America’s capital is no stranger to the high life – heads of state, diplomats and CEOs come here seeking glamorous digs, so you can piggyback on that VIP treatment at the top hotels in town. Whether you choose to stay Downtown, close to the proud patriotic landmarks in the city or near the dining delights of sociable Adams Morgan or Georgetown, you’re in for fine hospitality in Washington DC. Book your stay now with Culture Trip.
This Hong Kong-born brand is renowned for its Asian-style opulence and microscopic attention to detail – just check out the dainty afternoon tea in the Empress Lounge. Cool sheets, plush furniture and deep marble tubs all elicit a sigh of contentment. One huge draw are the pin-drop-quiet pool and spa with huge daybeds – but the Downtown location is superb for sightseers, too.
The Willard has the gilded feel of a palace. Glinting chandeliers, fresh flowers and monogrammed headboards salute all guests as VIPs – while tapestry carpets and heavy oil paintings add grandeur to spun-gold hallways. Within walking distance of the National Mall, it suits holidaymakers, but the service and facilities draw an executive crowd.
Stately luxury is sharpened by edgy interiors at the Fairmont in historic Georgetown. An enormous, snaking light fixture of jagged metal shapes pulls your eye in the bar lounge, while a shattered-gold mosaic backs the reception desk. Rooms are pragmatic and calm, made for a high-end business crowd. The fairy-lit courtyard is a romantic spot for cocktails in warmer months.
While this is the hotel that prompted us to add “gate” to every scandal since 1972, don’t expect faded mid-century looks – its 2017 makeover by Ron Arad Architects was a revelation. The famous donut-shaped exterior hints at the sculptural, swerving details in the lobby and restaurant, with metallic installations spiraling out like soundwaves. Rooms have fluid, polished wooden desks and concrete-grey bed frames. A river-view rooftop and industrial-feel pool and spa add yet more wow factor.
A hushed canalside location greets you at this red-brick townhouse in storybook Georgetown. You’ll find lovingly designed spaces here, from the low-lit, russet intimacy of the Cut restaurant to the waterfront terrace and rooftop pool. Everything feels smart and classic, with gentlemanly textures of leather, metal and polished wood, though rooms are paired down with crisp whites and gold-and-grey accents.
This B&B, in northern Dupont Circle, is another step back in time for Washington’s history hunters. Carved-wood writing desks, heavy crimson curtains and ornamental fireplaces induce a frisson of the past, while friendly staff keep the regulars coming back. Breakfast is a timeless checklist of filling faves – pancakes, waffles, omelets and eggs benedict – tailored to your taste, so you won’t set off hungry.
A business-luxe master, the Ritz-Carlton in DC wins out on a kindly staff, who leave guests beaming. Art- and ornament-brightened suites are more stylish than basic guest rooms, which come in ice-white and gunmetal grey. You’re close to charming Georgetown and foodie Adams Morgan for an evening out.
Just blocks from the White House and Smithsonian Museum, Riggs has the high ceilings, marble pillars and wedding-cake cornicing you want from this grand old city. Thoroughly modern rooms come in powder-puff pinks and silvers, with striking floral-motif headboards – but it’s the communal areas of this former bank that pack the most punch. A bite at art deco Cafe Riggs is a must, but your nightcap should be taken on the velvet sofas of low-lit Silver Lyan.