Trying to find the right Washington DC hotel can be like searching for a needle in a haystack, or a Democrat at a Tea Party rally. But bipartisan politics don’t apply at the new Kimpton Glover Park Hotel. The DC hotel is well situated near Georgetown, with easy access to the National Cathedral, National Zoo and many DC attractions.
Ideal DC hotel
Washington, DC has so many hotels that it offers 10 hotels under the Kimpton brand alone. Kimpton hotels are a great choice for the city; they all offer free sturdy bikes and the Capital is quite bike friendly (though hilly). We went to DC for the weekend to visit our middle daughter, who just got a job in Washington, and choose the newest Kimpton, the Glover Park Hotel, which is near both Georgetown and the National Cathedral, and close to the National Zoo.
Before staying at the Glover Park Hotel, I wasn’t even aware that the United States even had a National Cathedral. This stunning cathedral, formally named the Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, was built in 1907 and features 112 gargoyles and 215 stained glass windows. You can take a guided tour (they are free on Sundays) or just explore the gorgeous gardens and grounds.
The National Zoo (also free; it is a branch of the Smithsonian, which has over a dozen free museums around the DC metro area, including the newest, The National Museum of African American History and Culture) is in Woodley Park, a neighborhood filled with historic architecture. The zoo boasts giant pandas, which can be seen via a Panda Cam if they happen to be sleeping. There are also elephants, farm animals and a carousel.
On a run through the area near the hotel, we passed Embassy Row, filled with mansions occupied by diplomats from around the world, and Sidwell Friends School. Malia Obama graduated from the school; Sasha still attends.
We walked down the hill to Georgetown, where Georgetown Cupcake had a longer line than I’ve seen at Magnolia in New York (Georgetown Cupcake also has a branch in NYC). We sugared up instead at Baked and Wired – also a long line, but much shorter – and headed down to the Potomac River, passing the C & O Canal, a 184 mile canal with a biking and walking towpath. There is a meditation labyrinth near the river and tour boats and kayaks on the water.
Our king-sized room had a kitchenette and a super comfortable king-sized bed. There was a coffee maker, a mini refrigerator, a second minibar fridge filled with drinks and a glass enclosed shower with large fluffy towels.
The luxurious room had bathrobes, Frette lines, an umbrella, and a yoga mat. Blackout shades and thick walls were conducive to sleep.
One quirky thing – the bathroom was accessed through the closet. Kids might find that amusing.
King city view rooms (which we did not have) have telescopes so you can see the National Mall and Potomac River up close, and from your jammies – or those luxurious robes.
Like many Kimpton Hotels, the Glover Park DC hotel has a destination Italian restaurant, Casolare, run by Michael Schlow, a James Beard Foundation best chef. We didn’t have a chance to eat there, but I have been to one of Schlow’s restaurants, Alta Strada, in Wellesley, MA. At Casolare, simple food like ravioli with mint, arugula salad with shaved zucchini and pizzas dominate the vegetarian friendly menu.
- There are coffee and tea in the lobby in the morning, and wine from 5-6 p.m. every evening; some evening hours include live music or a caricature artist
- The basement gym is huge and has just about every piece of equipment you need
- There are two bicycles that you can borrow for free
- Free iced tea in the lobby all day long
What Works for Families
- Some rooms have kitchenettes, with a refrigerator, microwave, two burner stove and extra sink
- All rooms have minibar refrigerators, which can be used for your own snacks and drinks
- Connecting rooms are available
- Across the street is a gorgeous park with a big playground
- Dog friendly – and dog run across the street
- Glover Park coloring book and crayons given out at check-in
- Caricature artist to entertain kids while adults drink wine at the evening cocktail hour
What Doesn’t Work for Families
- No rooms with tubs
- No pool