The flag of Ireland flies outside the entrance to the Phoenix Park, while inside, barkeep Padriac (pronounced “Porick”) is pulling drafts of Guinness and Smithwicks (pronounced “Smidicks”) in the hotel’s lively pub, the Dubliner. The Irish theme carries over into guest rooms, whose amenities include Irish cotton bathrobes and mahogany furnishings. Guests give top marks to the very high beds and their pillow-topped mattresses. Guest rooms vary in size from 275 to 350 square feet, though rooms in the “new wing,” added in 1997, tend to be cozier but not necessarily less expensive. For best views and spaciousness, ask for a room with two queen-size or one king-size bed facing Union Station and/or the National Postal Museum. For the quietest rooms, request a room on the top floor, to escape both the sounds drifting up from the Dubliner (live music nightly!) and traffic noise. Families appreciate the bi-level suites, with pullout sofa in the living room and, up the spiral staircase, a loft bedroom. Business and leisure travelers alike choose the Phoenix Park for its convenient proximity to Union Station and to the Capitol.
- Elise Hartman Ford