Location Is Key At Georgetown University Hotel And Conference Center

Renovated gem attracts clients with a Georgetown vibe By: Marty Wentzel
 A hotel guest room at the Georgetown University Hotel and Conference Center // (c) 2011
 A hotel guest room at the Georgetown University Hotel and Conference Center // (c) 2011

The Details

Georgetown University Hotel and Conference Center
3800 Reservoir Rd. NW
Washington, D.C. 20057

Rates: From $179-$279 per night, depending on the season. Check the Web site for packages.
Commission: 10 percent 

You can’t see Georgetown University Hotel and Conference Center from the road, but that’s part of its allure.

The newly-renovated 146-room accommodation provides a long list of leisure and business perks that make it feel like an exclusive club, yet its rates are slightly lower than what you might expect from an upscale hotel in Washington, D.C.

“Location is our big point of distinction,” said GUHCC’s assistant general manager Sheryl Humphrey. “For guests who stay here, Georgetown is the primary focus.”

Hugging the gorgeous greens and gothic-style buildings of the Georgetown campus, the hotel is an ideal headquarters for families visiting the university as well as groups doing business there.

Better yet, just beyond the campus, the hotel is steps from the shops and restaurants of the hip Georgetown neighborhood. It’s also an easy cab or Metro ride away from the attractions of the nation’s capital.

Major Facelift Makes A Statement

Previously managed by Marriott for 19 years, the hotel changed to Aramark management in September of 2008.

“At that time, the hotel was feeling dated and didn’t mirror the reputation of Georgetown University,” said Humphrey. “We wanted to present an independent boutique ambience, something our visitors would truly appreciate.”

That in mind, the hotel launched a $5 million renovation in May of 2009 and completed it in May of 2010. Improvements included new carpets and furniture, fresh wall paper, paint, lighting and more.

Today’s clients are sure to be impressed by the new look of the guest accommodations. Gone are the mauve decor and dated furnishings of days gone by. Instead, clients are greeted by a sleek, updated room with a custom-made armoire, handsome desk and chair, flat-screen TV and monogrammed Georgetown pillow on each bed.

Guest room amenities include a hair dryer, iron and ironing board, small refrigerator, coffee maker, cable TV, high speed Internet access and two-line phone.

Great For Groups

The hotel’s renovation vastly enhanced its appeal to groups as well as leisure travelers. Its upgraded meeting space now features the latest technology, including high-speed wireless Internet service, and its new retractable sound walls provide a quiet setting for business gatherings.

The hotel features 13,500 square feet of meeting space. Facilities include a grand ballroom, executive boardroom and 14 meeting rooms holding up to 1,500 people.

A business center offers services like desktop publishing, copying, word processing, faxing and overnight shipping.

“We’re perfect for groups that want a little more privacy or don’t need to have immediate access to the visitor attractions of D.C.,” said Humphrey. “We get a lot of associations, sports groups, board meetings, educational and government groups, family gatherings and weddings.”

Since it flanks the prestigious Georgetown University Hospital, the hotel also draws medical-related meetings.

Additional Amenities For Hotel Guests

Throughout each day, a bowl perches on the hotel’s front desk with fresh fruit, free for the taking by guests. In the early evening, fresh cookies are set out for passers-by.

When it’s time for a workout, GUHCC’s on-site fitness center is small, with a limited amount of cardio and weight equipment. However, for $10 per day, hotel guests have access to Georgetown’s Yates Field House, with its 200-meter indoor track, large indoor pool, basketball courts, cardio fitness area, free weight and weight machines, indoor golf, locker rooms, pro shop, racquetball courts, squash courts, stretching areas and tennis courts.

In the same building as the hotel awaits a Georgetown student center, separated by a corridor just beyond the lobby. Within this hub are the Georgetown book store as well as several places for a quick meal, including Starbucks; a food court with burgers, pizza, subs and other fast food options; and Cosi, which sells salads, made-to-order flatbread sandwiches, pizza, soup, bagels and smoothies.

For dining within the hotel, GUHCC’s Faculty Club restaurant features a lavish hot buffet for breakfast and lunch. However, the restaurant doesn’t offer nightly dinner service, because there’s a bounty of Georgetown eateries for guests to experience, just a few blocks away.

While the D.C. Metro doesn’t have a stop in Georgetown, hotel guests can ride a free shuttle bus from campus to one of two major Metro stops, putting area attractions, museums and monuments within easy reach.

Easy To Miss, Hard To Resist

Humphrey admits that GUHCC still needs to address its sense of arrival. From the street, its current entrance is masked by Georgetown University Hospital. Arriving clients must turn into the hospital driveway marked Entrance One, which leads back to a green awning above the hotel’s front doors.

“We’re working on our curb appeal, which is lacking for now,” Humphrey said, “but once people come inside, they love it. This hotel is an easy sell.” 

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