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Pendry DC Review – Wonderful Washington on the Wharf




A luxury boutique hotel sitting on the Potomac amidst the Wharf, the Pendry Washington, DC delivers a uniquely personal experience in a thoughtfully-designed property with impeccable service.
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Pendry DC Review

Pendry DC Review

I’m plenty familiar with Washington, DC, but less so with Pendry Hotels and the relatively new Wharf area.  I decided to get more acquainted with those last two while leveraging an Amex Platinum $200 hotel credit with Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts benefits at the Pendry, Washington DC.  I’d had my eyes on Pendry Hotels, owned by Montage, for quite some time and became even more intrigued as my DC stay approached.  Washington, DC is one of the newer Pendry locations, opened in October 2022.  I excitedly anticipated my stay, perhaps not managing my expectations enough.  And the Pendry DC exceeded them, big time.  Here’s my Pendry DC review.


I booked this stay via the Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts site while leveraging the Amex Platinum $200 hotel credit benefit.  The base room rate was $375 for my one-night stay and an additional $59.82 in taxes, coming to $434.82 due at booking.  The FHR site stated an additional $40.82 would be due at the hotel (destination fee).  I leveraged my cash back rewards to cover the rate overage and gratuities.  I step through all of the FHR benefits at the Pendry, Washington DC in another article.

Pendry DC Review


In the past, I’ve primarily stayed at downtown Washington, DC hotels just north of the National Mall.  The Wharf area is certainly farther away than than many of those hotels, but it’s still a convenient enough for pedestrians.  From the Pendry, I reached the Mall in just under 15 minutes and to my destination, the National Gallery of Art, with an additional five.  Along the way, I appreciated a different part of DC I wasn’t acquainted with, peppered with rowhouses, federal buildings, and parks along the way.

But what about the Wharf area itself?  This relatively new, vibrant, slightly uppity neighborhood offers a variety of restaurants, other hotels, apartments, condos, shopping, nightlife, and waterfront access.  Beyond the Potomac, though, the area doesn’t have any distinctive DC feel.

But when one combines all aspects, the location is solid enough.

Pendry DC Review


I immediately felt a bit more special thanks to the Pendry’s personal check-in experience.  The Pendry doesn’t have a large, standard hotel front desk, maybe because they don’t need one for the 131-room hotel.  Instead, they opt for two individual desks, each housing an agent and two chairs for guests.  Upon my initial entry, the rep warmly welcomed me and initiated check-in formalities.  He proactively stepped through all FHR benefits, provided hotel keys, and answered my property questions – all without a hiccup.  He provided a level of service and knowledge at this luxury boutique property without the stuffiness – something I appreciate and not always easy to pull off.  I experienced this nuance throughout my stay.


The Pendry continued to wow when I entered my room.  The expanded entryway holds the coffee, minibar, and wardrobe on the right and large bathroom on the left.  The bright bathroom offers a large vanity, roomy shower plenty big for two, separate water closet, and distinctive decor and tiling throughout.

As I entered the main part of the room, I noticed another fairly unique hotel feature – a poster bed with a large circular rug underneath.  At the foot of the bed sat a handy bench for dressing.  A small table and two comfy chairs faced the window with a Potomac view.  Just to the side, a small desk and chair worked fine for my needs.  Two small bedside tables with electrical and USB outlets were located on each side.  Perhaps the most striking feature of the room is the prominent lighting around the cleanly-mounted television.  If it wasn’t obvious Pendry didn’t cheap out on these rooms, it was now.

My room type certainly wasn’t large, spanning between 332 to 470 square feet, but the clever design made me feel like I was in a bigger space.



I had three different food and drink experiences while at the Pendry DC.  I first visited Moonraker, the rooftop Japanese restaurant, for happy hour and sunset.  With temperatures in the low 40’s, I sat inside at the attractive bar to enjoy my half-price Hitachino White with views of the Potomac and planes on their descents to National Airport.  Later, I noticed a considerable origami display from above.  The only thing I missed was the food.  Indeed, I rushed up to view the sunset but wasn’t quite ready for dinner.

I took care of that a bit later at Bar Pendry on the ground floor.  Adjacent to the hotel’s small lobby, the dark, woodsy space provides a stark but welcome contrast to Moonraker.  It was a Thursday night, and a DJ was spinning lounge music in the corner in the less-than-half-full bar.  I had a hankering for a burger, and Bar Pendry delivered a solid but not remarkable one.  Looking for another spot after dinner, I asked the bartender to turn on the fireplace, and he immediately obliged.  One more drink by the fireplace capped a relaxing night.

I opted for an early breakfast at Flora Flora the next morning.  The fresh-squeezed orange juice stood out more than the serviceable coffee.  Looking to order something beyond the obvious, I opted for the braised short rib skillet with sunny side up egg, potatoes, and chili sauce.  I made the wrong choice.  Each piece of meat was fatty.  I gave up less than halfway through.  The egg and potatoes were fine, though.

Fitness Center

The Pendry DC offers an expansive fitness center with very new Techno Gym equipment.  I enjoyed using the variety of free weights and machines, but probably the treadmills facing the empty pool area outside the most.  When the power was on, at least.

Soon after check-in, I decided to visit the gym for a jog on a treadmill.  The gym was dark.  That’s the vibe, I figured, as I heard music playing in the background.  I stepped on a treadmill and I couldn’t turn on the unit, or a few others.  No power!  I stepped over to the adjacent spa, and a worker called engineering.  As promised, an engineer arrived five minutes later and immediately recognized the power outage.  He restored power within two minutes, and I was off and running, literally.

The second day, I visited the fitness center and experienced not one, but two, different fire alarms about an hour apart.  I evacuated via stairwell to the exterior, and I entered the hotel from the lobby.  The front desk agent confirmed it was just testing.  But the first time, my key would not open the fitness center door (even though I received a green light from the reader).  Again, the spa called engineering, this time to allow me back into the gym.  Engineering resolved the matter this time, as well, but my exasperation rose as I encountered more inconveniences than I expected at this level of property.

Other Amenities 

The Pendry DC offers a plethora of other amenities I didn’t experience, including the pool, spa, and many other complimentary perks: Taylor guitars, Scott E-Bikes, UPPABaby strollers, and a Cadillac shuttle within the immediate area.  I appreciate Pendry offering such a unique set of amenities to guests.


Pendry staffers unflinchingly provided stellar service throughout my stay.  The check-in process is impeccable.  They were quick to jump as needs arose and addressed any concerns in a timely fashion.  The technical glitches in the gym, while inconvenient, were quickly addressed by multiple employees.  In the lobby, restaurants, and other common areas, individuals asked about my overall stay and how else they could help.  It turns out one of the individuals who approached me on multiple occasions during the stay was the general manager.  Rarely, if ever, have I experienced a luxury property considering the interpersonal element of a stay like the Pendry DC.

When the front desk agent asked about my stay at checkout, I shared my positive overall experience and the technical problems I experienced in the fitness center.  Without me asking (and I had no plans to), the agent removed the destination fee from the folio due to the inconvenience.  She warmly thanked me for my stay.

Pendry DC Review – Conclusion

I truly felt personally taken care of during my Pendry DC stay, certainly what this boutique property aims for.  I found myself easily forgiving the few shortcomings during the stay – the fitness center issues and underwhelming breakfast – based on the stellar quality elsewhere and consistently-impeccable service.  Not only do I recommend the Pendry DC to travelers looking for a unique, luxurious experience, I want to return with my own family and friends.  Indeed, I felt experiencing the Pendry DC alone as somewhat of a wasted opportunity.  I’m all in on Pendry, and I want others to be, as well.  That’s a win for them and travelers.

Disclosure: Miles to Memories has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Miles to Memories and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.

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Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.
Benjy Harmon
Benjy Harmon
Benjy focuses on the intersection of points, travel, and financial independence (FI). An experienced world traveler, husband, and father, he currently roams throughout the USA close to expense-free. Benjy enjoys helping others achieve their FI and travel goals.

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


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A luxury boutique hotel sitting on the Potomac amidst the Wharf, the Pendry Washington, DC delivers a uniquely personal experience in a thoughtfully-designed property with impeccable service.Pendry DC Review - Wonderful Washington on the Wharf