Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City, D.C. – Review

Weekday convenience or weekend gateway to the nation’s capital

Quick Summary

  • Business hotel located next the Pentagon, 10-15 minutes ride from the National Mall
  • Consistently priced lower than the Ritz Washington DC
  • Great jumping-off point for exploring DC on the weekends
  • Excels at guest profile management and the service level is fairly consistent
hotel room at Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City
A typical double room at the Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City. Clean, modern, and comfortable.

Who Will Enjoy It

The Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City has positioned itself as a luxury business hotel serving guests who have business in Arlington and Washington D.C. during the week. It is located very close to the Pentagon and Arlington National Cemetery, just across the Potomac River from the National Mall. This location offers travelers two distinct advantages. Because it is just outside of D.C., prices are consistently lower than comparable hotels within the city limits, and on the weekends, all the business guests leave and the census goes down considerably. This offers a great opportunity for weekend guests to get a good deal and to enjoy D.C. in style.

When To Go

Business travelers should consider this location when looking at D.C., Arlington, Georgetown, or Alexandria. Families and others seeking to explore D.C. during the weekends will find it a comfortable and proximal gateway to the city. Washington is insufferably hot and humid in the summer, however spring and fall can be lovely. Winter can be cold and wet, but usually not as severe as the metropolitan areas to the north (i.e., Philadelphia and New York City).

ritz-carlton bathroom vanity
The bathrooms are decorated in Carrara marble, silvers, and grays.

What Makes It Great

As noted above, The Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City’s strengths lie in its proximity to D.C., Georgetown, and Alexandria. Here’s a quick list of notable locations and their approximate drive times:

Reagan National Airport – 6 min
White House – 15 min
Capitol Hill – 15 min
Georgetown – 16 min
Alexandria – 18 min

The Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City feels in many ways like a smaller, business traveler’s version of other properties. While it retains the polish and understated elegance of a typical property, it executes all of these things at a smaller scale. The lobby is small, but well-appointed. The rooms are comfortable and modern.

Needs Improvement

The elevators at this property are notoriously slow and unreliable. In five out of six recent stays, at least one of the elevators was inoperable. If you are in a hurry or have mobility concerns, this might be a factor.

While guest profile management has been a strong point for this property for years, the check-in experience has slipped recently (June 2019): not greeted as an ambassador guest, $100 credit with room rate was unusable for valet or alcohol (only good for food), no sparking wine or even a bottle of water at check-in.

Must Do

Rent a scooter and tool around DC on a weekend. (Lime, Bird, and Uber are the big players in this area.) Follow the rules, wear protective gear, and use common sense. This is a cheap and fun way to extend your walking range in a city where it’s very easy to put on a lot of pedestrian mileage in a weekend.

Eat/Drink This

Though we’ve not experienced it ourselves, we’ve heard high praise for the weekend brunch at Fyve Restaurant in the lobby.

What You Should Know (That No One Else Will Tell You)

The hotel is located next to (or arguably, within) the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City. Accessible via the lobby, the modern shopping mall has all of the standard conveniences including a Nordstrom and Macy’s as anchor stores. There is a Harris Teeter grocery store at the opposite corner of the block on which the Ritz-Carlton sits should you require anything of a personal nature.

Driving and parking around metro D.C. are a cryptic nightmare, even on the weekends. Leave your car with the valet and forget about your vehicle until the end of your trip. D.C. has a decent Metro, abundant rideshare options, bikeshares, and most recently, dockless scooters.

As of December 2018, the indoor pool has been closed permanently. The fitness center with sauna and steam room remain open.

Useful Resources

Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City
Union Market
Ice Cream Jubilee


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