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  • Mandarin Oriental, 1330 Maryland Ave. SW, near National Mall (tel. 202/554-8588; www.mandarinoriental.com/washington): This is the capital's swankiest hotel. You're away from it all but still within walking distance of Smithsonian museums. Its spa and restaurant are the crème de la crème, and guest-room designs follow the principles of Feng shui to attract good fortune.
  • Four Seasons, 2800 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Georgetown (tel. 202/342-0444; www.fourseasons.com/washington): It's so nice to be loved, isn't it? And the Four Seasons staff make you feel that way, pampering you relentlessly and greeting you by name. Thanks to two recent multimillion-dollar renovations, hotel guest rooms are 50% larger and twice as inviting, suites are redone, and the Bourbon Steak restaurant and lounge are now the scene-ist scenes in the city.
  • The Jefferson, Washington, D.C., 1200 16th St. NW, Dupont Circle (tel. 202/448-2300; www.jeffersondc.com): This 99-room hotel wins one over with its gracious service; exquisitely decorated guest rooms, several with stunning views of the White House and Washington Monument; cozy library with fireplace and other private nooks; hip bar, Quill; sophisticated French restaurant, Plume; and overall welcoming ambience that makes you feel right at home.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.