Note: This hotel closed in October 2015. Its replacement, the Kimpton-run Mason & Rook (www.masonandrook.com) opens in 2016.
The Helix is the perfect place to stay if you’re interested in exploring the city’s hottest neighborhood, the U&14th Street Corridors. Simply venture a few yards to your right on exiting the hotel, and you reach 14th Street, one of the two heartbeats of this district. Turn in either direction at the corner and start your engine: Estadio, Birch and Barley, Churchkey, and many other happenin’ eateries and bars await. The Helix is perfect because it is the hotel closest to the action, but also because it speaks the same trendy language. Take your cues from the neon green–colored furniture, striped fabrics, the PEZ and Pop Rocks candies in the minibar, the Andy Warholish artwork, and other attention-grabbing decor, and have fun, fun, fun! Guest rooms, averaging 400 square feet, aim for uncluttered comfort: thick-mattressed platform beds sit inside alcoves (in king deluxe rooms), a petite settee backs up against a triangular desk, leaving much wide open space. There are 18 suites, each with bedroom separate from the living room. The Kimpton Specialty rooms here feature “Eats” rooms, which have fully equipped kitchenettes; and “Bunk” rooms, popular with families. And just so you know: The closest Metro stop is about a half-mile away, so the DC Circulator bus, which stops a couple of blocks away every 10 minutes, might be a better bet. But this is compact Washington, so you’re never far from many attractions.