The Best Boutique Hotels in Washington DC, USA
The Riggs is one of the top-class hotels in DC that attract both business folk and tourists | Courtesy of Riggs Washington DC / Expedia
When you’re not canvassing local restaurants and living it up at the White House, seek out these stylish places to stay in the US capital – bookable with Culture Trip.
If you’re headed to DC, chances are you’re intrigued by America’s cultural and political history, so a distinguished hotel with character is in order. Catering mainly to suited diplomats and business folk, this city is packed with storied buildings reimagined as boutique hotels and fleshed out with some of the best design, food and drink in the game. It’s not all prim and proper, either – outside landmark-central Downtown, each neighborhood has its own energy.
The Graham Georgetown
4.5/5 (733 Reviews)
Courtesy of The Graham Washington DC Georgetown / Expedia
Now from $263 per night
Known for its centuries-old university as well as for being John F Kennedy’s old stomping ground, the Georgetown neighborhood in DC is all chocolate-box charm: cobbled lanes, taverns and riverside restaurants. The red-brick building and serene rooftop fit right in with its relaxed elegance. House nightspot the Alex is a draw in itself for locals – drop by for cocktails and nibbles in a speakeasy setting (try the bathtub gin and tonic, served in a mini tub).
4.7/5 (750 Reviews)
Courtesy of The Hay-Adams / Expedia
Now from $389 per night
Views of the White House and Washington Monument are the drum roll for this swish stay – the rooms have the heavy, expensive fabrics and cream, gold and mahogany palette to complement your US history lesson. Downstairs, the ornate wood-paneled lobby is ready for your West Wing walkthrough, after which you can work your way down the wine list in the Off the Record bar. Stepping outside, you won’t need a map: the landmarks in Downtown DC stretch before you like a pop-up book.
Morrison Clark Inn
Bed and Breakfast, Hotel
4.6/5 (878 Reviews)
Courtesy of Morrison Clark Inn / Expedia
Now from $136 per night
Also in first-timer-friendly Downtown, this historic inn has a red-brick façade and tranquil courtyard. Oyster-hued rooms are perked up in places by marble fireplaces or balconies facing onto the leafy street. It’s not as highly stylish as some of its rivals, but kind, chatty staff and perks such as free morning coffee in the lobby make this a cockle-warming base.
3.9/5 (941 Reviews)
Courtesy of ARC THE HOTEL / Expedia
Now from $116 per night
No-fuss, no-frills, but with clean-cut style in spades, ARC is a crash pad for the traveler who tends to be out and about. It’s best suited to younger or solo city-breakers (rooms with two queen beds, in particular, are top value for pairs of friends). Close to delightful Georgetown and walkable to the main sights, ARC is a bubble of calm, with its polished woods and ice-white linens. Meanwhile, mini-fridges and power showers go above and beyond the basics.
The LINE DC
4.5/5 (538 Reviews)
Courtesy of Riggs Washington DC / Expedia
Now from $164 per night
This colonnaded, century-old church has been spruced up by a crack design team, setting industrial-chic light fixtures and lush pot plants against white box rooms with parquet floors. Ask for a higher floor for killer views. It’s bang in DC’s go-to nightlife neighborhood, Adams Morgan, with its vintage stores and Japanese grills – but the real hotspot is in your hotel. Join a hip crowd over katsu sandos (the cutesy Japanese nickname for “sandwich”) at Asian-persuasion Brothers and Sisters.
Riggs Washington DC
4.7/5 (224 Reviews)
Courtesy of Riggs Washington DC / Expedia
Now from $243 per night
Former banks always make for the best retro-modern reinventions, and the transformed Riggs National Bank building now gleams with art deco chandeliers, marble passageways and Beaujolais bar stools. Individually designed rooms come in peony shades with liquid-look floral motifs, but it’s the four First Lady-themed suites that really tap into this city’s historic glamour. Downstairs, Cafe Riggs is inspired by the grand cafes of Budapest and Vienna – there’s also a rooftop for city-view aperitifs.
4.6/5 (616 Reviews)
Courtesy of Eaton DC / Expedia
Now from $205 per night
An indie hotel very much following in the hipster footsteps of cult brand Ace, Eaton is a creatively charged, sociable spot with an activist’s spirit. From the locally sourced, vegan-leaning bites at American Son to yoga sessions and inspirational movie screenings, this hotel is all about connecting with a community and making a difference. Just in it for the room? Wall-sized art, colorful woven throws and record players take you back to the resistance spirit of the seventies.
American Guest House
4.3/5 (80 Reviews)
Courtesy of American Guest House / Expedia
Now from $247 per night
Old-school in a quaint, wood-paneled sense, this is the other end of the scale of hip-minimalist hotels in DC. Ornate wooden writing desks, tiled fireplaces and tasseled curtain cords make you feel like an out-of-towner “taking rooms” in a 19th-century novel. You’re slightly off the tourist track, up between Dupont Circle and Adams Morgan, but you’re rewarded with the quietest – and comfiest – night’s sleep in town.
Generator Washington DC
Boutique Hotel, Chain Hotel
4.1/5 (957 Reviews)
Courtesy of Generator Hotel Washington DC / Expedia
Now from $119 per night
Generator’s sharply designed poshtels changed the game when they sprang up in cities from Berlin to Miami. And the room design in this DC outpost doesn’t sit on the fence – pastel walls and geometric mirrors clash happily against hot-pink scatter cushions and graffitied oil paintings, while, for real bargain-seekers, more subdued dorm rooms have affordable bunk beds. One major perk (for summer, at least) is the swimming pool on a shaded terrace, surrounded by comfy loungers – the perfect spot when you need to switch off.
These recommendations were updated on August 4, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.