What We Love
- Free in-room WiFi
- You can unwind with locals at the clubby bar, Off the Record
- Location: The hotel is right on Lafayette Square steps from the White House and the boutique-lined streets of Dupont Circle
What To Know
- Some rooms and suites have decorative fireplaces and French doors leading to private balconies
- Valet parking is available for $45 per day
- Free downtown luxury sedan service is offered mornings and evenings on a first-come, first-serve basis
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
A D.C. icon, this 1920s Italian Renaissance Revival building has hosted presidents, international heads of state and more than a little political intrigue. Ornate fireplaces, marble floors, cherry wainscoting and gold chandeliers usher you into the past in the grand lobby. Each of the 145 rooms and suites start at 345-square-feet and feel more like private residences, with stately decor, marble bathrooms and city or courtyard views. Award-winning chef Peter Schaffrath’s Lafayette Restaurant serves hearty American fare, from potato gnocchi with basil pesto and squash to locally sourced roast chicken with polenta, artisan greens, radish and lemon thyme jus. At the hotel’s tin-ceilinged bar, Off the Record, you can join the politicos and journalists trading secrets over stiff cocktails with wonky names like David’s Washingtonian (vodka, limencello, chambord, frothy sour blend).
In the Area
Deemed the “Church of the Presidents” for its prized location on Lafayette Square just across the White House. Flex your plastic along the boutique-lined Embassy Row for trendy vintage designer goods at Secondi and leather-bound titles at cafe/bookstore Kramerbooks & Afterwords. Looking to sample something local? Stroll through Dupont Circle’s FreshFarm Market on Sundays for charcuterie, fresh-baked croissants and seasonal produce. Don’t miss the Library of Congress, The National Mall and the world’s largest museum complex, the Smithsonian Institution. Join the after work crowd slurping briny Virginia oysters and throwing back boozy punches at Hank’s Oyster Bar, or unwind with the cool kids along the U-Street Corridor at hip-hop/soul food hangout Marvin and legendary music venue Black Cat.
How to Get There
It is Mothers Day and wanted to take my wife for a very special Sunday brunch. Of course, immediately what came to mind was the rooftop Sunday brunch at the Hay Adams. Perfection!!Perfection!!Perfection!! Arriving at this hotel, we immediately were made to feel that we were special guests! The doorman was gracious, took our car, made sure we entered with an umbrella since it was raining and he nor us wanted to get wet. On entering the hotel, we were immediately greeted by a wonderful gentleman in the lobby who welcomed us and made us feel at home. He then directed us to check in for the Sunday Mothers Day brunch and complimentary champagne was provided to both of us before even entering the elevator to the rooftop. The rooftop room is amazing and words cannot describe this three dimensional view of every historic site in Washington D.C. Every time we looked out the beautiful windows of the hotel, we pinched ourselves to make sure we realized that yes this was real. I would defy anyone to suggest a better view of the city. I must say that the staff, service and food presentations were as grandiose as the view. Our server, Geovanny, welcomed us and we could feel the sincerity of his desire to make sure that Mothers Day was a special day for my wife and his service to us was paramount. We indulged in an amazing lobster salad with avocodo, beautiful shrimp, an amazing sushi bar, prime rib beef presentation, marinated carrots and wonderful mozzarella and tomatoes. There was more and more but these dishes stood out in our minds. The pastry chef at this hotel must be an artist. There were beautiful themed mothers day cupcakes and cookies, pear tart, beautiful napoleons, mousses, etc, etc. They were all intrically prepared. On exiting, we received mothers day cookies as a remembrance of our visit. We cannot wait to return!
I recently read an interview with Ian Schrager (sp?) the hotelier, and his take on re-defining luxury...that many of the older iconic names were still selling a version of luxury that was, in his opinion, outdated, selling the same things they were 30 years ago...our brief stay at the Hay got me thinking about that...what is my version of luxury hotel?...it always starts with service, includes sensory stimulation like the feel of top line linens, the fragrance of toiletries, the visual impact of opening the door or rounding a corner....but one simple criteria that I've come to realize is space....I like a lot of it hence a 350-450 sq foot room rarely satisfies....our foom at the Hay was luxurious by almost all measures, but at that price point my expectation goes beyond a 5x5 bathroom where a privacy toilet closet is not happening and a tub that would be as comfortable as any in a Holiday Inn Express....yes, the fixtures were worthy of the Hay but I need more space....all the furniture,features and finishes were top grade but the fixtures could use a refresh relative to connectivity...had room service and ate at the restaurant, both superb...Schrager talked about the outdated manifestation of luxury to include many staff standing around in the the entry of the lobby in starched uniforms with brass buttons,creating a sense of formality that I too find uncomfortable, although these employees were invariably friendly and helpful...lastly a minor disappointment...as clever as "the only thing overlooked is the White House" is, the only way to overlook the White House is to stay higher than treeline....you've got to be above the 2nd floor to accomplish this....oh almost forgot...Off the Record is off the charts!...sadly it's a victim of it's own popularity, or should I say guests are the victims...good luck finding a seat during Happy Hour
The Hay-Adams is in a class of its own. First the glare, then the location and finally the bliss. Returning to this hotel was a testament that the first experience was real. We had lots of fun eating, sleeping and entertaining. An elegant hotel.
This was my letter to the GM...
When a couple who have been married many years (27, to be exact) look to have a lovely, unforgettable celebration, some research goes into it. We have had the blessing of staying in many lovely places over the years, but none have been as delightful and perfect as our stay at the Hay Adams.
We were so awestruck by the sheer beauty of the hotel; we are history buffs, so all of our list was checked. Every corner was clean and in pristine shape – in our room and all throughout the hotel.
And I LOVE green. And toile. Form your own conclusions about my reaction of seeing the rooms. 😉
I want my mansion in Heaven to look JUST like our room. It was breathtaking – so tastefully done. All I ask is a few yards of that fabric. And the view was spectacular!
We have been in other fine hotels (although not quite as lovely as yours), but like the exterior of a person, the outside is not the most important part. It is the people who make this place the hotel we want to come back to as many times as we can. Trevor, Ms. Falcon, ALL the wait staff were absolutely outstanding, authentic, humble, kind, and all had the gift of service and hospitality. From offering me a tissue at the sound of our song and taking us up to the top of the hotel for that seriously grand view (bless you, Trevor), to offering us special goodies (thank you, wait staff night of May 4), and Ms. Falcon (a lovely, kind romantic surprise). The food was spectacular as well. Please forgive me for forgetting some names, but you know who you are. We have never felt so pampered, cared for, and blessed at any hotel.
After our stay, we decided we will (Lord willing) come every year for our anniversary…and whenever we can swing it. I am considering making a Hay Adams money jar and contributing often to it. 😉
Again many MANY thanks to ALL of you. I can only imagine how much work goes in to the amazing food, operation, and upkeep of a special place like the Hay Adams. You ALL succeed greatly to give all of us a truly transcendent experience. We appreciate you all so much.
Our highest regards,
Lisa and Andis Sraders
The Hay-Adams experience was the highlight of our DC vacation. 5 star in every respect including 50 yard line location across the street from the White House. Fine touches like personal recognition, house car, comped fresh cookies are noticeable.