Canopy by Hilton Review: Hip, New Lifestyle Hotel in Washington DC

Kim Orlando Avatar
Things to do in Southwest DC with family - taek in the view at sunset
The incredible sunset view. Photo credit: kim Orlando / SheBuysTravel

Canopy by Hilton is a new Hilton brand aimed at innovative ways to make hotel life more enjoyable. The newest Canopy hotel in Southwest Washington DC is part of the hot new waterfront development called The Wharf. SheBuysTravel Kim Orlando says it’s a hip and trendy hotel for a hip and trendy spot.

Where to stay in southwest DC - Canopy by Hilton
The Canopy by Hilton. Photo credit: Kim Orlando / SheBuysTravel

Canopy by Hilton at The Wharf

The Canopy by Hilton brand debuted in Reykjavik, Iceland. The location at The Wharf in Washington, DC opened in October 2017.  It is the realization of Hilton‘s focus on innovative ways to make hotel life more enjoyable, based on research from the company’s innovation lab at its DEC headquarters. The lab is looking for ways to make hotels quieter, ensure guest sleep better, have access to fresh air and easy-to-use technology.

Judging from my visit, the company succeeded. My suite at Canopy by Hilton in Southwest DC was quiet and comfortable, there was enough room for a family, and I found plenty of fun things to do in Southwest Waterfront DC. As an added bonus, it was easy to get to the National Mall by Metro or via the free shuttle. That’s right. Free.

Here’s a tour of the room:

What Works For Families

  • All rooms have kitchenettes, with a refrigerator
  • Free high quality breakfast
  • Free Wifi
  • Dog friendly

What Doesn’t Work For Families

  • No rooms with tubs
  • No pool
  • Very limited closet space
Canopy by Hilton view
The water view from my suite. Photo credit: Kim Orlando / SheBuysTravel

The Canopy Hotel Room

When I arrived, I offered my Hilton Honors rewards number and because of my gold status, I was upgraded to a waterfront view suite. This was a truly great benefit, an upgrade where you could see the difference.

My room had floor to ceiling glass, to take advantage of that view. The “barn door,” one of the innovative Canopy hotel features, separated my bedroom from the dining area. The door, available in every type of room, helps reduce hallway noise.

I also really liked the decor. Dedicated to local flavor, my room had a map of the DC area as wallpaper behind the huge flat screen television.

It’s ecological, too. There are no plastic water bottles at a Canopy by Hilton hotel. Instead, my room had a keepsake bottle that I filled at the filtered water station down the hall.

I visited a standard room, which was not as large as my suite but it had the same decor and plenty of space. There are cribs available for families with young kids and if you have a large family, you can reserve adjacent rooms.

Things to do in Southwest DC with family - take a bike ride.
Free bike loans from Canopy by Hilton. Photo credit: Kim Orlando / Travelingmom

What’s Included at The Canopy Hotel

Canopy offers an Instagrammable (free) breakfast. Delicious, local and fresh. The wood burning oven turns out flatbread egg pizzas for breakfast, displayed artfully on cutting boards. There is fruit-infused water, yogurt and coffee from a local roaster.

If you are in a hurry or prefer to eat in your room, you can get a bag filled with fruit, yogurt, and coffee delivered instead of going to the artisenal buffet. Every room has a breakfast area, with an Nespresso machine so you can make your own perfecto cafe.

Since the Canopy abuts a glorious stretch of waterfront biking paths, the free bicycles are an important amenity. The Canopy has a dozen bikes available on a first come, first served basis. A helmet and a lock is included. Or if you prefer, the large gym (shared with the adjacent Hyatt House) has all the latest equipment.
Hilton Canopy has free Wi-Fi. And, since it’s an unstuffy but comfortably luxurious hotel, suites come with bathrobes and comfy socks.

Breakfast is included at Canopy by Hilton.
Breakfast is included at Canopy by Hilton. Photo credit: Kim Orlando / SheBuysTravel

Bathrooms at the Canopy Hotel

The barn door also separates the bathroom from the sleeping area. And it gives your spouse or partner a private place to dress if he wants to slip out and go for an early morning run or bike ride along the waterfront path.

Double sinks and a large glass enclosed shower had plenty of space.

The Canopy Hotel embraces pets

Dogs get their own goodie bags, with locally made dog treats, along with a bed, leash and food bowl. Dog parents get a map of local dog friendly establishments.

The “Uncloset”

My only complaint is the “uncloset.” That’s an open area with no door where you store your clothes. I am around 5’5 and the hem of my dress hung past the bottom of the “uncloset.”  If I’d had young kids with me, there would not have been enough room for all the clothes. I predict they would be strewn all over the room.
However, it was hard to totally dislike the uncloset because the hangars were so darn cute. They were engraved with sayings like “just hanging out.” Had to smile at that!

Also, the desk faced the wall. I don’t want to look at a wall or at myself in a mirror all day.  With such stunning views, the desk should have been oriented towards the windows.

Neighborhood focus

Canopy highlights its neighborhood, with artwork that reflects local attractions. When you check in, you get a welcome gift from a local purveyor. At the DC Canopy, I was given a tasty chocolate from a DC chocolatier. And if you bring a dog, you get a doggie goodie bag and a map highlighting dog friendly businesses nearby.

The rooftop deck at Canopy by Hilton.
The rooftop deck at Canopy by Hilton. Photo credit: Kim Orlando / SheBuysTravel

Check out the Wharf District, from above

Whiskey Charlie, Canopy’s rooftop bar, is worth a visit, even if just for the view. The bar and the outdoor patio overlook the old and the new- the old boat that is being renovated into a restaurant, and the new walking paths and parks that are still under construction.

Every evening, there is a free tasting, featuring local craft brew and local distilleries. My older son is legal now, so we can enjoy this together. Mike Anderson, the “Chief Enthusiast” at Canopy, said he changes the tastings daily, and has even brought in a local syrup company that he uses in craft cocktails.

Kim Orlando, founder of SheBuysTravel, is a lifelong traveler, an entrepreneur and a sought-after social media and marketing consultant. She has made hundreds of appearances on TV and in digital and print media, sharing advice and tips built on decades of travel experiences. Hailing from the hills of Kentucky and taking her story to New York, Los Angeles, and beyond, Kim built an online platform, the original TravelingMom, that has reached millions of moms and empowered them to explore the world with their families. Today, TravelingMom has evolved into SheBuysTravel. Kim has been featured on “News Nation,” “Today,” “Good Morning America” and on numerous satellite media tours. She has contributed travel guidance to outlets including The Washington Post, Good Housekeeping, Forbes, the Wall Street Journal and more. (Read more about Kim’s media appearances here) Her travel mantra is simple: All travel counts. “You don’t have to go far. Leaving your home is travel,” Kim says. “Wherever you go, even just to the next town over, you can learn something new, see someone and something you haven’t seen before. “It’s good for the brain and good for the soul.” An epiphany in early parenthood started Kim on the journey that led to SheBuysTravel. She’d been a fan of a newsletter for women travelers, and she saw an opportunity. “I thought something like that for moms could be extraordinarily helpful,” she said. “I was traveling for work, traveling for fun, and I was looking for support.” That seed grew into the award-winning website TravelingMom, created as a resource for traveling families of all stripes. Today, TravelingMom has evolved into SheBuysTravel, with an expanded mission to serve women travelers at any stage of life. Millions of readers have visited the site for trip planning help, travel secrets, destination information and gear recommendations. What sets SheBuysTravel’s content apart, Kim says, is its foundation in real-world experience. “Our writers and editors have actually gone out there and done this stuff,” she says. “They’ve booked the flights, tried the tour, tested travel clothing, visited that new hot spot to see if it’s worth the hype. It’s all real.” Memorable Adventures A 2022 tour Kim guided to Bhutan was a particularly standout experience. “Bhutan sounds so exotic, of course,” she said. “But the part where my heart just glows and warms is thinking of the people we met – amazing women doing amazing things in Bhutan.” Their ranks included a former police officer whose ventures into food science helped mitigate food insecurity for residents of Bhutan’s highlands. Top Tips Planning for travel can be daunting, Kim acknowledges. “I always say: Go anyway. No trip is going to be perfect. There’s always going to be something you didn’t expect, something that doesn’t go the way you pictured or planned it. And that something is what’s going to make it a great trip.” And on a practical note: “Go early! Getting to the airport or hitting the road just an hour earlier relieves so much stress.” Kim’s Background Kim, a graduate of the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management, holds degrees in finance and entrepreneurship and has deep experience in developing and running businesses. Her previous work includes developing and running communications workshops and overseeing document management for corporations. SheBuysTravel hits a sweet spot where Kim’s two loves of travel and entrepreneurship meet. “The longer I work in this field, I only want to do more,” she says. “I find the travel world so exciting – not just the trips, but the whole online world of travel. There are still so many opportunities.” The World Awaits “The ‘best trip ever’ probably won’t be the same for an empty-nester or mom of three versus a single woman celebrating a bachelorette party with her friends,” Kim says. “We want to keep it real for traveling women, no matter what their age, life stage, where they came from or where they’re going. “We want to inspire women to travel in any shape or form.” In her free time, Kim enjoys visiting her adult kids, creating trips and traveling with her BFFs to explore the world. Her most recent adventures can be found on InstagramFacebook and LinkedIn.
Read full bio

4 responses

  1. I love that there’s a new part of DC to explore, and a new hotel to go along with it

  2. I’ve been wondering where to stay when I go to DC specifically for the African American cultural heritage museum. Now I know. Thanks for teaching me about the Canopy.

  3. 4.5

  4. 5

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *