Arrival/Check-In: Arriving around 10 p.m. on a rainy Friday evening after work, we were eager to valet the car and check in. Situated in Washington, D.C.’s newest district, The Wharf, opened October 2017, InterContinental Washington, D.C. – The Wharf offers a prime position in one of the buzziest spots in the city. While not as crowded that Friday evening, likely given the rain, we’d see just how popular the area was over the next two days of our stay which, thankfully, also brought sunnier weather. It was a bit confusing driving through The Wharf and finding the hotel valet — we sort of happily happened upon it. Thankful to stretch our legs after a three-hour trip, there was some slight confusion as we handed over the keys, but once inside, check-in was a breeze. Within 10 minutes of our arrival, we were headed to our 10th-floor guestroom.
Guest Quarters: The hotel opened a few months prior to my visit, and we could feel the newness of the property throughout, including a few thoughtful décor details. I especially like the design element when the elevator doors open to your floor — rather than coming face to face with a guestroom door or a blank wall with signs pointing in either direction, the elevators open on a wood-paneled divider, creating distinct spaces for the elevators and the hallway.
The large guestroom opened into a hallway with a long closet immediately to the right. Located on a corner, the space had two walls of floor-to-ceiling windows boasting different views of The Wharf.
In the bedroom area, nightstands with easy-to-access plugs flanked a king-sized bed. Along one set of windows sat a separate armchair and the desk and a chair, facing the view. Along the other windows and across from the bed was a dresser with the TV above and housing a minibar, a Nespresso machine and storage. A large bathroom offered both a rainfall shower and large soaking tub.
Services/Amenities: Not only are the hotel and its district buzzy but so is the on-site restaurant, Kith/Kin, serving Afro-Caribbean cuisine from Executive Chef Kwame Onwuachi. Kith/Kin serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and features a lounge and bar bites menu. The Brussels suya and jerk half chicken were standouts of our Saturday night dinner.
Future plans (coming this year) for the waterfront hotel include a 12th-floor lounge with views, contemporary fare and cocktails; a full-service spa; and a seasonal rooftop pool. A state-of-the-art fitness center is already open.
For events, the property offers 17,000 square feet of space, 11 meeting rooms and multiple ballrooms.
◆ As a frequent traveler, you notice small inconveniences in hotel guestrooms. Designers of the InterContinental Washington, D.C. – The Wharf must have noticed, too, and rectified a few in developing the guestrooms. A few standouts were in the shower: The controls are located on the wall opposite the showerhead to prevent cold blasts of water from hitting you when you turn on the shower; a small bar in one corner of the shower is perfect for resting your foot when shaving your leg; and the metal rack holding toiletries is larger and deeper than usual to prevent the small bottles from falling all over the place.
◆ You cannot beat the location of this hotel. Not only is The Wharf jam-packed with amenities and options, but also we were able to walk from the hotel to the many different areas of the city we visited — to museums, to restaurants and to the baseball stadium. We felt perfectly positioned for exploring the city.
INTERCONTINENTAL WASHINGTON, D.C. – THE WHARF
801 Wharf St., S.W.
Washington, D.C. 2002
tel 202 800 0844
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I had just taken off my sandals, stepping onto the white-sand beach for a late-morning walk to a secluded spot I heard about from a front desk clerk, when I glanced down and saw the time on my phone. It had just turned 11 a.m., which meant it was only 7 am back home, the perfect time to call and say good morning to by husband before he left for work. Not quite ready to head back to my room, I decided I’d test the WiFi signal and made the call as I continued walking toward the shoreline.
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