The 9 Best Hotels in D.C.
The nation’s capital may be contentious turf nowadays, but no matter what side of the aisle you’re on, we’re sure you can get down with these luxe hotels. From a regal stay steeped in history to a hipster hang with major style cred, here are the 9 best hotels in D.C. (IOHO).
Buttoned-up politicians looking for a serene stay choose the Mandarin Oriental for its tranquil waterfront setting and calming East-meets-West aesthetic. The hotel’s neoclassic exterior (ornate columns, neoclassical lines, a limestone façade) contrasts the rotunda lobby, where there are walls covered with delicate Thai silks, American walnut columns, and custom-built Japanese furniture arranged according to the principles of feng shui. After hitting the Smithsonian, Capitol Hill, and Lincoln Memorial (all of which are just a short stroll away), do a quick set of laps in the 50-foot indoor lap pool, unwind in the amethyst steam room, or tuck into Southeastern Asian fare at Muze.
Park Hyatt Washington
Georgetown, Downtown, Dupont Circle, and Foggy Bottom are all within walking distance of the 220-room Park Hyatt Washington, fresh off a major overhaul by New York-based designed Tony Chi. Expect the same deluxe amenities as before— 24-hour room service, 24-hour fitness center, complimentary shoe shines, complimentary local sedan service, and a bicycle valet program— but with an eye-catching new design, best captured in the residential-style guestrooms. There, find cloth wall coverings, day beds in sitting areas, Nespresso coffee machines, and cheeky details like wooden duck decoys. Don’t miss dinner at Blue Duck Tavern, the hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant where Michelle and Barack celebrated their 17th wedding anniversary. Your order: seared foie gras and lobster terrine, followed by the confit lamb neck (topped with marinated feta and harissa yogurt) as your main.
The Embassy Row
A top-to-toe makeover in 2015 has put Dupont Circle’s famous Embassy Row Hotel, on Millionaires’ Row, back in the spotlight. The boutique’s bold new look—shades of teal and dandelion yellow in guest rooms; metallic gold coffee tables; graffitied stairwells—sets a stylish stage for the city’s power players, who gather in Station Kitchen & Cocktails (a coffee shop and locavore restaurant by day; a cocktail bar by night) and at the rooftop lounge to seal deals and booze and schmooze. After splurging for one of the private cabanas (or just make fast friends), don’t forget to hit up the 24-hour Chef’s Pantry downstairs for pre-bedtime light bites.
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The Four Seasons Hotel Washington, D.C.
The Four Seasons Hotel Washington, D.C. was the brand’s first to open in the United States and it shows: the 222-room grand dame is the picture of luxury, thanks to chic, Pierre Yves-Rochon-designed interiors, hand-and-foot service, and a 1,600-piece art collection including work by Andy Warhol and Helen Frankenthaler. VIP’s will want to splurge on the lavish Presidential Suite, which has an 1,000-square foot outdoor terrace, a private gym, his-and-hers dressing rooms, an entryway decorated with Swarovski crystals, and—wait for it— bullet-resistant windows.
A D.C. icon, this 1920s Italian Renaissance Revival building has hosted presidents, international heads of state, and celebrities. The lobby sets the scene with ornate fireplaces, marble floors, cherry wainscoting, and gold chandeliers, while the 145 guestrooms feel like private residences, thanks to thoughtful touches custom Italian linens, Etro bath amenities, Bose sound systems, and city or courtyard views. Make dinner reservations for Lafayette Restaurant, where you can tuck into hearty American fare like potato gnocchi with basil pesto and squash, then wash it all down with stiff cocktails (order the David’s Washingtonian: a mix of vodka, limencello, Chambord, frothy sour blend) in the hotel’s tin-ceilinged bar, Off the Record.
This business-centered stay gets top marks in style, service, and amenities. Steps from Penn Quarter and Chinatown, the massive, 1,175-room hotel spans an entire city block (though you’d never know it from the intimate, well-designed interiors) and boasts one of the most covetable addresses in all of D.C. When not working up a sweat exploring the hip ‘hood, get in some exercise at the 8,000-square foot, bi-level fitness center, the largest at the city. After, enjoy a drink in the handsome, whiskey-focused lounge, The Dignitary, then meet your friends for dinner at Arroz, a southern Spanish concept by Top Chef contestant, Mike Isabella. The restaurant's design (all keyhole archways, coffered ceilings, exotic patterns, and fresh bouquets of flowers) is just as standout as the mouthwatering fare, which focuses on the cuisines of Valencia, Andalusia, and Portugal.
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Melrose Georgetown Hotel
The Melrose is an eclectic departure from Georgetown’s more traditional hotels, and we dig it. Neutral-toned spaces are bumped up with vibrant splashes of green and blue and walls are definite focal points with their watercolor paintings, blow-up murals of the U.S. Constitution, and portraits of America’s founding fathers who smirk from their frames. But there’s still a cosmopolitan air to the place, thanks to tufted leather sofas and Molton Brown toiletries in rooms, a lobby library with high-back wing chairs and some 1,000 titles, and seasonal farm-to-table dining at Jardenea that spotlights regional seafood from Chesapeake Bay.
As Washington D.C.’s only Relais & Châteaux property, The Jefferson is a 1923 Beaux-Arts stunner steeped in history. Interiors pay homage to the president with Monticello-inspired interiors done up in paraquet floors, toile de Jouy drapery, antique-style furniture, and framed maps of places the president traveled to. Cozy up in the classically beautiful library, stocked with books on Jefferson’s favorite subjects (nature, architecture, inventing), eavesdrop on the latest political gossip over cognacs and cigars at the outdoor terrace, or treat yourself to a treatment at the Petite Spa, where custom treatments are inspired by Monticello’s gardens. The hotel’s restaurant, Plume, is Michelin-starred, while the bar, Quill, is one of the city’s preeminent destinations for craft cocktails.
W Washington D.C.
The W Washington D.C. is arguably the city’s trendiest stay. Sporting an edgy, contemporary design—colorful, hand-painted murals, color-shifting chandeliers, a rotating gallery of modern artwork—the hotel has a fun, clubby vibe that’s attracts a mixed crowd of hipsters and young professionals. The nightlife offerings here are legendary, from the subterranean whisky bar to the see-and-be-seen rooftop bar, POV, which offers unmatched views of the White House and regularly hosts international DJ’s. Counter the physical effects of all that partying with a hydrating facial at the on-site Bliss Spa.