Tried & Tested

Hotel check: The Dupont

30 Nov 2009 by AndrewGough

What’s it like? I hesitate to say “previously known as the Jury’s Washington” because following a US$52 million refurbishment, the Dupont hotel is nothing like its predecessor. It’s in a fairly modern white-brick building and has a spacious, contemporary feel. Most rooms have plenty of natural light with a variety of furniture and finishes, using materials such as granite, velour, wood, leather and slate.

Where is it? At Dupont Circle, in an area that is part-residential, part-business, with several embassies. It is well connected via the metro to other business areas and tourist sites, and walking to the Capitol or Georgetown takes 15-20 minutes.

Room facilities There are two main room types, Superior and Deluxe, with the key differences being size and view. Superior rooms are in the 23-33 sqm range, with Deluxe on average 14 sqm larger. Rooms have two double beds or one king with 300-count Frette bedding, and come with free wifi, iPod docks, safes, minibars and 42-inch plasma TVs with full cable access as well as audio, video and PC inputs. Bathrooms are of different sizes and in some rooms are more integrated with the bedroom. They have heated floors, showers and separate toilets. Toiletries are from Kiehl’s.

Level Nine is a “hotel within a hotel” and offers a more luxurious, personal service, with 15 suites. My Luxury suite had a living room with a wet bar and TV, a large bathroom with a spa bath and TV, and a bedroom with a comfortable four-poster, a third TV and a workdesk. Before arrival, I was asked about my favourite hobbies, fruit, snacks, drinks and publications, and the temperature I would like my room to be. All this was set for my arrival. The wet bar had my favourites and a selection of beers, wines and soft drinks, as well as champagne and half-bottles of rum, whisky, vodka and gin. All were free, and with a cocktail shaker, lemons, limes and olives, you could even make your own Martini.

Rooms on this level have floor-to-ceiling windows and many have balconies with views of Dupont Circle or the Washington DC skyline. Level Nine also has a “living room” with a fireplace, coffee machine, books and games, giving it a residential feel. Pastries are set up here in the morning, with snacks at lunch and canapés and drinks in the evening.

Restaurants and Bars There is one bar, Bar Dupont, and one restaurant, Café Dupont. Both are light and airy with the former overlooking Dupont Circle through floor-to-ceiling windows. The bar (open 11am-2am) was quite busy with loud music when I was there. It has an impressive drinks list and serves a range of food. I had a wild mushroom tagliatelle, which was a good portion and very tasty.

Café Dupont opens for breakfast from 6.30am to 11am, lunch from 11.30am to 5pm (until 2pm Fri-Sat) and dinner from 5.30pm to 10pm. I tried a couple of appetisers (jumbo scallop with butternut squash ravioli, and beef short rib with wild mushroom risotto), plus the roasted pork tenderloin with calypso beans. All were amazing. In-room dining is also available (6.30am-11pm).

Business and Meeting Facilities There is a small 24-hour business centre on the ground floor, along with a good range of meeting rooms (there are a couple more on the first floor). Most have plenty of natural light, and can accommodate anything from a small board meeting to a conference for 350 people. Level Nine has a 60-capacity function room with a balcony and great views. Café Dupont has a couple of private rooms for entertaining, and both the bar and restaurant have areas that can be made semi-private for events, as well as outside areas.

Leisure facilities A small gym in the basement has modern cardio equipment with personal TVs.  

Verdict A good location, great service and large, airy rooms with some superb views.

Julian Gregory

Fact file

  • How many rooms? There are 327 rooms, including 15 suites, over eight floors.

  • Room highlights Light, bright rooms with very comfortable beds, a good TV system, and heated bathroom floors.

  • Price Internet rates for a midweek stay in February started from US$291 for a Superior room.

  • Contact The Dupont hotel, 1,500 New Hampshire Avenue, NW; tel +1 202 483 6000;

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