This sleek, modern hotel near Union Station is frequented by power players and the occasional celebrity. The in-house restaurant, Bistro Bis, is a favorite among Hill types.
15 E St., NW; 202-347-4200.
Conveniently located near Union Station, the Capitol Building, and the Senate office buildings, this Hyatt mainstay features neutral, understated decor, good views of the Capitol, and an indoor pool.
400 New Jersey Ave., NW; 202-737-1234.
The Liaison Capitol Hill
This boutique hotel wins points for its rooftop pool, complete with sun terrace and bar. Decor tends toward the masculine, but the hotel includes Art and Soul, a popular restaurant helmed by Oprah Winfrey’s former personal chef.
415 New Jersey Ave., NW; 202-638-1616.
Courtyard Washington Capitol Hill/Navy Yard
This Courtyard outpost benefits from proximity to Nationals Park as well as Capitol Hill (a ten-minute walk). The formerly quiet neighborhood is transitioning with a fleet of new businesses, bars, and restaurants.
140 L St., SE; 202-479-0027.
Not for nothing did the Obamas check into the Hay-Adams before moving into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Old-school grandeur, luxurious decor, impeccable service, and stunning views of the White House make this a Washington fixture.
800 16th St., NW; 202-638-6600.
This Beaux Arts gem on 16th Street reopened in 2009 following extensive renovations. Inside the lobby, checkered floors lead to rooms with opulent but tasteful furnishings.
1200 16th St., NW; 202-448-2300.
The St. Regis’s imposing, palazzo-style building was inaugurated by Calvin Coolidge in 1926. Lavish rooms and high-tech fittings, and butler service allow for a comfortable stay.
923 16th St., NW; 202-638-2626.
W Washington DC
While most of Washington’s luxury hotels are all about overstated elegance, the W is an ultra-trendy exception. In the main lobby, red patent leather chairs sit opposite zebra-print ottomans, while a deejay plays house music in the background.
515 15th St., NW; 202-661-2400.
The Willard InterContinental
Martin Luther King Jr. reportedly finished his “I Have a Dream” speech in this 1901 Beaux Arts landmark. This is Old Washington luxury at its best: mahogany furnishings, crystal chandeliers, and afternoon tea just minutes from the White House.
1401 Pennsylvania Ave., NW; 202-628-9100.
Located just off K Street, this storied Hilton location teems with power players during the week. Rooms are spare and elegant; amenities include access (for a fee) to the on-site gym and spa.
1001 16th St., NW; 202-393-1000.
Loews Madison Hotel
This boutique hotel is a stylish, well-positioned spot with elegant decor, 300-count Egyptian cotton sheets, free Wi-Fi, and reliable service.
1177 15th st., nw; 202-862-1600.
The Mayflower Renaissance
This downtown landmark may have a scandalous history—it’s where former New York governor Eliot Spitzer brought his career-ending “date”—but its reputation is otherwise solid. Painted murals, ornate moldings, and plenty of chandeliers add to the genteel ambience.
1127 Connecticut Ave., NW; 202-347-3000.
Sofitel Washington DC Lafayette Square
Two blocks from the White House, this Sofitel outpost combines European style with American efficiency. Rooms are simple and handsome, and an in-house library offers reading materials for guests to peruse.
806 15th St., NW; 202-730-8800.
Dupont Circle/Adams Morgan
The Dupont Circle Hotel
Perched on the northeast corner of Dupont Circle, this boutique hotel features a modern aesthetic with stylish touches: fresh flowers, marble floors, and the occasional flash of animal print.
1500 New Hampshire Ave., NW; 202-483-6000.
Kimpton has four properties in the Dupont area alone, but this one stands out for its funky decor, luxurious bathrooms, and attentive service. A heated outdoor pool is surrounded by brick walls and lush greenery.
2121 P St., NW; 202-448-1800.
Omni Shoreham Hotel
This elegant hotel near Rock Creek Park and the National Zoo has been open since 1930. Amenities include a heated outdoor pool and a spa; the hotel also accomodates smaller pets.
2500 Calvert St., NW; 202-234-0700.
The Washington Hilton
Affectionately known by locals as the “Hinckley Hilton,” this sprawling building north of Dupont Circle is quietly stylish and comfortable. Amenities include an outdoor pool and a terrace
bar with individual fire pits.
1919 Connecticut Ave., NW; 202-483-3000.
The Four Seasons is where boldface names come to stay in Washington—it’s hosted everyone from the Jonas Brothers to Brad and Angelina. Exquisite decor and lavish trimmings (marble bathrooms, L’Occitane products) make this a five-star experience.
2800 Pennsylvania Ave., NW; 202-342-0444.
The Graham Georgetown
This boutique hotel, named after former Georgetown resident Alexander Graham Bell, offers guests modern decor, thoughtful service, and a rooftop Observatory bara with panoramic views of the Potomac River.
1075 Thomas Jefferson St., NW; 202-337-0900.
The Ritz-Carlton Georgetown
Tucked away on a side street, this hotel has a vast lobby fireplace that gives the otherwise sleek institution a cozy feel. Rooms are minimalist-chic with marble baths; some suites have fireplaces and river views.
3100 South St.. NW; 202-912-4100.
Name Travel + Leisure‘s number one hotel in DC, this canal-side reinvention of the former Capella Hotel has quickly become a favorite luxury alternative. The rooftop lounge offers charming views of the city—and includes a 24-hour indoor-outdoor infinity pool. Rooms are handsome and luxuriously appointed, and the marble-clad lobby fireplace creates a cozy winter gathering space.
1050 31st St., NW; 202-617-2400.
The rooftop pool and vibrant crowd make this feel more like an LA or Miami hotspot, but the offbeat location means Donovan House can be a bargain. Rooms are modish and soothing, with crisp white bathrooms.
1155 14th St., NW; 202-737-1200.
Grand Hyatt Washington
Structured around a dramatic glass atrium, this sizable property features trees and waterfalls inside the lobby. Rooms are neutral and pleasant; within the hotel are an indoor pool, a gym, a pub, and a Starbucks.
1000 H St., NW; 202-582-1234.
This chic Kimpton hotel gets extra points for location—it’s close to major museums, the Mall, and the Verizon Center. Rooms are eclectic-chic, and Poste, the hotel’s restaurant, is a buzzing hotspot.
700 F St., NW; 202-628-7177.
Washington Marriott at Metro Center
Sandwiched between bustling Penn Quarter and the White House, this business-friendly property includes a fitness center with a pool and a sauna. Decor is clean, bright, and comfortable; service is friendly and efficient.
775 12th St., NW; 202-737-2200.
Mandarin Oriental Washington, DC
Don’t be fooled by the unusual location—Washington’s Mandarin outpost is as palatial as you’d expect, with sumptuous rooms and gorgeous views of the river and the Washington Monument.
1330 Maryland Ave., SW; 202-554-8588.
Fairmont Washington, DC, Georgetown
The West End property boasts an elegant courtyard with trees and topiary, a charming breakfast conservatory, and comfortable, bright rooms.
2401 M St., NW; 202-429-2400.
Park Hyatt Washington
Located on a quiet strip between Georgetown and downtown, this chic, Americana-style property features light wood paneling, contemporary art, and the fabulous Blue Duck Tavern.
2400 M St., NW; 202-789-1234.
The Ritz-Carlton, Washington DC
It’s hard not to be charmed by the quirky grandeur of this stylish spot, or by the faultless service and attention to detail. The in-house gym, the Sports Club/LA, is one of the best in town.
1150 22nd St., NW; 202-835-0500.
The Westin Georgetown
This tasteful Westin outpost includes modern decor and a chic outdoor terrace. Bonus: It’s also pet-friendly.
2350 M St., NW; 202-429-0100.
This Hyatt outpost is located right by Arlington Cemetery and a short walk across the bridge from Georgetown.
1325 Wilson Blvd., Arlington; 703-525-1234.
The Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City
This graceful Arlington property exceeds its Pentagon City surroundings, but as a result, rooms can be a bargain. Perks include an indoor pool and sauna and direct access to the adjacent mall.
1250 S. Hayes St., Arlington; 703-415-5000.
Hilton Garden Inn Bethesda
The Hilton gets credit for excellent, attentive service and clean, well-maintained rooms. Amenities include a gym, a pool, and a hot tub, plus a 24-hour pavilion pantry for sundries.
7301 Waverly St., Bethesda; 301-654-8111.
Hyatt Regency Bethesda
This modern hub features a 12-story atrium, warm decor, and a Morton’s Steakhouse just downstairs.
7400 Wisconsin ave., Bethesda; 301-657-1234.
This article appears in our Washingtonian Welcome Guide.