Between all the hip restaurants, historic structures, and political intrigues, it’s easy to forget that Washington started out as farmland, surrounded by small, rural communities in one of the young nation’s most fertile regions. The Park Hyatt Washington, though, hasn’t forgotten. This five-star luxury hotel draws its inspiration from the artisans and farmers of the Mid-Atlantic, from the purveyors of local foods (listed next to each menu item in the restaurant), and the folk art and Shaker-style wood furnishings that adorn the premises. Each room includes a collection of books on American crafts and heritage, for those who wish to edify themselves further. In keeping with the artisan tradition, the restaurant, Blue Duck Tavern, also offers a weekly series where a rare magnum wine (usually domestic) not normally found on the menu is opened for guests to sample. Throw in luxury touches like Le Labo toiletries, a town car service, and sleek and private all-glass booths in the bar (for those backroom political deals, of course), and it’s no wonder the hotel is a favorite of culture buffs and high-flying politicians alike.
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Where Georgetown meets Dupont Circle meets Foggy Bottom, the Park Hyatt Washington is hidden away on a quiet stretch of 24th Street in a sleepy neighborhood known as the West End. The area is lined with luxury condos for Beltway insiders and is home to a growing number of posh restaurants, such as Rasika and Burger, Tap & Shake. Georgetown, with its designer shops, cobbled streets, and trendy eateries, is just across Rock Creek Park, while leafy Dupont Circle’s restaurants and museums are just up the street. The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is a quick cab ride away, and the White House and museums, monuments, and parks surrounding the National Mall can be reached in just a few minutes on one of the hotel’s bicycles.
Need to Know
Rooms: 216 rooms, 132 suites. From $270. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: With handcrafted oak furniture and a menu of farm-to-table Mid-Atlantic cuisine, Blue Duck Tavern draws its inspiration from the region’s many farms; indeed, each menu item also lists the farm from which the central ingredient was sourced. The restaurant is an elegant spot, attracting Beltway insiders and discerning locals for three meals and an extensive wine list. The adjacent Blue Duck Lounge offers a range of seasonal and classic craft cocktails, and domestic and international wines, alongside a menu of artisanal meats, cheeses, and light bites. Sleek and stylized, the Tea Cellar is outfitted with polished marble and a glass humidor for storing and aging tea. It serves more than 50 hard-to-find teas, and on weekends, a refined afternoon tea service is offered, complete with seasonal light bites for both adults and children. Spa and gym details: A range of spa and beauty treatments is available in the hotel’s Spa Room or in your guestroom; the Spa Room also has an aromatherapy steam shower. The hotel has a serene, skylit, saltwater indoor pool and hot tub, as well as a bright and modern 24-hour gym. Running-trail maps and GPS watches can be provided for those who prefer to exercise outdoors.
Who's it best for: Business travelers with a sense of style. Our favorite rooms: While the glamorous, penthouse-level Presidential Suite is undoubtedly the best room in the house—complete with walnut floors, baby grand piano, and hand-carved red travertine bathtub—the somewhat more understated Park Junior Suite City View rooms will do in a pinch, with corner views of the monument-speckled skyline, handcrafted furniture, and a limestone, Le Labo–outfitted bathroom worthy of a spa. Bike the city: Explore the capital on two wheels with the Park Hyatt’s Bicycle Valet program, where renting a bike for the day includes a lock, helmet, biking map, speedometer, and more. This way, cyclists can get a workout going up the Potomac, and tourists can see the sights on their own time.