An elegant icon of the D.C. hotel scene, the Four Seasons straddles the line between Georgetown and Foggy Bottom. Perched at the top of Pennsylvania Avenue (yes, same as the President) overlooking Rock Creek Park, this luxury retreat has one foot firmly planted in refined Georgetown society while the other flirts with Foggy Bottom’s power-playing politicos. Long the pied-à-terre of choice for visiting dignitaries and magnates alike, the hotel does classic, five-star luxury like few others—this is the Four Seasons, after all—with anything-you-want service, a 24-hour spa and fitness area that even has gym clothes available to borrow. There’s also the kind of wood-paneled steakhouse where back-channel deals are struck, and a private art collection worthy of any socialite’s Georgetown townhouse. The six presidential suites guarantee plenty of VIP treatment, but even plebeians feel like royalty (or, at least, special advisors) in the rooms outfitted with custom wood furniture, heavy drapes, and views of the Potomac and the monuments. All you need now is a security detail.
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On the edge of Georgetown, where Pennsylvania Avenue splits off from M Street and heads into Foggy Bottom, the Four Seasons overlooks Rock Creek Park, the C&O Canal, and the Potomac beyond. M Street in Georgetown is lined with designer shops, including the luxury interiors boutique of Cady’s Alley, and the neighborhood is filled with excellent restaurants such as Unum, Il Canale, and the iconic Martin’s Tavern. Longtime jazz hot spot Blues Alley is just a few blocks away, and lesser-known attractions like the historic Dumbarton Oaks estate are also within walking distance. Foggy Bottom, Dupont Circle, and the monuments are all within a short cab ride, too.
Need to Know
Rooms: 222 rooms, 59 suites. From $495. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: A landmark of the Beltway power breakfast scene, Seasons also serves a seasonal gourmet lunch and a decadent brunch in a bright, breezy, and Old World society–approved dining room overlooking Rock Creek and the Potomac River. In a more masculine dining room where Don Draper wouldn’t feel out of place, Bourbon Steak is one of the most refined and modern steakhouses in the District, serving hormone-free steaks and fresh seafood to the power players tucked into its high-backed wooden booths. The adjacent lounge seems to have walked out of House of Cards, its curated wine, scotch, and cocktail lists sipped by an attractive after-work and after-hours crowd guaranteed to contain more than a few big names; in the warmer months, the scene spills out onto a garden patio. The hotel also runs Eno, a grown-up wine bar in an adjacent historic townhouse, which boasts an extensive drinks list and dairy-heavy bites like fondue, panini, and cheese boards. Spa and gym details: The hotel’s multi-level spa and fitness complex is outfitted with every amenity imaginable, including a full range of top-of-the-line equipment, iPods and DVDs to borrow, fresh juices and fruit, a sauna and eucalyptus steam room, and a lap pool. In addition to the full range of spa treatments, private training and yoga classes can be arranged. Gym clothes are even available to borrow, in case you forgot your own.
Who's it best for: Those who appreciate traditional luxury. Our favorite rooms: All rooms at the Four Seasons are spacious and classically elegant, but the Grand Premier Rooms and Capital Suites strike the perfect balance of having enough space for families, decadent marble bathrooms with oversized soaking tubs, and large windows overlooking the Potomac and historic Georgetown without feeling excessive; higher-floor rooms naturally have the most impressive views. Expansive service: The signature five-star service at the Four Seasons means that the concierge can provide nearly anything you need for free, the moment you ask, without batting an eyelash; this includes everything from poker chips and balloons to perfume and coloring books.