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« San Fran's Most Zen Hotels | Main | Charleston's Most Zen Hotels »

DC's Most Zen Hotels

The Hay-Adams

The Hay-Adams, located across Lafayette Square from the White House, holds a special place in Washington, D.C.  This classic hotel takes its name from earlier residents of its site: John Hay, private assistant to President Abraham Lincoln and later secretary of state, and Henry Adams, an acclaimed author and descendant of U.S. Presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams.  Like their impressive homes, the hotel has long been a favorite gathering place in the nation’s capital.

Adams was a member of an exclusive circle, a group of friends called the "Five of Hearts" that consisted of Henry, his wife Clover, geologist and mountaineer Clarence King, John Hay and his wife Clara. They knew every president from Abraham Lincoln to Theodore Roosevelt and befriended Henry James, Mark Twain, Edith Wharton, and a host of other important figures on both sides of the Atlantic. The Five of Hearts even had custom china and letterhead stationary.

Internationally renowned and award winning Washington, DC-based interior designer, Thomas Pheasant returned to the iconic Hay-Adams hotel to make design enhancements. All the hotel’s 145 guest units (124 rooms and 21 suites) were recently updated with a fresh look in keeping with this historic landmark hotel’s stately and luxurious persona. Pheasant’s diverse accomplishments have been widely published in the most prestigious architectural and interior design magazines around the world for both his residential and commercial projects.

The Hay-Adams’ bar, Off The Record, an iconic watering hole for Washington’s power crowd, with politically-themed cocktails for leisurely sipping.  Locally it is known as downtown Washington, D.C.'s best "place to be seen and not heard." Surrounded by caricatures of the city's political elite both past and present, Off the Record is a popular place for Washingtonians and guests of The Hay-Adams to relax. The upscale hotel bar also serves an inspired menu and superb wine selection with a nice range of choices including freshly shucked oysters and DUCK SPRING ROLLS to a hearty burger and lobster salad.  Some popular cocktails, perfect for striking up a conversation, include the FILL A BUSTER, made with Ivy City Gin, Domaine de Canton, Cucumber, Basil, Champagne and the TRUMPY SOUR of Filibuster Boondoggler Bourbon, Lemon Juice, Thyme and Honey.

Patrons here love to collection the political coasters. Don’t forget to grab a keepsake political coaster while enjoying Off The Record as The Hay-Adams has commissioned three political cartoonists to create collectible drink coasters. Pulitzer Prize-winners Ann Telnaes and Matt Wuerker, as well as the notable Kevin “KAL” Kallaugher depict the political figures making headlines, which often align with the new libations.  Look for Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel; Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, Ruth Bader Ginsburg; Chairman of the Workers’ Party of Korea, Kim Jong Un and Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

To date, The Hay-Adams has commissioned 20+ collectable drink coasters including President Barrack Obama, President George W. Bush, President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer.

The Hay-Adams is also a top destination for romantic interludes, engagements, and weddings. The  landmark hotel is pleased to offer The Perfect Proposal Package created to help sweep sweethearts off their feet.  Designed to make it easy to secure a “Yes!” this package takes care of setting the stage for the proposal of one’s dreams.  How could anyone resist the petition of a lover when being treated to luxuriously appointed accommodations, where fresh flowers, chocolate covered strawberries and a bottle of chilled Champagne await?  Couples will indulge in a three-course dinner in The Lafayette, the hotel’s elegant dining destination overlooking Lafayette Square and The White House.  This special dinner is curated by Executive Chef Nicolas Legret and is complemented by a bottle of fine wine to pair perfectly with the meal. The Lafayette is also home to Tom Vogt, who the great Lena Horne called her "favorite pianist in Washington." He has graced the dining room with live piano music for the last 28 years through his repertoire of classical and jazz standards and show-tunes.  Weeknights he begins around 6 PM; and he also plays for Sunday brunch.

Additionally, lovebirds will explore the romance of the city’s picturesque National Mall with a two-hour private car tour, which can be reserved before or after dinner in The Lafayette. The Perfect Proposal Package also includes full American Breakfast for couples in the privacy of their room along with two Champagne crystal glasses as a keepsake of this unforgettable occasion.  The package is priced from $799 (excluding tax and gratuity) for a superior room for two adults for one night.  Reservations may be made by calling (202) 638-6600 or via the website: The package must be reserved at least three days (72 hours) in advance. A credit card is required at the time of booking with a three-day (72 hours) cancellation policy.


The Jefferson, DC

Perched on the corner of 16th and M Streets since 1923, The Jefferson, Washington, DC is recognized as a Historic Hotel of America by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The historic Beaux Arts designed property is home to Michelin starred Plume, the only Forbes Travel Guide five-star rated restaurant in DC, and North America’s only glass-top bar, Quill. With tributes to Thomas Jefferson and his beloved Monticello throughout, The Jefferson boasts the country's largest Madeira collection (the libation used to toast the signing of the Declaration of Independence), offering one of the last bottles of 1720 Madeira in the world. New discoveries unfold at every turn: private nooks, original Thomas Jefferson-signed documents, a Book Room filled with historic leather-bound volumes on Jefferson’s favorite subjects, and signed editions from contemporary authors who have been distinguished guests. Travelers can book a stay at the Thomas Jefferson Suite with aerial views of the Washington Monument and spaces fit for a home away from home, enjoy brunch at The Greenhouse under a 1923 skylight, or book an appointment with the on-property historian.

The Book Room invites guests to sit on one of the plush sofas next to the crackling, warming fireplace, with a book in hand and surrounded by author-signed literature and leather bound works on Thomas Jefferson's favorite subjects. Plume is the property's on-site Michelin-starred restaurant. The Bird's Nest is available to patrons seeking a more intimate experience to enjoy their dinner by Executive Chef Ralf Schlegel. The space sits tucked into a curved library, below a century-old crystal chandelier, offering privacy from other diners at the restaurant.

The Greenhouse resides underneath a historic 1923 skylight emitting a warm ambiance, setting the scene for a casual yet classic day's brunch. Quill is the hotel's upscale cocktail lounge. The bar, itself - North America's only glass-top bar - has an orange-colored surface, a hue that has been studied to convey warmth and joviality. The setting is perfect for patrons seeking a mellow atmosphere with a hint of vibrance.


Kimpton Glover Park Hotel

Kimpton Glover Park Hotel is located in the serene Upper Georgetown neighborhood of Glover Park, offering the best of all worlds —close proximity to downtown DC, yet a calming, walkable neighborhood near Embassy Row and American and Georgetown universities. The hotel is perched on a hill that gives sweeping views of the Potomac River and National Mall, and Washington National Cathedral. At Kimpton Glover Park Hotel, urban intrigue melds seamlessly with quiet comfort, where attentive service meets down-to-earth indulgence. On-site perks range from a cocktail garden and athletic club to dazzling dining destination Casolare, where James Beard Award-winning Chef Michael Schlow prepares delicious coastal Italian fare.

The 154-room boutique hotel sports a stylized black and white map of nearby Rock Creek Park on its exterior. The elegant, graffiti-style piece was painted by Los Angeles-based artist Chase Erachi, with the concept design and vision driven by world renowned artist Michele Oka Doner. Local inspirations, matched with Oka Doner’s own penchant for abstract organic art, combine to create an atmosphere within the hotel that is closely linked to the artist’s own atelier. Oka Doner’s idea for a space draws freely on bringing nature from outside-in, tying in neutral tones of pops of green – a nod to the nearby Rock Creek Park.


The MayFlower

The Mayflower is a capital classic, a landmark hotel that brings timeless elegance, integrity and contemporary style to its role as a vibrant social hub – a Washington, D.C. original since 1925. The Mayflower’s draw has brought D.C.’s power scene and personalities to its doors, filling the hotel with a quintessentially capital spirit – and with a signature appeal as iconic as the hotel itself. From the historic heart of the hotel's lobby promenade, guests find themselves in the embrace of its prominence and beauty.  The Mayflower Hotel, Autograph Collection has 583 rooms and 74 suites.

The distinctive room designs and finishes take inspiration from the hotel’s regal past while emphasizing its present day relevance and vitality. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places and Historic Hotels of America, The Mayflower Hotel is known for its sense of style and elegance. Using a crisp palette of warm grays with furnishings of refined wood, stone, glass and upholstery in jewel tones, each room will have a residential feel that will feature sleek modern finishes and movable seating areas in order to customize for the purpose of the guest’s stay.


The Willard InterContinental

The Willard Intercontinental DC Celebrates 200 Years of Vibrant History While Completing an Impressive Room Renovation. For 200 years, one D.C. property has remained an anchor in a town that has undergone countless transformations and been called home by many a US President. In 2018, the Willard InterContinental celebrates its Bicentennial birthday, bringing with it two centuries of colorful anecdotes, architectural evolution and historical preeminence. To boot, the long-standing venue is currently receiving a substantial room refurbishment, refreshing guestrooms while maintaining the essence and charm of a bygone era.  

With its inception as a row house on the corner of 14th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue in 1818, The Willard spent the first 30 years under a series of different names, supervised by a slew of different operators. It wasn’t until 1847 that Henry Willard was named manager, spearheading a complete makeover, tearing down the original façade and replacing it with a new brick exterior and larger interior. It was around this time that the property was named the Willard’s City Hotel and would remain this way until 1901 when it was torn down to make way for the magnificent, Beaux-Arts style structure that exists today, hosting a number of monumental events that have made the history books. Given its close proximity to The White House and many other government buildings, The Willard has attracted a great number of U.S. presidents, foreign dignitaries and celebrities over the years, beginning with Martin van Buren in 1841. The Willard has since welcomed almost every U.S. president, giving rise to the hotel’s nickname, the “Residence of Presidents.”

It was also in the mid 1800s when Kentucky Statesman Henry Clay first introduced Mint Julep to Washington  in The Willard’s Round Robin Bar. The southern favorite beverage would later become the hotel’s signature drink, serving 20,000 of them each year. The walls of The Willard have witnessed some of the nation’s most notable happenings, from the inauguration of Abraham Lincoln in 1861, where the President-elect took up residence in the days leading up to his Presidency, to welcoming Dr. Martin Luther King in the hotel’s lobby in 1963, as he sat with his closest advisors making final edits to his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. After closing its doors in 1968 for 18 years, The Willard was saved from demolition and reopened in 1986 with a complete renovation, paving the way for more historical moments, including a visit from the Dalai Lama in 2016.

After such an illustrious track record, The Willard is taking some time in 2018, as it commemorates its 200th anniversary, to give all 335 rooms and suites a well-deserved makeover. To be completed by April, the final design is still being kept under wraps but the property has disclosed that it involves 355 new Nespresso machines, 355 new Cubie alarm clocks, 5,000 slippers, 25,101 yards of carpet, 49,900 yards of wall covering, 300 pieces of reupholstered furniture and 1,350 pieces of refinished wood furniture. With the room revamp, also comes a reimagining of The Willard’s highly-praised authentic French brasserie, Café du Parc where hotel patrons and locals alike will be able to enjoy the addition of a new private dining room and reinvented menu. Of course, The Willard’s old standby’s and foodie favorites will still be available for guests to enjoy whether it be a traditional spot of afternoon tea in the hotel’s famous Peacock Alley, which serves the likes of 30,000 scones a year, or a perfectly brewed cup of coffee at Le Bar, one of 23,725 served yearly.  

Throughout the years, The Willard has developed a number of unique programs including the Kids Concierge, which offers a selection of amenities and activities, including a children’s library and a treasure chest of board games and toys to ensure that even the youngest of guests have a luxury experience to remember. This popular offering gives out 1,500 “Millie” bucks per year, a coveted reward which earns little ones a sweet treat from Le Bar. In 2018, both newcomers and longtime patrons can enjoy the hotel’s newest program, History Happy Hour. Held monthly, the two-hour event distills American history through cocktails, while providing attendees a hands-on mixology class, perfect for both cocktail aficionados and history buffs. This educational yet entertaining event is led by the legendary bartender, Jim Hewes, who has been serving up cocktails for over 30 years at the iconic Round Robin Bar.

The Willard has stood the test of time and the 200th year anniversary will reflect on its expansive and vivid history. A pioneer in hospitality, The Willard has created and maintained traditions that will be remembered for years to come, whether it be the labor of love involved in the 255 ornaments hung on the beloved Christmas tree that graces the lobby each year or the 600 hours spent each year building the acclaimed gingerbread display. Many have walked through The Willard’s halls, from renowned politicians and celebrities, to tourists visiting the Nation’s Capital for the first time, or blushing brides celebrating their special day inside the hotel’s exquisite Crystal Ballroom, aptly named for the crystals on display and welcoming an astounding 7,000 wedding guests each year.

Want to experience the historic luxurious Willard InterContinental? Celebrate its 200th birthday by bringing the family on the next trip to Washington, D.C. with the Family Package. This offer includes priority access to The Willard’s Kids Concierge, a $75 food and beverage credit, a sweet or savory amenity upon arrival, complimentary internet and complimentary parking daily for one vehicle. Starting at $349 a night. For The Willard Intercontinental, 2018 is both a year to reminisce and reinvent.


Mason & Rook Hotel

Kimpton Mason & Rook Hotel – Mason & Rook is of the newer Kimpton hotels in DC, located just steps from Washington’s bustling 14th neighborhood, the 178-room four-star hotel includes a 1,800 square foot ballroom and some of the most spacious guest rooms and suites in the city. At Mason & Rook, a seasonal rooftop pool + bar with views of DC’s iconic skyline awaits as well as small plates and hand crafted cocktails designed to wow by Radiator, the adjacent cocktail forward restaurant. The hotel offers a comfortable living room, designed to look and feel like a friend’s coveted urban apartment; the perfect pied-à-terre in the center of the city.

Residential styling throughout evokes a dapper and elegant vibe with spaces that are both simple and well curated, richly textured yet never showy, providing a warm and comfortable retreat within a thriving community. Notable hotel amenities include an exclusive Shinola Watch Butler, where guests can check out one of eight seasonal styles of Shinola watches from the hotels living room at no cost during their stay, and a roaming grooming cart featuring styling products from DC based company The Grooming Lounge. The cart brings a luxurious grooming experience right to guest’s door and offers additional indulgences like the Districts own One-Eight Distilling’s newest bourbons.


Melrose Georgetown Hotel

Melrose Georgetown Hotel, a notable Georgetown hotel that defines distinct service, creative culinary in a sleek ambiance. Located at the Southeast point of Georgetown, the hotel is an art-deco inspired Washington D.C boutique hotel. Presenting a bold public space, the spacious guestrooms of Melrose Georgetown Hotel are filled with contemporary acrylic artwork displays, clean-lined furnishing and large windows overlooking the historic town.

The inspired concept of farm-to-fork signature restaurant, Jardenea, revolves around being “Imaginative, Current and Conscientious” in both food selection and motif, with a high importance placed upon sustainability and as many locally- and regionally-sourced ingredients as possible    
The hotel is located six miles, 15 minutes from Regan International Airport with non-stop flights to more than 40 cities. Ideally located in the Georgetown neighborhood near the Foggy Bottom Metro Station, the hotel is within walking distance of countless national landmarks and attractions. A short walk from the Potomac River and Potomac Park, Melrose Georgetown Hotel provides the perfect location for visitors looking to explore the District of Columbia.


Embassy Row Hotel

At The Embassy Row Hotel, guests have the opportunity to really experience Dupont Circle’s historic place in Washington, D.C.  It is our mission to provide an experience that cannot be replicated anywhere else, and we do so by incorporating local touch points from every corner.

Each guestroom and suite has an upbeat, eclectic vibe chosen to personify the energy of the surrounding are. Nestled alongside Embassy Row , this boutique hotel features indulgent in-room spa treatments, modern fitness center, a locally curated 24 Hour Chef’s Pantry, breathtaking views from The Rooftop’s Pool & Bar, a unique social culinary experience at Station Kitchen & Cocktails, and so much more.