Photo courtesy of The Hay-Adams
Not everyone gets to live across the street from the White House. Before the current Italian-Renaissance hotel was constructed in 1927, the prime real estate was occupied by the homes of two little-known American icons: John Hay—personal secretary to Abraham Lincoln, ambassador to the United Kingdom, and Secretary of State under both William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt—and Henry Adams, Harvard professor and great-grandson of John Adams. Their houses were hubs of D.C. culture for decades at the turn of the last century, and so, when the Hay-Adams opened, it was only logical that the hotel would continue that tradition. Washingtonians play at the sultry bar scene, everyone from Amelia Earhart to the Obamas has stayed in its elegantly Old World rooms overlooking historic Lafayette Square and the White House beyond, and the hotel is known for its discreet and comprehensive, no-questions-asked service. Should guests need a ride to one of the District’s many important meetings, the house Mercedes drops off anywhere downtown, guaranteeing a first impression worthy of a luminary. Though if you insisted on the meeting coming to you, no Beltway insider would mind.
By Kate Thorman, AFAR Contributor
Fitness at the Hay-Adams
Active guests will be happy to see a pair of bikes leaning invitingly beside the front door, part of a fleet available to guests for a spin around the blessedly flat city. The doormen will issue you a helmet, a bike lock, and a map to the more than 70 miles of bike lanes in Washington D.C. (One easy loop heads around the Tidal Basin with stops at the three extraordinary monuments along its banks: the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial and the Jefferson Memorial.) For guests interested in a little more cardio work, a pocket-sized running map in the guest rooms suggests a 3.5-mile loop around the National Mall that tempts even the laziest to trot the path and see the sites along the way.
By Ann Shields, AFAR Staff
800 16th St NW, Washington, DC 20006, USA