The St. Regis

Two blocks north of the White House, the St. Regis started life as the Carlton hotel in 1926; in 1999, it took the name of its New York flagship. Its vibe is proper and presidential; in fact, every president since Calvin Coolidge has stayed here. When built, it was meant to outdo European luxury hotels, and the St. Regis still caters to guests with an old-world European vibe. In 2008, full renovations added modern touches.

Upon entering, guests often first look up. A hand-carved wooden ceiling is magnificent in gold and green; it took a long time to repaint in the renovation. Next, they might notice the fragrant smell of floating lilies, the sparkling chandeliers, or the bronze chess game awaiting.

Rooms are of the same caliber, with touches such as Palladian windows and Italian Renaissance chandeliers. Antique desks and brass fixtures, however, are paired with iHomes and with TVs within the bathroom mirrors.

Amenities include mini bar, 32-inch flat screen LCD TV, Bose radio and iPod Bose SoundDock, DVD player, antique-style desk, cordless phones, Remede bathroom amenities, Pratesi linens, 24-hour complimentary fitness center, luggage storage, translation services, 24-hour front desk, business room with copy/printing service, audio/visual equipment and data port, private dining, butler service, multilingual concierge staff, gift shop, gift/sundry shop, and tour service.

Nearby attractions include the White House, Decatur House Museum, National Geographic Museum, National Jewish Museum, Renwick Gallery, and the US Treasury.