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With dignitaries and politicians flying in all the time, Washington, D.C. has to have its fair share of world-class accommodation. For starters, The Ritz-Carlton, Washington D.C. is The Ritz at its finest: classic décor, luxurious amenities, comfortable rooms and an attentive staff. Standout amenities include access to a nearby full-service spa, a 100,000-square-foot fitness center and the popular Westend Bistro.
For a not-so-traditional Ritz-Carlton experience, head to the brand’s sister property, The Ritz-Carlton, Georgetown. The 86-room hotel occupies a former public incinerator building, maintaining much of the original architecture, including a 130-foot smokestack. The rooms are more modern than those at the West End hotel, but you can expect the same top-rate service and attention to detail.
The Hay-Adams and The Jefferson, Washington, D.C. are good choices if you love history. The former is named after John Hay, Abraham Lincoln’s private assistant and later secretary of state under William McKinley, and Henry Adams, author and descendent of John Adams and John Quincy Adams.
The nearby Jefferson hotel pays homage to Thomas Jefferson, with documents he signed decorating the hallway and tomes he owned filling the mahogany Book Room. Even Plume, the hotel’s ultra-formal restaurant, caters to Jeffersonian tastes: A 1,500-bottle wine cellar houses the former president’s favorite varieties.
The swanky Mandarin Oriental, Washington D.C. is just blocks from the National Mall — ground zero for some of D.C.’s most popular sites and museums. The hotel’s restaurants, Sou’Wester and CityZen, are musts, too; the former, a Southern-style kitchen, turns out mouth-watering hushpuppies and delicious pies. The latter offers excellent contemporary American cooking.
Four Seasons Hotel Washington D.C. is a fixture of D.C.’s Georgetown neighborhood. Renovated in 2009, it features guest rooms replete with luxe touches — extra-deep soaking tubs, marble bathrooms, feather-topped mattresses — and superior amenities such as a three-story fitness center with a two-lane saltwater lap pool. The onsite restaurant Bourbon Steak came on as part of the renovation. The fourth outpost of celebrity chef Michael Mina’s steak-house chain, it serves up some of the best cuts in the city.
The palatial St. Regis, Washington D.C. is just blocks from the White House, so it’s no surprise that countless presidents, including Calvin Coolidge, Harry S. Truman and Ronald Reagan, are counted among former A-list guests. And master chef Alain Ducasse helms Adour at St. Regis, a French restaurant that crafts local, seasonal dishes like a playful “BLT” with glazed pork belly, braised lettuce and tomato jam.
Willard InterContinental — otherwise known as the "Residence of the Presidents" — played host to numerous presidents-elect before their inauguration in years past, but it hasn't lost its historical charm. The hotel's Round Robin & Scotch Bar serves as the site where Abraham Lincoln, Mark Twain and Walt Whitman downed a libation or two, and an onsite Red Door Spa boasts Four-Star status.
The eight-story Fairfax at Embassy Row oozes 1920s allure with its country club aesthetic (think manicured grounds, a wood-paneled lobby and classic paintings). Located in the city's Dupont Circle, you're within walking distance to many of D.C.'s embassies — hence the hotel's name — and the Dupont area feels lively and residential. For a taste of political history, dine at the property's signature restaurant, the Jockey Club, which was frequented by Nancy Reagan and Jackie Kennedy back in the day.