Best Historic Hotel: The Willard InterContinental celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2006 as the “new” 12-story Willard, replacing the original, smaller “City Hotel” that existed here between 1816 and 1906. Whether known as the City or the Willard, the hotel has hosted nearly every U.S. president since Franklin Pierce in 1853. President Ulysses S. Grant liked to unwind with cigar and brandy in the Willard lobby after a hard day in the Oval Office; literary luminaries such as Mark Twain and Charles Dickens used to hang out in the Round Robin bar.
Best for Romance: Its discreet service, intimate size, exquisitely decorated guest rooms, and the fact that you need never leave the hotel for pampering or dining makes The Jefferson perfect for romantic rendezvous. Its bar, Quill, has pull-the-curtain niches, perfect for private canoodling. A Spa Suite combines a guest bedroom and adjoining spa treatment room. There’s fine dining in restaurant Plume and cozy spots for reading in the Book Room, where a fire crackles in the hearth.
Best When You Have Business on Capitol Hill: The George, a Kimpton Hotel, lies a short walk from the Capitol and offers free Wi-Fi and an excellent in-house power-dining spot, Bistro Bis, among other business-friendly amenities.
Best Bang for Your Buck: Its great Georgetown location, spacious studio and one-bedroom suites with kitchens, free Wi-Fi, and reasonable rates recommend Georgetown Suites as one of the best values in town.
Best Views: The Hay-Adams has such a great, unobstructed view of the White House that the Secret Service comes over regularly to do security sweeps of the place. Ask for a room on the H Street side of the hotel, on floors six through eight.
Best for Families: The Omni Shoreham Hotel is adjacent to Rock Creek Park, within walking distance of the National Zoo and Metro, and has a large outdoor pool and kiddie pool. Nearby kid-friendly eateries include fast-food choices like McDonald’s and local favorites like Lebanese Taverna. Children receive a backpack upon check-in, and the concierge can provide board games and books (at no charge; just remember to return them). Parents appreciate receiving the first aid/safety kit with outlet covers, nightlights, and a list of emergency numbers.
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