans are in use and one will not be available until tomorrow morning. Management does not staff the front desk well enough. I had to wait approximately 15 minutes to have the one person working the desk (and who is answering the phones as well) to help me checkout. For me being a business traveler this is a no no. The restaurant on premise is ok but charging New York City prices for alcohol and food. Overall I was disappointed with climate/staffing but in a pinch would stay there again.
I travel to Washington, DC on business about twice a year. I've stayed in quite a few hotels in DC (Sofitel, Mayflower, Hilton, Hotel Rouge, Melrose Hotel, and Washington Terrace), but none was as lovely and as comfortable and as reasonably priced as the River Inn in November 2004. The River Inn is a converted 1960's apartment building that is snack dab in the middle of a charming and safe historic Foggy Bottom rowhouse street. The River Inn is decorated in lovely browns and beiges and muted pumpkins and golds. The corporate suite is spacious and even has a pull out sleeper sofa . The corporate suite has a very nice kitchen with two burner stove, full size refrigerator, sink, place settings, cabinets and microwave. The kitchen even has marble floors (to demonstrate that this is a nicely decorated room). The suite's kitchen is conveniently set out of the way, though, ...in case you never need or want to look at a kitchen during your stay. There is a grocery at the Watergate Hotel which is only a short 2 blocks, if that, from the hotel. The hotel generously offers Aveda shampoos and moisterizers in the bathroom. The River Inn is just a few blocks from the Kennedy Center and a short walk from the Georgetown Harbour. Really, the White House is within walking distance to the River Inn if you don't mind a 20-30 minute walk. The only fault I could find with the suite is that the faucets in the bathroom are a bit old and plain...but only when compared with how nicely decorated the room is. (You can tell that I'm really reaching for something negative here.) There is a very nice and trendy, though a bit expensive, restaurant in the hotel lobby. I highly recommend this hotel and would return again to stay here!
Top Local Tips for Washington
Patent Office Portrait Gallery
Visited the renovated Patent Office with its amazing American Portrait Gallery. Great education for everyone, especially students. Loved seeing presidential portraits that I had seen in books. Beautiful building with great lighting.
Metro is your friend
The DC Metro is the best choice for people visiting Washington to get around - I know that visitors are some times anxious about using a subway because they think in terms of New York City subways (apologies to New Yorkers) but particularly in the downtown areas it easy, cheap (relatively), and convenient . Avoid driving if you can - Pierre L'Enfant designed a beautiful city but it was not designed for drivers.
Getting around town
Walking is a must so wear comfortable shoes. Use the Metro whenever you can --- easy to use if you've never been in a subway before.