Washington D.C. is the capital of the United States and one of the most visited destinations in the country. Because of its status as the nation’s political seat, as well as the headquarters for several international organizations, D.C. has its fair share of luxury hotels and five-star accommodations to host VIP guests – from diplomats and heads of state to CEOs and business executives.
In recent years, however, the nation’s capital has been going through changes to become a more tourist-oriented destination. There have been major expansions of cultural institutions and attractions, a wave of restaurants and nightlife spots, and more modern and trendier hotels that cater to the younger crowd.
We’ve put together this list of best hotels in Washington D.C. for your next visit to the city (Visitors tip: To avoid carrying around large shopping bags and backpacks as you explore the city, look for a bag storage facility where you can deposit your items temporarily.)
Located within the historic Watergate complex, this hotel is best known as the venue for the Watergate political scandal that rocked the nation in 1972 and is one of the most iconic landmarks in D.C. However, after undergoing a major renovation in 2016, The Watergate Hotel has become one of the city’s most sought-after accommodations by travelers of all kinds – be it politicians to holiday-goers.
Situated in Georgetown, the luxurious hotel has 336 individual rooms, most of which have their own balconies (a rare thing in D.C.) and luxurious amenities. While most of the hotel has been replaced, a few parts have been retained from the past, such as the indoor pool and the lobby staircase.
Often billed as one of the top luxury accommodations in Washington D.C., The Jefferson Hotel is a historic hotel and an excellent choice when staying in the city. Named after former president Thomas Jefferson, this elegant hotel is relatively smaller compared to other five-star accommodations in the city with only 99 rooms.
Its size, however, doesn’t take away from its popularity and reputation. The hotel has an old-school charm and unique features such as authentic historic documents on display, an in-house historian, and a library.
One of the most historic hotels in D.C., The Hay-Adams is the definition of luxury accommodation in the city and one that will leave you in awe. In operation since 1921, the hotel is named after influential locals John Hay and Henry Adams, who once owned mansions on the site where the hotel was built.
One of the biggest draws of The Hay-Adams is its excellent location. The hotel is situated right across the street from the White House. Guests may even pick out a room overlooking the landmark for an extra fee.
Apart from the prime location, the hotel is also in demand due to its elegant appearance and five-star amenities. While staying at The Hay-Adams, don’t forget to stop by their on-site bar, called Off The Record, where a lot of power players and local elites stop to have a drink or two.
Even with such a competitive hotel scene in D.C., Riggs has no problem grabbing the attention and making a name for itself as one of the city’s best hotels. The hotel, which is housed in a former bank, is the first property in America by Lore Group, which is the same team behind the Pulitzer Amsterdam and Sea Containers London.
Founded in 1891, the Riggs has welcomed an array of guests over the years, including former American presidents as well as businessmen from different parts of the world.
The hotel’s interior is playful and fun; the rooms are all modern and come in bold pink and silver designs.
The hotel also has its own dining spot, Café Riggs, which is headed by Chef Patrick Curran of Momofuku fame, as well as a downstairs bar known as the Silver Lyan, created by cocktail visionary Ryan Chetiyawardana.
Located not too far from the National Mall and the White House, the Willard InterContinental Washington D.C. is one of the finest hotels in the U.S. capital and a landmark in its own right. Since it first opened its doors to the public in 1818, the five-star hotel has become a favorite stop for history buffs and travelers looking for a luxurious and magnificent stay in the city.
The Willard has welcomed a number of notable guests, including the likes of Abraham Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson, and Ulysses Grant. It is even said that it is in this hotel where Martin Luther King, Jr. stayed and wrote his iconic speech before he went on to deliver it at the Lincoln Memorial.
The hotel boasts an elegant, old-school feel and the lobby is incredibly palatial, featuring ornate designs, marble columns, and tile mosaics. Guests are also treated to deluxe facilities (such as the Elizabeth Arden spa and Café du Parc restaurant) and topnotch service from the staff. Don’t forget to swing by at the famous Round Robin Bar and order the signature drink – the mint julep.
Overlooking its namesake park, the DuPont Circle Hotel is a luxury boutique hotel that has been welcoming guests since 1941. Located in the upscale neighborhood of DuPont Circle, where it got its name, the hotel is quite in demand because of its great location (it is within walking distance of attractions such as The Phillips Collection, National Museum of African American History and Culture, and the Washington Monument), topnotch services and array of facilities.
Additionally, the DuPont Circle Hotel draws locals who are looking for some after-work activities; the hotel houses a restaurant (The Pembroke), a café (Doyle & Co), and a cocktail bar (Doyle) where both guests and non-guests go for oyster specials and happy hour drinks.
Nestled within the trendy neighborhood of Adams Morgan, The LINE DC is one of the buzziest accommodations in the city. The building is located in a 110-year old deconsecrated church that has since been converted into a trendy boutique hotel that appeals to the younger and more chic crowd.
The hip hotel boasts an array of services; from its unique restaurant, café, and bars to its one-of-a-kind event spaces, work areas, and a podcasting station. In a city that’s known for its history and tradition, The LINE DC shows that there is a much cooler side to D.C. waiting to be explored.