Not long ago, DC’s hotel scene was dominated by the kind of personality-free, beige-everything chains that might be sensible for tourists but that have little to offer locals seeking a fun place for dinner or cocktails. Thankfully, the arrivals of hot spots such as the Line and Eaton DC have helped change things, and two forthcoming additions promise to up our hospitality game even more. In Penn Quarter, the historic Riggs National Bank building is transforming into a hotel called Riggs Washington DC. In Navy Yard, an outpost of the chic Thompson Hotels brand is preparing for guests. Here’s a peek at both properties, and a quick rundown of how they stack up.
Riggs Washington DC
Opening: While there is no official debut date, room reservations are available on the hotel’s website starting April 1, 2020.
Location: At 9th and F streets, NW, across from the National Portrait Gallery.
Aesthetic: The look nods to the building’s grand 19th century architecture, with brass accents, lush textiles, and a rich color palette. The bank’s barrel-vaulted lobby will remain intact in the reception area, and its original boardroom will become a two-bedroom suite. (The interior design is by Jacu Strauss, creative director of Lore Group, the hospitality company that runs the hotel. Architecture firm Perkins Eastman also helped with the remodel.)
Where you can eat and drink: In the restaurant, Café Riggs, inspired by the “grand brasseries of Europe,” according to a press release, and in the subterranean cocktail bar, Silver Lyan.
Thompson Washington D.C.
Opening: The hotel is slated for a January opening. You can book a room on its website beginning January 15.
Location: At 3rd and Tingey streets, SE, in the Yards development by the ballpark.
Aesthetic: Unlike Riggs, this hotel was built brand-new from the ground up. Its sleek, industrial vibe is meant to pay homage to the neighborhood’s roots. Guest rooms were designed to subtly reference a ship’s cabin—though they look more mid-century modern to us. Many of them have views of the Anacostia River or Nationals Stadium. (The hotel was designed by Studios Architecture and Parts and Labor Design.)
Where you can eat and drink: New York restaurateur Danny Meyer is opening his first seafood restaurant in the hotel, called Maialino Mare. His company, Union Square Hospitality Group, is also overseeing a rooftop bar called Anchovy Social.
*This story has been updated with the Thompson’s newly announced opening date.