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This week I took a last-minute trip to Washington DC to participate in a forum organized by the Department of Labor and booked a room at the W Hotel located hardly a block from the White House. Having traveled extensively in the last five years since I became a professional blogger, I’ve seen every sort of hotel room that exists, and once came face to face with a discarded condom wrapper underneath my pillow. Didn’t know it was physically possible, but I jumped like a cat and ended up hanging from the ceiling by my fingernails.

Last year when I was thirty-weeks pregnant I embarked on a three-week book tour visiting nine different cities and sleeping in nine different hotel rooms. And those rooms were all perfectly fine, some very nice and at times lovely. But you know when you’re watching a makeover show and a client sees her redecorated bedroom for the first time? And without fail she will say, “I feel like I’m in a boutique hotel room!”

She did not stay in the hotel rooms I stayed in.

Of course, she’s probably not thirty-weeks pregnant, either. That can affect your mood.

Until this week. Until I walked into this room, saw the decor and fell madly, deeply in love. It was everything I imagined my dream home would look like. From the eclectic mix of furniture in the sitting area (I love how they covered such a traditional, hard-edged chair in white leather and paired it with a soft suede, semi-circle couch):


To the jagged edges of the moldings at the ceiling, and the clean, symmetrical lines of the dresser:


To the knock-your-socks-off modern touches of the bathroom:


To the retro feel of the desk in the corner:


And then the bed itself. The padded headboard against a giant wall of elaborate metallic wallpaper:


I did not want to leave, and no they did not pay me to say any of this or comp my room. I was genuinely blown away, and will save these pictures for the next time I get an itch to move a few things around in my home. If this is the kind of boutique hotel rooms people are talking about, then I finally understand!

(Of course, maybe I need to get out more. Noted!)


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117 Responses

  1. Lauren says:

    Would you mind posting the "straight up" pictures, please? I would like a better sense of the coloring.

  2. Jess says:

    I stayed in that hotel for a night in October…it was the fanciest I had ever felt! Our room had the added bonus of a frosted glass shower that acted as a wall between the sleeping area and the bathroom. The fanciness goes right out the window when faced with taking a shower and having a friend of a friend hanging out on the bed. Can you imagine the awkwardness during a family vacation?

  3. you says:

    W Hotels are awesome. I think the detail would be easier for your readership to appreciate without the iPhone photo stylizing app.

  4. Bryanna says:

    is this the 'horror movie' filter in Photoshop? This is ridiculous.

  5. Shana says:

    Dude. Heather. I love you, and I know you love your iPhone/ragged-edge/blue-green combo, but it's really difficult to…see past it to what you're talking about. Ineffective communication is by definition poor communication, and you're now officially obscuring your own communication with WIDGETS LOOK AT MAH WIDGETS YOU GUYS!

  6. Patsy Travis says:

    I can't see a thing. I know you love your apps but it look like a 12 old got some shrinky dinks and pasted some crappy pics on them.

    I was wondering if we, as in the taxpayers had to pay for that hotel. If so I'm miffed, if it's you–go right ahead and enjoy.

  7. I've always wanted to design a hotel like that…
    Random: I wonder if heather thrift shops?

  8. MoSi says:

    I, too, would love to see the un-iPhone app'd photos.

  9. jellenp says:

    Have to agree that your choice of filter was off for this type of blog post.

  10. @dooce says:

    No, you as a taxpayer did not pay for that hotel or for the airfare to DC. It was all out of pocket.

    Because this trip was so unexpected, I left our good camera at home and was equipped with only my iPhone. I wasn't expecting to be so blown away by the room, and when I attempted regular iPhone shots the pictures came out looking like crappy phone pics. I'm pretty sure that if I had posted those I would hear, "These look like crappy phone pics."

    Don't think I could win either way.

    I like this iPhone app, and I'm actually really find of the artistic way it renders photos. Thought it'd be appropriate to showcase this room in this artistic way. I appreciate the criticism, and next time I'll pack the good camera.

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