You’re really in the thick of things at this hotel, situated on a busy Chinatown street in the bustling Penn Quarter, a block north of the Verizon Center, and surrounded by hip eateries, like Daikaya, still a star two years after its March 2013 debut. But this is an old neighborhood, too: The bells of St. Mary Mother of God, the 1890 Catholic church across 5th Street from the Fairfield, peal from 7am to—don’t worry—9pm at night. And if you walk down H Street to 604, you’ll notice a historic plaque on the facade of what is now the Wok and Roll restaurant, identifying the structure as Mary Surratt’s Boarding House (Surratt conspired here with John Wilkes Booth to assassinate President Lincoln.). The vibrant Fairfield opened in 2011, following a remodeling of the former Red Roof Inn, and the nine-story property plays up the Chinatown connection, with the color red and Chinese symbols predominating in furnishings. Most spacious are ninth floor rooms (which also have high ceilings) and corner suites ending in “25.” Fifth Street-facing rooms offer nice city views, including St. Mary’s across the street. Deluxe king rooms have pullout sofas. Guests also like the key-only access to elevators, the availability of a coin-operated washer/dryer, and, most especially, the complimentary continental breakfast, which recently expanded to include hot items: eggs, sausage, and waffles.
- Elise Hartman Ford