The Lyle Hotel Review

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4.5

The Lyle Hotel

The Lyle Hotel

Courtesy of the Lyle Hotel

What We Like
  • Chic design with custom furniture and artwork

  • Central location in Dupont Circle near a Metro station

  • Variety of room choice, including with or without kitchenettes

  • The shower faucet is outside of the glass stall (so you don’t get wet while turning it on)

  • Outlets and light switches conveniently built into the headboard

  • Excellent on-site restaurant

  • Extremely stylish meeting and event spaces

What We Don't Like
  • Walls seem thin, as we could hear hallway and street noise

  • Public seating area is on the basement level and there isn’t any in the lobby, so you have to know about it to use it

  • Walk-in closet has an unreliable motion-sensor light

  • No Smart TVs and limited channel selection

  • Valet parking is expensive (but street parking is easy to find)

Bottom Line

Design lovers will feel at home here and it’s perfect for anyone looking for a boutique, neighborhood-fueled stay.



4.5

The Lyle Hotel

The Lyle Hotel

Courtesy of the Lyle Hotel

Owned by the Lore Group, this is the sister hotel to Riggs Washington D.C., the group’s only other U.S. property alongside ones in London and Amsterdam. Like Riggs, which is housed in an old bank building that informs its design, Lyle is in a well-preserved Art Deco structure that influences its interiors, which were designed by Jacu Strauss, Lore Group’s creative director. Lore Group aims to provide design-forward hotels in central locations that achieve a thoughtful use of space, while considering the surrounding area, and Lyle achieves this handily. The hotel is on a quiet residential block surrounded by several embassies, but just a few minutes’ walk from the circle of Dupont Circle.

The Lobby

The lobby is small, with Art Deco details in the crown molding, light fixtures, and graphic marble floor design. On the left is the black marble check-in desk with a bold fabric wall-hanging (the first of many that adorn the hallway walls). To the right is Lyle’s bar and restaurant. Farther back and up a few stairs is the elevator bank and to the left, a mostly empty, museum-like room with herringbone wood floors. In the center is a massive, tall wooden table with graphic black structures for legs and a sculptural lamp on top. A console table and podiums with urns, vases, and bowls line the walls, and there’s a single bench on the back wall—but it’s not one that seems like it's meant to be used for sitting. Original paintings by Strauss and another tapestry adorn the walls and while the room is beautiful to look at, it’s unclear what one might actually do in here (although it’s labeled as the Parlor). Off to the left is a stunning conference room with a large table and a variety of stylish chairs surrounding it, plus a few leather sling back chairs along the wall and a sideboard in the back.

Other Public Spaces

If guests want to sit in shared areas, they’ll need to head downstairs to the basement level. There, you’ll find the Drawing Room, Conservatory, Study & Pantry, and Gym (according to a small sign by the stairs hidden in a corner by the elevator bank). The stylish Drawing Room has bright orange couches that pop against the black and beige palette of the rest of the room, which also has lounge chairs, small coffee tables, and a large center table with chairs that could function as a workspace. More of Strauss’ abstract paintings adorn the walls, and more sculptural urns rest on the table. On the right side is the Conservatory, a plant-filled, long, narrow room with a bright white couch along one wall, large tables, and chairs along the other side that make it perfect for a baby shower or more casual meeting. The plants are lit by UV lamps, allowing them to survive in the windowless room. A small room off the back is the Pantry, a kitchen with a refrigerator, table, and sideboard to allow for catering, and another, more typical conference room is on the other side. Down a hallway is the small but functional gym, complete with a separate hardwood floored studio room for yoga or stretching, a Peloton bike, treadmills, an elliptical, and free weights.

The Lyle Hotel interior

Courtesy of the Lyle Hotel

Rooms

There are seven different room-types at Lyle, and almost all are different layouts, owing to the fact that the building used to be apartments. While some are slightly small, overall they offer between 250 and 400-square feet of space, aside from the larger Lyle Suite (of which there is only one). Conveniently for work and family travelers, some rooms offer a small kitchenette, which has a minibar refrigerator, sink, countertop, Nespresso coffee maker, and some dishes, glasses, and silverware (microwave upon request), while rooms without kitchens have a handsome wood minibar. The Premier Corner King has the best views of the city skyline, thanks to wrap-around windows, although the room is on the smaller side. 

Rooms come in either King or two Queens configurations and sport a neutral color palette. The centerpiece is a stunning burl wood half-moon headboard with built-in power and USB outlets and light switches. It’s flanked by bedside tables with lamps. There’s a small, round marble-topped table with two rattan chairs that can function as a desk or dining table, and a gorgeous custom-built cork wall unit for the TV (which, surprising for a new hotel, is not a Smart TV, although it is Chromecast compatible). All rooms also have either a bright-white cushy lounge chair or couch (we’re curious if these will remain as clean a few years down the line) with a side table and floor lamp.

A closet with a safe, ample shelves, and a hanging area (with hangers) is large enough to walk into. The light inside the closet is motion-sensor activated but while we appreciate the energy saving effort, we had trouble activating it sometimes. There are two hooks on one wall, one with an umbrella and the other a tote bag for guests to use. Cream-colored blackout curtains do a good job of blocking the light, which is abundant during the day. Walls are adorned with more original Strauss abstract paintings (although these are printed reproductions, while the ones in public spaces are real). The Lyle Suite on the 8th floor features stunning city views, separate living and dining rooms, a powder room, and a separate bedroom with an en-suite bathroom. Another room can be added to make an adjoining set of rooms. For families with babies, cribs are available upon request in any room.

Bathroom

The white subway-tiled bathroom is behind a door with a glass window that can be covered with a linen shade. There’s a burl wood curved vanity with a vertical mirror that echoes Art Deco design and a small white stool is tucked beneath it. Hand towels and washcloths are folded into rattan trays on an open shelf below the tabletop and a hairdryer is on one side. There’s a white sink with another mirror over it, and a glass shelf to one side, where a travel-sized D.S. & Durga lotion and bar soap reside. The spacious, glass-walled shower is open on one end (but no water escapes) and the faucet is just outside, allowing you to turn on the water before entering. Full-sized D.S. & Durga bath products are in the shower. Towels are white and fluffy and the bath towels are plenty large. Sage-colored soft waffle-knit cotton robes by Matouk reside in the closet.

Food & Drink

The ground-floor restaurant called Lyle’s is upscale but not stuffy, with seasonal American dishes, craft cocktails (like a smoky chipotle Moscow Mule and a Cacao Manhattan), and a robust wine and beer list. Upon entry from the lobby, you’ll see the curved bar and a few intimate tables, including a some with white, angular, Art Deco-style club chairs set against a graphic stained glass and others with brown leather pouf-style stools. There is a separate bar menu for light snacks. The next room is the main dining room, with a striking centerpiece of about a dozen different-shaped, white-fabric pendants coming down from the ceiling above a massive angular white couch that branches in different directions out from the center—a larger, winding version of what’s in the rooms. Curved brown leather booths and rattan chairs provide more seating. 

The dinner menu consists of unfussy but delicious seasonal salads (including one with a unique coconut ranch dressing), seasonal vegetables, crudos, and other small plates, which are for some reason divided into Small Plates and Large Plates even though they seem to be around the same size and price, ranging from $10 to $16. Under the entrée section you’ll find crowd pleasers like Spaghetti Chitarra with smoked mushrooms, tomato, and Pecorino; a crunchy fried chicken with hot honey; a well-cooked cheeseburger; and an extremely tasty crispy-skinned king salmon with a soy ginger glaze sitting atop fried rice with charred seasonal bok choy and scallions. Leave room for the layered chocolate hazelnut cake with a side of torched marshmallow crème.

There’s breakfast every morning with juice, smoothies, pastries, granola, a buttermilk waffle, and a variety of egg dishes including a delicate omelet and an egg sandwich, plus a vegan tofu scramble. Weekend brunch has all of the breakfast items, plus additional pastries, salads, a few additional egg dishes and the fried chicken and cheeseburger from the dinner menu.

Room service is available.

Fees & Other Info

Wi-Fi is free, easy to sign into, and works well throughout the hotel. 

Pets are allowed for a $100 fee—call ahead to let the hotel know about your furry friend. 

Valet parking is $55 a night (but we easily found street parking right across the street from the hotel).

I would stay here again!

This hotel is great for anyone looking for a stylish hotel in the heart of one of the city’s best neighborhoods.

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