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The architecture is Second French Empire Beaux-Arts style at the Forbes Travel Guide Recommended Willard InterContinental in Washington, D.C. The Beaux-Arts style features ornate sculptural decorations, arches and a raised first story, like the expansive, cavernous lobby at the hotel. The high, gilded ceiling of this space is impressive: It’s dotted with the seals of the lower 48 states of the union (Alaska and Hawaii, which became states after this space was created, can be seen in the nearby Peacock Alley hallway). Ask the concierge for a map of the seals to find your home state.
The rest of the D.C. hotel features details and materials befitting its century-old heritage: Peacock Alley, the long, ornate hallway just off the lobby, is outfitted in rich burgundy carpet, marble tables and yellow gold fixtures. The hotel hosts afternoon tea here. Well-dressed Washingtonians and their children nibble pastries as a harpist strums nearby. Tea is offered Friday to Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. ($39), and a special tea event is held during the National Cherry Blossom Festival each March and April.
Your guest room is designed in a classic style as well: If you were going to shoot a movie scene set in a Washington hotel room, you’d probably choose the Willard. Chairs and beds are traditionally styled with striped wallpaper, luxe draperies and gilded accents.