In our low city, the vantages from which to take in a memorable view—atop the Washington Monument, say, or on the Capitol steps—are few. More problematic, the panoramas they afford don’t include them. This serene rooftop at the two-year-old Capella hotel, in Georgetown’s former American Trial Lawyers Association building, looks over all of DC’s civic splendor—but at the cost of egalitarianism. The spot is the province of “rooftop members,” who pay a $3,000 initiation fee and $1,000 annually. The hotel claims that more than 200 people have ponied up for what Capella owner Bruce Bradley calls “a soothing respite from the world below.” Need it for only a night? Hotel guests—who pay anywhere from $595 to $7,000 to stay in one of Capella’s 49 rooms—get it “free.”
This article appears in our September 2015 issue of Washingtonian.