Fortunes and friendships change quickly in D.C., but leafy Dupont Circle, with its charming shops and trendy restaurants, has yet to go out of style. Perched right on the circle itself, within walking distance of nearly every desirable D.C. spot, the Dupont Circle Hotel takes pride of place, rivaled only by 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. So it’s no surprise that the hotel’s Café Dupont brasserie and wood-and-leather Bar Dupont are see-and-be-seen spots for everyone from staffers to diplomats (Embassy Row is just around the corner, too). That the food is top-notch, the wine list impressive, and the scotch fit for cigar-swilling politicians is a bonus. The sleek and sultry rooms, too, take advantage of their surroundings, most with large windows overlooking the circle; the even more luxurious Level Nine suites also have private, furnished glass balconies for enjoying the views. Best of all, though, is the feeling of walking out the front door in the morning and knowing that the capital is at your doorstep.
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As its name indicates, the Dupont Circle Hotel is located right on Dupont Circle, at the heart of one of the District’s most iconic and affluent neighborhoods. Many of the city’s top restaurants and bars—such as Little Serow, Ezmè, and the Tabard Inn—are within a few minutes’ walk, as are landmark D.C. spots like Kramerbooks and the Phillips Collection. Trendy Logan Circle, with its up-and-coming food and art scene, is just a few blocks east; popular spots include Le Diplomate and Estadio. The National Mall and the monuments are slightly farther south, but, on a nice day, the walk couldn’t be more scenic. The Dupont Circle metro stop is also just outside the hotel’s front door, putting the entire city within easy reach.
Need to Know
Rooms: 327 rooms, 15 suites. From $229. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: Inspired by classic French brasseries in both style and flavor, Café Dupont is a breezily elegant restaurant that attracts many of the hotel’s diplomat and politician neighbors to its sophisticated farm-to-table cuisine and window-walled dining room that opens up onto the leafy circle in warmer months. Like any good hotel bar, the private-club-inspired Bar Dupont serves a selection of oysters on the half-shell and cheese plates alongside extensive scotch and wine lists, making it a popular after-work spot for discerning staffers and lobbyists. Spa and gym details: The hotel does not have a spa, but it does have a gym with state-of-the-art equipment.
Who's it best for: Sophisticated travelers for whom location is key. Our favorite rooms: The exclusive and even better-dressed Level Nine suites are accessed via a separate, private elevator, and each has a private balcony, free drink service, soaking tub, and personal concierge. Special perk: The Level Nine suites are worth the upgrade, if only for access to the private Level Nine lounge, where an “Indulgence Hour” of snacks and drinks is offered daily.