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Look Inside the Four “First Lady Suites” at the New Riggs Hotel

Wither the Presidential Suite?

The Ida McKinley Suite at Riggs Washington DC. Photographs by Jennifer Hughes.

You won’t find a typical Presidential Suite at Riggs Washington DC, the gorgeous new Penn Quarter hotel inside the 19th century Riggs Bank building. Instead, designer Jacu Strauss created a collection of luxury suites inspired by “the eccentricities of a select few Presidents’ unsung better halves.” Currently, spending the night in one will cost you around $850, but you can check out these photos for free.

The Ida McKinley Suite
Strauss drew on McKinley’s love of flowers to create the color scheme of blush, purple, and some green, which is meant to evoke a bouquet.

The Caroline Harrison Suite
During her time as First Lady, Harrison helped start the White House’s permanent collection of china. So, this room is done up in pale blue and bone-china white, and contains an assortment of decorative Wedgwood Jasperware and other porcelain items collected from antique markets and shops.

The Louisa Adams Suite
Because Adams encouraged music in the White House and was herself a harpist and pianist, this suite includes a baby grand piano and other musical references, such as violins displayed as wall art. Though the main color is yellow, the hints of black and white are a nod to piano keys.

The Angelica Van Buren Suite
This one is a bit of a misnomer, since Angelica Van Buren was not actually First Lady— she was the President’s daughter-in-law. But since the President was a widower, Angelica did preside as lady of the house. She came from an aristocratic background, and this suite is meant to reflect her extravagant taste.

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Senior Editor

Marisa M. Kashino joined Washingtonian in 2009 as a staff writer, and became a senior editor in 2014. She oversees the magazine’s real estate and home design coverage, and writes long-form feature stories. She was a 2020 Livingston Award finalist for her two-part investigation into a possible wrongful conviction stemming from a murder in rural Virginia. Kashino lives in Northeast DC.

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