The Avery Hotel: European Design in Georgetown

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Samantha and Justin Schneck with Avery and Margot. Photo by Patrick G. Ryan.

On a day with heavy rain, the Avery Georgetown, a boutique hotel on P Street, is the kind of place where you want to stay for a while. Its outdoor lighting and its yellow lettering give the place a kind of inviting glow, suffused against the hotel’s gray- dominated walls.

Going to the Avery on a recent Tuesday afternoon meant entering a quiet place, where guests checking in were invited to have a conversation. Interacting with a Francophone couple, owner Justin Schneck compared the importance of the World Cup to that of Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game, which took place that night.

The details surrounding the interior decor, especially when it comes to the guest rooms, are worth noticing. The color scheme of king rooms emphasizes yellow and blue, while the queen rooms have a color scheme of gray and pink. The chosen fabrics and wallpaper are from London, the carpets are from Finland, the lighting is from Spain and the sliding doors in the bathrooms are from Italy.

“We use a lot of European designers,” Schneck said.

Attention to detail is a trait that has served him well, both in current times and when he was trying to get his idea for a hotel off the ground. In addition to needing to acquire the two buildings that now form the Avery, there was a need for planning, getting permits and doing construction.

Before Schneck acquired the two pieces of property, early in 2015, the buildings were part of a law office. The decision to open a hotel was inspired by Schneck’s renovation of his home in the Palisades — and by the lack of a hotel in the East Village section of Georgetown. “The village needed an alternative to the Four Seasons Georgetown,” he said.

The hotel, which opened in June of 2016, has a staff of six. Though it hasn’t beenaround for a long time, the Avery was ranked number six out of 142 D.C. hotels on TripAdvisor, according to Schneck. Yet he believes that there is room for improvement.

“I think we should be five,” he said. Schneck also believes in the importance of exceeding every customer’s expectations, which he considers a challenge. “It’s tough being in the top,” he said.

The standard for which Schneck is aiming is for guests to feel that he and the rest ofthe staff “are ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen in a relaxed setting.” He added: “My goal is to make the guest-room product comfortable, yet luxurious.”

Though Schneck, who used to work at a private equity firm called Thayer Lodging Group, had never developed property before, he plans to open another Avery hotel. With his wife Samantha, a real estate lawyer, and their two daughters, aged 5 and 2, this 37-year-old is just getting started.

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