This is my review of The Graham hotel, in Georgetown, Washington DC.
We have reviewed two ‘Curio Collection‘ hotels from Hilton recently – the Montesol in Ibiza (reviewed here) and the The Ames in Boston (reviewed here). These are ‘upper upscale’ independent hotels which have chosen to join the Hilton marketing system whilst still retaining their individual quirks. Hilton Honors status benefits are given and points can be earned and redeemed.
Based on the hotels I have seen to date, I am very positive about Curio. The hotels appear to be uniformly high quality and the ability to add Hilton points and benefits on top is great.
So, where does ‘Tapestry Collection’ fit in? Good question! Basically, Curio is ‘upper upscale’ and Tapestry is ‘upscale’. Clear as mud. Based on my excellent stay at The Graham, the difference is minor. There are currently just 10 hotels in the ‘Tapestry Collection’, all in the US. (Just to confuse things further, immediately next to The Graham is a shop called Curio!)
Hilton’s head office paid for three nights in a suite at The Graham for me whilst I was visiting their HQ last week. I wasn’t asked to review the hotel and the hotel itself did not give me anything for free.
The Graham website is here if you want to know more.
Georgetown is great ….
Georgetown predates Washington DC itself. The oldest building, about a minute from The Graham, dates from 1766 which counts as pretty darn old in the US. It is a beautiful area, with a very English feel. If you’ve been to Boston it is similar. The first few seconds of the video below give you a feel.
M Street is the historic shopping street which runs through Georgetown. It is not unlike Kings Road in London in feel and in retailers. The Graham is just a few seconds walk south of M Street. (30 seconds walk from the hotel is one of Amazon’s first physical book shops which is an interesting browse.)
Walk 90 seconds further south and you are at the Washington Harbour restaurant, condo and office complex overlooking the water. It is lovely and I could have spent a week here.
The Graham is nowhere near a metro station, which is the only downside, but cabs and Uber are easily available. You are likely to want to visit Georgetown anyway if visiting Washington so basing yourself here makes sense.
At just 57 rooms, The Graham is one of the smallest hotels of the 5,000+ that Hilton manages. It is also one of the quirkiest. How many other Hilton properties have a basement bar (which doubles as the breakfast room) which requires a pin number to access to keep it exclusive from passing members of the public?!
It also has a very popular rooftop bar, heavily used by the locals. I can honestly say that I didn’t hear any noise from the bar in the three nights I was here.
The Graham is not quite ‘all suite’ but they dominate. If you’ve ever stayed at the all-suite Conrad New York, the suites had a similar layout and feel.
Of the eight rooms of the fifth floor, where I was, six were King Bed Studio Suites. The hotel is not cheap but, for a 65 square metre suite in a beautiful area, I consider it decent value and would actually pay to stay here if I was back in Washington. Whilst pricing moves around, a suite like mine is usually around $300 at weekends and $450 midweek.
My suite had a spacious bedroom. There was a good size desk and lots of lighting, although nothing in the way of a view. It is the sort of hotel where the staff leave the radio on, tuned to the local classical station, for when you return.
The bathroom had no tub but a huge shower and two sinks. Toiletries were L’Occitane.
The seating area with the sofa bed has its own TV. To be honest, I never used this area because I never turned on the TV, apart from a brief failed attempt to find World Cup.
I was on the end of the row of rooms, so had additional windows behind the sofa bed facing north as you can see in the image below. x04 and x05 rooms have this. Other rooms have no windows in the seating area.
My only issue with the room was that the air conditioning, even when turned off, would occasionally make some noise. The light in my wardrobe also refused to go off when the doors were closed, but as this was a suite it was not in my direct line of sight from the bed.
Wi-fi was free and fast. The usual minibar / coffee machine set up was in place, using Keurig capsules. For once there was no crisis over too few plug sockets at the desk!
Breakfast in The Alex cellar bar. As a Hilton Diamond this was free. The selection is not huge, as you’d expect with only 57 rooms, but everything on the buffet was good quality and the staff keen. Cooked items were available for an extra charge and room service breakfast is also available. Note that I do not think there is lift access to the breakfast room unless there is a service lift somewhere.
I didn’t eat in the cellar bar at night but assuming the room service menu is representative then there is plenty of choice.
There is a small fitness room on the ground floor:
and an attractive seating area directly in the lobby as you come in:
And here’s a video …..
I made a video of the hotel which gives you a feel for the neighbourhood, the bar, the rooftop and my suite. It is only a couple of minutes long and worth a look.
I liked The Graham a lot and strongly recommend it. It is quirky but very high quality, and being so close to the upmarket shops and restaurants of Georgetown is an added bonus. I don’t see any real benefit in staying in ‘downtown’ Washington given how spread out the city is anyway.
Whilst it is decent value for a family who want a good value suite, due to the ability to put kids on the sofa bed, I think it is best suited to couples who can enjoy the ‘speakeasy’ cellar bar, the rooftop bar and all of the facilities of Georgetown.
You can find out more about The Graham, and the Tapestry Collection in general, on this Hilton website.
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