Contemporary flair and luxe lifestyle amenities: My stay at Hilton's new Morrow Hotel in Washington, DC
- Upscale room elements makes this feel more like a Conrad or Waldorf Astoria, such floor-to-ceiling windows, high thread-count sheets and Santal 33 Le Labo products.
- The lobby has a fun Moët & Chandon Champagne vending machine.
- The restaurant, Le Clou, comes courtesy of award-winning chef Nicholas Stefanelli.
Between two new Canopy hotels, the Conrad Washington, D.C., the Waldorf Astoria Washington, D.C. and The Morrow Hotel, a Curio Collection property — all opening within the past five years — Hilton means business when it comes to the Washington, D.C. hotel scene.
In particular, The Morrow represents a new foray for Hilton in the city, opening as part of the 3rd Street District development project in the up-and-coming Union Station/NoMa neighborhood, which is brimming with new apartment buildings, restaurants and grocery stores.
It also just happens to be a high-end hotel at a great value (in cash or points) for anyone paying a visit to the nation's capital. Here's what you need to know about The Morrow in Washington, D.C.
What is The Morrow Hotel Washington?
An easy four-block walk from Union Station, The Morrow Hotel Washington is at the corner of M St. NE and 3rd St. NE in the NoMa neighborhood. The once-industrial neighborhood is largely residential nowadays but offers access to Union Market and several sit-down restaurants, including a cantina, oyster bar and Bavarian beer garden within a few blocks.
Opened in November 2022, The Morrow has 203 rooms and suites designed by the international architecture and interior design group Rottet Studio. Their impressive list of past design projects includes The Surrey in New York, The Four Seasons Chicago and the Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles. The hotel’s lobby and restaurants were designed by INC Architecture & Design, whose work guests might also have seen at the Line Hotel DC and the 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge.
Stepping inside its castle-like double doors, guests are greeted by a light-filled, open lobby. The reception is at the back of the lobby, and there's ample seating with plenty of sofas and armchairs.
Many guests, myself included, were fascinated by the Moët & Chandon Champagne vending machine tucked off to the side. At $35 for a half-bottle, it's no bargain, but several of us gathered around, waiting to watch the machine in action as another guest partook.
Another highlight of the hotel is Le Clou, one of celebrity chef Nicholas Stefanelli's restaurants. He's built a name with other D.C. eateries, including Philotimo, Officina and the Michelin one-star Masseria.
Le Clou is a bright, welcoming brasserie-style restaurant. The menu features traditional staples like French onion soup ($14), duck confit ($32) and escargot ($21). The restaurant is also known for its "petite" (half a Maine lobster, a half-dozen oysters, four North Carolina shrimp and scallop al citronette for $88) and grand (whole Maine lobster, ceviche, a dozen oysters, crab royal, six North Carolina shrimp and scallop al citronette for $215) seafood towers.
Though it wasn't yet open at the time we stayed, the hotel has since opened Upstairs at the Morrow, a rooftop bar and lounge with indoor and outdoor seating, fire pits and what should be great views of the city. The specialty cocktails, which range from $15-$19, include the Choco Pine with English Harbour 5-year rum, plantation pineapple, chocolate and acid-adjusted pineapple, and a nitro espresso martini. Stefanelli is in charge of the food menu here as well, with prices ranging from $12-$18, so expect upscale bar bites like duck confit taquitos and a zaatar-spiced chicken sandwich with spicy eggplant jam and fried onions. Coming soon: an 11th-floor cocktail bar with caviar service called Vesper.
There are plenty of activities for guests at The Morrow
The Morrow regularly hosts events guests can attend.
To see what's going on during your stay, refer to the hotel's calendar of events. Most weekends, the hotel holds festivities like cookie decorating, watercolor painting and yoga classes. Recently, the hotel hosted a rooftop Kentucky Derby party with mint juleps and Kentucky-themed cocktails.
Many of these events are complimentary for guests.
The Morrow's rooms are contemporary and comfortable
I had reserved a standard king room, but the hotel upgraded me to a premium room as a Hilton Honors Diamond member. Premium rooms are about 150 square feet larger than standard rooms. Most of that extra space is in the bathroom, but you'll also find a little bit more room to maneuver around the foot of the bed.
Walking into the room, the light tan hardwood flooring, the modern furnishings and the mood lighting created an upscale atmosphere. Partially positioned on top of a cream-colored rug with wavy blue patterning, the king bed was dressed in 300 thread-count linens with a plush duvet. The pillows, with a good mix of soft and firm versions, rested against the winged headboard with gentle, horizontal lighting emerging from its top. On both sides of the headboard were half-globe lamps with USB and AC power outlets. The entire room felt fresh, and there was even that new hotel smell.
My view through the floor-to-ceiling window was of a residential view of some neighboring apartment buildings.
Inside the closet were about a dozen hangers, an iron and ironing board, a safe, a pair of slippers and abundant drawer space.
Just to the left of the closet were a Lavazza espresso and coffee maker and plenty of glassware.
The minibar (additional cost), which was amongst the most expansive I've seen, came stocked with multiple brands of wine, spirits and soda. It also featured three kinds of local beers. If you're feeling peckish, dry snacks included chocolates, mixed nuts and other snacks.
The best part of the room was the bathroom. The huge window, chevron-style stone flooring, glazed tile and circular vanity mirror with light around its perimeter made this space glow.
There was an inviting soaking tub and a separate shower. Beside the sink was a small makeup mirror and bath amenity box with a shower cap, cotton pads and Q-tips.
The Morrow outfitted the bathroom with two travel sets of Le Labo Santal 33 bath products (each of which retail for $90), giving it a truly high-end note.
Fitness enthusiasts will have plenty to do
The Morrow feels like it's all about staying active. The hotel assembles a jogging station by the front door every morning with complimentary bottled water, towels and a bowl of whole fruits, including apples and oranges. Joggers can head three miles south to the historic Anacostia Riverwalk Trail or two miles east across Gallaudet University's campus to reach the U.S. National Arboretum.
The hotel also provides complimentary bicycles. They're available on a first-come, first-served basis, and you're welcome to use them for the whole day. Before heading out, you must stop by the front desk to complete some brief paperwork.
There's also a spacious fitness center on the second floor, which features Peloton bikes, StairMaster machines, treadmills and weight machines. The hotel has lockers, a water refilling station and chilled towels there.
It's worth staying in for breakfast
Hilton Gold and Diamond members receive an $18 daily food and beverage credit per person (up to two guests). When checking in, the front desk agent asked if I had a companion staying with me to verify that the food and beverage credit would be properly allocated. Outside of the Champagne vending machine, you can use the food and beverage credit at all the hotel's dining outlets, including room service.
Breakfast at the Morrow didn't disappoint. I invited my colleague, Emily Thompson, for breakfast on the first day of my stay. I ordered the smoked salmon plate for $24, which was delectable. It came with applewood-smoked salmon, capers, red onion, a hard-boiled egg, dill cream cheese and a plain bagel. Emily ordered the Morrow breakfast for $22, with two farm eggs prepared to her preference, roasted potatoes, toast and sausage.
The service, on the other hand, left room for improvement. After we sat down, it took around 20 minutes for the server to come to our table and take our order. It took about 45 minutes from when we ordered until we received our food. Out of time, I approached the server station to settle the bill once we finished eating.
In the hope of finding a quicker option the next day, I ordered breakfast to my room. After calling room service, it took about 25 minutes to receive my order, and the white-tablecloth meal trolley was elegant. The same server who took my order over the phone came to deliver the meal, which made me feel like my order was well looked after. The server greeted me by name and came in and out quickly, leaving me with a much better impression than my breakfast downstairs.
I had a bowl of berries for $8 and the kid's pain perdu for $18, a brioche-style french toast with an apple compote, caramelized condensed milk, Chantilly cream and walnuts. It was sweet, gooey and spectacular. My dining credit covered some of the bill, though I still ended up on the hook for $19.71 after taxes and a service charge.
Nightly rates at The Morrow are competitive for DC
For a hotel of this caliber, a nightly rate of 60,000 Hilton Honors points was reasonable. For comparison, standard room rates at the no-frills Hilton Garden Inn Washington, D.C./U.S. Capitol are also 60,000 points per night, and there's no question that The Morrow delivers a more premium stay.
For other upscale Hilton stays in D.C., you'll need more points. The Canopy by Hilton Washington, D.C. Embassy Row typically requires 80,000 points per night, while the Waldorf Astoria Washington, D.C. demands 110,000 points per night and up most dates.
What's more, there's abundant standard room award availability at The Morrow for 60,000 points in the upcoming months. As a reminder, Hilton Honors elite members receive the fifth night free when using points for standard rooms.
Cash rates average around $275 for entry-level rooms (but drop to $165 during off-peak dates in January), and if you want to book a premium king room like the one I was upgraded to, expect to spend an extra $50 or so more per night. While the Morrow doesn't have a destination fee, all stays under 30 nights are subject to the 15.95% D.C. occupancy tax.
TPG values 60,000 Hilton points at $360, so if your final nightly room rate is comparable to, or more expensive than, this amount, consider using points. Since I stayed during peak cherry blossom season, room rates were over $500 per night, so using points made sense.
Accessibility at The Morrow
The Morrow offers mobility and hearing-accessible rooms. The mobility-accessible rooms either have roll-in showers or accessible bathtubs. Hearing-accessible rooms have visual alarms and notification devices for the doorbell and incoming calls. Throughout the hotel, you'll find braille signage.
At the hotel's entrance, there are two stairs (with handrails), and off to the side, there's a ramp. The elevators also featured wheelchair-height elevator controls.
Reasons why The Morrow Hotel Washington might not be for you
- If you're coming to D.C. to see the major tourist attractions, including various museums and monuments, this location might feel out-of-the-way, though there are plenty of new restaurants and stores there. It's a four-block walk to Union Station and then four stops on the Shady Grove-bound Red Line to Farragut North, the metro stop three blocks from the White House. Budget at least 30 minutes in transfer time from The Morrow to downtown.
- Rooms don't have a sofabed, and adding a rollaway would have been a tight squeeze, so families might want to look elsewhere.
- Breakfast downstairs isn't an in-and-out affair. Although there were plenty of empty tables when Emily and I ate, the restaurant felt understaffed. It took around 45 minutes for us to receive our food.
My stay at The Morrow felt nearly flawless between the delicious breakfasts, beautifully designed rooms and superior fitness facilities. The front desk staff, restaurant servers and housekeepers were pleasant and took pride in their hotel, as evidenced by their frequent tourism tips and fun facts about the hotel.
The neighborhood feels like it's on the rise and is close enough to attractions to be convenient but not overrun by visiting crowds. All for a lower price than downtown hotels tend to charge. I'd stay here again without hesitation.
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