The Dupont Circle Hotel

1500 New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036, USA

Why we love it: An elegant stay where guests hobnob with D.C.’s best and brightest

The Highlights:
- The recently renovated—and thoroughly stylish—lobby, bar, and restaurant
- Spectacular new rooftop suites with heated terraces
- A prime location in one of D.C.’s finest neighborhoods

The Review:
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 several desirable D.C. spots, The Dupont Circle Hotel takes pride of place, rivaled only by 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. It’s no surprise, then, that the hotel’s new Martin Brudnizki-designed restaurant, The Pembroke—which features plush velvet banquettes, chic marble tables, and an expansive outdoor terrace—and the walnut-and-brass clad Doyle bar 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. There’s also Doyle & Co, the new coffee and chocolate bar where guests and locals alike can grab a quick refresher.

Sleek and sultry rooms take similar advantage of their surroundings, most with large windows overlooking the circle. Upstairs, the Rooftop Floor was recently transformed by Irish design team Clodagh to include an elaborate penthouse and 13 other suites with enormous heated terraces overlooking the Washington Monument. Clodagh also redesigned the lobby, which is exclusive to guests and features the look and feel of a high-end apartment, thanks to details like a cozy fireplace and a look-through bookcase with brass accents. 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.

More Recommendations

The Dupont Circle Hotel: High Design in an Historic 'Hood

Well, if the third time’s a charm, I can’t wait. I’ve now stayed at the Dupont Circle Hotel twice and I have to say my stay was even better the second time around. No, it’s not that the neighborhood has changed. Dupont Circle has long been the epicenter of any visit I make to the nation’s capital. Not only is it one of the most vibrant neighborhoods in the city, but within steps of its Metro station are two of my favorite non-monument destinations: The Phillips Collection and Politics and Prose. After my first visit a year ago I wrote: “Luckily for visitors, the Dupont Circle Hotel is a high-design, high-comfort boutique hotel that’s worthy of the name it bears.” Still true. From the moment you step through the hotel’s glass doors, the contemporary elegance of the lobby sets the stage for things to come. This year I got upgraded to the club floor with an expansive view of most of the District; I definitely felt like I was floating atop the world (or least most of the neighboring buildings). Not to mention, the entire hotel feels like an oasis of calm in a city seething with politics, presidential and otherwise. I especially liked the comfy bed with its 300-threadcount Irish linens and a duck down comforter. My room featured a balcony, perfect for stepping out and contemplating whatever’s on your mind. Although there are plenty of cafes nearby and a Starbucks across the street, I’d recommend eating in at Café Dupont, with welcoming windows that look out on the bustling street scene. In warm weather you can sit outside; on chilly days, savor the warmth inside. Or grab a bite in the bar, which sizzles—but does not seethe—after dark. The food is delicious; the drinks, too. The service A+.

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