Review of The Line Hotel in Adams Morgan: Mediocrity That Needs to Work Out the Kinks

On August 11th, Abby and I stayed at The Line Hotel in the Adams Morgan neighborhood of Washington, DC. We used a gift certificate to cover the cost of the room that we won via a silent auction for the annual gala for the Sitar Arts Center. The gala was at the hotel’s main ballroom, which was very nice and the staff put on a great event.

Needless to say, we were excited to stay at the hotel, something we had planned for about two months. According to the hotel’s website, it is “inspired by The District and housed inside a 110-year old historic church, the LINE DC is the product of a community effort by local chefs, bartenders, artists, and designers. Full Service Radio broadcasts live from the hotel lobby daily while celebrated chefs Spike Gjerde of Baltimore’s Woodberry Kitchen and Erik Bruner-Yang of DC’s Maketto embrace the region’s diversity with American and international culinary experiences. Amplified by Adams Morgan’s eclectic personality, the LINE delivers a richly rounded experience unlike any other in DC.”

Our room, a king room, was described as the following: “Our standard 340 square foot King room features Free WiFi, a seating area with custom furnishings and a large working desk. Treat yourself to handmade bath products, plush top mattress, bathrobe and slippers. We’ve outfitted each room with a curated micro library, minibar with instant espresso maker and local and international drinks and snacks, original artwork and photography, 55″ HD TV, old school radio and modern media hub.”

Seemingly a classy establishment and considering our experience at the gala, we were excited to stay there. Unfortunately, our experience did not live up our our expectations. The room was how the website described, but we found the “old timey” light switches, radio, and clock to be far more confusing and useless than the novelty they provided. We brought a bottle of champagne to share before we went out to dinner, but found the mini bar packed that there was no room to chill our bottle. A quick look at the menu showed that a bottle of ginger ale cost $6, and a can of chilled green tea cost $7. The single serving of Bulleit whiskey cost $14, so a whiskey/ginger would cost us an entire Jackson, plus other taxes and fees.

We went to dinner at a local Italian restaurant called Al Volo Osteria, and after a quick stop for an after dinner fruit cocktail at El Tamarindo, we went back to the hotel. Although we had set the thermostat for 67 degrees, the room didn’t cool below 72. Although the thermostat was digital and modern, we couldn’t figure out a way to get it cooler than 72. It wasn’t terrible, but we like to sleep cooler than that.

As the night went on, Abby fell asleep and I watched some television. However, she was woken up numerous times by noise transmission between adjacent rooms, as well as other guests walking and talking in the hallway. The bed was mediocre and came nowhere close to matching the comfort of our Tempurpedic at home.

We woke earlier than normal, thanks to the sunlight coming in the room. While the room had blackout blinds, there were no drapes, so the room was filled with more light than we expected earlier than we expected it.

Around 10 a.m., we went downstairs to the hotel’s lobby restaurant for our complimentary breakfast, which was included with our stay. One server took our drink order, a coffee and an orange juice. With a second server, we ordered a breakfast platter to share that included scrambled eggs, bacon, toast, fruit, potatoes, coffee, and orange juice.

“The platter comes with coffee and juice.”

“We already ordered one of each,” I responded.

“That’s fine, I’ll just include those with the order.”

The first server brought the coffee and orange juice, and several minutes later, the second server brought a second set. I explained what happened with the first server, and the second server said she would leave them for us anyway, a second cup of coffee for Abby and another glass of OJ for me.

Taking a look at the second glass, there was a fresh lipstick stain on the glass, so fresh, in fact, that Abby was able to easily wipe some of it off with her finger. I decided not to have any of it.

The food was fine, except for the fruit plate that contained fruit that looked translucent, which to me was a sign that it had clearly been thawed from a freezer. We did not receive a check-in from a server while eating our meal, only when we had finished eating, at which point I explained about the glass.

“There’s lipstick on this glass right over here. It’s fresh as my wife was able to wipe some off.”

“And it’s not from me,” Abby said. “I’m not wearing any.”

The server looked at Abby, then at me, and said, “Me neither.”

There was no apology and no recognition that something like that was even a problem. She brought the bill and we charged the amount to our room.

After breakfast, we took a shower, which also was disappointing, as the water pressure was lackluster. We finished getting ready, we went downstairs to checkout.

“How can I help you?” the lady at the front desk asked.

“Just need to checkout,” I said, as I handed her the two key cards for our room. After telling me the balance from breakfast, and my explanation that the cost of breakfast was included in our gift card, I was expecting to be asked how our stay was and if everything was to our satisfaction.

“Okay, you’re all set,” she said.

And that was it. That said, I received an email from someone at the hotel: “Do keep in touch: let us know how we can improve, tell us about the people who made a difference during your stay, or just say hello.”

I’ll be sure to send them a link to this post. Overall, I’d rate it a 5 out of 10 and probably not worth the $200+ per night. Let’s just say we probably won’t recommend it to others. In the end, I hope the hotel and its restaurants can work out the kinks of still being a new establishment. I understand the issues I describe at trivial in life, but they are the types of things that can separate a great hotel from a mediocre one.


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