Renaissance Washington DC Dupont Circle Hotel

Out of the three Marriott Renaissances in DC—the Renaissance Mayflower and the downtown Renaissance are the other two—the Renaissance Dupont Circle is the newest and is considered the “arts hotel.” Its lobby transforms daily at 5 pm: The lighting changes color and dims, candles are lit, and the music gets more upbeat. The lobby is fit for lounging any time of day; it’s set between a bar at one end and an Illy coffee shop on the other. The walls are hung with a rotating exhibit of artwork by Corcoran Gallery of Art students. There’s also occasionally live music.

Another piece of this hotel’s character is found in its history—the building originally opened in 1965 as a psychiatric hospital. Although it’s been completely renovated since—most recently in 2007—the hallways are wider than in many hotels, the 63 rooms are of varying sizes, and the elevators are elongated with rounded ends.

In an effort to be up-to-speed for active guests, Renaissance creates an “In the Know” pamphlet every few weeks that lists out-of-the-ordinary places that travelers won’t find mentioned in guidebooks. They also call their concierges “navigators.”

Insider tip: Queen rooms have a few neat amenities that other rooms don’t, including a sliding mirrored bathroom door, a walk-in shower, and a rain shower head.

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