Friday, December 05, 2014

Sketching at the Dupont Circle Hotel

Urban Sketching, Dupont Circle Hotel Lobby, Washington DC

While we were in DC, we stayed at the Dupont Circle Hotel, a little north west of the White House. It's a "boutique hotel" with a seemingly popular bar amongst the locals on Fridays and Saturday night. I didn't spend a huge amount of time in the hotel but I did sketch the lobby sitting room, next to the bar, where people gather to meet friends or coworkers. This particular space had a contemporary feel to it and was comfortable. There's even a fire place on the other side. 

Urban Sketching, Dupont Circle Hotel Lobby, Washington DC

In terms of design, it's not the worst hotel I've been to so far but not the best either. There were a couple hits and a couple misses. For example, the layout of our room (No 336) was weird, even for an accessible room. Mind you, we didn't need an accessible room but that's the one we got. The was a lot of "wasted" space and a lot of cramped spaces at the same time. It's the first time I got to see an accessible version of a boutique hotel room first hand and it's sad that the design level goes down for people on wheel chairs. The design of the sink was a great example of that. It had a very utilitarian look that clashed with the concept of the hotel shown in the advertising photos. On the plus side, the bathroom had heated floor tiles.  

Dupont Circle Hotel, Washington DC

Dupont Circle Hotel,Washington DC


There was a lot of space in the bathroom, I'm assuming so that a wheel chair can move around in it, but very little space to get to the bathroom. The door would basically touch the bed when it was open and I don't think a wheel chair would be able to go on the other side near the window, due to the position of the desk essentially blocking the other side of the bed. Mind you with a view like this (picture below), it's probably not a bad thing. lol. One way to improve the view, in my opinion, would be to add some decorative fences or, better yet, sound barrier walls around the HVAC units and some plants for a more pleasing view. Understandably, not every room can have a view of the Dupont Circle, but it doesn't mean that the view in the back has to be ugly. Good thing the sound didn't bother us but if you're sensitive to sound, you might want to avoid this side of the hotel. 

Dupont Circle Hotel, Dupont Bar, Washington DC

On the plus side, most of the food we got from the bar was great. I recommend the Dupont Fries, Grilled Chicken BLT, and the Truffled Chicken Wrap. I would stay away from their watery cappuccino (I actually had to send it back) and the pretty but overly sweet brownie. We went there quite often during our one-week stay. The main downer was the trouble they seem to have with separating the bills  when we were in a bigger groups depending on who we had as our server, some are amazing and some seem not cut out for the service industry. On two occasions, we ended up having to recalculate everything at the end of the night, listing everyone's orders for the waiter. Overall, it was an interesting and insightful experience. 

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