Right about now heads are shaking, eyebrows furrowing, and looks of incredulity are sweeping across the faces of my readers. You’re thinking something along the lines of this: Not only is she writing about a hotel when I already have a place to stay (i.e., your own house), she’s mentioning the Blue Duck Tavern, the four-star, award-winning restaurant where President and Mrs. Obama dined for their anniversary, on a blog about kid-friendly activities?!
I completely understand your reaction.
When the Park Hyatt and Travel Onion first invited me to tour the hotel and its highly acclaimed restaurant, I had a similar response. But the more I considered it, the more checking out the hotel to review for KFDC made sense for a few reasons: 1) People from out of town, who may be looking for a nice DC hotel, read this blog, too. Think about it – someone about to visit the city with children searches “kid friendly dc” on Google, and guess what pops up? 2) Locals, especially those of us who live in rowhouses that can’t accommodate large groups of people for extended stays, sometimes need to find lodging for guests. 3) Parents deserve a bit of luxury, even with the kids in tow. 4) The tour included breakfast at the Blue Duck Tavern, and I really didn’t want to turn it down.
So, I’m stepping into new territory with this post, and for reasons stated above (minus the fancy breakfast), will likely make hotel reviews regular, occasional features. And now that my long-winded justification is out of the way, let’s get to the review.
I’m going to give it to you straight: The Park Hyatt is a luxury hotel. But not in a snooty, kids-aren’t-welcome kind of way. In fact, it’s quite the opposite that makes it luxurious – sleek but comfortable earthy designs, high-quality and copious amenities, delicious food that all ages can enjoy, professional but cordial service (at least what I can tell from the restaurant, lobby, and communications staff). The suite we toured included a living room, kitchen and dining area, separate office space, bedroom, and spa-inspired limestone-tiled bathroom. The style, which the hotel calls sophisticated modernism combined with American tradition, is classy but child-friendly with contemporary wood furniture (no antiques to break), cushiony seating, and plenty of space for a family to spread out.
As for amenities, the hotel offers everything you’d expect from a five-star hotel, including several that families will particularly appreciate – a complimentary bicycle valet program, indoor heated pool, babysitting services, and special welcome goodies for kids. And a convenient option for families with wee ones is Babies Travel Lite, a service that lets you order baby necessities –diapers, wipes formula, baby food – in advance so you don’t have to cram it all into your suitcase.
So, are you ready to book yet? The suite mentioned above is probably one of the pricier rooms, but an ideal family retreat (and treat, for that matter). Of course, you can scale down a bit and take advantage of the Families at the Park plan that offers a second room for kids 16 and under for $75 with a room at the regular rate. Booked with the Awaken at the Park package, families will also receive a delicious complimentary breakfast. Room rates start around $250, and if you have AAA, you can get 10% off.
Another great family offer is the Comfort & Joy package, which includes a complimentary upgrade to a Premier Park Deluxe, pot of rare tea from the Tea Cellar, valet parking for length of stay, a welcome a pot of hot cocoa and housemade cookies for children, and a 4pm check-out.
As for Blue Duck Tavern, I’m not going to recommend the restaurant as an everyday spot to pop in with the kiddies – it’s definitely not that kind of place – but if you’re celebrating a special family occasion that includes children, BDT is an excellent option. The restaurant is large and open, so there is plenty of space to celebrate without children feeling confined. Smaller parties can also be seated in sections away from the main dining areas if that’s more comfortable for parents. There’s an entertainment element kids might enjoy, too – the open kitchen and open baking area, where the dishes and desserts are created for all to see. And did I mention that the food is scrumptious? Granted, I just had breakfast, but if my crab omelet was any indication, the food easily lives up to the hype.
So, there you have it, the first KFDC hotel review. Yes, I started lofty, but why not? Parents, you deserve it.
The Park Hyatt Washington and Blue Duck Tavern are located at 1201 24th Street NW.