If you can afford to, stay at The Jefferson, which I consider to be D.C.’s best hotel. (I’m hardly alone: U.S. News & World Report named The Jefferson not only the #1 hotel in DC, but among the top ten hotels in the U.S.) And if you can’t afford to, at least stop in at Quill, the hotel’s delightful bar, where the bartender will invent a cocktail to please you, right on the spot. Located slightly off the beaten track, about [bf]1/2 mile north of the White House, The Jefferson exudes the ambience of a country house hotel. Decor throughout pays homage to Thomas Jefferson in all his passions, from Quill’s display of 18th-century maps tracing the oenophile’s journeys through the wine regions of France, to guest room fabrics imprinted with architectural and agricultural scenes of Monticello. A handful of rooms catch glimpses of the Washington Monument a mile away, another few look to the White House, at the end of 16th Street; none, alas, capture the sight of the Jefferson Memorial a bit beyond. In addition to Quill and the lovely, skylit Greenhouse restaurant, the hotel’s dining options include the sublime and intimate Plume restaurant, which serves seasonal menus inspired by the harvest from Thomas Jefferson’s kitchen gardens at Monticello.
- Elise Hartman Ford