This 88-year-old hotel’s tagline “Where nothing is overlooked but the White House,” would be corny if it were not true. The Hay-Adams is known for its sublime service as well as for being the hotel that lies closest to the White House and the only one with such straight-on views, best seen from guest rooms on the top floors six through eight. (One can also see Lafayette Square, the Washington Monument, and the Jefferson Memorial.) Views in other rooms are of historic St. John’s Episcopal Church and downtown buildings. So it makes sense that views determine guest room rates. Rooms are similarly sized, about 385 square feet, and furnished with creamy white and tan toile fabrics, European linens, marble bathrooms. The interior designs that were here when Amelia Earhart stayed at the Hay in 1928—intricate plaster moldings, walnut wainscoting, and high ceilings—are still in place. One thing that was not here then was the Off the Record bar, a regular hangout for the press and politicos.
- Elise Hartman Ford