Review: Hyatt’s Thompson Washington DC Hotel

Earlier this month I stayed at the Thompson Washington DC Hotel. It’s in a neighborhood where I haven’t spent much time before, and my first experience with the brand that Hyatt acquired when it acquired Two Roads Hospitality.

When I moved to D.C. as an intern after college around 25 years ago, one of the first pieces of advice I got as a young, naive white boy in the nation’s capital was “don’t get on the Green Line.” Now the Capitol Riverfront area is completely gentrified, and it’s also home to the Washington Nationals stadium.

The Thompson Washington DC hotel is right by much of the new action. It’s still not fully operational due to Covid – its rooftop bar area has just re-opened, but its Danny Meyer restaurant has not.

thompson washington dc hotel
Thompson Washington DC Hotel

Thompson Hotels is one of Lucky‘s new favorite hotel brands and I still hadn’t stayed at one so I decided to give it a shot for my first work trip in 14 months. It felt good to be back on the road. The property is right next to the Department of Transportation, too, so folks involved in aviation may find themselves here from time to time as well (and in the Starbucks located right beside it).

us department of transportation
Pete Buttigieg’s Office

Everyone at the hotel was friendly, and wanted to be helpful, though execution wasn’t always great. There was a short line at check-in when I arrived but I was welcomed shortly after. Reception is just to the right when you enter the hotel, and I found that area to be rather spartan though the rest of the lobby was brighter and more stylish.

check-in desk
Check-in

lobby 4
Lobby

lobby 2
Lobby

lobby 3
Lobby

During the check-in process it was explained to me that Globalist breakfast would be delivered to the room. They give you a sheet listing options of bagels, bagel egg sandwiches, fruit and yogurt plus coffee and juice to choose from and delivery times of 8 a.m. or 9 a.m. (which in my opinion is too late, they need a 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. option). You need to bring the sheet back down to the lobby the evening before, or they can take your order by phone.

Only half my order was actually delivered. It turns out they just forgot the second paper bag, which they brought up after I rang the front desk. Coffee is also available in the lobby, usually from 7 a.. I was told but they were happy to set it out early when I asked. Coffee needs to be available when guests get up before their business day, not just on the way out of the hotel.

thompson washington dc hotel elite breakfast
Breakfast Bag Delivered To Room

There was some confusion at check-in over whether I’d confirmed a suite (I did). My wife and daughter came with me on the trip because they hadn’t been to D.C. in some time either. What I needed was a separate room for my daughter that I could close the door to when she naps in the afternoon and when she goes to sleep hours before we do. The hotel gave us two connecting rooms. They also promised 10,000 points for the trouble. Nice!

thompson washington dc hotel bedroom
Bedroom

thompson washington dc hotel bathroom
Bathroom

thompson washington dc hotel shower
Shower

thompson washington dc hotel view from room
View From Room

I can’t tell you how much I appreciate a room with a refrigerator. If it had a microwave too that would be perfection. I landed in DC and went straight to Elephant Jumps in Northern Virginia for Thai food before checking into the hotel. I’m going to slightly over-order just so I can try more things. This lets me bring back the leftovers, because the second meal will still be orders of magnitude better than my next-best option.

thompson washington dc hotel room refrigerator
Refrigerator

The hotel’s valet dinged my rental car, or rather wherever they parked it the car next to it dinged the car in two places – hitting the driver’s door and creating a significant indenture and hitting the passenger door on the driver’s side creating a second less pronounced one.

I brought this to the attention of the hotel’s front office manager, who took photos and started a conversation with the property’s outsourced parking provider. He offered 10,000 points or waived parking charges. I took the points.

The manager who promised the points to me assured that this tranche of 10,000 wouldn’t get confused with the 10,000 I was offered at the start of the stay. I bet him he was wrong, but he promised that 20,000 bonus points would post with my stay for sure.

When points posted for my stay the 20,000 points weren’t there. Neither were 10,000. Nothing came through. The hotel didn’t push back when I emailed to follow up, however.

Between the points for the stay, Hyatt’s current promotion, American Airlines mileage-earning (and promotional bonus), these points and the free category 1-4 night I earned by hitting a new brand (Hyatt awards a free night after 5, 10 and 15 brands stayed at) I came out way ahead on the stay. I’m still waiting to learn whether Hertz is interested in pursuing the dents, but I’ve started a conversation with Chase’s insurance provider for primary collision coverage as well.

I didn’t have a fantastic stay at the property. I am not longing to return. But I’d absolutely stay here again – for instance this would be my go-to pick if I had a meeting at the Department of Transportation, or for a leisure stay if I were going to a Nationals ballgame and wanted to use points, I could rent a car no problem because the property’s $58 valet fee would be waived on an award stay as a Globalist.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. What market segment does the Thompson brand aim to fill? I’ve seen pictures but never been in one of their properties.

  2. Looks like a very nice property.I’m told the beds are very firm/ hard
    Any thoughts compared to a Grand Hyatt bed Westin Heavenly etc

  3. @ Gary — There is only ONE hotel to stay at while in DC — The InterContinental Willard Hotel. Anywhere else is SO pedestrian…

  4. @Mfb123 – Thompson is competing against upper boutique hotels – akin to Kimpton.

  5. It’s been a while since you’ve done a hotel review in D.C., Gary, so it’s nice to see a new one. On our recent stay at Hyatt Regency Dulles, they used the same/similar check-the-boxes-and-return-to-front-desk sheet for the Globalist breakfast benefit. Thompson D.C. looks moderately interesting for a new hotel, but $58 for valet parking only underscores the high cost of living in the D.C. metro area.

    I used to live out by (and go to) that Thai Restaurant (have forgotten its original name) now called Elephant Jumps at Gallows Road and Arlington Blvd, and even had a mailbox there at Mail Boxes Etc. (now UPS Store) next door. Will have to do Thai again there for old time’s sake. Gallows Road between there and Tysons Corner must be hard for you to recognize with the hundreds of millions of dollars of new construction over the last 20 years.

  6. @Gary – I took my family to eat at Elephant Jumps for lunch today because you’ve always spoken so highly about the place but all of the dishes that the 4 of us ordered were just solid. I respect your opinion and I can’t help but think that either we all individually got bad luck (we adore Thai food) or maybe we just ordered the wrong things. What menu items do you think are worthy of the place’s lofty reputation?

  7. Too bad you weren’t there in summer non-covid times. Yards Park is really great- the wading pool is fantastic for young kids, your daughter would have loved it.

  8. Hi @Christian sorry to hear that! I always order (1) the specials, and (2) off the authentic menu, never the ‘regular’ Thai menu. And I always just ask the owner Tom what I should eat.

  9. I have noticed that it seems that the website onemileatatime just seems to parrot what you write! Thanks for the original content, now I know where to go for original info.

  10. Thanks for the review – nice to see some “traditional” travel content like the good old days! Hard product looks solid, and the issues you noted were service ones which we’d hope to see cleaned up…let’s remember that a lot of hospitality employees are also back on their first “work trips” in 14 months! I know others draw a hard line but I’m willing to cut people some slack as we all get back into the groove.

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