The Fairfax at Embassy Row

Editor's Pick: Historic

The Fairfax Hotel has a long history in Washington. It opened in 1927 with a room rate of $4 a day. It has a distinct Washington-insider feel to it—over the years, congressman, senators, and ambassadors have stayed in the high-style hotel. Even all the artwork in the halls and rooms is Washington-themed.

From the outside, the Fairfax is a classy corner presence. The lobby is small but elegant and you are greeted right away. The feel is traditional, with piped-in Big Band music, but its chandeliers and decor are from recent renovations.

A big part of the hotel history is its restaurant, the Jockey Club (, which reopened in November 2008 after being closed for nearly a decade. This Washington institution has an old-school feel, and dining is jacket-required. The same maitre d’ has returned from nine years earlier. The club’s food is a bit more contemporary than it used to be, with steak, duck, seafood, and other American cuisine. For a more casual bite and a drink, the Fairfax Lounge, in the back of the lobby, is a dimly lit place with wood panels, gas fireplaces, and a nautical theme.

The spacious and stocked fitness center is flooded with light from its many windows.

Insider tip: $5 valet parking is available for those dining in the Fairfax Lounge or the Jockey Club.

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