Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel
2660 Woodley Rd NW
Washington, DC 20008
During a recent business trip to my company’s home office in Bethesda, Maryland, I decided to stay at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel largely due to price and location. A few months ago, I attended a large gala at the hotel so I had a sense of its historical significance as well as its scenic Woodley Park location. The Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel is the largest landmark hotel in our nation’s capital, with over 1,100 guest rooms and 300,000 square feet of event and exhibit space. I call this a “mega-hotel.” Although, a mega-hotel, this gorgeous property has a historical value and a “if these walls could talk” kind of feel. On January 31, 1984, the National Register of Historic Places added the hotel to its list.
Some brief tidbits about the hotel:
- Built and open in 1918 by Harry Wardman as a red brick structure modeled after The Homestead resort in Virginia.
- Mr. Wardman was forced to sell the hotel in 1931, during the Great Depression, to Washington Properties.
- During World War II, British spy “Cynthia,” used the hotel as her base of operations while sneaking top-secret documents from an operative at the French Vichy Embassy.
- In the 1940s, Marine Reserves trained in the hotel pool, learning to swim fully clothed.
- In 1947, NBC broadcasted its first televised episode of Meet the Press.
- The hotel housed a full service drugstore/pharmacy and pharmacist was known as “Doc. Wardman”. How amazing is that?! I wonder why he became well known in the political community!
- Washington Properties sold the hotel to Sheraton Hotels in 1953 and renamed the Sheraton-Park Hotel.
- Over the years, the hotel went through several renovations and construction.
- In 1998, Marriott Wardman Park Hotel acquired the property.
- Due to the high demand of luxury condo living DC, Wardman Tower separated from the main hotel as residential luxury condominiums in 2015. The sale prices range from $2.7 million to $9 million.
Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel is a spacious grand hotel located in our nation’s capital. If you live in DC long enough, you will attend an event or two at Wardman Park as it holds huge conventions, galas, functions, and more. It is quite remarkable to witness multiple large events simultaneously operating in full swing. Washington, DC undoubtedly needs the space for it and Washington Marriott Wardman Park is very easy to get to via Metro, taxi, or car.
Usually, I do not comment much on the outside grounds of a Marriott property. But as I walked from the hotel to the Metro, I could help but smile and be mindful of the natural beauty surrounding the historic mega hotel in Woodley Park. The colorful and manicured gardens were absolutely gorgeous and took my breath away as cheesy as that sounds. It truly makes the outside of the hotel stand out and gives it a “wow” or “grandeur” presence.
Executive lounge met expectations and I was relieved it was stocked and open. The lounge provided a healthy breakfast and plenty of coffee. As far as afternoon service goes, it was a bit of a let down because the space was too crowded and not many food options. I suggest hitting up some of the local restaurants in the area for Happy Hour.
Unfortunately (to me), this property resembles a mini city even though it is a historical charming hotel. The most historic feature of the property is the exceedingly thin walls and hallway noise. You can hear everything! Also, I should mention, the massive main lobby is vastly chaotic and the actual check in area is difficult to locate with a sea of international guests and event-goers roaming around aimlessly trying to find where they need to go. Alas, once I found the front desk to the hotel, the friendly staff greeted guests and were overly accommodating which I appreciated immensely. As Platinum Elite, I received a lovely upgrade to a suite.
The suite was very spacious a comfortable and it could be used for entertaining as there was a door separating the bedroom from the living room area. For me, I need a quiet and comfortable space to rest. Truthfully, this property made it nearly impossible to get uninterrupted sleep. I was really disappointed because I wanted to love this hotel. The walls were so thin and the noise from the hallway could not be ignored. Each occurrence of a door closing or opening, I could hear the door creak and slam shut as well as crystal clear talking voices.
Wardman Fitness is my favorite amenity and feature of the hotel. The staff was always super friendly and helpful throughout my Wardman Fitness experience. The space was clean and fully equipped with new machines. It was not busy so I got a 2 hour workout in without any interruptions or wait period. The energy of the space created a perfect vibe for a much needed sweat session.
- Suite Upgrade. Easy check-in, friendly staff happily gave me an upgrade.
- Executive lounge open and functioning always gets points.
- Wardman Fitness is a great! Not your typical hotel gym.
- Neighborhood and location. Woodland Park is naturally green and away from the downtown tall buildings. This neighborhood has many walking distance offerings.
- Beautiful grounds. Wow!
- Full scale convention hotel. Great for large conferences and events.
- Restaurant–I ate at the bar in the lobby restaurant. I enjoyed convenient yet overpriced a glass of wine and a mediocre salad with salmon. The bar is ideal for grabbing a drink and watching sports if you would like to get out of your guestroom, but I would not go back. Pass.
- Noise. Guestrooms experience terrible noise in the hallway due to thin walls.
- Crowded Executive Lounge. Needs more space.