luxury · travel

Review of The Fairfax at Embassy Row

I’m feeling so much better! A weekend of rest and care really did the trick. Now that I’m back to my normal self, I can finally post this review of my stay at The Fairfax at Embassy Row Hotel, in Washington, DC.

A few weeks ago, I stayed in DC to attend an event hosted by the Embassy of Kenya. Since I don’t live in DC or in any of the surrounding cities, I booked a room at The Fairfax for convenience. Also, I was overdue for a luxe experience, and since The Fairfax is a five-star hotel, I thought I’d be in for a treat.

I arrived the afternoon before my event and I was struck by the beauty of the lobby. I was greeted by the reception desk staff but it was not quite the warm, welcoming experience that I had at other hotels (the staff I encountered when I checked out, however, was far more affable). I received my room key and instructed on the location of the elevator, but that was it. Normally, especially with four- or five-star hotels, the desk staff that checks in guests tends to offer a bit of a concierge flavor: you can expect them to make you aware of any amenities as well as give you one or two local attractions or points of interest. I didn’t receive any of that. I also factored in whether there were other guests waiting to be checked in after me, but no, that wasn’t the case, either. The staff when I checked in was just mediocre: not spectacular but not awful, either.

I arrived at my room and I found it charming. The bathroom was beautifully designed and the rest of the room was classically appointed. It didn’t strike me as particularly luxurious, but it was lovely and tasteful.

I wanted to try the toiletries provided by the hotel, but the smell was overpowering. The scent of the soap, shampoo and conditioner was “Warm Oak” and it smelled like a high quality men’s cologne. I wish the hotel had opted for unscented or more neutral-scented toiletries for the rooms (to be fair, the hotel may offer unscented/neutral-scented toiletries, but I didn’t inquire about the availability).

The shower was heavenly, and the bed was comfortable. The Fairfax at Embassy Row also provided some very handy USB charging ports (I wish more hotels would make this standard in all rooms). However, you will need to bring your hot spot with you, unless you want to pay $12.95 for daily wireless internet usage. I’m still amazed that two- and three-star hotels offer free WiFi fairly consistently, but more luxurious hotels almost always charge for such a basic service within the rooms. However, public WiFi is available in the lobby, restaurant and lounge.

I took the Metro to The Fairfax, so I have no experience with the valet service. I also didn’t dine in The Capital Room restaurant or The Fairfax Grille and Lounge. My experience was pretty much all about the lobby, the elevator, and the room!

I checked out the morning after I attended the embassy event and, as I briefly mentioned, the reception staff that checked me out of my room was delightful. Checking out was easy and uncomplicated.

Would I stay at The Fairfax at Embassy Row again? Sure, especially since it is so close to the embassies. I don’t know that I would recommend it highly to anyone seeking a truly luxe experience; perhaps I missed the details that made this hotel qualify as a Five-Star location (per the Five Star Alliance).

Have any of you stayed at The Fairfax at Embassy Row? Did you all feel the “five-star”-ness of the hotel? If there was something I missed, let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear from you all!

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