Review: The Madison Washington DC, a Hilton Hotel

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This post is meant to be an indepth review of our time and experiences during our weekend stay at The Madison Washington DC, a Hilton Hotel. I have written a separate post that details the rest of our trip- sightseeing and meals. We spent a total of three nights at the hotel. Our first evening we did not arrive for check-in until about 1:30am. According to the Hilton website, The Madison Washington DC has 356 guest rooms amongst its fifteen floors. It is within six blocks of some of the main DC attractions such as the White House and The National Mall. There are three Metro subway stops that are within about four or five blocks of the hotel. It does have a restaurant/bar, marketplace, an executive lounge and a gym. 


The staff at the hotel reached out to me via text on the morning of our check-in. I am not sure if they do that to every guest before arrival or if it is only Hilton Diamond members. They inquired to see if we had any requests that could make our stay better. I said that we had asked to have the foam pillows as opposed to the feather ones, which they acknowledged and said that housekeeping would have that done. Also I asked them via text what the executive lounge’s hours were, hoping it would be open when we arrived. Unfortunately it was not. I was also able to keep the hotel staff informed of our travel delays and provide an estimate of when we hoped to arrive. The responses to my inquiries were all very prompt.

After a flight cancelation and weather delays, we landed in Washington DC and made it to the hotel at 1:30am. Upon entering the lobby we noticed that it was clean and the words that come to mind to describe the furnishing are: modern, contemporary and eclectic. We were welcomed by a nice lady at the desk who started our check-in process. Since she was in training she had to get her supervisor’s help after I asked if an upgrade was available. The manager said that we had a room assignment on the seventh floor that the foam pillows were already in and that was our room for the night. We could see the front desk staff in the morning for the upgrade. We agreed since it was 2am by that point. The lady handed me a paper bag with our two free water bottles.

The room looked nice with a king bed, arm chair and desk. We barely opened our suitcases before Marshall realized there was what appeared to be a bloodstain on one of the pillowcases of the foam pillows. We immediately proceeded downstairs to the desk, we decided in the elevator that Marshall would do the talking this time. He usually is better at navigating and confronting potential conflicts with more tact than I. After Marshall got done telling the manager about the stain on the pillowcase and telling him that we did not mind getting the upgrade at that time, we were granted it. We went back to the seventh floor, packed up and headed for the Junior Suite on the fifteenth. Housekeeping arrived about ten minutes later with more foam pillows. 

King Bed in Junior Suite
The Madison Washington, DC

The Junior Suite:

By the time we put our luggage down and started to settle in it was about 2:30am. The room had a king bed, a large desk and chair, a 65” HDTV, a living room area, the bathroom had a double vanity and a coffee maker. According to the Hilton website the room was about 500 sq ft. This room was spacious and clean, we very much enjoyed the upgrade. Based on my calculations, this would have normally costed about $325 extra. This upgrade was complimentary with the Diamond status provided with the American Express Hilton Aspire card. The Aspire card definitely paid for itself (even at an annual fee of $450) during this trip. 

Marshall did get to try out the room service after a dinner entree was inedible our second night. As I detail in the other post about this trip, his carbonara dish at Commissary was inedible. Also he does not order something else after sending a dish back at a restaurant. Therefore once back to the room he ordered a cheeseburger and fries via room service. It arrived to the room close to the estimated time. The cheeseburger and fries were good and arrived at an appropriate temperature, not cold like one would suspect. The fries were crispy and I may or may not have had a few bites of each, you know to be able to accurately review it. The room service was somewhat expensive, but I guess what room service is not?

If you are looking to apply for the American Express Hilton Aspire card. I would greatly appreciate if you would contact me so that I can send a referral link to you. I may get compensation for your use of this referral link. 

Executive Lounge/Breakfast:

The Executive Lounge is on the first floor, tucked away in a corner past the restaurant and the Marketplace. However, the first morning ate at the Marketplace and they served all the normal hotel breakfast items to include: eggs, bacon, sausage, potatoes and oatmeal. It was self-serve, buffet style.  I thought this meal was good but definitely not great. However, Marshall thought it was terrible, as you will find out he has high standards for food. Sometimes it is difficult calculating the value of this perk that we have because most times he will not eat any of it. The next two mornings we ate in the Executive Lounge, and, surprisingly, things started to look promising with Marshall. Afternoon hors d’oeuvres were also offered- one day was spring rolls and the next day was lasagna.

The Executive Lounge’s hours are 6:30am-10pm. The two mornings we had breakfast in the lounge, we made it downstairs by about 9:30am. There was seating for about 25-30 people. It was not really overly crowded the entire time of our stay. We never had difficulty finding a seat. Breakfast in the lounge appeared to me to be about the same as in the Marketplace. But according to Marshall, whose taste and smell is much superior to mine, there was most certainly a difference and it was better in the lounge. I was just happy that he found something that he would eat so I just rolled with it. The only problem I had in the lounge was the cappuccino machine. I tried it 3 or 4 times and it worked properly once, other times it either did not work or it overflowed the cup provided. 

Executive Lounge Seating
The Madison Washington, DC

My estimation of the value that we got from our Executive lounge access is about $170. That includes breakfasts, bottled water, coffees, sodas and hors d’oeuvres for our entire stay. See the full post of our trip for the breakdown of that estimation. 


The employees at The Madison Washington DC were very friendly and accommodating. As I said I got a text the morning of the day of arrival to check and see if we had any requests prior to arriving. They were very responsive via text. During the stay I noticed a pending charge on my card account for an amount that I was not expecting. I went to the front desk to inquire about this discrepancy and the representative looked into it. He said that when we were upgraded something was not entered correctly. He fixed it immediately and thanked me for finding the error. The one problem that we had with staff members was in the restaurant (I will discuss that further in the next section).

Restaurant/The Lady Madison:

Other than the room service, we only had one other experience with the restaurant called The Lady Madison. A local friend joined us for drinks in the lobby. We had not seen him for quite some time. We sat down on some couches in the lobby, like we saw others doing, and started to catch up. A waiter was serving drinks to a group of people sitting on the couches just a few feet adjacent to us. After about 10-15 mins of catching up, we realized that we had not been served or had our drink order taken. Unknowingly, Marshall and our friend went to bar to see if they could just place our drink order. They were told just to take a seat and someone would be with us shortly. They politely obliged and returned to the couches where I was.

Seating in the Executive Lounge
The Madison Washington, DC

After another 10 mins or so they went back up to the bar, and again after being told to take a seat they returned. Finally after waiting another 10 mins they returned to the bar for a third time and in front of a female employee (whom Marshall pegged as the potential manager) he assertively said that this was the third time coming up there. He gave the drink order, pointed out where we were sitting before rejoining me. After that encounter it was just a couple minutes before our drinks and some bar snacks arrived. The server was very polite and provided everything we requested in a timely manner from there on. We had two rounds of drinks with this friend before we had to get ready for dinner. To find out what mistake I made when paying for our drinks, see the full post about our trip. 


Overall we very much enjoyed our time at The Madison Washington DC. Other than the Marketplace breakfast that Marshall did not like and the Lady Madison restaurant experience, everything else was great. The staff was very friendly, accommodating and responsive. The Junior Suite upgrade and the executive lounge access were welcome bonuses. The American Express Hilton Aspire Card helped us obtain these bonuses which I value at about $495, more than the annual fee of the card. I would recommend The Madison Washington DC and we very much look forward to returning for a future stay. 

If you are looking to apply for the American Express Hilton Aspire card. I would greatly appreciate if you would contact me so that I can send a referral link to you. I may get compensation for your use of this referral link. 

Seating in Junior Suite
The Madison Washington, DC
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