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.
This article appears in our Washingtonian Welcome Guide.