W Washington D.C.

515 15th St NW, Washington, DC 20004, USA

Considering its pop-art aesthetic and high-tech perks, it’s hard to believe the W Washington D.C. was built in 1917. Okay, so that’s not exactly true; the elegant building spent most of its life as the Hotel Washington—an Old World landmark whose location next to the White House, overlooking the National Mall, made it one of the District’s most popular pieds-à-terre for politicians and celebrities. Presidential balls have been held in the grand halls, parts of The Godfather: Part II were filmed on the rooftop terrace, and Elvis and President Nixon met here.

These days, in its incarnation as the W, the hotel projects a more modern vision of glamour, complementing the historic Beaux-Arts architecture with colorful lighting, and street art–style murals. The rooms are less flashy, but gilded mirrors, tufted velvet couches, and large windows looking out on the Mall guarantee they’re no less glamorous. And, while its look has changed, the rooftop bar is still one of the hottest spots in town, thanks to its unparalleled views; with the White House and the Washington Monument both looming nearby, it’s like having a drink with the President.

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The W

Since 2009, the former Hotel Washington (circa 1916) was converted into the ultra-trendy W Hotel infusing contemporary design while retaining the original Beaux-Arts architecture. Today it features 317 rooms, with 7 WOW suites, and an Extreme WOW suite (their spin on the traditional Presidential Suite) each with a “Munchie Box” (hotel room minibar). The hotel’s famed rooftop terrace provides some of the best views of the White House and National Mall. Sit on the main lobby’s red patent-leather chairs and zebra-print ottomans, where DJs spin house music on weekends.

Best view in the District

POV- the rooftop bar at the W Hotel provides sweeping views of the city- from the White House to the Washington Monument and beyond. At night the open air veranda is known for a more club like scene- and it’s crowded and loud! To avoid the “scene” and table minimum ($$)- venture up during the off-peak hours for a more enjoyable experience and a delicious cocktail.

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