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Mandarin Oriental, Washington DC

Mandarin Oriental Washington D.C.: Find Your Zen
It had been one of those awful days: Rushed through airport security only to have a flight delay. Lifted off into Easy-Bake oven temperatures on a cramped and crowded jet unfit for humans. Finally touched down at Reagan National and took a quick ride through freezing streets to the Mandarin Oriental (the MO, for short). My misery was barely lifted by views of the Mall, the Smithsonian, and the Holocaust Museum on the way to the front portico of the hotel.

Stepping inside the lobby, I paused for a moment to bask in the serenity. With the blustery cold held at bay outside and my travel woes forgotten, I took in the results of a $20 million, top-to-bottom renovation. It was worth every penny.

Check-in was smooth, with a soothing cup of jasmine tea offered graciously. I sailed quietly to my waterfront room in the 400-room hotel. In all my visits to D.C., over many years, I’d never stayed “on the waterfront,” meaning the famed Potomac River. The view was as serene as the room — especially a few hours later, when I was treated to a spectacular burnt orange sunset from my comfy bed. (Guests may choose a waterfront view, city view, or — best of all, perhaps — one of two Washington landmark views: The Jefferson Memorial or the Washington Memorial.)

One more word about that waterfront: The new District Wharf, directly across from the hotel, will soon boast entertainment and amenities including restaurants, shops, a concert hall, and even a kayak launch. Stay tuned for a fall opening; it’s been a long time coming.

On this trip I didn’t even need to leave my room for entertainment. Although many hotels have upgraded their technology in recent years, the Mandarin Oriental’s high-tech additions were even more functional than fanciful. All rooms have an Apple TV connection, which means I could pick up on my most recent Netflix movie — the one playing on my laptop — on the TV in my room. Very cool. And I have to offer a multitude of thanks and praise to the designer who included a multitude of USB outlets next to the bed.

Before heading out to a speaking engagement, I swam some laps in the hotel spa’s beautiful 50-foot pool, windowed on three sides, and spent a little time enjoying the sauna. If I’d had more time, I would have booked myself one of the hotel’s signature spa treatments—but that might have been too much serenity even for me.

Even without a massage, I found my Zen at the Mandarin Oriental. I hope you do, too.
1330 Maryland Ave SW, Washington, DC 20024, USA
+1 202-554-8588
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