The Willard is where history meets luxury. The Beaux-Arts structure, which takes up the entire city block, feels regal and ritzy. The lobby—where the term “lobbying” is said to have been coined by President Ulysses S. Grant, who would be approached by favor-seekers while he enjoyed a brandy and cigar in the lobby—has two-story marble columns.
It’s a place for big dinners and gala events in the Willard Room, for a scotch at the storied Round Robin Bar, or for a strut down the hotel’s fern-lined Peacock Alley, stopping perhaps for afternoon tea.
The guest rooms are less extravagant than the downstairs, but they’re classic and add to the overall regal feel.
A room on the F Street side pays tribute to the hotel’s 150-year history, with walls filled with timelines, descriptions, and old photographs. In 1824, Charles Dickens stayed there when it was the City Hotel. In 1862, Walt Whitman referenced the Willard’s bar in his appeal to Union Troops. In 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. wrote his famous “I Have a Dream” speech while a Willard guest.
Room amenities: Minibar, 24-hour laundry and valet services, bathrooms with telephone and built-in hair dryer, turndown service, dual-line telephone with voicemail, bathrobe and slippers, flat-screen TV, complimentary shoeshine, AM/FM radio with CD player, complimentary newspaper, iron and ironing board
Hotel amenities: Elizabeth Arden Red Door spa; concierge; 24-hour fitness center; business center with fax, printing, desktop publishing, scanning, binding, laminating, photocopy, cell phone rental, packaging, and shipping
Things nearby: The White House, Washington Monument, National Mall, Smithsonian Museums, Department of Treasury, Ford’s Theatre, National Theatre, Warner Theatre