Monday, November 12, 2007

The Henley Park Hotel Washington, DC

More musing on the malleability of the words "boutique hotel". The Henley Park is self described as a hotel that invites you to "Discover a retreat that artfully blends boutique-style luxury, personalized, Old World service, and the modern necessities required by today's business or leisure traveler.". So, I guess, boutique means: Luxury, Personalized Service, & Modern Necessities. That covers just about every hotel above a Motel Six, I think, so it really doesn't mean much any more. Here's what they mean by "Old World".

You can guess the real meaning: Cramped.

The Henley Palace does try to mitigate its old(e) world(e) charm by putting mirrors by the elevator doors, so when you get off on your floor you don't feel like Gulliver checking into the Lilliput Hilton.

The old(e) world(e) charm continues to the bathroom. Here you can see how the bathroom door barely clears the toilet bowl. In the second photo, that's my finger tip. If you want to close the door while you use the facilities, it requires a certain "human rubber band" capability.

There are some fine things about the Henley Park. Nice restaurant. Very nice people. Free Internet Access. Windows that open.

There are some not so nice things: They charge $4.40 for a cup of coffee in the morning (to go, in a paper cup). This wouldn't be so bad, but the in-room mini coffee pot (cleverly secreted in the closet) came with the smallest amount of coffee in its own filter I have ever seen. (Maybe two teaspoons, and the filter was so small it didn't come close to covering the bottom of the filter holder.) It's discouraging to see ecru water filling up the carafe. There's construction next door. But at least the workers put away their jackhammers at 4:30 and don't start up again until 7:00 am. Good Morning, Misterarthur. This is your jackhammerjackhammerjackhammerjackhammerjackhammer wake up call.


Alyssha said...

I highly recommend the Hotel Monaco the next time you're in DC. It's a true boutique hotel, and they're pet friendly - they'll bring in a bed for your dog, treats, dogsitting, dogwalking, and they'll even provide a goldfish to keep your dog company so he or she won't get lonely. They used to have one in New Orleans, too... not sure if it's still there...

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