W Washington

The W is one of Washington’s newest hotels—in the city’s oldest hotel building. The W opened in July 2009 after the Hotel Washington—DC’s oldest standing hotel—closed. The interior was completely transformed, merging the building’s history with a modern, club-like cool.

The main entrance is off F Street. In the small entrance way, a painting of exploding flowers and crackled wall paint is meant to stand for the falling of the Washington Hotel. As you move to the larger lobby, you see golden flower pieces hanging from the ceiling, which symbolize the hotel’s rebirth. Patterns of pinstripe and lace are backdropped by revitalized Italian Renaissance walls, columns, and cornices, repainted all in white.

Sharp contrasts of red patent leather and zebra prints recall the playfulnness of an Alice in Wonderland scene. The welcome desk is even designed to look like a jewelry box, with dark padded walls and hanging jewels.

The theme continues upstairs. Purple and lace patterns appear throughout hallway carpets. Constellations on the elevator ceilings are meant to be the star pattern over Washington in July, the month the W opened.

The guest rooms aren’t modestly named—rooms are categorized as either Wonderful, Spectacular, or Fabulous; the difference is in the views. Suites are either Fantastic, Marvelous, or Wow—again, set apart by the view and extra room space. While standard rooms are done up in dark fabrics and backlit glowing headboards, the suites are whiter and brighter with purple accents. Rooms feature such furnishings as a white leather chair built into a wall. In all rooms and suites, there is a separate bathtub and shower, side-by-side behind frosted glass.

Hotel hot spots include J&G Steakhouse, a Washingtonian 100 Very Best Restaurant; the small downstairs Wine Bar with doors that open to a view of the Washington Monument, the Jewel Box Bar in the lobby; and the trendy POV bar on the roof. POV overlooks both the White House and Washington Monument in the same sweeping view; lines to get in can get long so reservations are recommended. The W says that hotel guests get “right of passage” to the steakhouse and POV. This means that the hotel won’t kick other people out, but they will place them, say, next in line.

In the lower level of the hotel is an outpost of New York’s Bliss spa, an oasis in blue and white with a snack bar that includes freshly baked brownies.

Room amenities: Goosedown comforter and pillows, iPod docking station, Munchie Box (for a fee), Bliss bathroom products, waterfall shower with frosted glass, dual tub/shower in suites,  white Caesar stone vanity top and silver leaf mirror, newspaper on weekdays, spa robes, hair dryer, 24-hour room service, bottled water, mini bar, coffee maker (upon request), refrigerator available (for charge), iron and ironing board, rollaway beds (upon request)

Hotel amenities: Whatever/Whenever service, an above-and-beyond concierge service available by request, for a fee; luggage storage; multilingual staff; valet service; dry cleaning service; 24-hour front desk; J&G Steakhouse by Jean-Georges; Sasha Petraske’s Rooftop POV bar; SWEAT Fitness Center with yoga mats and fruit; DC’s first Bliss spa; business center with PC and Apple workstations, laptops, printers, scanners, fax, audio/visual equipment, and internet access for $5.95 per 15 minutes; pet-friendly (check out the P.A.W. program)

Things nearby: The White House, Washington Monument, National Mall, Smithsonian Museums, Department of Treasury, National Theatre, Warner Theatre