Photo courtesy of Capella Washington, D.C., Georgetown
Capella Washington, D.C., Georgetown
Once upon a time, over-the-top luxury was only for royalty. When luxury brand Capella set up its first U.S. outpost along the historic C&O Canal in Georgetown, it opened the doors of its exclusive decadence to, well, everyone else. From the moment you book a room, you enter a rarified world where your every whim can be fulfilled. A personal assistant will call in advance to set a check-in time (whenever is convenient for you) and take any special requests for your minibar and room. Upon arrival, the staff welcomes you by name, and nearly everything comes included, from the nonalcoholic minibar to clothes pressing. Much of the hotel is open only to guests—the rooftop bar, pool, and boutique gym with panoramic views of the monuments, as well as the library-like Living Room, with its floor-to-ceiling onyx fireplace and art deco chairs that beg for heavy conversations, which only accentuates the feeling of a private club. Even arriving at the acclaimed Grill Room for a reservation (because reservations are necessary at this D.C. hot spot) is a matter of understanding; the host simply welcomes you and leads you to your table, nary a glance at a list nor a request for your name.
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Nestled in upscale Georgetown’s cobbled streets, the Capella sits next to the historic and picturesque C&O Canal, in which George Washington was an early investor. The surrounding area has long been D.C.’s most refined, and the designer shopping and acclaimed eateries of M Street and Wisconsin Avenue are just around the corner from the hotel. Grab coffee and homemade baked goods at Baked and Wired (also a popular spot for working breakfasts), dine at icons like Martin’s Tavern, explore the historic Dumbarton Oaks estate and the gothic-style architecture of Georgetown University’s campus, catch a jazz set at the landmark Blues Alley club, and peruse the shops in Cady’s Alley.
Need to Know
Rooms: 49 rooms, 12 suites. From $595. Check-in: Guests set their own check-in and check-out times. Dining options:A white-tableclothed, leather-chair–outfitted scene that seems crafted for political wheeling and dealing, the Grill Room serves a seasonal menu of artisan-meat–heavy, locally-sourced cuisine for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And it’s the who’s who of D.C. weekend brunch. The canalside dining room opens its floor-to-ceiling windows for scenic outdoor seating in the warmer months, and reservations are de rigueur at nearly all hours. The adjacent Rye Bar veers into cigar club territory, with dark leather and mahogany decor complementing its menu’s ode to American rye whiskey; a full range of craft cocktails and snacks are available, as well. Up on the roof, a guests-only bar pairs cocktails and a curated wine selection with light bites and panoramic rooftop and Potomac views. Snacks and drinks can also be ordered in the guests-only Living Room, and each room comes with a free nonalcoholic minibar for between-meals cravings. Spa and gym details: The small but state-of-the-art gym is perched on the rooftop, adjacent to the lounge area, with floor-to-ceiling windows offering the same panoramic views of the monuments and the Potomac. Personal training sessions can be arranged upon request. A scenic, indoor-outdoor pool—more an oversized plunge pool than one for laps—sits nearby, a popular and romantic spot to soak up views any time of year. The hotel does not have a spa, but in-room treatments can be arranged.
Who's it for: Old World politicos, socialites, and super-luxury lovers. Our favorite rooms:Georgetown Rooms are bright and airy corner rooms, many with views of the historic C&O Canal, and all with Juliet balconies and oversized, round, white limestone soaking tubs. At 1,300 square feet, the Presidential Suite is worthy of a president, from a living room perfect for private parties to the solid, six-foot marble bathtub for presidential soaking. Insider access:Nothing is too much for the personal assistants (the hotel’s concierge team) at the Capella. The hotel offers stargazing events in conjunction with the University of Maryland’s astronomy department, and private experiences such as backstage access to the Washington Ballet, after-hours designer shopping with the hotel’s resident personal stylist, and a customized day trip to Monticello and Virginia wine country.