1401 Pennsylvania Ave., NW; 202-628-9100; washington.intercontinental.com
Venture out: With the Mall around the corner, the AAA Four Diamond hotel is perfectly located for a day of museum-hopping: the Natural History Museum, Hirshhorn, and more are all just a stone’s throw away. After feeding your brain, treat your palate with Indian fare at Rasika, helmed by James Beard Award–winning chef Vikram Sunderam.
Never leave: Rev up the romance with an in-room bouquet from Greenworks Florist on the first floor, where you’ll also find the 200-year-old hotel’s own history gallery.
Inn at Little Washington
Middle and Main Sts., Washington, Va.; 540-675-3800; theinnatlittlewashington.com
Venture out: Nestled nearby Shenandoah National Park, the Inn offers respite after a day’s hike or behind-the-wheel adventuring along Skyline Drive. For aficionados of Americana, both James Madison’s Montpelier and Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello are roughly an hour away, and for oenophiles, Virginia’s rolling Western hills are speckled with wineries.
Never leave: With just 24 rooms, including a few private cottages, the intimate grounds are the perfect setting for love. The renowned restaurant, run by chef Patrick O’Connell, recently nabbed two Michelin stars.
1330 Maryland Ave., SW; 202-554-8588; mandarinoriental.com
Venture out: Steps from the Tidal Basin, the Mandarin Oriental is ideally situated for visiting the Jefferson, Lincoln, and Washington memorial-and-monument trifecta on foot. Blocks away, L’Enfant Plaza Metro station offers easy access to the city’s Metro lines.
Never leave: Another perk: sprawling waterfront views at every price point, from a Premier Waterfront Room to the presidential suite. In the spring, relax with the sakura-inspired Cherry Blossom treatment at the hotel spa.
2401 M St., NW; 866-540-4505; fairmont.com
Venture out: Stroll down M Street over Rock Creek and into Georgetown, then fuel up at Baked & Wired before a day of shopping. Prefer culture to commerce? Dupont Circle has plenty to offer. Stop in at Second Story Books or Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe for some #shelfie action, then head to the Phillips Collection on 21st Street.
Never leave: Much of the Fairmont has been recently renovated, including its courtyard garden. In springtime, enjoy a leisurely breakfast under a canopy of cherry trees; chilly nights call for a cozy nightcap next to the fire pits.
Inn at Perry Cabin by Belmond
308 Watkins La., St. Michaels; 410-745-2200; belmond.com
Venture out: Nautically appointed rooms open via French doors to manicured lawns and the glimmering Miles River at this gem on the Eastern Shore. Spend a day exploring quaint St. Michaels, a 19th-century town rife with antique shops and fresh-seafood joints, or try a bay cruise with one of the Inn’s ASA-approved sailing courses.
Never leave: The Linden Spa has a range of relaxing massages and treatments, the pool bar serves up fizzy cocktails all day, and afternoons call for a game of croquet across the picturesque front lawn.
923 16th and K Sts., NW; 202-638-2626; stregiswashingtondc.com
Venture out: Just two blocks from the White House, spend some time ambling past the South Lawn to the Ellipse, ducking into the Renwick Gallery along the way. When you’re done strolling south, head north to tucked-away Blagden Alley for bites at the Dabney and cocktails at Columbia Room.
Never leave: With its renowned butler service, the royally appointed hotel makes it easy to hole up for the weekend, but if you need a change of scene, the leather chairs and roaring fireplace at the St. Regis Bar make the where-to-get-a-drink decision simple.
This article appeared in the Winter/Spring 2018 issue of Bride and Groom.